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Falcons return to MGE nesting site

Falcons return to MGE nesting site

For the seventh year, two peregrine falcons, Trudy and Vern, have taken up residence in the MGE nesting box high atop Blount Generating Station. Trudy laid 4 eggs in late March/early April. At some point, a new male named Melvin replaced Vern. Melvin's ID bands show that he was hatched at an Oak Creek site. All four chicks hatched a couple of days shy of Mother's Day.

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 falcon chicks will be named after four of Madison's historic theaters: Barrymore, Bartell, Majestic and Orpheum. The first flight, or fledge, usually happens when the chicks are five- to six-weeks old.

Since the falcons began nesting at Blount in 2009, 23 chicks have hatched. Falcons favor power plants and other tall buildings as nesting sites. 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. In 2012, 83 falcons hatched at 27 known nesting sites in Wisconsin.

Click the 2015 Season link to see video clips from this year.

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