First falcon sighting of 2006

The peregrine falcon "Athena" was spotted at the High Bridge power plant next box on January 25th.

Athena nested at the High Bridge plant last year with the former resident male, "Smoke." An unidentified rival male killed Smoke early last May, and last year's nest didn't produce any young.

We have not seen a male with Athena yet this year.

Read more about Saint Paul's falcons and last year's drama.

Check back often for updates.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

crazyaboutchocolate131's picture
crazyaboutchocolate131 says:

i don't think that people should be able to kill any birds but chickens and turkeys.

posted on Fri, 01/27/2006 - 1:25pm
Chris's picture
Chris says:

It looks like we may have as many as 4 eggs in the nest. We are expecting hatching around May 3-7th.

posted on Wed, 04/05/2006 - 12:05pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Under the United States Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, it's illegal for anyone to take, kill, possess, transport, or import any migratory birds, or their eggs, parts, or nests, without a valid permit. Peregrine falcons were considered an endangered species in the US until 1999, and so even more protected.

But I'm not sure what prompted your comment? "Smoke," last year's resident male falcon at the High Bridge power plant, was killed by another peregrine falcon, not a person. Rival peregrines occasionally fight to replace each other as breeding birds, over territory, and over food.

posted on Fri, 01/27/2006 - 4:19pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

This blog captures photos and comments about the falcons at the Riverside and High Bridge power plants. (The photos with "HB" in the top left corner are captures from the High Bridge plant.)

Scroll down: you'll see that a second falcon has joined Athena at the nest box as of 1/29.

posted on Thu, 02/02/2006 - 2:21pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

The Warner Nature Center is hosting a program on peregrine falcons:

Friends of Warner Lecture: "Falconry and Peregrine Falcon Restoration"

Date: Friday, February 17, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Cost: $8 per person, $12 per family (free for Friends of Warner Nature Center)

Friends of Warner presents a winter evening lecture for the public with Andy Weaver. Andy, a long-time passionate falconer and popular Stillwater High School biology teacher, with a live peregrine falcon on hand, will discuss this American success-story and a give a glimpse into the "art of falconry."

posted on Thu, 02/02/2006 - 4:11pm
Mississippi River Gallery's picture
Mississippi River Gallery says:

There are now two (2) birds at the nest box. One is Athena from last year and the male is still has not been named- it could be the male from last year... They are usually at the nest in the morning or late afternoons. They seem to be gone from about 11-3pm daily. We have seen them feeding at the nest box and have heard them vocalizing to eachother. We are in contact with the staff at the highbridge tower for daily updates for the ID of the male bird.\r\n\r\n

posted on Sun, 02/19/2006 - 10:28am
Chris's picture
Chris says:

This chronology is from Scott Anton who monitors the nest at the High Bridge site. Thanks Scott!!!!

Xcel Energy High Bridge Plant Falcon Nest Box Chronology

9/23/98 -- High Bridge stack nest box proposed.

March 1999 -- Nest box installed at the 450-foot level of the High Bridge stack.

4/6/99 -- Falcon seen on High Bridge nest box perch.

3/22/00 -- First egg laid.

5/9/00 -- Confirmation of three hatched eggs.

January 2001 -- Nest box camera equipment delivered to High Bridge site.

3/5/01 -- Camera and microphones installed at the High Bridge nest box.

3/12/01 -- Nest box camera is in operation, providing an image at the High Bridge control room monitor.

April 2001 -- Nest box images are on the Internet.

4/3/01 -- First egg laid.

5/13/01 -- First egg hatched.

February 2001 -- Science Museum of Minnesota wireless audio/video link operational.

3/31/02 -- First egg laid.

5/12/02 -- First egg hatched.

3/25/03 -- First egg laid.

5/5/03 -- First egg hatched.

4/21/04 -- First egg laid.

5/29/04 -- First egg hatched.

3/28/05 -- First egg laid.
(No eggs hatched due to battle between two males.)

posted on Wed, 03/01/2006 - 8:23am
Chris's picture
Chris says:

Some folks have asked how the birds get their names. Scott Anton from the High Bridge Plant sent us the list of names and who picked them since the nest box has been up.

Xcel High Bridge Falcon Names

-Father is Spanky (12 years old)
-Mother is Sophia (3 years old)
-Chicks are Lily, Irvine and Cherokee

-Father is Smoke (3 years old; fledged from King Plant)
-Mother is Sophia (4 years old; fledged from Monticello Plant)
-Chicks are Gold, Lolo and Sharky (named by students of Roosevelt Elementary School, St. Paul)

-Father is Smoke
-Mother is Sophia
-Chicks are Fluffy (male, named by students at Dayton's Bluff Elementary in St. Paul) and Bolt (female, named by a visitor to the Science Museum of Minnesota).

-Father is Smoke
-Mother is Sophia
-One female chick is Liberty and two male chicks are Faith and Hope (named by Twin Cities Academy 6th graders). The other male chick is Warren (named by a visitor to the Science Museum of Minnesota).

-Father is Smoke
-Mother is Delene
-Only one chick survived (named “Survivor" by students from Achieve Language Academy).

-Father is Smoke
-Mother is Athena
-Four eggs, but no chicks hatched this year because Smoke was displaced after being injured in a fight by an unbanded male.
-This year's school was Paul and Sheila Wellstone Elementary

posted on Wed, 03/01/2006 - 8:26am
MARTHA's picture
MARTHA says:


posted on Mon, 06/12/2006 - 4:00pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think falcons are cool and all but why is there such a big fuss about these birds

posted on Fri, 06/16/2006 - 5:01pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Peregrine falcons are a big deal because, until recently, they were on the brink of extinction. Nest box programs like this one have helped bring back healthy peregrine populations.

posted on Fri, 06/16/2006 - 7:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I love falcons! They are really cool!

posted on Fri, 06/16/2006 - 5:05pm
anonymous's picture
anonymous says:

They were very cool to see but i think they all flew away!!! maybe they will come back 2 visit

posted on Sat, 06/17/2006 - 9:35am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Where and how can I help the birds?

posted on Mon, 05/14/2007 - 2:27pm

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