2005 Raptor Resource Project Banding Report

We wrote the Raptor Resource Project’s 2005 Banding Report with two purposes in mind: firstly, to provide formal banding data for collection and study; and secondly, to share our observations of the falcons and their nests with our many members and friends.  I would like to thank the many people who helped us this year by identifying falcons, tracking hatch dates, emailing pictures and observations, and banding. You help make all of this work possible.

2005 was a wonderful season, particularly for peregrine falcons nesting on the bluffs of the upper Mississippi River. In addition to the falcons that took up residence on new bluffs in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, we noted at least three bluff sites that may become productive next year. We banded an incredible 57 of 58 falcon babies, of which 20 were on cliffs. Although we are thrilled with the proliferation of cliff-nesting falcons, utility smokestacks continue to provide an unlikely but important home for the peregrine population: several peregrine parents now nesting at utilities and on cliffs themselves fledged from utility nest boxes. Power plant nest boxes – and a lot of hard work – played a key role in returning the Peregrine falcon to the Big River just twenty-five years or so after the species seemed to be gone for good. It is therefore only fitting that we open the banding season at Alliant Energy’s Lansing plant on a warm, sunny Friday morning just prior to the Memorial Day weekend. We hope you enjoy reading our report.

5/27/2005: Alliant Energy Lansing, Lansing Iowa

The banding season began early in the morning on 5/27/05. We ambitiously hoped to band young falcons at three power plant nest boxes on the first day. Unfortunately, the five babies in this nest were too young to band.

05/27/05:  Dairyland Power Cooperative, Vernon County, WI

N    43 33 33 8
W 091 13 57 4

Adult Data
Adult female:    b/r U/W (Scooter)  
Adult male:       b/g 22/H

Eyass Data
Four young banded at approximately 21 days of age.

  • Female | 987 40187 | 41/D | un-named

  • Female | 987 40188 | 42/D | Pam

  • Female | 987 40189 | 43/D | Chicklet
  • Male | 816 38629 | 43/N | un-named  

The nest box at this plant is mounted to the catwalk about 300’ up the stack. The adult falcons at this site seem almost sedate when compared to the falcons at Cassville or Blackdog power plants. Although they voiced distress, neither came within striking distance of the banders. Several Dairyland Power employees joined us near the stack to watch the banding, ask questions, and offer their own observations of the falcons.

Sadly. young falcon 41/D was found dead near the plant on 6/19/05.  Young falcon 43/N was killed on 6/12/05 when the stack was struck by lightning.

05/27/05: Alliant Energy Nelson Dewey, Cassville, Grant County, WI.

N   42 43 20 6
W 091 00 33 0

Adult Data
Adult female: banded but not read
Adult male: b/g G/V  

Eyass Data
Three young banded at approximately 18 days of age.

  • Female | 987 40190 | 44/D | Eileen
  • Female | 987 40191 | 45/D | Elaine
  • Female | 987 40192 | 46/D | Chris

Brett Mandernack, a falconer and friend of Bob Anderson, who keeps an eye on this site, joined us for the banding event. The nest box at this plant is mounted to the catwalk about 275’ up the stack and, as Rob MacIntyre’s hard hat can attest, the parents defended it quite ferociously.

Some rough video footage of the peregrines can be found at the Raptor Resource Project’s website at http://www.raptorresource.org/bird_multimedia.html

The sex of falcon 46/D was questionable, but she was banded as a female. 

06/01/05:  Xcel Energy Alan S. King plant, Oak Park Heights, Washington County, Minnesota

N   45 01 47 7
W 092 46 39 0

Adult Data
Adult female: b/g W/E (Belinda)  
Adult male: b/r 0/*L (Doug)

Eyass Data
Four eggs were laid, two eggs hatched, and one baby died at about three days of age. 

  • Female | 987 40193 | 47/D | Queen

This was the very first power plant to attract nesting falcons.  Xcel Energy has a wonderful statue of Mae, the original matriarch, in its atrium. Mae was replaced by the current falcon, Belinda, just over a year ago.

The nest box is mounted to a platform at the 400’ cat-walk level. The band on adult male b/r 0/*L could be read only by using the zoom feature on the camera. The band is very faded and impossible to read with a scope. 

There is some wonderful footage of the banding available on our website at http://www.raptorresource.org/bird_multimedia.html

06/02/05:  Minnesota Power and Light plant, Cohasset, Itasca County, Minnesota

N  47 15 35 8
W 093 39 12 2

Adult Data
Adult female appears to be un-banded.
Adult male has b/g band that could not be read.

