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Sault Ste. Marie — Four peregrine falcon chicks have hatched atop the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge that connects the Upper Peninsula with Canada.

The bridge authority said in a news release Thursday that the chicks come from a pair of falcons that nested this spring on the U.S. side of the bridge. The chicks have been banded to track their behaviors.

Nest boxes were installed on U.S. and Canadian arches of the bridge in 2010 to help protect falcon eggs. The same pair of adult falcons has returned to the U.S. nest each year, though no falcons have nested at the Canadian box.

Bridge engineer Karl Hansen says 18 chicks have hatched since the boxes were installed.

Peregrine falcons remain an endangered species under Michigan law. They were removed from the federal list in 1999.

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