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MGE Peregrine Falcons News

MGE's Falcons Have a New Place to Call Home

Sep
17
2018

MGE's peregrine falcons have a new nesting box at Blount Generating Station in downtown Madison.

MGE started construction on the new box after our 2018 brood of falcon chicks hatched in late May. It was completed and placed in a new location after the four chicks fledged in early July from MGE's original nesting box. The original box, dating back to 1999, has been removed due to deconstruction work at Blount.

MGE's falcons found the new box this summer, and they have been stopping by to check out their new view! Going forward, the new box will be home base during nesting season for Trudy and Melvin, our adult peregrine falcons who have nested together at Blount for the last four years.

Our falcon cam's live feed is experiencing some technical issues, but we hope to get it back online soon. In the meantime, here's an earlier clip from when our falcons discovered their new home!

MGE Falcons and Babcock Dairy Ice Cream: A Sweet Combination

Jul
13
2018

MGE teamed up with the UW-Madison Babcock Dairy Plant to name this year's falcon chicks born in May at MGE's Blount Generating Station in downtown Madison. The dairy and some of its most popular flavors inspired the names Babcock, Berry, Crazylegs and Neutrino.

On June 12, 2018, the chicks were officially named and banded for tracking during a ceremony at Blount. Our brief video captures the event and explores what it takes to create some fan favorites at Babcock Dairy.

All four falcons took flight in early July. Crazylegs was the first to fledge on July 1, followed by Babcock, Berry and Neutrino. Sadly, Babcock suffered a deadly accident on July 12, 2018, while flying.

MGE has now seen 39 falcon chicks hatch since 2009, when peregrine falcons first began nesting at Blount. This is the seventh straight year Trudy, our female falcon, laid four eggs. Mating with our male peregrine, Melvin, for the fourth year in a row, Trudy laid her eggs between April 14 and 22, which is the latest in a season Trudy had ever laid her eggs.

2018 Falcons Take Flight!

Jul
05
2018

Crazylegs, Babcock, Berry and Neutrino have taken their first flight! While they are no longer hanging out in the nest box, they may stick close as they perfect their flying and hunting skills. We wish them well and hope to see them nesting in other locations in the future.

Crazylegs is First to Fledge!

Jul
02
2018

The first of four peregrine falcons born in the nesting box atop MGE's Blount Generating Station in May took to the air for the first time over the weekend.

Check out our video below of Crazylegs fledging from the box high above downtown Madison as his three siblings look on. Babcock, Neutrino and Berry are all expected to join their brother in the skies over the next week!

Falcon Chicks' Names Inspired by Babcock Dairy Ice Cream

Jun
12
2018
Falcon Chicks

MGE's four peregrine falcon chicks received their names and tracking bands during a ceremony at MGE's Blount Generating Station on Tuesday, June 12. The chicks hatched in the nesting box located high atop Blount in late May.

MGE worked with the UW-Madison Babcock Hall Dairy Plant to develop an ice cream theme for this year's names. Listed below, the names pay tribute to some of the most recognizable people and projects ever seen at the UW-Madison.

Falcon Chicks - Babcock
Falcon Chicks - Babcock
Falcon Chicks - Berry
Falcon Chicks - Berry
Falcon Chicks - Crazylegs
Falcon Chicks - Crazylegs
Falcon Chicks - Neutrino
Falcon Chicks - Neutrino

The bands placed on the chicks allow experts to track the birds throughout their lifetime. Within the coming weeks, Babcock, Berry, Crazylegs and Neutrino will learn how to fly and eventually take off from Blount for their own adventures, carrying part of their hometown with them.

Fourth Falcon Chick Hatches

May
30
2018

MGE's fourth and final peregrine falcon chick of 2018 hatched between Friday night and Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend. The chick joins its three siblings that hatched between May 23 and 24 in the nesting box atop our Blount Generating Station in downtown Madison.

This is the ninth straight year four falcon chicks have hatched at Blount and the seventh consecutive year for Trudy, our female peregrine. She mated with Melvin, our male peregrine, for the fourth year in a row. A total of 39 peregrine falcons have hatched at Blount since 2009.

Newborn peregrines are unable to regulate their body temperature until they reach about ten days old. Trudy has attentively huddled over her brood to keep them warm since they've hatched. Melvin, meanwhile, has been bringing food to the nesting box. Since young peregrines are some of the fastest growing creatures in the animal kingdom, Trudy will soon join Melvin in hunting to keep up with their round-the-clock feedings.

Watch our live falcon cam to see the chicks grow!

Our chicks are hatching!

May
24
2018

Three peregrine falcon chicks have hatched in the nesting box atop MGE's Blount Generating Station. The first hatched the evening of May 23, with two more coming in the early morning hours of May 24. A fourth chick is expected to hatch in the next few days.

This is the seventh straight year Trudy, our female falcon, laid four eggs. Mating with our male peregrine, Melvin, for the fourth year in a row, Trudy laid her first egg on April 14. She produced a second egg three days later, and a third on April 19. The fourth came sometime between the afternoon of April 21 and the morning of April 22. That was the latest in a season Trudy had ever laid her eggs.

You can watch Trudy with her newborns in the video below! You also can try to catch the fourth chick hatching on our livestream falcon cam.

Falcon born at MGE has third brood of chicks

May
14
2018

A female peregrine falcon born in the MGE nesting box atop our Blount Generating Station in 2014 has successfully nested for the third straight year at Wisconsin Public Service's (WPS) Weston Power Plant near Wausau.

