Friday, June 2, 2017

Major milestone: Our peregrine falcon manager bands 1,000th chick

Our peregrine falcon manager, Greg Septon, reached a major milestone in his career as a biologist Friday. He banded his 1,000th peregrine falcon chick at our Port Washington Generating Station, capping off three decades of recovery work to rebuild Wisconsin’s endangered peregrine population.

Septon named the 1,000th chick "Buckshot," a tribute to his passion for hunting.
Septon retrieved three chicks from the power plant’s nest box early Friday morning, bringing them inside to apply their wildlife bands. A captive audience watched in awe, many of them associates of Septon who were invited as surprise guests. Septon’s wife and daughter also were on hand for the special event. 

Mike Grisar, We Energies principal environmental consultant, organized the event. He has worked closely with Septon for more than a decade. “Greg, I can’t tell you how honored we are to have you partner with us on this and really allow us to be the host for the work that you’ve done,” Grisar told Septon. 

Septon with his award, proclamation, and a cake adorned with a picture of "Atlanta."
Grisar then presented Septon with an award and proclamation, which stated, “We Energies is honoring the steadfast commitment and unyielding dedication of Greg Septon for his tireless efforts in leading the recovery of the peregrine falcon.” 

Septon and Mike Grisar hold Buckshot, Millennial Falcon and Oscar.
Septon shared a story to illustrate the importance of his banding efforts. He talked about “Atlanta,” a falcon born in 1996 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Several months later, she was found shot in Indiana. After extensive rehabilitation, she was released in Racine, Wisconsin. She then made stops in Indiana and Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, before finally settling at our Oak Creek Power Plant where she spent twelve years and produced 41 young. “We wouldn’t know any of that without her wildlife bands,” said Septon.

Today, thanks to Septon’s efforts, there are more than 30 known nest sites in Wisconsin. Last year, 103 young were produced at these sites. This year’s total is still being tallied. At We Energies facilities alone, 244 peregrines have been born under Septon’s watch.

Related:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story

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