Stories tagged bird of prey

I just downloaded the Raptor Resource 2008 Project Banding Report (how's that for a little light reading?), and I found the following:

"We removed the High Bridge stack nest box after the 2007 nesting season. Xcel Energy was converting from a coal facility to natural gas turbine operation, and planned to raze the stack some time in early 2008. We installed a replacement nest box on the nearby ADM stackhouse, but it appears that the falcons chose to nest under the nearby High Bridge instead."

All spring we watched and waited, and the birds were there all along! I'll get in touch with the folks at Xcel and Raptor Resource and see what we can do about watching the peregrines during the 2009 nesting season.

Where's Athena?

by Liza on Mar. 12th, 2008

Falcons have been spotted regularly at the Black Dog nest box in Burnsville, MN, since December, and were observed mating on February 23. (You can follow what's going on with those falcons at the Raptor Resource/Black Dog Forum.)

But the former High Bridge nest box was moved, and so far, there's no sign of Athena. (There's also a Raptor Resource/High Bridge Forum.) Cross your fingers and hope she finds and approves of her new digs before it's too late for chicks this year...

Folks from Excel Energy and the Raptor Resource Project provided a new nest box to the staff at the ADM terminal at 575 Drake Street (at the intersection of Shepard Road and Randolph Avenue). ADM is going to mount and prepare the box by February 1. With a little luck, the falcons we've been lucky to watch for the last few breeding seasons at the High Bridge stack will find the new box and set up housekeeping as usual. (The High Bridge stack is going to be demolished; right now, the nest cam shows the construction site of the new, adjacent power plant.) Keep your eyes open and your fingers crossed...


“Athena”—the female peregrine falcon at the High Bridge power plant nest box—laid her first egg of 2007 on Sunday, April 15. Peregrines usually lay three or four eggs each year, so we'll be watching for more in the next few days.

Athena's first egg, 2007: Hard to see, but it's there. (It's the orange blob by her foot.) Congratulations, Athena.

The male and female falcons share the 33-day incubation duties, which include turning the eggs regularly. (The birds don't incubate the eggs in earnest, though, until they've laid all the eggs they're going to lay.) If all goes well, the baby peregrines will hatch sometime in the second half of May.

You can get daily updates here on Science Buzz, or get hourly updates by visiting Xcel Energy's High Bridge daily photos page.

Falcon chicks: Baby peregrines are helpless when they hatch, but they grow at an astonishing rate. (Courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service)

More on peregrines from Science Buzz...