Watch peregrine falcons on GRE birdcam

Maple Grove, Minn – For the fourth consecutive year, peregrine falcons have settled in a nesting box atop Great River Energy’s Elk River Station, a renewable energy plant in Sherburne County.

The public can view the falcons by visiting the Great River Energy bird cam at http://www.greatriverenergy.com/aboutus/environmental/birdcam.html.

Since 2007, nine peregrines have been born at Elk River Station. An area Boy Scout built the nesting box as part of his Eagle Scout project in 2006. The box was installed more than 100 feet high near the banks of the Mississippi River.

After young falcons learn to fly, they are referred to as fledglings. It may take a year or more for them to master the flying skills of their parents. Peregrines usually make their first flight when they are five or six weeks old, with males taking the leap before females.

In the 1960’s, use of pesticide DDT nearly wiped out the entire population of peregrine falcons. In the early 1970’s DDT was banned and the American peregrine was declared an endangered species. By 1999, their status was upgraded to “threatened” as a result of extensive efforts to rebuild their population.

Great River Energy installed the bird cam in the falcon nest to increase awareness of conservation efforts and provide the public an opportunity to watch the birds and their growing family. Great River Energy works with Raptor Resource Project for the banding of the falcons, which is expected to happen in early June.

Ed. Note: Last year four falcons were born on May 19; Bella, Roger, Royal and Edward. The single female did not survive. It was thought she had possibly acquired Trichomoniasis from eating infected pigeon. The three males were then treated with antibiotics and successfully left the nest.

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