During the nesting season, MGE regularly posts video clips of the falcons inside a nesting box atop the Blount power plant. Click the 2013 Season link to see video clips from the most recent season.
October 2013: The pair of falcons that nested at Blount Station are still in Madison and are often seen around the nesting box. They soon will be leaving for the winter. Father Vern and mother Trudy produced four chicks in 2013. The first year survival rate of falcon chicks is about 50%. Of the four chicks hatched in 2013 at Blount Station:
- Two of the chicks, Hodor and Daenerys, were found dead in a containment dike this summer.
- The whereabouts of the third chick, Arya, is unknown.
- Catelyn, was found injured on-site and is now at Hoo's Woods Raptor Education and Rehabilitation Center undergoing treatment.
MGE's Falcon History
MGE's peregrine falcon stewardship began in 1999 when an employee and his son built a nesting box as a Boy Scout project. MGE installed the nesting box atop its Blount Generating Station just east of downtown Madison in 1999 where it remained unoccupied for 10 years. Falcons finally began using the box in 2009.
From 2009 to 2011, a nesting pair of falcons (Frightful, the mother, and Vern, the father) successfully hatched 11 chicks. One of them, Blount, a male from the 2010 brood, successfully mated and produced four chicks in a nesting box at the Weston Power Plant near Wausau in summer 2013. A second, Livingston, also from the 2010 brood, successfully mated at the Kenosha Medical Center in Kenosha and produced four chicks in 2013.
In 2012, an unbanded female fought Frightful for the territory and displaced her for the nesting season. The new mother falcon was dubbed In-Trudy. She along with father falcon Vern hatched four chicks. All four young successfully fledged.
The falcon pair returned in 2013. The mother, now referred to as Trudy, laid four eggs this season, with three hatching on May 10 and the fourth hatching on Mother's Day, May 12. The four chicks were banded at the end of May. Named after characters in the HBO series "Game of Thrones," the male is Hodor and the females are Daenerys, Arya and Catelyn.
Did you know?
- The peregrine falcon is listed as endangered in Wisconsin due to pesticide use in the 1960s. The birds were reintroduced in Wisconsin in the 1980s.
- Falcons are attracted to Blount Station and other power plants by the secure nesting height. In 2013, almost half of Wisconsin's falcon chicks were hatched at power plants.
Learn more about falcons:
- A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources expert explains how the falcon parents teach the young to fly.
- A National Geographic video shows the amazing speed and skill of adult falcons in the air.
- Learn more about local falcons with "Wisconsin Falconwatch 2013" [2.1 MB PDF] published by falcon expert Greg Septon.