Power plant falcons produce chicks

MARQUETTE – Sitting 200 feet up for the past 10 years, the peregrine falcon nesting box at We Energies’ Presque Isle plant produced four falcons this year – the most ever.

The first peregrines were fledged at the Marquette plant two years ago, when two were born in the artificial nesting box created for the swiftest birds in world. There were also two falcon chicks fledged in the box last year .

Greg Septon, director of the Wisconsin Peregrine Trust, recently banded the latest hatchlings. Named Blossom, Perry, Blaze and Haukka, they included two to three females and all appeared healthy. About 30 students, parents, educators and local bird rehabilitators were on hand to observe the banding, done to keep track of the future movements of the birds.

With the success of nesting boxes on power plants and grain elevators throughout the upper Midwest, the peregrine population has recovered well after plummeting in the 1960s and ’70s due to the effects of pesticides on the birds.