MGE Peregrine Falcon Family History

MGE's peregrine falcon stewardship began in 1999 when an employee and his son built a nesting box for the son's school project. MGE installed the nesting box atop its Blount Generating Station just east of downtown Madison in 1999, where it remained unoccupied for 10 years. Falcons finally began using the box in 2009. Since 2009, 42 falcon chicks have hatched at Blount.

From 2009 to 2011, a nesting pair of falcons (Frightful and Vern) successfully hatched 11 chicks. In 2012, a female fought Frightful for the territory and displaced her for the nesting season. The new mother falcon was named Trudy.

In 2015, Vern was displaced by a new male named Melvin. Melvin's ID bands show that he was hatched at an Oak Creek, Wis., site in 2013.

2019 falcon chicks

Trudy and Melvin

MGE's three peregrine falcon chicks hatched in mid-May at Blount Generating Station. In recognition of wildflowers and the important role they play in providing habitat for pollinators, we chose wildflower-inspired names.

Lance takes his name from the lance-leaf coreopsis. Goldy gets his name from the showy goldenrod. Aster's name is inspired by the bright and showy sky blue aster. Check out our video

2018 falcon chicks

Trudy and Melvin

MGE's four peregrine falcon chicks hatched in late May and received their names and tracking bands during a ceremony at MGE's Blount Generating Station on Tuesday, June 12th. MGE worked with the UW-Madison Babcock Hall Dairy Plant to develop an ice cream theme for this year's names. Neutrino, Berry, Crazylegs and Babcock were named after flavors representing some of the most recognizable people and projects ever seen at the UW-Madison.
Check out our video

2017 falcon chicks

Trudy and Melvin

Once again, Trudy and Melvin produced 4 eggs that hatched between May 11th and 12th, 2017. To celebrate Wisconsin's long-standing tradition of producing delicious and quality cheese, the 2017 brood, consisting of 3 males and 1 female, were named: Brick, Cheddar, Colby and Limburger.
Check out our video footage

2016 falcon chicks

Trudy and Melvin

Trudy's four eggs hatched between May 4th and 6th. Since peregrine falcons are built to fly-and dive-at very high rates of speed, the chicks were named after some of Wisconsin's most notable aviators: Witt, Jean, Paul and Billy
Check out video footage

2015 falcon chicks

Trudy and Melvin

Trudy layed four eggs and all successfully hatched. The chicks were named after Madison historic landmark theaters. Barrymore, Bartell, Majestic and Orpheum were hatched May 8th and 9th.
Banding video

2014 falcon chicks

Trudy and Vern

Trudy's four eggs hatched between May 11th and 13th. They were named after research and conservation contemporaries Professor Joseph Hickey, Lorrie Otto, Lucille Stickel and Rosalie Edge.
Banding video

2013 falcon chicks

Trudy and Vern

A year for kings and queens. This brood was named after the popular HBO show, Game of Thrones. Arya, Catelyn, Daenarys and Hodor hatched between May 10th and 12th.
Banding video

Catelyn sustained an injury in July of 2013 and was cared for at Hoo's Woods Raptor Center, a nonprofit education and rehabilitation center near Milton, Wis. View her recovery story: Part 1 and Part 2.

2012 falcon chicks

Trudy and Vern

Falk Elementary School was the inspiration for 2012, since their mascot is a falcon. The students picked the names for chicks. Freddie, Rose, Scarlet and Anika hatched between May 13th and 14th.
Banding video

2011 falcon chicks

Frightful and Vern

Frightful's last year in the nest yielded 4 more chicks, whom hatched May 8th. They were named for Madison-area lakes: Wingra, Waubesa, Monona and Mendota.

2010 falcon chicks

Frightful and Vern

Blount, Livingston, Blair and Wilson hatched between May 10th and 11th. They were named after streets near MGE's nesting site.

2009 falcon chicks

Frightful and Vern

Steve, Genny and Cole, named after the MGE employee and family that built the nesting box, were the first falcons born at Blount Generating Station.