July 20, 2017
The 2016-17 season proved to be a challenging year, a decreased number of peregrines hatched, and the eagle camera lens was obstructed the majority of the season. Black flies, cold weather during egg-laying, and wet and rainy weather during hatching all contributed to this year’s challenging season.
Although it was a tough season, we are happy to report that there were 22 successful hatches throughout the Xcel Energy bird cam territories. Not all locations have cameras installed but there are nest boxes that are monitored by the Raptor Resource Project.
June 6, 2017
The two remaining falcons at the King nest were banded this morning, one female and one male. The camera has been turned back on.
June 5, 2017
Sadly, one of the young falcons has perished at the King plant nest box. The cause is unknown at this time. We will be turning the camera off for a while and then back on again after the young falcon has been removed from the nest box.
May 15, 2017
Three falcons have hatched at the King nest box.
May 12, 2017
Three falcons have hatched at the Sherco nest box.
May 9, 2017
At approximately 40 days old the two eaglets are growing fast and getting their flight feathers. We are sorry to say that the camera lens is obstructed, most likely some food that the eagles were eating and flung towards the camera. We cannot clean it off while the eagles are in the nest, we are hoping mother nature takes care of it with some rain.
April 20, 2017
The two eaglets at FSV are growing up quickly, they hatched Feb. 14 and 17 and will fledge approximately 11-12 weeks from the hatch date. The third egg did not hatch. The parents keep the eaglets well fed with a variety of food; fish, rabbits, even turtles!
The owls are also growing up quickly, it is unusual for the owls to nest this late in the year. They typically nest in Jan/Feb but this year they waited a while. There are two owlets in the nest box, although hard to see some times the two have been spotted together. After they leave the nest box the camera will be repositioned to get a better view of the entire box.
Both the King and Sherco falcon nests have 4 eggs each, all laid within the first two weeks of April. The Sherco camera will be upgraded after the falcons leave the nest for the season.
In 1989, a plant employee spotted a rare peregrine falcon at our Allen S. King Plant in Oak Park Heights, Minn. That became the start of a nest box program and bird cam web feature that have drawn wide attention and been duplicated by utilities around the world.
Peregrine falcons began disappearing from their natural habitats during the 1950s, and by 1965, they had virtually disappeared from the eastern United States, with only a handful remaining in the Rocky Mountains. In an effort to save the peregrine falcon we became active partners with the Raptor Resource Project to design and install a nest box for peregrines at the King Plant. The nest box became the home to Mae, a peregrine famed for her longevity and parenting skills.
As the peregrine population grew, so did our power plant nest project; which included active nest boxes at nearly all of our Minnesota power plants.
In 1997, we wanted to increase conservation awareness efforts and provide the public with opportunities to watch the birds and their families grow each spring. Our very first Bird Cam cameras were installed in the King Plant falcon nest.
Twenty years after the first peregrine falcon was spotted flying around our power plant site, the company has produced 1,000 young falcons. Today the peregrine, whose name means "wanderer," soars Midwestern skies once more and is no longer listed as an endangered species.
Our partnership with the Raptor Resource Project and the countless support they provide allows us to continuously raise conservation awareness and strive to create the best nesting homes for these riveting raptors. RRP help us at Xcel Energy maintain and improve the bird cams to create optimal viewing capabilities. We believe in our environmental responsibility to respect the creatures surrounding our power plants and the help and support we receive from both the Raptor Resource Project and you as viewers are greatly appreciated.
Interested in corresponding with other Bird Cam viewers? Join the Bird Cam Forum available through the Raptor Resource Project.
Xcel Energy Uses Helicopter To Add Bird Diverters To Upgraded Power Lines, read the full story.
Bird Cam offers great educational opportunities for the general public, birding enthusiasts and students.
As open space and natural habitat gradually disappear with development, the property surrounding our plants and other facilities can continue to provide valuable habitat. We participate in a number of activities to help protect wildlife, including hosting conservation projects on our properties and working to protect birds around electrical facilities.
American bald eagles at Fort St. Vrain, Platteville, Colo., in late January through July.
Great horned owl cam at the Fort St. Vrain Station, Platteville, Colo., in late January through May.
Peregrine falcon cams at Allen S. King Plant, Oak Park Heights, Minn., and Sherburne County (Sherco) Plant, Becker, Minn., in late February through early July.
Great Blue Herons at Riverside, Minneapolis, Minn., in late March through late July. Off line until further notice.
Kestrel cams at Pawnee, Brush, Colo., in late February through late July.