Update: Jan. 12, 2021
Dairyland Power's Peregrine Falcon Restoration Program
Dairyland’s Peregrine Falcon Restoration Program began in the 1990s and, since then, 149 falcons have fledged from the Alma and Genoa Sites combined! This is a great testament to the power of collaboration between industry and the environment. Dairyland's Bird Cams will appear below when falcons return to the boxes in early March.
2021 Nesting Season
Peregrine falcons are returning to their nesting sites after migrating to South America for the winter. Each March, the falcons return and are identified by their leg bands provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Raptor Resource Project.
We have two new falcons at the Alma nesting site this year. The female is a 2015 hatch from Midwest Plaza in Minneapolis. The male is unbanded.
2020 Nesting Season Recap
On March 4 & 5, four falcons arrived at Dairyland's Alma and Genoa (Wis.) nesting sites. In Alma, a new pair was identified as Mackey (male) and an unbanded female. Returning to the Genoa nesting box are Marcelle (male) and Peta (female). They have been the resident pair in Genoa since 2017 with Peta being the resident female since 2016. Each pair incubated four eggs; a typical clutch for a Peregrine is three to four eggs.
Falcons are traditionally banded about 40 days from when they hatched. In early June, four chicks were banded at the Alma site by Amy Ries and John Howe with the Raptor Resource Project safely performed the banding. The chicks were identified as three males and one female. One falcon was named Ricky in memory of Rick Jennings, who worked at Dairyland's Genoa Station #3. The chicks at the Genoa nesting site were unable to be banded. Although four chicks hatched, only three survived; there is speculation that strong storms in early June may have caused one chick to fall out of the nesting box.
“Every chick receives a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service band and a numbered identification band from the Raptor Resource Project. Information such as name, gender, age and nest is recorded in a database. That way, if one of these birds returns, we can look up the band number and determine if it has returned home,” said Ben Campbell, Dairyland Environmental Biologist II.
In early July, the chicks all fledged (flew away from) the nesting boxes bringing the total number of falcons who have fledged from Dairyland's Peregrine Falcon Restoration Program to 149. Falcons remain around both sites until October, but are not always near the nest boxes. They migrate to South America each fall with the juvenile falcons staying there for the first two years of their lives before returning to the area.