Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Portage Library to host presentation on Peregrine falcons, field trip to observe nests on Lift Bridge July 18

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to bring spotting scopes, binoculars, and cameras for a field trip and slide show presentation about Peregrine falcons with amateur ornithologist Joe Youngman.

Youngman will share his passion for these majestic birds at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 18, in the community room at the library. His presentation includes photos and details about Peregrines nesting in the Keweenaw with a special focus on the Peregrine family that has made its home on the Portage Lift Bridge. This half hour presentation will include refreshments as a kind of "baby shower" event to celebrate the recent hatching of the three young falcons in the nesting box on the Lift Bridge.

From the library, participants are invited to share rides to the Houghton County Marina in Ripley where it might be possible to watch the young falcons fledge for the first time. Youngman estimates that the falcons will be taking their first flying lessons sometime over the weekend, and spotting scopes and binoculars will be helpful in observing this momentous event.

John Slivon of Hancock observed the falcons today, Wednesday, with his telescope.

"I saw the young falcons exercising their wings and getting ready to fly," he said.

Peregrine falcons are the world’s fastest creature, and the highest speed recorded for a Peregrine is 242 m.p.h. Their breeding range spans land regions from the Arctic tundra to the tropics, and they are found nearly everywhere on earth.

Youngman is an amateur ornithologist who works on bird surveys in the Keweenaw and Lake Superior with a special focus on bird migration studies.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

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