Dairyland Power's Peregrine Falcon Restoration Program
Dairyland’s Peregrine Falcon Restoration Program began in the 1990s and, since then, more than 150 falcons have fledged from the Alma and Genoa sites combined! This is a great testament to the power of collaboration between industry and the environment. In 2021, the nesting box and Bird Cam at Dairyland's Genoa Station #3 were removed due to the retirement and eventual dismantling/demolition of the plant. Dairyland's Alma site Bird Cam is below.
A peregrine falcon was spotted on March 1 at the Alma Site (Wisconsin) nesting box. Falcons return to their nesting sites early in the year after migrating to South America for the winter. The falcons are a returning pair from last year. The unnamed female is from a 2015 hatch from Midwest Plaza in Minneapolis; the male is unbanded. The pair incubated a clutch of 4 eggs which hatched in early May. The young falcons are expected to fledge the nest in early July.
The live feed below is from a camera installed at Dairyland's Alma power plant to capture "real time" online birdwatching at the nesting box.
2021 Nesting Season Recap
In March, two new falcons arrived at the Alma, Wis., nesting site. The female was a 2015 hatch from Midwest Plaza in Minneapolis. The male was unbanded, which signals a successful wild hatch. The pair incubated four eggs; a typical clutch for a Peregrine is three to four eggs.
About 40 days after hatching, falcons are banded with metal leg bands provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Raptor Resource Project. At this stage, the chicks' legs are full grown, but they are unable to fly which minimizes the risk of a chick jumping out of the nesting box when approached by humans for banding. Bands are marked with a code and recorded in a national database that includes the sex and banding location of each falcon. These codes help track and monitor birds after they fledge and disperse. Members of the Raptor Resource Project banded the four Peregrine falcon chicks in June at Dairyland’s Alma Site. The four chicks, three males (Genoa, Roger, Decklin) and one female (Evelyn) were all in good health.
In mid-July, the chicks fledged (flew away from) the nesting box bringing the total number of falcons who have fledged from Dairyland's Peregrine Falcon Restoration Program to 153. Falcons remain in the area until October, but are not always near the nest box. They migrate to South America each fall with juvenile falcons staying there for the first two years of their lives before returning to North America to mate.