SAULT STE. MARIE — Peregrine falcons have successfully hatched two eggs at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge this year.
The International Bridge Administration caught the chicks hatching on the morning of May 31st using their “FalCam.” You can view the hatching HERE.
“We’re very happy to see the birds have successfully hatched two chicks this year,” said International Bridge Engineer Karl Hansen in a statement. “This continues a long history of the peregrines successfully reproducing at the bridge. We’re also happy to see the new nest cam is proving to be such a popular way for people to watch the birds.”
Last year, the same pair of peregrine falcons successfully nested on the International Bridge, hatching four chicks. The site has hatched 24 falcon chicks since 2010, when the nest box was installed and IBA staff started counting the birds, Hansen said.
Birds have also laid eggs in a nest box on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge between Houghton and Hancock. Webcams have been installed there in cooperation with the Copper Country Audubon Club to allow people to watch nesting activity. You can view that webcam HERE.
Michigan lost its peregrine falcons in the 1960s and 1970s due to the use of DDT and other environmental contaminants. Since conservation efforts started in the mid-1980s, the number of peregrine nests has slowly increased. Now there are about 40 falcon pairs actively trying to nest statewide, with one to two new pairs discovered most years.
The peregrine falcon has been removed from the federal endangered species list, but is listed as an endangered species in Michigan, protected by state and federal law. Peregrines have adapted to city habitats, nesting on tall buildings, smokestacks and bridges around the world.