Peregrine falcons return to nesting box - Great River Energy

Peregrine falcons return to nesting box

A familiar pair of falcons returned to the Great River Energy nesting box located on the cooperative’s Elk River campus.

Brooklyn, the male, has returned for a ninth consecutive year and Breezy, the female, returned for a sixth year. Breeding pairs tend to be monogamous throughout their lifespan and return to the same nesting location year after year.

Brooklyn, the male peregrine falcon, visits the nesting box in Elk River.

The pair recently produced four eggs which are expected to hatch between May 5-7 following a 33-day incubation period. You can watch the hatching process on Great River Energy’s peregrine falcon birdcam:  

The Elk River location is a great spot for a nesting box because it is located in a peregrine falcon migratory flyway. The site, beside the Mississippi River, is also a draw because the birds prefer to nest in high locations near water.

The peregrine falcon is breathtakingly fast. In normal flight, they can reach an average speed of 40 mph. Even more impressive is when they dive toward prey at speeds over 200 mph, making it the fastest bird in the world.

Since 2006, 50 young falcons have fledged from the Great River Energy nesting box. A few of those falcons have been spotted around Minnesota. Peregrine falcons can live up to 17 years.

Site stays productive after move

Great River Energy’s falcon nesting box was originally located on the Elk River Energy Recovery Station power plant. When that plant was demolished a few years ago, Great River Energy staff took steps to retain a nesting site for the falcons that have called the site home for years.

A team of employees installed a nesting box on a pole located near the plant site. Then they crossed their fingers.

To the delight of Great River Energy employees and birdcam viewers across the world, the falcons returned right away and have continued to nest at the site.

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