MGE's 2018 Peregrine Falcon Chicks' Names Inspired by UW Babcock Hall Ice Cream

Names reflect classic UW flavors, people and projects.

Madison, Wis., June 12, 2018—Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) today announced the names of four peregrine falcons that hatched at its Blount Generating Station in late May. MGE collaborated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Babcock Hall Dairy Plant to choose this year's names: Babcock, Neutrino, Crazylegs and Berry.

MGE Peregrine Falcons

  • MGE's falcon chicks' names inspired by UW's Babcock Dairy ice cream flavors.
  • Falcon chicks are banded for tracking.
  • The peregrine falcon is listed as endangered in Wisconsin.
  • 39 chicks have hatched at MGE's Blount Generating Station since 2009.
Wisconsin peregrine falcon expert Greg Septon banded the chicks during the naming ceremony at the Blount power plant. The numbered bands allow experts like Septon to track the birds throughout their lifetime.

"We make probably 50 different flavors of ice cream every year. We love the idea that some of those flavors could live on through MGE's peregrine falcon chicks and we're thrilled to be a part of it," said Bill Klein, Babcock Hall's Dairy Plant Manager.

This year's names recognize the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant and its ice cream flavors that pay tribute to some of the greatest people and projects ever seen at the UW-Madison.

  • "Babcock" was named to honor pioneering UW-Madison Food Scientist Stephen Babcock, who developed the first test to successfully determine the fat content of milk and the cold-curing process for ripening cheese. Babcock Hall is named in his honor.
  • "Neutrino" was named after Blue Neutrino ice cream made at the plant. The specialty flavor of white vanilla ice cream with blue marshmallow swirls and brown Sixlets candy was created to recognize UW-Madison's leadership role in the Ice Cube South Pole Neutrino Observatory.
  • "Crazylegs" was named for another Babcock Hall ice cream comprised of vanilla with chocolate-covered caramel footballs and a white marshmallow swirl. It's another specialty flavor created in honor of legendary Wisconsin football player Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch.
  • "Berry" was named after Berry Alvarez, a Babcock mixture of strawberry, raspberry and blueberry ice cream with fruit pieces. The specialty flavor, often available during football season, was created in honor of the current UW Athletic Director and former head football coach Barry Alvarez.

MGE has seen 39 falcons hatch at Blount (including the 2018 chicks) since 2009, when they first began nesting at the power plant. MGE installed the nesting box in 1999. Falcons favor power plants and other tall buildings as nesting sites.

Trudy, the female falcon, laid her first egg this season on April 14. Since hatching began on May 23, Trudy and her mate, Melvin, have been busy feeding the chicks. The chicks will learn soon how to fly and eventually depart the nesting box atop Blount.

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 151,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 158,000 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.

Steve Schultz - Corporate Communications Manager
Madison Gas and Electric
608-252-7219 | sbschultz@mge.com