MGE's 2019 Peregrine Falcon Chick Names Inspired by Wildflowers

Madison, Wis., June 6, 2019—Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) today announced the names of three peregrine falcons that hatched in the nesting box on top of its Blount Generating Station in May. In recognition of wildflowers and the important role they play in providing habitat for pollinators, MGE chose wildflower-inspired names: Lance, Goldy and Aster.  

Wisconsin peregrine falcon expert Greg Septon banded the chicks during a naming ceremony at Blount. The bands allow experts to track the birds throughout their lifetimes. 

Birds named after wildflowers that provide pollinator habitat

Highlights

  • MGE has had 42 falcons hatch at Blount since 2009.
  • Our falcons have had a better than 97% hatch rate.
  • Lance takes his name from the lance-leaf coreopsis. Butterflies and songbirds feed on this yellow flower’s ripe seeds in late summer.  
  • Goldy gets his name from the showy goldenrod, a spiked flower that blooms late summer through early fall. Its foot-long wands provide an important late-season nectar source.
  • Aster’s name is inspired by the bright and showy sky blue aster, which blooms summer through fall. Butterflies, skippers and bees love their nectar.
Wildflowers support another important part of our ecosystem – pollinators. Pollinators play an important role in ensuring that fruits, vegetables and other plant products make it to our tables. In fact, one out of every three bites of food we eat is because of pollinators.    

  • Lance takes his name from the lance-leaf coreopsis. Butterflies and songbirds feed on this yellow flower’s ripe seeds in late summer.  
  • Goldy gets his name from the showy goldenrod, a spiked flower that blooms late summer through early fall. Its foot-long wands provide an important late-season nectar source for butterflies and other pollinators.
  • Aster’s name is inspired by the bright and showy sky blue aster, which blooms summer through fall. Butterflies, skippers and bees love their nectar.

MGE has had 42 falcons hatch at Blount since 2009, when the birds first began nesting at the power plant. MGE installed the nesting box in 1999. Falcons prefer power plants and other tall buildings as nesting sites.

Trudy, the female falcon, laid four eggs in April. Trudy and her mate, Melvin, have been busy feeding the three chicks that hatched in May. A fourth egg remains unhatched. Despite the fourth egg not hatching, MGE’s falcons have had a better than 97% hatch rate over the last 11 years. A normal hatch rate for a site is around 75%. The chicks will soon learn how to fly and eventually depart the nesting box.

The peregrine falcon is listed as endangered in Wisconsin. Due to pesticide use in the 1960s, peregrines were declared extinct in the state. Falcons were reintroduced in the 1980s and have made a slow, steady comeback due to statewide efforts and nesting boxes like the one at Blount.

For more information on MGE’s falcons, please visit mge.com/falcons.

About MGE
MGE generates and distributes electricity to 153,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 161,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties. MGE’s parent company is MGE Energy, Inc. The company’s roots in the Madison area date back more than 150 years.
 

Kaya Freiman - Corporate Communications Manager
Madison Gas and Electric
608-252-7276 | kfreiman@mge.com