Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Helping endangered peregrine falcons

As we get ready to celebrate Earth Day, we’re highlighting some of our environmental initiatives.

Did you know endangered peregrine falcons have been calling our power plants home for more than two decades? In fact, we were one of the first companies to get involved in Wisconsin’s peregrine recovery effort.

Adult peregrine at Pleasant Prairie Power Plant.
Peregrines disappeared after the widespread use of pesticides such as DDT led to eggshell thinning. By 1964, they were virtually extinct east of the Mississippi River and in serious decline throughout the rest of the country.

Peregrine researcher Greg Septon approached We Energies in the early 1990s to see if we would sponsor the release of captive-produced peregrines. He also asked if we’d install a man-made nest box at our Pleasant Prairie Power Plant. We said yes to both. 

     Chicks at Valley Power Plant.
Historically, peregrines nested on cliffs along rivers and lakes. Septon suspected they would nest on our man-made “cliffs” along Lake Michigan. He was right. Peregrines moved into our power plant nest boxes and started producing young.

Today, we have nest boxes at five of our power plants in two states. All told, more than 220 young have hatched at our sites. But there’s still work to be done. Peregrines remain an endangered species in both Wisconsin and Michigan.

Learn more about our efforts at we-energies.com/falcons. We have videos about our program and an educational booklet for teachers to use in the classroom. On April 26, we’ll again be launching our live falcon cam, giving you a look inside our power plant nest boxes. Eggs should begin hatching at some of our sites later this month.

1 comment:

Pat Fisher said...

Hats off to all the We Energies does for wild life