“These artificial nest-boxes on power plants along the Lakeshore have contributed to a trend of returning parents producing good numbers of healthy chicks,” said Michigan Department of Natural Resources senior wildlife biologist Nik Kalejs. “In some locations, we suspect at least one parent to return to the next year-after-year. The female at Campbell has no leg bands and could have found the habitat attractive for any number of reasons.”
Kalejs and his son, Nick — a Spring Lake High School graduate and University of Notre Dame freshman studying natural science — were part of a team that placed leg bands on the three chicks.
The work was part of a state and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program that tracks the population, health and migration of peregrine falcons. Loose-fitting leg bands with identification numbers are placed on the legs of each chick hatched annually at the nest. The overall health, migration behavior and range of the species are studied with data collected utilizing the leg bands.
Wood nesting boxes and their protruding perches make up the artificial nest habitat for the birds. The boxes have been placed more than 200 feet above the ground on the emissions stacks of the Campbell plant, the Consumers Energy-owned B.C. Cobb Plant in Muskegon and the Grand Haven Board of Light & Power plant on Harbor Island.
To read more of this story, see today’s print edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.