Hatching of 2015 Falcon Chicks

MGE's Newest Stars Named After Historic Madison Theaters

Madison, Wis., May 11, 2015—Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) is pleased to announce the arrival of four peregrine falcon chicks that have made their debut, hatching at MGE's Blount Generating Station between May 7 and 9. The falcon chicks will be named after four of Madison's historic theaters: Barrymore, Bartell, Majestic and Orpheum.

 

Barrymore

×

 

Bartell

×

 

Majestic

×

 

Orpheum

×

Each falcon chick will receive a name in several weeks when Wisconsin peregrine falcon expert Greg Septon will take the chicks from their nesting box, put numbered bands on their legs and take a blood sample for their DNA. The first flight, or fledge, usually happens when the chicks are five-to-six-weeks old.

The MGE falcons that return to Blount every year have hatched 23 offspring since 2009, when they first began nesting at the power plant. MGE installed the nesting box at the top of the plant in 1999. Falcons favor power plants and other tall buildings as nesting sites.

Trudy, the female falcon, laid her first egg this season on March 28. Sometime between March 17 and the afternoon of April 6, Vern, the male falcon, was displaced by another male peregrine whose name is Melvin. Be sure to follow the drama on MGE's Facebook page, Twitter handle and online at www.mge.com/falcon. There, you'll find video clips from the birds in the nesting box and other information about the MGE falcons.

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.

When our falcons take flight to other cities and states, they will carry the names of our local, historic theaters:

The Barrymore Theatre, located at 2090 Atwood Ave., originally opened on Madison's east side as the Eastwood Theatre. A 2008 Wisconsin State Journal article reads, "When it opened in December 1929, it was Madison's 'most glamorous' theater, the first in town built for 'talking pictures,' newspaper reports say."

The Bartell Theatre, located at 113 E. Mifflin St., dates back to 1906. With its three wooden floors, it was originally called the Colonial Hall and housed the Kehl Dance Academy, according to the theatre's online history. In its early decades, the building served a variety of purposes, which also included a bowling alley, billiard club, shoe repair shop, restaurant and bicycle repair shop.

Down the street from the State Capitol, the Majestic Theatre, located at 115 King St., boasts it is Madison's oldest theatre, opening Dec. 15, 1906. The Majestic began as a vaudeville theatre but since then has hosted silent movies, legendary acts such as Harry Houdini and today, it features live performances as it did more than 100 years ago.

A State Street landmark, the Orpheum Theater opened its doors in 1926. Known for its limestone and art deco facade, the Orpheum originally cost $750,000 to build, according to its website, and was the first building in Wisconsin to have air-conditioning. According to a 2012 Capital Times article, the theater has hosted some major figures in its nearly 90-year history, including Louis Armstrong, Buddy Holly, Frank Sinatra and Bob Marley.

About MGE

MGE generates and distributes electricity to 143,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 149,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties. MGE's parent company is MGE Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: MGEE). The company's roots in the Madison area date back more than 150 years.