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An active Peregrine nesting site atop one of the stacks at the Genesee Generation Station has been part of the recovery and maintenance of Peregrine falcon populations in Alberta since the early 1990s.
Since 2005, Capital Power has been streaming live images of the falcons at its Genesee facility in Alberta to allow viewers to learn more about the falcons and how they survive and thrive at this location and in the wild.
Classified as a Species at Risk in Canada, the Peregrine Falcon (Anatum subspecies) population has suffered great decline over the past decades. Although numbers have greatly improved over the past few years, the American Peregrine Falcon remains on the "Threatened" status list under the Government of Canada's Species at Risk Act. Today, approximately 2,000 to 3,000 breeding pairs of American Peregrine Falcons can be found in Canada, Mexico and the United States.
In 2005, Capital Power installed a remote camera on a nest box donated by Alberta Fish and Wildlife. Capital Power later upgraded the camera so higher quality video images could be streamed to our website.
In 2009, Capital Power, in co-operation with a respected researcher engaged by Environment Canada, undertook a three-year monitoring program to track the falcons' nesting and migration patterns. Two solar-powered satellite transmitters were safely placed on the nesting falcons that live at the Genesee nesting box. The backpack-style transmitting devices weighed little more than a wet teabag (30 grams) and were worn on the birds’ backs, secured with a braided Teflon harness.
Every daylight hour, the transmitter determined the falcons' GPS location, speed, direction and elevation above sea level, and every three days the transmitter downloaded the data to satellites. The satellites relayed the data to receiving stations positioned at 40 locations around the globe. The data was processed by ARGOS Inc. and then sent to Capital Power and its researchers.
Once the Peregrines returned to Capital Power’s Genesee Generating Station from their annual migration to South America, employees recorded their daily activities through the camera. The return dates for the adults, nest initiation (i.e., construction of the scrape), clutch initiation, hatching and fledging of the young were also documented.
With the help of the tracking devices, researchers can develop a better understanding of where the birds forage during the summer at Genesee, where they spend their winters, when they begin their migrations to and from their winter home, and the routes they travel. The transmitters also record flight speeds so people can learn how incredibly fast the birds are moving during their migrations.
Download the Falcon Diaries from 2009-2011
Return to Genesee
April (northern average = April 17)
Upon return to territory
After courtship and copulation
Late April to late May (northern average = May 9)
Starts after the last or second last egg is laid and lasts about 33 days (range of 30-36 days)
38-45 days after hatching (chick remains dependent on the adults for food for another 25-30 days)
Last reviewed: August 2015