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updated: 8/21/2013 7:03 AM

Park official: Merlins in northeastern Indiana "significant"

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Associated Press

LAKE JAMES, Ind. -- A pair of small falcons known as merlins nesting at a state park in northeastern Indiana is believed to be a first for the state.

Pokagon State Park interpretive naturalist Fred Wooley tells The Herald Republican of Angola that the spotting of the merlins is significant because there are no records of the species nesting in Indiana. He says they have been known to pass through Steuben County while heading south for winter.

The Cornell University Lab of Ornithology's website says the birds are found primarily in Canada, with some nesting in extreme northern Minnesota and states to its west.

The park earlier this year reported the first nesting pair of bald eagles in Steuben County in more than a century.

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