Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Injured peregrine falcon update

Herbert is still recovering from a dislocated elbow after being found injured in the backyard of a Wauwatosa home in early May.

Scott Diehl from the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center gave us an update. He says Herbert is on cage rest so he doesn’t flap around, which could cause the elbow to dislocate again. He’s had two laser-therapy treatments’ to help the soft-tissue wound heal faster and to help reduce the likelihood of infection.
Scott says Herbert is eating well and provided this picture of Herbert in an exam room.
Herbert was born at the We Energies Valley Power Plant 11 years ago. Herbert was nesting at St. Joseph’s Hospital this year. Since his injury has taken him out of parenting duties, two of his chicks have been moved to the Oak Creek Power Plant. They have been adopted by the peregrine falcon’s that occupy that nest.

More falcon chicks born over Memorial Day weekend

All six of our power plant nest boxes now have peregrine falcon chicks. Hatchlings arrived over the weekend at our last two sites – Milwaukee County Power Plant in Wauwatosa, and Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette, Michigan. All told, we have nearly 20 chicks at our power plants, including two which were recently transferred to the Oak Creek Power Plant after their dad was found injured.

It’s amazing how fast peregrine chicks grow. The photo above shows three hatchlings at our Milwaukee County Power Plant this morning. You can see one egg left to hatch.

Meanwhile, look at the Valley Power Plant chicks. These guys are nearly three weeks old now:

Our peregrine manager, Greg Septon, will begin banding chicks this week, starting at Pleasant Prairie Power Plant where the chicks are now old enough to get their wildlife bands. Students from Stocker Elementary School in Kenosha will watch the chicks get their wildlife bands and name the birds.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Peregrine falcon injured

Herbert, a peregrine falcon that had been born at our Valley Power Plant 11 years ago is recovering after being found injured in the backyard of a Wauwatosa home. 

Herbert is being treated at the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, where vets discovered he has a dislocated elbow and a shot from a pellet gun embedded in his abdomen.

The pellet is believed to have been there for a while and is not related to the elbow injury.

Herbert has nested at several locations around Milwaukee. Most recently, he was nesting at St. Joseph’s Hospital with his mate DJ. Herbert and DJ incubated four eggs this spring. Recently, all four hatched. Peregrine parents take turns incubating eggs, hunting and feeding the young. In Herbert’s absence, DJ was left alone to do the job of both parents.

For the best survival of the chicks, Peregrine Falcon Manager Greg Septon transported two of Herbert’s chicks to our Oak Creek Power Plant to be cared for by female, Eclipse, and male, Scott. This spring, Eclipse and Scott incubated four eggs at our Oak Creek site, but they never hatched. Another falcon tried taking over the nest box, and the territorial battle left the eggs unattended too often. Now, Eclipse and Scott still have a chance to be parents and have adopted two of Herbert’s chicks as if they are their own.

We may never know how Herbert injured his elbow, but it appears he will recover during the next several weeks, according to experts at the rehabilitation center.

Also of concern was the pellet found by the veterinarians. This is not the first time a peregrine falcon has been shot. In 2014, Madame X, a female falcon from the Milwaukee County Power Plant was found shot in West Allis. After many months of recovery, Madame X was released back to the wild.

Peregrine falcons are endangered species in Wisconsin. They also are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Act. Shooting a peregrine falcon is a serious crime, punishable by jail time and fines.

We have been involved in Wisconsin’s peregrine falcon recovery effort since the early 1990s and have nest boxes installed at six power plants, where more than 200 peregrines have been born. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Valley Power Plant feeding time

Video from May 12, 2015, of four chicks at Valley Power Plant nest box during feeding time.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WTMJ4 covers peregrine falcon recovery story

WTMJ's Scott Steele reports on the work of our peregrine manager, Greg Septon, and the success of his efforts to help the recovery of peregrine falcons in Wisconsin.

Meet the parents: Pleasant Prairie peregrine falcons

The royals aren’t the only ones with new additions. Congratulations to peregrine parents, Olivia and PBR! They now have two chicks at our Pleasant Prairie Power Plant. They are waiting on two more to hatch.

This is Olivia’s first year at Pleasant Prairie. She had been nesting at Kenosha Hospital the past couple years. Last year, she had four chicks at the hospital – Suzy, Jake, Buddy and Attila. We’re not sure why she flew the coop for Pleasant Prairie. She replaces Thilmany, who had been PRB’s mate the past four years. Thilmany never returned this spring.

Olivia is five years old and began her life in Ohio. She has laid 19 eggs and produced 11 young in her lifetime. Doting dad, PBR has been nesting at this location for the past four years. PBR is six years old and began his life at Milwaukee’s Miller Brewery. A worker at Miller Brewery thought it would be funny to name the bird PBR after Miller rival, Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Like all peregrine falcon males, PBR takes turns with Olivia sitting on the eggs during incubation. Both parents also take turns hunting. After all, it’s a hard job keeping all those hatchlings well fed.

Olivia and PBR’s chicks don’t have names yet. That honor lies with students at Stocker Elementary School in Kenosha. A group of third graders will be visiting the power plant to see the chicks get their wildlife bands. They’ll get to name the chicks at the banding.

Since 1997, more than 60 young have been produced at the Pleasant Prairie Power Plant. It’s the most prolific of our six power plant nesting sites.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

First falcon chick hatches at Pleasant Prairie

Early Tuesday morning, a crack could be seen in one of four peregrine falcon eggs at our Pleasant Prairie Power Plant.

By early afternoon, a chick had broken through the shell and could be seen on our live webcam.

The remaining three eggs at the Pleasant Prairie site should be hatching soon. Five other power plant sites are expected to follow suit. Eggs are present at nest boxes in Oak Creek, Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Port Washington and Marquette, Michigan.

Follow the activity on Twitter and watch the live webcam.

Live falcon cam

First feeding for Pleasant Prairie chick: