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Record year for N.H. falcons

Associated Press / September 28, 2009

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CONCORD, N.H. - Peregrine falcons in New Hampshire had their best breeding season in half a century this year - even though one pair of birds deserted the state for Maine.

The state Fish and Game Department says the falcons produced 29 fledglings, surpassing the record of 27 set last year.

The falcons were all but wiped out in the 1960s, when pesticide levels in songbirds and other prey disrupted their ability to hatch viable eggs.

This year’s nests were spread across 15 natural cliffs, one urban building, and the area around a hydroelectric dam.

In Manchester, one falcon pair surprised watchers by moving one mile down Elm Street to nest across from City Hall.

Another pair hopped 100 feet over the border to raise three chicks on the Maine side of the Piscataqua River.