In a nesting box high above Ameren Missouri's Sioux Energy Center, five Peregrine falcon chicks have hatched. In partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and World Bird Sanctuary (WBS), Ameren Missouri invites bird lovers to watch an online webcam to witness the new arrivals.
"These past few days have been very exciting to watch for the chicks," said Chris Iselin, senior vice president of power operations and energy management at Ameren Missouri. "Viewers from across the globe are spreading the word on social media, and at the same time learning more about these magnificent animals and our partnership's efforts to grow their population."
Since the first egg was spotted March 14, the female and male Peregrine traded off incubation duty.
"The female falcon will remain at the nest for the next 10 days to keep the chicks warm and protect them from predators," says Jeff Meshach, deputy director at the World Bird Sanctuary. "The male falcon will be the sole provider and spend all of his time hunting for prey to feed his new family."
Ameren Missouri, WBS and MDC are celebrating the sixth season of providing a live camera feed of the nesting box. Over the past five seasons, 19 falcon chicks have successfully hatched and left the nest. This year's adult female is a three-time resident at Sioux Energy Center. She hatched in 2006 in Minnesota. The male hatched in 2004 and was released in New Madrid, Missouri.
"It’s great to see the peregrine nest box efforts continuing to be successful," said Sarah Kendrick, state ornithologist at the Missouri Department of Conservation. "Partnering with Ameren and WBS to provide nesting locations helps these state-endangered birds and provides a great way to connect with and educate the public."
Catch all the action live from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. CDT seven days a week at AmerenMissouri.com/FalconWatch. The camera will stay active until the chicks have left the nest. As an interactive function of the website, an 'Ask Jeff' blog written by Meshach continues to provide commentary and answer viewer questions about what’s happening in the nest.
Before leaving the nest for good, the chicks will be fitted with tracking numbers on their feet. The harmless procedure is the primary way researchers learn more about the birds and their migration patterns. It can also help identify problems that could lead to population loss. Information is housed in the U.S. Geological Survey's nationwide database.
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 127,000 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, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.
About World Bird Sanctuary
WBS preserves, protects and inspires to safeguard bird species in the global community for future generations. Its vision is to create a world where diverse bird species are secure and thriving in a variety of stable ecological communities. WBS has been banding peregrine falcons chicks in the greater St. Louis area since 1985. Through captive breeding and release efforts, WBS is greatly responsible for bringing the peregrine back to Missouri as a breeding species. WBS was founded by the late Walter C. Crawford Jr in 1977 and is currently under the direction of Brian Bissonnette.
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.