For Release: 06/11/2013
Peregrine Population Expanding at Wisconsin Public Service Power Plants
Seven new chicks in Class of 2013
(Green Bay/ Wausau, WI) – It was another successful year for the expanding population of Peregrine Falcons at two Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) Power Plants. Inside nesting boxes high on top of the roofs of the WPS Pulliam Plant in Green Bay and the Weston Plant near Wausau, seven new baby chicks were hatched this spring. Banding and registration of the chicks took place June 5 in Green Bay and June 10 in Wausau.
The chicks were given their names through the WPS sponsored "Name the Chick" contest as area school children submitted names and a panel of local judges selected the winners. The students that submit the winning names are then invited to meet their bird and watch as their chick is registered and banded. The WPS Class of 2013 includes: Boston Honor, Zippin, Journey, Sky Dancer, P.J., Lacey and Snow.
Since 1996, the Pulliam site has produced 57 young and since 2006, the Weston site has produced 20 young Peregrine Falcon chicks. Last year in Wisconsin (2012), there were 83 young produced at 27 successful nesting sites. Some urban-nesting Peregrines are even becoming permanent year-round Wisconsin residents.
The sleek crow-sized bird of prey originally nested along the bluffs of the Door County Peninsula, as well as the Wisconsin, Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers. Peregrines were placed on the U.S. Endangered Species List in 1973 and were delisted in 1999, but they remain on Wisconsin's threatened and endangered species after being placed on the state list in 1975.
The population withered because of the use of the chemical pesticide DDT which weakened eggshells and prevented hatching. As a result, Peregrines disappeared from the entire eastern United States and were placed on the endangered species list.
Recolonizing of the Peregrine began and researchers soon realized specially-designed nesting boxes near power plant stacks, tall buildings and rooftops would prove to be successful as substitutes for the traditional natural cliff nesting sites.
When the chicks reach full size, they will measure between 15 and 21 inches long and have a wingspan of up to 40 inches. Life expectancy of a Peregrine is 6 to 8 years, with some actually living as long as 20 years. The name of the predatory bird comes from the Latin word "Peregrinus" which means wanderer. To learn more about WPS efforts at restoring the Peregrine population, access: WPS Peregrine website.
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