Rosalie, born to Trudy and her former partner Vern, produced four eggs this spring, three of which have hatched. She also produced four eggs in both 2016 and '17. She is the only female peregrine born at Blount that is known to have successfully nested multiple times. Rosalie is named for conservationist Rosalie Edge, who in 1934 founded Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the world's first preserve for birds of prey.

We are expecting to see Trudy's own four chicks hatch in the next few weeks! It will be her seventh brood since arriving at Blount in 2012, and fourth with her current partner, Melvin. Check out our live falcon cam to see if you can catch the chicks hatch!

Four eggs laid in Blount nesting box

Apr
23
2018

For the seventh straight year, Trudy, the female peregrine falcon nesting in the box atop MGE's Blount Generating Station, has laid four eggs, which is considered a full "clutch." Mating with our male peregrine, Melvin, for the fourth year in a row, Trudy laid her first egg on Saturday, April 14. She produced a second egg three days later, and a third on April 19. The fourth came sometime between the afternoon of April 21 and the morning of April 22.

This is the latest in a season Trudy has ever laid her eggs. Because of the timing, Melvin's and Trudy's 2018 chicks are expected to hatch close to Memorial Day. You can watch Trudy and Melvin with all four eggs below, and keep tabs on them going forward on our livestream falcon cam.

First falcon egg of the season!

Apr
16
2018

MGE is pleased to announce that Trudy, the female peregrine falcon nesting in the box atop our Blount Generating Station in downtown Madison, has laid her first egg of the season. The egg was first spotted in the nesting box late afternoon on Saturday, April 14.

This is the latest Trudy has laid her first egg of the season since coming to Blount in 2012. It's also the second latest date we've ever seen a first egg since MGE established the Blount nesting box in 2009. That year, our first female peregrine, Frightful, laid her first egg on April 16. Historically, the first egg has arrived between March 28 and April 4.

Watch Trudy with her first egg of the season. Stay tuned to our livestream falcon cam as more eggs are expected in the coming days!

Falcon born at MGE spotted nesting in Milwaukee

Apr
11
2018

A peregrine falcon hatched in the MGE nesting box atop our Blount Generating Station in 2016 is nesting at a box in Milwaukee.

On March 22, Wisconsin peregrine falcon expert Greg Septon noticed a new male in the nesting box at Malteurop North America's Milwaukee Malthouse, located on the city's west side. According to Septon, the peregrine falcon was limping badly and couldn’t bear weight on his right leg.

Because the resident Malteurop male, "JJ," had been on site regularly since March 4, Septon suspects the new male likely battled "JJ" for the site and suffered a leg injury in the process. The new male spent a good part of his time lying down (healing) on the nest box deck for 10-14 days, only standing or flying when necessary, but he was able to stay fed.

On April 7, the new male began standing on both legs and Septon was able to read his band number. It turns out the new male is "Witt," who was born at MGE to Melvin and Trudy in 2016. "Witt" is named for Sylvester (Steve) Wittman, one of America's most daring and creative aviators for more than 70 years.

"Witt" has already mated with the female peregrine falcon in the Malteurop nesting box – "Amylase" – who is back for her ninth year at the site. Amylase laid her first egg on April 10!

Nesting Season Expected Soon!

Mar
28
2018

Spring is not only the season for Easter eggs, but peregrine falcon eggs as well!

Our adult peregrines, Melvin and Trudy, returned to their nesting box located high atop MGE's Blount Generating Station in late January, and are expected to mate again for the fourth straight year. Historically, Trudy has laid her first egg between March 28 and April 4, which means it could happen any day now!

We'll be keeping a watchful eye on their perch in downtown Madison throughout the next week. You can join us by checking out our livestream falcon cam for a bird's-eye view into what is happening this nesting season!

Melvin and Trudy Settle In at Blount

Feb
28
2018

We humans aren’t the only ones who seem to be enjoying the recent spring-like weather in Madison.

MGE’s peregrine falcons – Melvin and Trudy – have been a lot more active this week in their nesting box located high atop our Blount Generating Station. Both birds returned to Blount for the season in late January. Melvin has been Trudy’s partner for the past three years and the two are expected to mate again this spring.

MGE also has learned two of Trudy’s offspring are following in their mom’s footsteps. Rosalee, a female born in 2014 to Trudy and her former partner Vern, is back at the Weston Power Plant nesting site in central Wisconsin for a fourth consecutive year. Bartell, born in 2015 to Melvin and Trudy, is at the Briess Malt and Ingredients Co. nesting site in Manitowoc for his second year.

Check out our livestream falcon cam for a bird’s-eye view into what is happening this nesting season.

MGE's Peregrine Falcons Return Early

Feb
1
2018

A pair of peregrine falcons has returned early to MGE’s nesting box in downtown Madison. The two familiar falcons were spotted for the first time on Jan. 27, 2018, marking the second earliest return to Blount Generating Station since peregrines began nesting at MGE in 2009. Last year, the first falcon sighting came on Jan. 26. Historically, the first sighting has ranged between Feb. 7 and Mar. 18.

This pair of peregrine falcons is known to MGE. We’re able to identify them based on the bands on their legs.

The male falcon – Melvin – has nested at Blount for the past three seasons. Although unbanded, it is assumed the second falcon is Trudy – a female who has returned to Blount for the seventh consecutive year.

Melvin has been Trudy’s partner for the past three years. His ID bands show he was born at an Oak Creek site in 2013 and arrived at Blount in 2015 after displacing Vern, the original male falcon who had nested here since 2009. Trudy fought another female falcon, Frightful, for the territory in 2012. She has hatched four chicks every year since her arrival at Blount.

Join us in welcoming back our peregrines. Check out our livestream Falcon Cam to keep up with them this nesting season.