MGE's 2017 Peregrine Falcon Chicks Officially Named After Notable Wisconsin Cheese Varieties

Naming ceremony held ahead of June Dairy Month.

Falcon Chicks

MGE peregrine falcons

  • MGE's falcon chicks named after some of the state's most notable cheese varieties.
  • Falcon chicks are banded for tracking.
  • The peregrine falcon is listed as endangered in Wisconsin.
  • Thirty-five chicks have hatched at MGE's power plant since 2009.

Madison, Wis., May 31, 2017—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. Just in time for June Dairy Month and to celebrate Wisconsin's long-standing tradition and history of cheese production, the three-week-old chicks were named after some of the state's most notable cheese varieties: Brick, Cheddar, Colby and Limburger.

Wisconsin peregrine falcon expert Greg Septon 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.

The MGE falcons that return to Blount every year have hatched 35 offspring (including the 2017 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 April 3. Since hatching began on May 11, 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.

Names reflecting America's Dairyland

"The Wisconsin dairy industry is a $43.3 billion economic driver for the state. If Wisconsin was a country, it would rank fourth in the world in terms of cheese production," explained Rachel Kerr, Public Relations Manager, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

When this year's offspring fledge, or take flight, later this summer they will carry with them a piece of America's Dairyland.

  • "Brick" was named after a Wisconsin original, first created by a Swiss cheese maker in 1877 that used bricks to press the moisture from the cheese.
  • "Cheddar" was named to honor the most widely purchased and eaten cheese in the world. Since cheddar is only made from cow's milk, it only makes sense that Wisconsin is the leader in U.S. cheddar production.
  • "Colby" was named after another Wisconsin original developed in 1885 at a cheese factory in central-Wisconsin. Colby cheese is created using a washed-curd process that reduces the acid content, making the flavor milder and less tangy than cheddar.
  • "Limburger" was named to highlight a single cheese plant in Monroe, Wis., that produces all the famous, "stinky" cheese made in the United States. Limburger is notorious for its smell due to the bacteria used to ferment it during production. This bacterium is the same that is found on human skin and responsible for body and foot odor.

For more information on MGE's falcons, please visit

About MGE

MGE generates and distributes electricity to 149,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 154,000 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.


Steven Schultz - Corporate Communications Manager
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