Contending with a dusty mix of prey
remains requires Greg Septon, our
peregrine falcon manager, to wear a
full face respirator for protection and
clean, filtered air. He also wears a
"I like working with peregrines," says Septon. "I like identifying them by reading band numbers, and I like banding young each spring. I like seeing them in the air, and I like watching them hunt. I don't like cleaning their nest boxes.
"As one can imagine, with adults bringing in prey, and the young cycling this through their digestive systems, there is an interesting mess left behind that, if not cleaned up, will eventually reduce nest success. In turn, this would make all the things I really like about peregrines less available to experience. So in the end, cleaning nest boxes is really a small price to pay to help ensure that the falcons have suitable nesting conditions each spring."
On Jan. 9, Septon and Bob Reske cleaned and readied the nest box at Pleasant Prairie Power Plant in Kenosha County for the upcoming nesting season. Because the nest box is high inside the chimney, they waited to clean it until the winds were out of the north and west. With southerly winds, the excrement and prey remains blow right back into the chimney, which they learned previously the hard way. Septon also cleaned the webcam, which provides live streaming video during the nesting season.
|The nest box cleaned and set for spring.|