Eyass Data

  • Female | 987 40194 | 48/D | Electra
  • Female | 987 40195 | 49/D | Diamond
  • Female | 987 40196 | P/56 | Scarlet
Since 1993, 40 young falcons have fledged from this site, located near the headwaters of the Mississippi. The falcon nest box is mounted to a catwalk about 275’ up the stack – unlike many of the electric utility sites we manage, banding here entails a long ladder climb!

An adult male arrived at this next box on 1/21/05.  A month later, the adult female arrived.    

06/03/05: Red Wing Grain, Red Wing, Goodhue County, Minnesota

N  44 33 52 7
W 092 32 22 3

Adult Data
Adult female: b/r *M/D
Adult male b/r *3/*2

Eyass Data

  • Female | 1687 01923 | P/57 | Veronica
  • Female | 1687 01924 | P/58 | Dot
  • Male | 816 38628 | 44/N | Wood
We first mounted the nest box at this stack house to the wall of the stack down roughly 10’ from the roof.  We had to move it several years ago, during some construction, and opted to re-mount it on the leading edge of the roof.  The nest box continues to provide a safe, attractive nesting site for falcons and is much easier to reach.

One adult falcon was confirmed back at this plant on 3/2/05 and the second was observed on 3/21/05.  We were able to capture some close up images of the tight bands. Adult female *M/D was banded as a male; however, even with the snug bands, her legs appear normal.  We opted not to capture the falcon to replace the bands. 

06/03/05: Xcel Energy Prairie Island Nuclear Plant Goodhue County, Minnesota.

N   44 37 17 6
W 092 37 58 1

Adult Data
Adult female:  b/r 7/1       
Adult male not observed.

Eyass Data

  • Female |  1687 01925 | P/59 | Amy
  • Female | 1687 01926 | P/60 | JB
  • Male | 816  38630 | 45/N | Rick
  • Male | 2206 72201 | C/70 | Frank
One adult falcon was observed back at the nest box mounted on the rim of the containment dome on 2/20/05.  Two adult falcons were observed on 3/14/05. 

Since 9/11, access to nuclear power plants has become a trying process.  Bringing all of the rappelling and banding gear through scanning, sniffing and X-ray equipment can take hours.  To better assist establishing banding dates, we are planning to install a video camera. We will replace the old nest box at the same time.

06/07/05: Xcel Energy Blackdog plant, Eagan, Dakota County, Minnesota

N   44 48 38 6
W 093 15 07 8

Adult Data
Adult female:  b/r G/*V   
Adult male: could not read bands.

Eyass Data

  • Female | 1686 01927 | D/61 | Jan
  • Male | 2206 72202 | C/71 | Danberg
  • Male | 2206 72203 | C/72 | Mac Comments

The nest box at this plant is mounted to a small catwalk about 25’ down from the top of the 600’ stack.  A small two-man service elevator goes to the 300’ level. The last 300’ is a climb up ladders bolted to the inside of the stack wall.

Very aggressive adult falcon G/*V is missing the purple band that was on her right leg, which initially caused some confusion and made it more difficult to identify her. We have no idea how she lost it.

In October of 2004, an un-banded adult male took up residence here and remained on site throughout the winter.  On 3/16/05, two adult male falcons were caught on video in what can be only described as a very ugly fight.  Images were captured of one adult male holding the other pinned on his back while trying to bite the neck. 

06/08/05: Greysolon Plaza Duluth, St. Louis County, Minnesota.

N   43 20 13 5
W 092 05 42 1

Adult Data
The adult female at this nest site is un-banded and it appears that the adult male is also un-banded.

Eyass Data
  • Female | 1687 01928 | P/76 | Nora
  • Female | 1687 01929 | P/77 | Diane
  • Female | 1687 01930 | P/78 | Maggie
  • Male | 2206 72204 | C/73 | Davey
We first checked on this nest on 06/02/05, after we banded at Cohasset, only to find the young falcons too young to band.  We set out early on 6/8/05 in very warm weather to complete the task.  As we approached the city of Duluth, the temperature dropped to just 44F, with winds gusting to 25mph.  We were most glad that we brought some coats and had gloves in our climbing bags – we needed them! 

