For 22 years, Peregrine Falcons have nested high on the tower at the Allen S. King power plant near Bayport. The birds, which were almost wiped out in the 1960s by the use of pesticides, usually nest high on cliffs, where they can spot and attack their prey–usually other birds. At the King plant, they often dive bomb ducks flying across the St. Croix.
Webcams showing wildlife raising their young have become very popular in the past couple years. Near Ely, in northern Minnesota, a camera in the den of a black bear named “Lily” has attracted a huge following. This spring, a camera showing a Bald Eagle nest in Decorah, Iowa become a sensation. Now, you can watch Peregrine Falcons on the St. Croix River lay their eggs, incubate them, and raise their young, courtesy Xcel Energy:
The nest boxes at these sites are installed 300 – 600 feet above the ground to imitate the same features of high cliffs. Falcons perch where they have excellent views of the skies, so they can spot and “skydive” for prey…
The boxes were first installed at our Minnesota power plants beginning in 1989 to help return peregrines to the Mississippi River Valley. Since 1989, our falcon nest boxes have fledged 225 young falcons.
The King Plant is notable for being the first power plant in the nation to put a falcon nesting box on its stack. This year, its falcons have laid two eggs so far, which are expected to hatch in about a month, on or around May 21.