Peregrine falcons

falcon chicks

What are peregrine falcons?

Peregrine Falcons are birds of prey. That means they hunt other animals from high perches or while flying. They are about the size of a crow, with wings that can span 40 inches. As chicks, Peregrines are covered in fluffy white down. As adults, they have brownish gray and white feathers. Female Peregrines are larger than male Peregrines. They usually mate for life. Five other kinds of falcons live in the United States. All falcons are known for beauty and speed.


falcon flying

Where do peregrines live?

Peregrines can live almost anywhere except Antarctica. But they aren't very common. Years ago, they became endangered. Pesticide chemicals weakened their eggshells and kept them from hatching. Today, because many people have tried to help the Peregrines, they're coming back. In Wisconsin, Peregrines are again nesting along the Mississippi River, the Wisconsin River and near Green Bay and the Door County Peninsula. Most of them go to warmer areas for the winter.


falcon chicks being fed by parent

What do peregrines eat?

Peregrines hunt prey while perched on high perches or while flying. They catch small- or medium-sized birds while in mid-air. Sometimes they capture larger prey.


falcon in the nesting box

Where do peregrines nest?

Peregrines like to nest on high cliffs or ledges. These nesting spots are called aeries. They are safe for the falcons and give the falcons a good view for hunting. Today, Peregrines often use tall buildings, power plant stacks and bridges for nesting.


falcon nesting box at power plant

Why does WPS care about peregrines?

WPS is an electric company. We're a perfect partner for Peregrines because they like our tall power plants, which are located near water. We've built special nesting boxes for these birds of prey on the rooftops of our power plants.

Since 1996, the Pulliam Power Plant has produced over 62 chicks. And since 2006, a total of 24 Peregrine chicks have hatched atop the Weston Power Plant. We watch them on our nest box cameras and make sure they stay healthy until they leave the nest. Watch the news in the spring to hear about them!

View the falcon page and photo galleries on the WPS site.


falcon chicks

Where can you learn more about peregrines?

The Peregrine Fund is a group of people who work hard to help Peregrines and other birds of prey. Their website has great information, video and photos.