Last season, two of the three young that fledged at this city nest box were found stranded on the street below the nest box.  If these groundings continue, it might be a good idea to remove the young females at banding time and transfer them to a cliff hack site. 

06/10/05: Alliant Energy Lansing power plant, Allamakee County, Iowa

N  43 20 13 5
W 091 09 57 5

Adult Data
Adult female has a b/r band that could not be read.
Adult male: b/r *T/M   

Eyass Data

  • Female | 1687 01931 | P/79 | Penelope
  • Female | 1687 01932 | P/80 | Nicole
  • Male | 2206 72205 | C/74 | Kramer
  • Male | 2206 72206 | C/75 | Malin
  • Male | 2206 72207 | C/76 | Coz
This site has an interesting history. We first attracted falcons to a nest box up on the stack catwalk. After two successful seasons, we mounted a nest box on the nearby cliff and removed the stack nest box.  The falcons succeeded in producing young for two seasons in the cliff nest box but, in 2003 and 2004, they moved off to a nearby ledge, laid eggs and hatched young, which they lost to raccoon predation. 

On 02/23/05, Dave Kester and I mounted a new nest box back up on the stack catwalk.  On 02/25/05, two adult falcons were observed at the new nest box.  After two years of failure on the nearby cliff, it is most rewarding to see five young falcons fledged at this site in 2005!  We are considering constructing a rock-like nest box and installing it on the cliff just above the ledge; however, since we are seeing a crossover of falcons from the stack nest boxes to the cliffs, this may not be necessary.   We appreciate Alliant Energy allowing us access to both the stack and the nearby cliff for managing falcons.

06/15/05: Xcel Energy Monticello nuclear plant, Wright County, Minnesota

N   45 19 57 5
W 093 50 47 8

Adult Data
Adult female: b/r E/B
Adult male band not confirmed.

Eyass Data

  • Female | 1686 01952 | P/99 | Judy
  • Female | 1687 01951 | P/98 | Britta
  • Female | 1687 01950 | P/97 | Dale
  • Male | 2206 72099 | C/99 | Spivvy

Dan Orr, an Xcel Energy biologist, carried out this banding.

06/15/05: Xcel Energy SHERCO plant, Becker, Sherburne County, Minnesota

N   45 22 51 2
W 093 53 51 0

Adult Data
Adult female:  b/g W/A
Adult male unknown

Eyass Data
  • Female  | 1687 01949 | P/96 | Angel
  • Female | 1687 01948 | P/95 | Jasmine
  • Male | 2206 72098 | C/98 | Hotshot

It was believed that there were only three young in this nest – when Dan Orr first checked, there were three young and a un-hatched egg.  We shipped five female and five male bands to Dan, which should have been enough for the expected seven young falcons at the Monticello and Sherco nests, but the last egg hatched and Dan was one band short!  Dan and I returned to the nest site to band this female on 06/22/05 but had to abort due to fear of bumping the very developed male into premature flight.

The River Cliffs

On June 13, several of the old guard “Gaboons” began arriving at the Raptor Resource Project in Bluffton, Iowa to take on the cliff bandings once again.  We inspected ropes, harnesses and climbing gear as we caught up on last year and prepared for this one. Bob Anderson, Dan Berger, Jack Oar, Dave Kester and Rob MacIntyre made up the very experienced climbing crew. Brad Foss, Charles Sindelar, Dave Seal, Frank Renn and Connie Oar made up the ground crew that directed us to the eyries. Each morning we would set off very early and return late in the evenings. We ate dinner, exchanged stories, and retired quite exhausted. Despite all the grueling work, we talked over and over about just how great it is to have the Peregrine back on these historic cliffs.

Two long-time bird cam followers, Veronica Brice from California, and Dot Karlsen from New York, flew to the mid-west to join us for the cliff banding events. They climbed up the back of cliffs, carried equipment, got very muddy, and suffered poison ivy, bug bites, and sun. They had a ball. Thanks, Veronica and Dot! Veronica and Dot’s commentary on their adventure can be read in the archives of our blog at http://www.raptorresource.org/cgi-bin/perlblog/weblog.pl?month=200506

Wonderful pictures of the various bandings can also be found online.

06/14/05:  Great Spirit Bluff, Houston County, La Crescent, Minnesota.

N  43 52 15 7
W 091 19 12 3

Adult Data
Adult female: b/g 59/E. Produced at our Dairyland Alma, WI nest box in 2003. 
Adult male with b/g, bands not read.

