Legendary Ohio falcon dead

Feb. 29, 2012 at 8:02 PM

AKRON, Ohio, Feb. 29 (UPI) -- A peregrine falcon known as a fixture in Akron, Ohio, for 16 years died from injuries sustained from flying into the side of a bus shelter, officials said.

Bandit broke his neck after hitting the glass of the shelter while in pursuit of a mourning dove Tuesday, the Akron Beacon Journal reported Wednesday.

"That's sad news. I'm sorry we lost him, but what a productive bird," said Tom Henry, a retired Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Wildlife staffer. Wildlife workers brought Bandit to Akron from Detroit in July 1996 to breed and improve the peregrine falcon population, which was federally endangered until 1999.

Bandit mated with two birds over the course of his life -- J.P. and Chesapeake -- producing 48 eggs and 31 birds that left the nest on their own.

Jamey Graham of the Division of Wildlife said Bandit was about 17 years old, which is "ancient for falcons."

Peregrine falcons are considered a threatened species by Ohio, the Journal said.

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