Author Topic: MN / Prairie Island Plant - 2009  (Read 1969 times)

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Offline Alison

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Re: Minnesota / Prairie Island Plant - 2009 / ? & ?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2009, 21:01 »
A new nest box has been installed at the Prairie Island Plant. Information and photos courtesy of the King Operator:

A new peregrine falcon box was raised recently to the top of the Unit 1 containment dome at Prairie Island (PI) Nuclear Generating Station, near Red Wing, Minn., and installed in its new location. The box was built by Bob Anderson of the Raptor Resource Project. Last year the box was lifted by crane to the roof of the spent fuel pool, and this year it completed the journey and was raised manually to the new location atop the containment dome, along with many bagfuls of pea gravel, said Frank Sperlak, fire protection coordinator and one of the project members.

The installation team consisted of Jeremy Hanson, Jeremy Goihl, Jason Wood and Sperlak. In addition, the pea gravel was bagged by Construction staff and hauled to the roof of the Service Building, along with the ropes and tools needed for hauling and installation.

The current box was installed back in 1993 and is at the end of its life. In addition, to access the box, one must rappel down to it. This made the old installation extremely difficult to access. The new location will make it much safer for personnel to band the falcons. Initially the old box was going to remain for a year or two, but the opening was going to be closed off. This way the female peregrine would return to the old box and then be forced to use the new one. Due to the loss this year of PI's resident female peregrine, Anderson said he thinks it may take a year or two to attract a new female. His new plan is to leave the old box open for now and if it attracts falcons next spring, the babies will be transferred to the new box on banding day. After that, the old box could be dismantled and removed, he said.

The new box was a site team effort, involving Engineering, Special Construction, Radiation Protection and Operations.


I had asked the King Operator whether the male had been seen recently, and he posted an update that two peregrines were seen in the area about three weeks ago.

 

Offline carly

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Re: Minnesota / Prairie Island Plant - 2009 / ? & ?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2009, 07:08 »
What a sad end for such a beautiful, prolific falcon.  She lived a long. fruitful life and contributed many offspring to the population.  I'm so glad she had a good life, fly free beauty  :'(

Offline Alison

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MN / Prairie Island Plant - 2009
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2009, 00:18 »
2009 NESTING SEASON

This very sad information was posted on the Raptor Resource site by the King Operator:

"PI's peregrine female euthanized; leaves lasting legacy"

The resident female peregrine falcon at Prairie Island (PI's) Nuclear Generating Station, near Red Wing, Minn., spent the last months of her life at the University of Minnesota Raptor Center but finally had to be euthanized after months of treatment. She was discovered on the ground near the plant in June, ''just not acting like a normal adult peregrine,'' reported Lisa Kuehl, in Communications at Prairie Island.

Raptor Center medical specialists found a large mass adhered to the falcon's esophagus, a lesion caused by the parasite trichomonas. ''These parasites are pretty common in bird-eating birds such as peregrine falcons,'' Kuehl said. ''The parasite is carried by a large percentage of the pigeon population, and peregrines like to eat pigeons.''  This particular kind of trichomonas parasite is only transmitted ''bird to bird'' and does not pose a threat to humans, Kuehl added.

Specialists treated the peregrine with antibiotics and surgically removed the mass, Kuehl said. ''She was doing well following surgery and appeared to be recovering. But still, something wasn't right.'' The vets at the Raptor Center did not want to release her until she was fully recovered.

Last week, Kuehl received the following e-mail:
I have some bad news. Today we had to euthanize that peregrine falcon. During her time here, she began to develop some odd neurological signs, respiratory difficulties and chronic bloating of her abdomen. Using an endoscopic surgery device, we were able to visualize a large amount of old damage to her internal organs. Initial diagnosis is an old yolk coelomitis, which is essentially an unformed egg that ruptured in the abdomen of the bird. The damage was not seen for months while the bird was here; it's something for which there is no repair.

''This female falcon certainly left her mark on the current peregrine population here in the Midwest,'' Kuehl said. She was fledged from the old Montgomery Wards tower in St. Paul in 1993 with the band number 7/1.

''She found our nest box in the mid 1990s, and in 1997 her first offspring were fledged,'' Kuehl said. ''She continued to come back annually, and last year she was the oldest breeding female in the Raptor Resource Project. Since 1997, a total of 35 of her young were fledged from our nest box.''

Peregrines in captivity can live up to 18 years, but in the wild that number decreases to only about six years, Kuehl said. ''Hopefully, a new female will adopt our site as her own next year and continue our peregrine legacy at Prairie Island.''


She has left behind a remarkable legacy, having raised and fledged 35 young over the years, and she will not be forgotten. She was very beautiful.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 22:53 by The Peregrine Chick »