The falcons are back! Ameren Missouri, alongside the World Bird Sanctuary (WBS) and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), are once again partnering to bring a live bird’s eye view of nesting Peregrine falcons from 160 feet above Ameren Missouri’s Sioux Energy Center. The female falcon has just laid her first egg and is busy preparing for the arrival of the chicks.
“Seeing these incredible creatures up close through the Falcon Cam makes you want to learn even more about their lives,” said Chris Iselin, senior vice president of power operations and energy management at Ameren Missouri. “All of the co-workers at Sioux Energy Center, and across Ameren Missouri, take a great amount of pride in being environmental stewards and providing a safe space for the falcons return year after year."
Ameren Missouri, WBS and the MDC are celebrating the sixth season of providing a live camera feed of the falcons. The ongoing interest in the lives of these formidable hunters is reflected in the number of viewers who watch the live camera feed. In 2016, the live stream was viewed tens of thousands of times and peaked in early May when the chicks hatched.
“We've learned so much from watching the Falcon Cam these past few years,” says Jeff Meshach, deputy director at the World Bird Sanctuary. “From nesting activity to chick interaction and feeding, the camera captures it all and gives us a level of detail we wouldn't normally be able to see. Thanks to the generosity of Ameren Missouri and Missouri Department of Conservation, we can share these insights with bird lovers around the world."
Over the past five seasons, bird lovers have been able to watch an adult pair of falcons raise 19 falcon chicks. Both the male and female incubate the eggs. The chicks will begin to fly about 42 days after hatching but remain dependent on their parents to learn how to hunt for several more weeks.
“Waiting for eggs to hatch is one of the most exciting parts of watching a nest,” said Sarah Kendrick, State Ornithologist at the Missouri Department of Conservation. “Peregrines were once federally endangered and are still state endangered. Through a number of efforts, including partnerships such as this one with Ameren Missouri and the World Bird Sanctuary, their numbers are rebounding. Also, providing Missourians the opportunity to watch these magnificent birds up close is a great way to spread awareness of conservation efforts for this and other threatened species."
Peregrine falcons also nest at Ameren Missouri's Labadie and Rush Island energy centers. Falcon Cam is live from 7 a.m. until 8 pm. (CDT) seven days a week at AmerenMissouri.com/FalconWatch until nesting activity is complete and the young chicks have left the nest.
About Ameren Missouri
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 130,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities including the greater St. Louis area. For more information please visit AmerenMissouri.com or follow AmerenMissouri on Facebook or Twitter.
About World Bird Sanctuary
In 1979 WBS was founded by the late Walt Crawford, and is currently directed by Brian Bissonnette. WBS is dedicated to the preservation of all birds and their habitats, and accomplishes this through rehabilitation, education, propagation, field studies, advocacy and services. WBS has been banding Peregrine Falcons since 1985. Through captive breeding and release efforts in the mid to late 80's, WBS is responsible for bringing the Peregrine back to Missouri as a breeding species.
About Missouri Department of Conservation
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.