Peregrine falcon chicks hatch at downtown MG&E station

MADISON, Wis. — Madison Gas & Electric says four peregrine falcon chicks have hatched at their downtown station this week.

Two of the chicks hatched on Tuesday, May 17, while the other two hatched mid-week, according to an update from MGE on Thursday.

The chicks are expected to start taking flight near their nest at the Blount Generating Station sometime in mid-June. You can watch a live stream of the falcons’ nest online here.

Trudy, the female peregrine falcon who makes the Blount Station her home, hatched three chicks last year, all of which were named for Madison streets: Willy, Jenifer and Brearly. Four chicks were hatched in 2020: April, Nelson, Terra, and Verde.

Peregrine falcons are on the endangered species list and were nearly extinct in the 1960s before efforts to restore the population began. MGE says 28 percent of the peregrine falcon chicks hatched in Wisconsin in 2019 were at power plants like theirs that had dedicated nesting boxes.

MGE has had a nesting box since 1999, when an MGE employee and his son built one for a school project. The nesting box remained unoccupied for 10 years before falcons began using it in 2009. The box was used by a pair of falcons MGE called Frightful (a female) and Vern (a male) from 2009 to 2011, until a different female — Trudy — fought Frightful for the territory and displaced her in 2012. Vern was displaced by a new male MGE called Melvin in 2015.