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      Endangered falcons nest at WE Energies Power Plant

      A pair of peregrine falcons have, again, decided to nest at the WE Energies Presque Isle Power Plant and have produced two chicks. On Saturday, June 9, the babies were tagged in a showcase event for employees and their kids.

      They're an endangered species, but there are now two more at the WE Energies Presque Isle Power Plant. Two peregrine falcons have nested at the power plant's nesting box for the second year in a row. This year they produced two male chicks. WE Energies has nesting boxes at six of their power plants as a part of the Peregrine Falcon Recovery Act. Whenever a falcon is born at these nests, WE Energies keeps a close eye on them.

      "So today was all about banding those youngsters so we can keep track of them and find out where they wind up as they grow," said Cathy Schulze, WE Energies' spokesperson.

      Banding is done to see how far the birds will travel, if they produce young, or to confirm if it's the same bird that comes back to nest again. In this case, it's the same mother from last year. WE Energies invited employees and their kids to see the banding take place. The kids also chose names drawn out of a hat for the three week old babies. The two boys are now known as Felco and Superman.

      "It's a pretty rare experience, and it's nice to be able to share with our power plant's employees and their families," Schulze said.

      "It was really cool because I got to see them up close, and I've never seen them up close," said nine-year-old Haleigh Holdwick.

      The chicks were then returned to their nests, much to the relief of mom and dad. It's possible they may come back for a third year, but the future of the babies is less certain.

      "The young, however, will probably disperse. In fact, they will disperse. They'll go out and eventually find a site of their own where they can nest," said Greg Septon, peregrine falcon researcher and manager of the WE Energies' nests.

      The babies will be watched until they take flight, normally around six weeks old. To see the falcons on camera for yourself, visit http://www.we-energies.com/environmental/protect_wildlife.htm