• Kendall Hills in summer bloom by Jeffrey Gibson

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Search for Missing Woman Hillary K. Sharma Continues in Park, 8-26-2014

    Paddlers on the Cuyahoga R. are asked to report any out-of-the-ordinary items that they might see along the river between the Village of Boston and Station Rd in Brecksville. Sharma is 5’3”, 120 lbs, br hair/eyes. Have info? Call 440-546-5945. More »

  • Towpath Trail Closure

    Towpath Trail is closed from Mustill Store to Memorial Parkway for riverbank reinforcement. Detours posted. Closure will last 1 - 4 weeks into August. More »

  • Other Closures

    Valley Bridle Trail south of SR 303, across from golf course, is collapsed by river. Hard closure. Plateau Trail Bridge, north of Valley Picnic Area is closed. No detours. Plateau & Oak Hill trails are open. More »

  • Riverview Road Repaving

    Riverview Rd is being repaved from the Cuyahoga-Summit Cty line to Peninsula through Mon, 9/15. Road is open but there are still delays due to construction. Allow extra time. More »

Peregrine Falcons


Peregrine falcons are on the Ohio state list of threatened birds. Ohio Division of Wildlife staff monitors 28 to 39 sites with territorial falcon pairs, as well as three sites with single birds. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is fortunate to have two pair.


 
Meg and Mac McQueen assisting female juvenile peregrine falcon_2011_NPS
Park biologist Meg Plona and park volunteer "Mac" McQueen assist in the retrieval of a female juvenile peregrine falcon that had difficulty flying after her initial flight.
NPS
 
Peregrin falcons Rocky and Lara_2011_C Saladin

"Rocky and "Lara".

©C. Saladin

"Rocky" and "Lara"
Beginning in the spring 2008, a pair of peregrine falcons, "Rocky" and "Lara", nested successfully beneath the high level I-80 Turnpike Bridge over the Cuyahoga River in Boston Township. They have returned every year and have produced chicks. This pair of falcons can be seen year round in the area south of the Boston Store Visitor Center. For updates and photos on "Rocky" and "Lara", visit the
Cleveland Museum of Natural History Falcon Cam.

 

"McKinley" and "Strike" Join the Park
In April, 2011 a new pair of peregrine falcons were showing some interest in nesting beneath the high level Rt. 82 bridge at Station Road. Our peregrine enthusiasts identified the birds by their leg bands as "Strike", a female from the Cleveland Terminal Tower and the male "McKinley", from Canton. In early May, the pair began incubating eggs beneath the bridge. One chick was born, but it did not survive.

 
Lara March 2011_1_250 w_C C Saladin

Female falcon "Lara".

©C. Saladin

Peregrine Falcon Description
The peregrine falcon's scientific name is Falco peregrinus, which means "falcon wanderer." It is about the size and weight of a crow and normally grows to 15 inches in length with a 40-inch wingspan. The speed of a peregrine falcon has been said to reach 175 miles per hour or more.

Adults have long, pointed, dark blue-gray wings and backs, barred with black, and pale undersides. Their faces are white with a black stripe on each cheek, and they have large, dark eyes. Females are larger and more powerful than males.

Although they have a high mortality rate, peregrines have been known to live as long as 15 years.


Breeding Information
Peregrine falcons usually begin breeding at about two years old. The nest itself is little more than a shallow scrape, shaped by the birds in soil or accumulated debris. The nest holds three or four eggs (slightly smaller than those laid by chickens) that are mottled with a dark, reddish-brown pigment. Both adults incubate the eggs, and eggs hatch in about 33 days.

 
Fledged Peregrine falcon_2011_C C Saladin_285w

Fledged peregrine falcon chick.

©C. Saladin

Eggs to Eyas
A young falcon in the nest is called a nestling or an eyas (pronounced I-es). It is covered by white down when hatched, which is replaced by feathers in three to five weeks. Both the adult male and female help care for the nestlings. Nestlings eat an incredible amount of food. They double their weight in only six days and at three weeks will be ten times birth size.

Around forty days, young peregrines begin flying but they are still dependent on their parents for up to four weeks. The young falcons leave the area where they hatched by the end of summer to disperse and establish a territory of their own, elsewhere.

Learn More
Visit the Ohio Department of Natural Resources peregrine falcon website to learn more.

Did You Know?

Historic photo of canal boat on the Ohio & Erie Canal.

Lock 27 along the Ohio & Erie Canal became known as Johnnycake Lock after several boats ran aground due to flooding. While stranded, supplies ran low and canal passengers and crew ate only corn meal pancakes, known as "johnnycakes".