MGE's 2016 Peregrine Falcon Chicks Officially Named

Fast-flying falcons named after notable Wisconsin Aviators

MGE peregrine falcons

  • MGE's falcon chicks named for notable Wisconsin aviators.
  • Falcons are the world's fastest animal, reaching speeds of 200 mph.
  • Falcon chicks are banded for tracking.
  • The peregrine falcon is listed as endangered in Wisconsin.
  • Thirty-one chicks have hatched at MGE's power plant since 2009.

Madison, Wis., May 25, 2016—Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) is proud to announce the names of its four peregrine falcon chicks that hatched at MGE's Blount Generating Station in early May. Heralded as the world's fastest animal, the peregrine falcon can reach a speed of 200 miles per hour. As budding aviators, this year's falcon chicks were named after some of Wisconsin history's most well-known flyers: Witt, Jean, Paul, and Billy.

Wisconsin peregrine falcon expert Greg Septon also banded the chicks during the naming ceremony at the Blount power plant. Septon put numbered bands on their legs. The bands allow experts like Septon to track the birds throughout their lifetime.

When the MGE falcons take flight to other cities and states, they will carry with them Wisconsin aviation history.

Steve-Wittman

"Witt," a male chick, is named for Sylvester (Steve) Wittman, one of America's most daring and creative aviators for more than 70 years. Wittman was a renowned designer, builder and barnstorming air racer who was so devoted to flying that both of his homes—in Oshkosh, Wis., and Ocala, Fla.—were along airstrips. Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh is named after Steve Wittman.

Paul Poberezny

"Paul," another male, is named for Paul Poberezny, one of the most decorated men in the international aviation community. Poberezny also is founder of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), located in Oshkosh. Poberezny piloted nearly 400 different types of aircraft, and designed and built more than 15 airplanes.

Paul Poberezny

"Billy," another male, is named for General William Mitchell. Originally from West Allis, Mitchell was a U.S. Army General and a visionary of air power who has been regarded as the "father" of the U.S. Air Force. General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee is named after him.

Jean Hauser

And our final chick is "Jean," named for Jean Hauser. Hauser was Wisconsin's first deaf pilot.

The MGE falcons that return to Blount every year have hatched 31 offspring (including the 2016 chicks) 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 30. Since hatching began on May 4, 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.

About MGE

MGE generates and distributes electricity to 146,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 152,000 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.

Dana Brueck - Corporate Communications Manager
608-252-7282 | dbrueck@mge.com