Eyass Data
  • Female | 1687 01933 | P/81 | Alice
  • Female | 1687 01934 | P/82 |  Rachael
  • Male | 2206 72208 | C/77 | George
  • Male | 2206 72209 | C/78 | Ryan   

This privately owned cliff has had the occasional falcon off and on over the last five years.   Two years ago, we mounted a nest box on the vertical wall of the cliff to provide the falcons with a mammalian-free nest site.  Although it took a while to establish a nesting pair, it is more then rewarding to have four young falcons fledge for the first time. This site marks another cliff nesting pair of Peregrine falcons for the State of Minnesota. 

06/14/05: Waukon Junction (Leo’s Bluff), Allamakee County, Iowa

N   43 10 01 3
W 091 10 39 6

Adult Data
Adult female: b/g 48/E. Produced at our Xcel Energy Monticello nest box in 2003
Adult male: b/g 19/M. Produced at our Dairyland Power Alma nest box in 2002.

Eyass Data
  • Female | 1687 01935 | P/83 | Brice
  • Male |  2206 72210 | C/79 |  Leo

This is the second nesting attempt for these adult falcons.  Last season, the female was an immature bird and laid three eggs that failed to hatch.  This season, both adults initially returned to their old cliff but ended up nesting a ½-mile upstream from last years site.  Both of the adult falcons are from our nest boxes at Mississippi River power plants.  This is the State of Iowa’s first cliff (no nest box) nesting pair of Peregrine falcons in over 40 years.

06/15/05:  Castle Rock cliff, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin

N  44 04 41 4
W091 38 44 9

Adult Data
We were not able to read bands on either of the adults.

Eyass Data
  • Female  | 1687 01936 |  P/84 |  Karlsen
  • Female | 1687 01936 | P/85 |  Amy
  • Male | 2206 72080 | C/80 | Burt

This privately owned Wisconsin cliff is a mile upstream across the river from Winona, Minnesota. The only way to access the top of the cliff is a long upward hike on the back side.  The climb is grueling, but the view from the top is stunning.  Two adults were confirmed back at this cliff on 03/21/05.  The adult tiercel was observed stooping and binding to a Turkey Vulture only to release his grip a short distance from the ground on 5/14/05.

06/16/05: Maassen’s Bluff, Buffalo County, Wisconsin

N  44 22 56 5
W 091 57 43 6

Adult Data
We were not able to identify the female.
The adult male at this cliff has a b/g band

Eyass Data
  • Female  | 1687 01938 | P/86 |  Julie
  • Female | 1687 01939 |  P/87 |  Michelle
  • Male  |  2206 72081 |  C/81 | Grunwald

Last season, the nesting falcons moved off to a different cliff ledge with little or no protection and produced just a single baby.  This season, the falcons returned to the pothole where we added pea gravel, and produced three young.  I can vividly recall all of the effort it took to improve this nest site.  Brad Foss dug both feet in and lowered the 80 lbs. of gravel down to Dave Kester and myself, who were hanging on ropes in front of the pothole.  There is no doubt that this effort has increased production at this eyrie.

06/17/05: Lynxville cliff, Crawford County, Wisconsin.

N  43 17 22 4
W 091 02 42 4

Adult Data
Adult female: unknown
Adult male: b/g 64/K. Fledged from our Lake City nest box in 2002 

Eyass Data

  • Male  |  2206 72082 | C/82 | Berger
  • Male  | 2206 72083 |  C/83 | Oar
  • Male | 2206 72083 | C/84 | Kester
  • Male  |  2206 72084 | C/85 | Linton
I did not see any adult falcons during my visit to these cliffs on 3/16/05.  Maggie Jones and David Linton observed an adult female on 3/25/05.  During a visit on 04/04/05, I observed a man standing in his yard, leaning on a rake, looking up in the sky.  Directly above him were two adult falcons, strafing a Bald eagle.  I had to laugh – I’ve observed many falcons directly, but this is the first time I’ve had human activity confirm the presence of falcons.  

The adult falcons moved to the cliff just north of the cliff used by falcons in 2004.  The eyrie is located very low down on the cliff face, just above the tree line. We were very surprised to find the remains of many pigeon kills at the top of this cliff.

This cliff is recorded as P5 in Dan Berger’s notes of the historical nesting population in J. Hickey’s book, Peregrine Falcon Populations.  Young falcons were confirmed in 1952 and adult falcons present in 1953, 1954, and 1956.

