Dairyland Power's Peregrine Falcon Restoration Program
Dairyland’s Peregrine Falcon Restoration Program began in the 1990s and, since then, 161 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.
2023 Nesting Season
In March, two falcons arrived at the nesting site in Alma. The pair was assumed to be a returning unnamed female from a 2015 hatch at Midwest Plaza in Minneapolis and the male was unbanded. The pair incubated a clutch of four eggs which hatched in late April. About 40 days after hatching (late May), the chicks were banded with metal leg bands provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Raptor Resource Project. At this stage, the chicks' legs are full grown, but they are unable to fly which minimizes the risk of a chick jumping out of the nesting box when approached by humans for banding. Bands are marked with a code and recorded in a national database that includes the sex and banding location of each falcon. These codes help track and monitor birds after they fledge and disperse. Dairyland employees and members of the Raptor Resource Project banded the four Peregrine falcon chicks, which were identified as one male (Norman) and three females, two of which were named Salem and Panther, in recognition of our environmental stewardship initiatives with West Salem Elementary School. The third was named Piper.
In mid-July, the chicks fledged (flew away from) the nesting box bringing the total number of falcons who have fledged from Dairyland's Peregrine Falcon Restoration Program to 161. Falcons remain in the area until October, but are not always near the nest box. They migrate to South America each fall with juvenile falcons staying there for the first two years of their lives before returning to North America to mate.