Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Oak Creek students have special interest in birds, including falcons

Carollton Elementary School students get some hands-on 
education when it comes to chickens and ducks.
We recently spent a morning with bird loving fifth graders at Carollton Elementary School in Oak Creek. When we heard they were incubating eggs in their classroom, we knew they’d be interested in learning about peregrine falcons.

The students and their teacher, Janice Posda, have a special interest in birds. They’ve been incubating chicken and duck eggs in their classroom. When we arrived, we were greeted by four recently hatched chicks that peeped during our whole visit. The children were excited to tell us how they named the chicks and now care for them in their classroom. The chicks eventually will head to a local farm after the students are done observing them.

With all the bird excitement in the classroom, the students were eager to hear from our peregrine falcon manager, Greg Septon. He led a presentation on the history of peregrine falcons, teaching the students how they nearly became extinct. He told the students how power plants play an important role in helping the population grow. More than 200 peregrine falcons have been born at our power plants since 1997. This year, falcons again laid eggs at all six of our company sites.

The students will follow the nesting activity at our power plants on our website. A live webcam feed currently focuses on the Pleasant Prairie Power Plant nest box. When we checked the feed during our classroom visit, the kids were happy to see that one of the four eggs had hatched. At nearly the same time, students noticed a duck egg they’ve been incubating in the classroom start to hatch. So much excitement for one classroom!

The class will visit one of our power plants in the next few weeks to watch Septon put wildlife bands on the peregrine chicks. They’ll also get to name the birds -- something they’ve already had practice doing in their own classroom. They named their recent hatchlings Rocket, Hawkeye, Woodstock and Black Beak.

Peregrine Manager Greg Septon teaches Carollton students 
about peregrine falcons.

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