Of four original eggs, one hatches, one doesn’t, and two are unaccounted for

    Raptor expert and licensed bander Tim Driscoll on Monday was joined by UMC’s Dr. John Loegering and other helpers and bird enthusiasts on Crookston’s south end, where they fitted the first known falcon in Crookston since who knows when with a research/tracking band.

      The baby male, 18 to 19 days old, is named Rand, after Aldo Leopold, whose first name was Rand. The falcon had an injury on its right leg because of a stray wire in the nest; an edge of the mesh tore off and the wire cut the bird. Driscoll treated it while also fitting the bird with the band.  

    The nest box was placed high up on the CHS Mid-Valley Grain elevator on South Main in Crookston years ago, and this year a nesting pair of adult falcons, which are increasing their nesting presence in Red River Valley communities, showed up.

    There were originally four eggs, but when Driscoll and Loegering arrived at the nest, only the one baby and one unhatched egg remained. With first year breeders, the eggs don't always hatch as the parents are inexperienced, Driscoll explained.   

    It was OK to touch the bird, Driscoll said, because, contrary to popular belief, the parents will not abandon it because they do not have a great sense of smell, and will not be bothered by the human smell on the birds.  The rule to never touch baby animals mostly applies to mammals, he said, as they may abandon their young if they can smell that humans have touched them.  

    A silver band was put on the left leg of the bird because the right leg was swollen.