Planet

Black peregrine falcon with white chest sitting on ground.

Six years ago, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) made its wastewater operations just as friendly to wildlife as they are to the environment.

You just can’t see it from the ground.

At the top of the city’s water reclamation facility on Jones Island is a peregrine falcon nest installed in 2011, and it has been immensely popular with this protected species.

But like a human family, the young peregrines don’t stay in this nest forever, and the adult male that made Jones Island his home for several years lost his mate.

Fortunately, another winged couple now inhabits the nest, and with them, four recently hatched baby peregrines. Albeit barely more than a month old, the chicks were adorably vocal as they were fitted with identification bands and seated for their well-deserved TV appearance on Channel 12 Milwaukee before returning to their anxious parents.

Four baby peregrine falcons sitting in the floor next to a transport cage in Milwaukee.

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate new life,” said Joyce Harms, Community Relations Manager for Veolia Water Milwaukee. “The peregrines will grow rapidly, and by July will be trying out their wings, fledging from the nest and learning to hunt for themselves.”

In that spirit, this district operation strives to be a beacon of sustainability for all of Milwaukee. Just as its wastewater treatment operations help protect the water of Lake Michigan, this humble nesting box provides environmental protection for a species whose strength and population depends on adaptation to the urban environment.

Take a look at the nest’s new inhabitants by connecting to the Live Peregrine FalconCam.

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