Meet Peregrine Falcon Nova at Great Spirit Bluff!

We are excited to announce a name for our beautiful new female falcon at Great Spirit Bluff! We have chosen the name Nova and we think it fits her well as the new female falcon of our current nesting pair. Nova appeared at the bluff on February 24th shortly after Newman’s arrival on February 18th.

Nova, our new female falcon at Great Spirit Bluff. Isn't she beautiful! Notice that she is not banded.

Nova, our new female falcon at Great Spirit Bluff. Isn’t she beautiful!

Nova has found a new home at the bluff and has really settled in and become familiar with all the typical perch spots, food cache areas, and most important – the nest box. She was initially observed checking out multiple locations along the bluff rock face shortly after arrival and even scraping as if they might be possible nesting locations. It has been interesting to watch that process and observe the diligent conditioning that Newman has conducted to lure her to the nest box with prey gifts. It has not taken long for her to be comfortable in the nest box and we are crossing our talons that she will lay eggs there soon!

Nova, left. Newman, right.

Nova, left. Newman, right.

We are sad to report there has been no sign that Michelle made it back this year. We will probably never know what happened to her unless, by chance, she is spotted at another location or is recovered and reported. It is not easy to accept that Michelle is gone and will likely never return. She hatched from Maassen’s Bluff upriver south of Nelson, WI in 2005, so she would be 15 years old. It is interesting to note that she fledged from a natural rock cavity/ledge aerie and ended up nesting as a parent in a nest box mounted to the bluff.

Michelle was very special to all of us as she is the first female falcon at GSB that we were able to peer at through the camera lens, observe and document intimate details of peregrine falcons we never knew before, and watch in awe as we appreciated the beauty of the fastest animal on the planet! We will never forget how she dramatically rescued her young and pulled them back into the nest box after black fly infestations. Nothing was more amazing than her fierce defense of her nest and two young last year after a great horned owl attacked in the dark, taking the life of Kira, but not escaping the nest with her body. Almost more spectacular was the team parental effort given to tend prematurely fledged or fallen eyasses at the base of the bluff! Our records show at least 22 young falcons produced during her time at Great Spirit Bluff and with what we know of the challenges faced, that is a noteworthy legacy. We thank our videographers and cam-ops for the following videos and picture collage of Michelle with Newman and her young. Please feel free to create or post any of your favorite photos or memories of our dear Michelle.

Lizzy G Eaglespirit – Great Spirit Bluff – The Fierce Michelle:

Mc Kat – Tribute to Michelle of Great Spirit Bluff (3/18/20, slideshow):

With that said, we are optimistic about the future with Newman & Nova at Great Spirit Bluff and wish them the very best with their first nesting season together.