Peregrine falcons born at We Energies power plants banded with help from students

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OAK CREEK -- We Energies crews banded several peregrine falcons Monday morning, May 23rd as part of a conservation effort.

Peregrine falcons at We EnergiesWe Energies is helping to strengthen the population of peregrine falcons -- preventing them from becoming extinct.

"More than 225 peregrine falcons have been born at We Energies power plants and that accounts for nearly 20% of the state's peregrine population since the 1990s," said Cathy Schulze, We Energies spokeswoman.

"Last year, we had 33 pairs that we know of nest in the state successfully. Only four of those nested in cliffs. So the majority of peregrines nesting in Wisconsin today, nest in nest boxes in human-built structures that people provide for them," said Greg Septon, who manages nest sites.

Peregrine falcons

Peregrine falcons

Peregrine falcons at We EnergiesWe Energies goes to great lengths to make the process happen. The falcon nests are located on the side of a chimney stack at the power plants.

"It was really interesting," said Norah McDaniel, a fifth-grade student.

From watching them online on a live feed, to seeing the majestic birds up-close, fifth-grade students from Oak Creek’s Carollton Elementary School watched the banding of the falcons in awe while learning about the importance of tracking the little chicks.

"Keep tabs on those birds, find out how many of them survive, where they go, how far they travel and how much work we still have to do to get that population back to a healthy level," said Schulze.

The students were excited that they played a role in the lives of these beautiful birds.

"It was really fun to see all of the birds and naming them," said Hailey Wiedower, fifth-grade student.

Peregrine falcons at We Energies

Peregrine falcons

Peregrine falcons

The falcons, named after the moons the students studied in science class: Ophelia, Triton, Hydra and Styx are now prepared for future flight while leaving a lasting impression.

"I've always wanted to do something to help animals in my future, so I thought this was an important part of that," said Norah McDaniel.

We Energies has five nests at five different sites where the falcons will be banded in the upcoming days.

Peregrine falcons

Peregrine falcons