GSB Peregrine Falcons
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The Great Spirit Bluff peregrine falcons are nesting on a bluff located near La Crescent, MN, overlooking Lock and Dam #7 on the Mississippi River. The peregrines are not present year-round. In general, they return in late February to early March, begin courtship between early and Mid-March, and lay eggs between late March and mid-April. Hatch should begin in early to mid-May, fledge generally occurs 38-40 days after that, and young disperse in late August or mid-September. The adults stay on territory until late fall. While the male and female leave at roughly the same time, they are not believed to migrate together.
Peregrine falcons do not build nests out of sticks. They make scrape nests on ledges, potholes, and crevices on cliffs and buildings. This nest box is filled with pea gravel to provide a substrate that cushions and drains the eggs. We installed it in 2003 at the request of Tom Howe. It became active in 2005 and has been productive ever since.
Peregrine falcons feed primarily on birds that they catch in the air. To learn more about peregrine falcons in general, please follow this link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Peregrine_Falcon/id. To catch up on videos of Great Spirit Bluff, please visit our YouTube channel or scroll farther down this page.
| Year||Mom|| Dad||# of young produced|
|2017||Michelle P/87||Newman (unbanded)||2|
|2016||Michelle P/87||Newman (unbanded)||4|
|2015||Michelle P/87||Travis 06/N||4|
|2014||Michelle P/87||Travis 06/N||1|
|2013||Michelle P/87||Travis 06/N||3|
|2012||Michelle P/87||Travis 06/N||2|
|2011||Michelle P/87||Travis 06/N||4|
|2005||Katrinka 59/E||Unknown (b/g)||4|
To date, 39 young have been produced here since the site became active in 2005.
- In 2017, all four eggs hatched. Two young falcons were killed by black flies on 5/22/17. Survivors Hamilton and Burr-D jumped from the nest on 6/03/17 following a black fly swarm, but survived to fledge.
- In 2014, just one egg hatched. Male Mac was driven from the nest by blackflies when he was 32 days old. He fledged from the ground after his parents found and cared for him.
- In 2013, all four young falcons were driven from the nestbox by blackflies when they were around 30 days of age. One was found and fostered to another nest box, two fledged successfully from the ground after their parents found and cared for them, and one disappeared.
- In 2012, young falcon 87/W (Cassie) disappeared from the nestbox. 86/W (Christine) was found dead at the LaCrosse airport.
- Falcon Laura, a 2009 hatch, is currently nesting at Red Wing Grain in Red Wing, MN.
Female Michelle P/87 and male Newman (unbanded falcon named by the Howe family) are currently nesting here. As far as we know, former resident male Travis 06/N did not return this year.
Videos from Great Spirit Bluff