MILWAUKEE -- Peregrine falcon chicks in SE Wisconsin will hatch in the coming weeks at We Energies power plants. The peregrine falcon is endangered -- and a contest is underway for area students to win a visit with the chicks, and learn about the species.
The chicks are born in nest boxes at the We Energies power plants, and banded around three weeks old for tracking later on.
"They're very attracted to the tall structures at our power plants, those big stacks," said Cathy Schulze, We Energies spokeswoman.
More than 230 chicks have hatched at We Energies power plants. Since the early '90s, We Energies has been involved in the state's peregrine falcon recovery efforts.
We Energies officials are expecting to welcome more chicks very soon.
"We have eggs at four out of our five power plants so far this spring. We expect those eggs to start hatching in early May," said Schulze.
We Energies typically invites neighboring schools to their power plants to witness the banding and name the chicks.
"For them to be able to see an endangered species up close, and to foster that environmental stewardship," said Schulze.
But for the first time, the field trip opportunity is open to ALL SCHOOLS in We Energies' service territory through the contest. Students in grades three through six must create a poster about falcons and email a photo of it to We Energies.
"Bonus points for creativity and for plenty of facts included about We Energies falcon recovery efforts," said Schulze.
We Energies will select winners and help cover the cost of transportation to the power plant.
The winning field trips could take place at the We Energies Pleasant Prairie plant, Oak Creek plant, Port Washington plant, or Valley Power plant in downtown Milwaukee.