Falcon Update 2014
During the nesting season, MGE regularly posts video clips of the falcons inside a nesting box atop the Blount power plant. Click the 2014 Season link to see video clips from this season.
Thursday, April 10, 2014: The fourth falcon egg of the 2014 nesting season was laid by Trudy, the mother falcon, early on Thursday. She stands over the four eggs while Vern, the father falcon, looks on. We will continue to watch the nesting box should any additional eggs follow over the next few days.
- MGE is dedicating the 2014 falcon-nesting season to the late Joseph Hickey, 1907-1993.
- Hickey was a close associate of Aldo Leopold, head of UW-Madison's Wildlife Management department and a researcher who was instrumental in the effort that linked pesticides such as DDT to the near extinction of peregrine falcons.
MGE's Falcon History
MGE's peregrine falcon stewardship began in 1999 when an employee and his son built a nesting box for the son's school 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 last year, 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.
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.