Our falcon cam features three different nest sites at Xcel Energy power plants in Minnesota. They include the Allen S. King Plant, in Oak Park Heights, Black Dog Plant in Burnsville and Sherburne County (Sherco) Plant, in Becker.
The nest boxes at these sites are installed 300 - 600 feet above the ground to imitate the same features of high cliffs. Falcons perch where they have excellent views of the skies, so they can spot and "skydive" for prey.
View streaming videos and pictures of all three nest boxes. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for updates on the falcons' nesting activities.
Note: The Black Dog and Sherco BirdCams are unavailable due to inclement weather and will be down until weather conditions improveView the Black Dog Falcon Cam View the King Falcon Cam View the Sherco Falcon Cam
You may notice the feather pattern on this young falcon looks very different from an adult peregrine, this is one good way to distinguish an adult and a juvenile. The very dark patch under the eye is called a malar stripe, allowing the falcon to fly directly towards the sunlight (chasing its prey) without being blinded. The malar stripe absorbs the sunlight.
Falcons are carnivores, they only eat meat (typically birds) and get the majority of their water from their food. In this image you can see how the adult falcon tears small pieces with its sharp beak to feed the eyasses (falcon chicks).
Wondering what the large area is on the upper chest of this newly hatched falcon? It’s called a crop, an expandable, muscular pouch near the throat used for the storage of food prior to digestion. The large crop on this falcon indicates he or she was recently fed.
Keeping her young warm during a chilly morning.
Protective parents watch over their recently hatched eyasses.
Peregrine falcons find the boxes installed on power plant stacks attractive as nesting sites because they offer some of the same features as the high cliffs, which they naturally prefer. Installed 300 to 600 feet above the ground, the boxes provide a perch where peregrines have an excellent view of the skies around them and can quickly spot and “skydive” for prey. The boxes were first installed at our Minnesota power plants beginning in 1989 to help return peregrines to the Mississippi River Valley. Since 1989, our falcon nest boxes have fledged 225 young falcons.
Interested in corresponding with other Bird Cam viewers? Join the BirdCam Forum available through the Raptor Resource Project.