With the laying of eggs at Xcel Energy’s Fort St. Vrain site, our season has begun! Look for a semi-regular round-up of news from around our nests!
- Xcel Energy Fort St. Vrain: Ma and Pa FSV laid egg number one on Sunday, February 12! It was first seen at 10:08PM MT and was probably laid not long before that. They laid egg number two on February 15 at 9:34PM, and we are waiting for egg #3. Assuming everything is going well, FSV36’s heart would just be starting to beat as egg #2 was laid. Elfruler has video of that here: https://youtu.be/XayVa4GjIEw.
The Xcel Energy Fort St. Vrain nest has (so far) benefited from an unusually warm winter. While light is by far the most important factor in many areas of a bird’s life (the onset of breeding season, migration, and molt are all influenced by daylight length), the lack of snowpack and ice means more food with less energy expenditure lost to simply staying warm. This won’t push eggs up by long periods of time, but can move egg-timing a little sooner or a little later based on our records. We’re all hoping the weather continues to benefit our sturdy prairie pair! If you are having problems watching this nest, follow this link: https://www.raptorresource.org/data-tools/technical-tips-and-tricks/#seeFSV
- The first falcon of the year was seen at Xcel’s Sherco plant on February 14th. D/51 River is a 2015 hatch from the Great River Energy Elk River plant roughly 18 miles SE of the Sherco plant. River has a couple of utility birds in her lineage, including Loree from Monticello (about 8 miles away from Sherco), and Cranberry from Dairyland Power Genoa (about five hours south). Her lineage includes MF-1, who was produced by Bob and was the first returned peregrine falcon to breed in the wild mid-continent, along with falcons produced by Jack Oar and the South Dakota Raptor Trust. We really like to get band numbers, so please let us know if you get them!
- We’re on egg watch in Decorah! The earliest Mom D has ever laid eggs is February 17th. We’ll see what happens this year. The Norths laid their first egg on the 19th last year – one day ahead of Mom and Dad. It could be an egg-citing weekend!