New Site Chosen for Elk River Peregrine Falcons

Jan. 22, 2020
Nesting box to be installed on a pole located on Great River Energy’s Elk River campus.

With decommissioning of the Elk River Energy Recovery Station underway, many are wondering what will happen to the nesting peregrine falcons who have long made the plant their home.

What started as an Eagle Scout project with the Raptor Resource Project in 2006 grew to see 38 young peregrine falcons fledge from the Elk River location. The 24x7 bird cam was watched and enjoyed by people locally, nationally, and even worldwide.

"It is a very popular and productive nest site," said Brenda Geisler, administrative assistant, who has looked after the nesting box since 2007.

Over the last few months, Geisler, along with a group of other Great River Energy employees, weighed various options for how to best handle moving the nesting box location while the falcons were gone for their southern migration.

The group ultimately decided to install the nesting box on a pole located on Great River Energy’s Elk River campus — not far from the plant — which will offer a bit of familiarity for the falcons once they return, as well as the recommended height for the nest and required power available for the bird cam.

"I am grateful that this important project is moving into its next phase and I'm hopeful that it will continue to evolve beyond the Elk River Station demolition," Geisler said.

Employees have started the process of removing the existing nesting box and preparation for installation of a new pole in anticipation of the peregrines' typical nesting period in mid-February.

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