FRANKFORT, Ky. (3/25/13) – Peregrine falcons are often monitored from a distance through spotting scopes and photography, making close encounters rare – until now.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are unveiling the state’s first peregrine falcon web camera, located at LG&E’s Mill Creek Generating Station in a falcon nest box 300 feet above the ground.
“Installing the falcon web cam at Mill Creek is a next step in our long-standing partnership with Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in our efforts to support Kentucky’s peregrine falcon population,” said Mike Kirkland, general manager at Mill Creek.
“We are excited about this project because it gives us a chance to bring the outdoors into everyday classrooms, homes and lives. This web camera provides an opportunity to follow the lives of these birds from an egg until they take to the skies,” said KDFWR Nongame Branch Coordinator Sunni Carr.
Two falcons, known as a nesting pair, are currently occupying the nest box, installed at Mill Creek about seven years ago. The female falcon has laid five eggs since Feb. 21, and the eggs are expected to begin hatching some time during the last week of March.
The female, who has not been banded, has been at Mill Creek since 2006. The male, identified by his leg bands, was born in Cincinnati and likely has been at Mill Creek since 2007.
Since 2007, 19 young have hatched from the nest box at Mill Creek.
“We are thrilled about this opportunity to share the interest in these birds with the public. We could not have executed this project without the support of LG&E,” said Kate Heyden, KDFWR avian biologist.
While peregrine falcons are native to Kentucky, the population severely declined in the mid-1900s. Peregrine falcons are making a big comeback in Kentucky, thanks in part to falcon releases in the 90s and KDFWR’s nest boxes placed around the state.
From 1994 to 1998, 52 young falcons were released from Kentucky Utilities Company’s E.W. Brown and Ghent generating stations. KDFWR has placed nest boxes at many sites throughout Kentucky, including locations at LG&E and KU’s Trimble County, Cane Run, Mill Creek, Ghent and E.W. Brown plants.
“We have a steadfast commitment to support Kentucky’s falcon populations. Over the last 20 years, LG&E and KU employees have ensured the nest boxes at our power plants provide a safe setting for peregrine falcons to prosper,” said Ralph Bowling, vice president of Power Production for LG&E and KU.
Power plant crevices and alcoves remind the falcons of natural nesting locations, such as mountain cliffs and ledges, and provide ample food supply.
Watch the web cam live from any computer with Internet access at lge-ku.com/falcon.
Information provided by LG&E and KU News
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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