The Peregrines of Madison

On my last post, I made passing reference to the Peregrine Falcons at the MG&E power station. There’s a nesting box there and they’re easy to spot flying through the surrounding area.

(And yes, this is the power station that caught fire last month.)

Before meeting a friend last week, I thought I’d check out the falcons in their, uh, natural habitat? Actually, they’re pretty adaptable in cities, where taller structures mimic the cliffs they traditionally nest on.

I didn’t even have a chance to get my camera ready before I saw the morning’s falcon. It flew out from an altitudinous smoke stack and made a few circles above me while calling loudly. I grabbed my binoculars and got a good look at it before it flew into the nooks and crannies of the plant.

I took a walk around the block and saw, in addition to the falcon,
18 Rock Pigeons
1 Mourning Dove
6 Ring-billed Gulls
1 Barn Swallow
2 American Goldfinches
and 8 House Sparrows.

I made my way back to my original viewpoint trying to find the falcon again. I hadn’t had any luck from the other sides. After a few minutes of scanning, I discovered it as a little dot on one of the towers. It stood relatively motionless for several minutes while I snapped pic after pic. Unfortunately, due to the distance of the birds, they were all pretty grainy, but I thought I’d include one here. It’s of a bird that lives a fascinating life in the heart of the city, but most human residents overlook.

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