Though not the only reason for the peregrine falcon's decline, the pesticide DDT had passed through the food chain and weakened the shells of peregrine eggs, leading to the loss of many young before they could hatch.
The curtailment of chemical pesticides and the success of nest boxes like Thermal’s have led to an impressive recovery of the peregrine falcon population.
MRMC Thermal’s peregrine falcon nesting box is part of a state-wide falcon recovery program managed by biologist Greg Septon. Read the Wisconsin Falconwatch – 2019 Nesting Season Report (PDF) (see page 17 for our nest) to learn more about Wisconsin peregrine falcon nesting activity and the 111 young that were produced. Our female is pictured on the cover this year.
On Monday, February 17th, a banded male (right) appeared at the nest box. This is Donald, the same male who nested at MRMC Thermal last year! The adult female was banded, but we are awaiting her identification. This is NOT the same female from last year.
Peregrines are being spotted at a number of sites around the state. Usually, the first egg of the season is laid before the middle of March.
Donald was seen at the Miller Coors nest box February 10th with Agatha, the adult female that nests at St. Joe's Hospital. We are told that Agatha's mate usually migrates each winter, but she doesn't. She hangs out with other males in his absence, namely Donald and Jimbob from the UW-Milwaukee nest site.
Webcam images of the falcons nesting and caring for their young are typically available March through July.
March 25, 2020:
March 6, 2020:
Caught a shot this morning.
Nesting Box Webcam
Through the box’s webcam, you can watch for the falcons to return, eggs to be laid and hatched and activity in the nesting box as the chicks grow during nesting season (March through July). Note that the webcam image below is not a streaming image but does refresh every 60 seconds; refresh your browser window to capture ongoing views.
Viewer discretion is advised.
Due to the sometimes-violent nature of birds of prey, some webcam content may be difficult to watch. Please be aware webcam content is not monitored or screened.