Xcel Energy and Blogs

Nest round-up: Kestrels and falcons, oh my!

April 24, 2019: Two nestling falcons at Great Spirit Bluff

Our banding season starts Monday, but we have hatch going on at several of our nests. Here’s a rundown on who’s hatched, who has yet to hatch, and other nest events! Falcons spend a lot less time in the nest than eagles, so be sure to check them out now! American Kestrels Four kestrels hatched on May 22 and one hatched on May 23. Watch the kestrels while you can – they fledge between 28 and 31 days of age!

Nest news! Eggs, falcons, and more!

Mom Decorah in Snow

Decorah and Fort St. Vrain As of 5:48PM CT last night, we had two eggs in Decorah! Mom laid her 31st egg on this territory in a cold, drizzly rained that turned to snow as she slept. This makes three eggs at Fort St. Vrain and two in Decorah. If Mom lays another egg (she tends to lay three eggs), it will most likely come on February 28. Her first and second eggs tend to be two to three days

What a year!

What a year it has been! Our banding season stretched from late May to early July this year, although a combination of black flies, hippoboscids, extreme weather, and reduced productivity caused our numbers to fall. In 2017, we banded 58 falcons at 22 sites as compared to 77 falcons at 25 sites in 2016. We also replaced cameras and microphones at many of our nests, started a new partnership with Explore to provide an ads-free stream of the Decorah Eagles,

Live from the Fort St. Vrain Bald Eagle nest!

Back in late August, John and I traveled to Platteville, Colorado, to work with Xcel Energy employees Bill Heston, Tina Lopez, and Naresh Dahagama on an upgrade to the Fort St. Vrain Eagle cam. Over three days, we took down and re-positioned the existing cam, added a new PTZ cam, cleaned up the solar panel area, added two radios and a couple of networked video recorders so plant staff could watch their eagles from the lunchroom again, threw in a

What’s on the Menu at Fort St. Vrain?

So what’s on the menu at Fort St. Vrain? While we were up in the nest, I decided to collect prey remains. We don’t have the necessary permits to take feathers (of which I found only two, both belonging to prey), but there were plenty of skulls and a few turtle shells. I got them home, laid them out on a table, and started ID’ing them. Some Moms bring home t-shirts and postcards. I bring home skulls and photos of

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