06/18/05: Maiden Rock Cliff, Pepin County, Wisconsin.

N  44 30 05 9
W 092 17 17 4

Adult Data
Adult female un-banded
Adult male  b/g D/E. Effigy Mounds released falcon.    

Eyass Data

  • Female  |  1687 01940 | P/88 | Michelle
  • Male | 2206 72086 | C/86 | Gib
The West Wisconsin Land Trust purchased this grand matriarch of river cliffs last year. Several members of the Trust joined us for the banding event.  Dan Berger addressed the crowd and recounted the history of Peregrine falcons on the Mississippi River and Maiden Rock.  The adult male Gunnar is a falcon that we bred in captivity, raised in an artificial rock eyrie, and released at our Effigy Mounds hack site in 1999.  Dan Berger recorded a pair present on this cliff in 1954.

The story of the Effigy Mounds release can be read at our site –

Slideshow: http://www.raptorresource.org/slide/slide1.htm

1998 hack site report: http://www.raptorresource.org/pdf/98hackreport.pdf

1999 hack site report: http://www.raptorresource.org/pdf/99hackreport.pdf

06/18/05:  West Bluff Pepin County, Wisconsin.

N   44 31 52 6
W 092 17 40 3  

Adult Data
Atmospheric distortion from the heat rolling off the highway made it very, very difficult to read bands here.
The adult female at this cliff has a b/g band.
The adult male was not identified.

Eyass Data
  • Female | 1687 01943 | P/89 | Stephanie
  • Female | 1687 01944 | P/90 | Alice
We first discovered a single adult falcon at this cliff in 2002.  I was very pleased during one of my early spring river surveys to confirm two adult falcons present this year. 

We studied plat maps provided by the WI DNR to locate the owners of this new Wisconsin cliff-nesting site.  We spoke to one person whom we believed owned the cliff and obtained permission to band only after providing proof of insurance.  However, come banding day I was shocked to discover that we obtained authorization for the wrong cliff!  After much assistance from a nearby landowner, and driving down several newly constructed roads, we finally located the correct property above the cliff face.  As I lowered myself down on ropes to the pot hole opening, I could see the bottom covered with prey remains but did not see any young falcons at first.  It was only when I lowered myself down where my eyes were level with the bottom of the opening that I could see two large downy eyasses tucked about seven feet back in the cave.  The pot hole was about two feet in diameter at the front and tapered going back about seven feet.  It was clear that we were going to need something to help pull the young falcons out towards the front so they could be grabbed.  Fortunately, we were able to obtain an old bamboo ski pole from a nearby land owner.

Dan Berger and Dave Kester made the second descent to obtain the young falcons.  When Charles Sindelar, who was guiding our ropes down to the eyrie, called on the radio to ask what Dan had attached to his harness, I told him that it was a Norwegian falcon grabber. As odd as it might seem, the Norwegian falcon grabber worked wonderfully!    

The pothole was very tight, but Dave Kester was able to squeeze into the opening and use the pole to help pull the young falcons closer so they could be grabbed and placed in the sky kennel. To those watching from the bottom of the cliff, it appeared that Dave was stuck head down in the hole after some enthusiastic foot-to-bottom assistance from Dan Berger. However, our persistence won the day. Success! 

Due to our mistake of locating the wrong landowner, it was very late in the day before we completed the last river cliff banding for the season.  However, everyone was so very pleased to have a new successful cliff nest site on the river that the hard work was worth it. The actual landowners, who were gone, have since contacted us. They were very enthusiastic about the falcons and look forward to working with us in future years.

Nest sites that failed

Xcel Energy Highbridge plant, St. Paul, Minnesota 
Adult female b/g 01/D and adult male b/r *3/*1 produced four eggs.  About two weeks into incubation, an unbanded adult male falcon displaced Smoke, the original adult male.  The new male did not provide food for the incubating female or relieve her on the eggs. Despite the hard work of Xcel employee Scott Anton, who climbed the stack each morning to set quail on the roof the nest box, the nest failed. Things did look promising at first, since the new male would sometimes stand over the eggs and the adult female was only off them for short periods. However, only a few days before the eggs were due to hatch, the female ceased incubating completely.  The four eggs were pulled and given to the USFWS for analysis.

