Predatory Falcons Hovering in Stark County Skies

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CANTON, Ohio – A predatory bird is leaving some unexpected table scraps on the streets of this Stark County community.

“I think it's rare to see falcons in a city, like this, perching and making their nest on the top of a building where there's so much noise and activity every day,” said Beverly Proctor-Donald, who works in Canton.  She is one of several people who’ve spotted the remains of birds and other animals downtown, left behind by peregrine falcons nesting in a nearby building.

“You kinda see remnants of their meals on the street a lot,” said Proctor-Donald.

The falcons are a protected species in Ohio, where they nearly vanished in the late 1980’s.  Since then, they’ve been making a comeback throughout the state and nest annually at the top of the Chase Bank building on Central Plaza South.

According to the Ohio Division of Wildlife, 37 territorial pairs are monitored around the state and the birds are fast, according to the ODNR website.  “The speed of a peregrine has been said to reach 175 miles per hour or more.  Experiments conducted by scientists put the bird's diving speed at approximately 200 miles per hour and level flight at approximately 62 miles per hour.”

“I think it's kinda cool,” said Angie Eggleston, who lives in Canton.  “I mean, watching the people come and take pictures of them, you know?  It's nice that people like to come down here for things like that.”

“The birds are meat-eaters and they do help control the pigeon population,” said Mark Basinger, the Stark County Wildlife Officer.  According to Basinger, the birds eat duck, pheasants and pigeons and it’s normal for remnants to be found frequently in their urban surroundings.

There is a live camera affixed on the birds in Canton.  For access to the feed, click HERE.