MGE Peregrine Falcons News

Falcons in flight


Our falcon chicks recently left their nest! The latest video on our falcon chicks celebrates their first flights—and their wildflower-inspired names. Watch them fledge and hear from the UW Extension why wildflowers play a big role in our everyday lives.

Meet Lance, Goldy and Aster


Falcon chicks

We announced the names of three peregrine falcons that hatched in the nesting box on top of our Blount Generating Station in May. In recognition of wildflowers and the important role they play in providing habitat for pollinators, we chose wildflower-inspired names: Lance, Goldy and Aster.

Lance takes his name from the lance-leaf coreopsis. Butterflies and songbirds feed on this yellow flower's ripe seeds in late summer.

Goldy gets his name from the showy goldenrod, a spiked flower that blooms late summer through early fall. Its foot-long wands provide an important late-season nectar source.

Aster's name is inspired by the bright and showy sky blue aster, which blooms summer through fall. Butterflies, skippers and bees love their nectar.

Wildflowers support another important part of our ecosystem – pollinators. Pollinators play an important role in ensuring that fruits, vegetables and other plant products make it to our tables. In fact, one out of every three bites of food we eat is because of pollinators.

Wisconsin peregrine falcon expert Greg Septon banded the chicks at Blount. The bands allow experts to track the birds throughout their lifetimes.

Falcon chicks

Lance, Goldy and Aster at the Blount Generating Station.

Falcon Chicks Hatch


Three falcon chicks are chirping after hatching in mid-May in the nesting box at Blount Generating Station.

Our female falcon, Trudy, laid her eggs between April 5 and 13. This is the eighth straight year Trudy has laid eggs in our nesting box. It is the fifth year Trudy and Melvin have returned to the box together.

A fourth egg remains unhatched. Despite the fourth egg not hatching, MGE's falcons have had a better than 97% hatch rate over the last 11 years. A normal hatch rate for a site is around 75%.

You can see Trudy with her newborns on our livestream falcon cam.

We will once again partner with Wisconsin peregrine falcon expert Greg Septon to have the chicks banded, so their movements and behaviors can be tracked. A banding ceremony is scheduled for early June. The falcons will be named for some wildflowers being planted at MGE to help provide pollinator habitat.

Falcon chicks hatch

Four Eggs in Nesting Box


For the eighth straight year, Trudy, the female peregrine falcon nesting in the box atop MGE's Blount Generating Station, has laid four eggs, which is considered a full "clutch." Mating with our male peregrine, Melvin, for the fifth year in a row, Trudy’s first egg was spotted on Friday, April 5. She produced the three additional eggs throughout the week, the last one appearing on Saturday, April 12.

Timing has been consistent with years past – historically the first egg has been laid between March 28 and April 4. Because of the timing, Melvin's and Trudy's chicks are expected to hatch in mid-May. You can watch Trudy and Melvin take turns incubating the eggs by checking out our livestream falcon cam.

Nesting season begins soon!


Spring has arrived, and soon our resident falcons will begin laying their eggs.

Our adult peregrines, Melvin and Trudy, returned to their nesting box located high atop MGE's Blount Generating Station in late January, and are expected to mate again for the fifth straight year. Historically, Trudy has laid her first egg between March 28 and April 4, which means it could happen any day now!

We'll be keeping a watchful eye on their perch in downtown Madison throughout the next week. You can join us by checking out our livestream falcon cam for a bird's-eye view into what is happening this nesting season!

MGE's Falcon Season Begins


The 2019 peregrine falcon nesting season has officially begun! On February 15, the first peregrine sighting was recorded on our falcon livestream camera. Though unbanded, the falcon is likely Trudy, making her eighth consecutive appearance in our nesting box. Trudy has successfully hatched four chicks every year since she arrived at our Blount Generating Station in downtown Madison.

On February 21, we observed Melvin, the male falcon who has been Trudy's partner for the past four years. His ID bands show that he was born at an Oak Creek nesting site in 2013 and first arrived in Madison in 2015. The pair has appeared to settle in nicely to our new nesting box. The box was rebuilt and relocated to a new location at Blount last fall prior to the completion of some deconstruction work at the facility.

Join us in welcoming back our peregrines and check out our livestream falcon cam to keep up with them this nesting season.

Wisconsin Peregrine Nesting Season Begins Early


Some nesting sites across the state are seeing early activity by returning Peregrine Falcons. In fact, Bartell, a male falcon born at MGE's nesting box in 2015, has been spotted at the Briess Malt and Ingredients Co. nesting site in Manitowoc for his third year.

While our famous pair, Trudy and Melvin, have yet to be observed in MGE's nesting box this season, we have seen early activity the past two years. Last year, they arrived on Jan. 27. Historically, the first sighting has ranged between Feb. 7 and Mar. 18.

Be sure to keep your eye on our Falcon Livestream cam and be among the first to spot their arrival!