Xcel Energy Riverside Plant Minneapolis, Minnesota
Adult male falcon 5/*9 was confirmed back at the stack nest this spring, paired with a two year old female named Speedy 30/E who was displaced last year by an unbanded female.  This spring, the same unbanded adult female again displaced the now adult Speedy and again failed to lay eggs.  Employees at the plant witnessed the fight on live video.  They described the fight as extremely brutal.  

Even at this writing both adults can often be seen on the camera courting up in the nest.

Horizon Milling Lake City, Minnesota   
Adult female 29/A and adult male K/U both returned to the nest box this spring. About ten days into incubation, the adult female was found injured on the ground near the plant.  She could fly well enough to prevent capture.  I ran up some frozen quail and pigeons to Roger Wilson who works at this facility.  Roger located the injured female each morning and tossed her a quail or pigeon.  He also placed food near the nest box so the male who took over incubation duties would not have to leave the eggs for any great length of time.  After about two weeks, the adult female’s condition improved enough to make it up to the nest and take over incubation duties.  However, even though the adult male religiously incubated the eggs, they failed to hatch.  The adult female at this nest site fledged from our nest box at the Xcel Energy Highbridge plant in St. Paul, Minnesota.  The adult male at this plant fledged from out nest box at the Dairyland Power Cooperative Genoa, Wisconsin plant.   The adult female, Lolo owes her survival to Roger’s beyond the call of duty efforts.

Dairyland Power Cooperative Alma, Wisconsin 
Adult female b/g R/A and an unbanded adult male falcon began using the stack nest box, as falcons have here since 1997. However, just before egg laying, the adults disappeared from the site.  John Thiel and I located the pair on a cliff, called Twelve Mile Bluff, across from the plant.  We were very pleased that the adult falcons moved from the stack nest to the nearby cliff.  We had even discussed removing the stack mounted nest box to help encourage the falcons to remain nesting on the cliff. Unfortunately, when I rappelled down to the eyrie ledge, I saw a visible nesting scrape but no eggs or young.  The ledge led off to the side of the small cliff and raccoons had access to the nest. There were four raccoon scats within a few feet of the scrape. 

Alma Marina Cliff, Alma, Wisconsin
This cliff is located on the north end of the town of Alma, Wisconsin, 2.1 miles north of the power plant.  Gary Grunwald reported seeing two adult falcons defend the cliff face.  However, on the day that I drove up to meet with Gary and check out this new cliff nest site, there were no falcons in sight.  On 04/21/05, female falcon b/g 45/C was found injured on the road near the bottom of this cliff.  On 5/14/05, I observed a lone adult male falcon.  Dan Berger and I spent some time studying the cliff on 06/17/05.  We did not see a falcon but did find what looks to be the eyrie used by the falcons.  This is a historical cliff nest site and, with luck, we will have a successful nesting pair in 2006. 

Fountain City, Wisconsin cliffs 
We have observed single falcons on this cliff several times, but no nesting has taken place.  On 06/15/05, we mounted a small nest box to the face of the larger of the cliffs in this area.  Several falcon enthusiasts in the Fountain City area will be monitoring this cliff.

A special thanks to Doug Wood, who was instrumental in securing permission and helping get the box placed.

Homer, Minnesota cliff
Dan Berger, who confirmed a pair of adult falcons in 1955, called this cliff P4. After an absence of 50 years, P4 attracted a single adult falcon in April.  The falcon has a gold band on her right leg and b/g on her left.  This falcon is very probably a cliff released falcon.  Every time we passed below this cliff, the adult falcon could be seen perched on a rock overhang on the top of the cliff.  We have met with the owners of this cliff, and they too have been following the comings and goings of the single falcon.  With luck, P4 will have a pair of nesting falcons in 2006.

We are very pleased with our years-long contribution to returning the Peregrine falcon to the Midwest. Our captive breeding efforts produced the first falcon and many other falcons to breed successfully in the wild in the mid-west, after an absence spanning decades.  

The Raptor Resource Project pioneered the unique falcon power plant program that now accounts for a large percent of the nesting population in the central United States. Our Effigy Mounds cliff releases, supported by the Iowa DNR, created the first falcons to return to the historic Mississippi River bluffs. It is most rewarding to have new cliff nesting pairs this year in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The single adult falcon at the historic site in Homer and falcons defending the Alma Marina cliff give us hope for an additional cliff site along the Mississippi river in 2006.

Hope springs eternal. We’ll see you next year!

Robert Anderson
Director, Raptor Resource Project