News

Bird Cam Season Is Here!

Learn about Xcel Energy’s nesting eagles, falcons, and more

By: | February 26, 2019

The 2019 Bird Cam season is in full swing. Here’s a rundown of what’s happening, starting with our fan favorite, the bald eagles.

Bald Eagles
The bald eagles at the Fort St. Vrain Station in Platteville, Colo. have completed their annual nest cleanup and are sitting on three eggs. The first egg was laid on Valentine’s Day, with the other two following within the week. 

With a 35-day incubation period, the eggs should start hatching at the end of March. Last year, all three eaglets fledged from the nest. Year after year, this pair of bald eagles returns to their 6-foot-wide by 5-foot-deep nest, which is estimated to weigh more than a ton.

Follow Xcel Energy-Colorado on Facebook for the latest updates on the Fort St. Vrain bald eagle family!

Peregrine Falcons
The peregrine falcons at the Minnesota Sherco and King plants have begun to visit their nest boxes. Last year each location saw two successful fledges, and this year we hope for the same. Nesting activities will become more active in early March, so stay tuned.

 
American Kestrels
The newest Bird Cam addition is at Pawnee Generating Station in Brush, Colo. The nest box, which environmental services installed last year, is a potential future home for a nesting pair of American kestrels.

While it may be the smallest falcon in North America, the American kestrel possesses a fierce disposition. It can catch and kill prey its same size - about the size of a robin. They also prey on rodents, insects, and small snakes.

The American kestrel's lifespan is less than five years in the wild, but it can live up to 17 years in captivity. The oldest known American kestrel in captivity is a male that hatched in 2001. Injured and deemed non-releasable, he is now cared for by HawkQuest, a non-profit environmental organization in Colorado.

Great Horned Owls
It’s disappointing to report the owl nest box at the Fort St. Vrain Station is unoccupied. It’s unlikely the owls will use it this season since owl nesting behavior is well underway.

A Better Viewing Experience
At Xcel Energy, we know how much our customers and communities enjoy the Bird Cam. That’s why we have revamped the Bird Cam website!

You can expect to see a more modern, responsive design that works well on mobile devices.

“The Bird Cam program continues to be a customer favorite and highlights Xcel Energy’s commitment to protecting these special resources,” said Curtis Dominicak, manager of environmental services and media compliance. “With the updated website and additional kestrel camera, we look forward to another successful nesting season.”

Xcel Energy appreciates everyone who watches the Bird Cam. Learn more about the program by clicking the link below.

Visit the Xcel Energy Bird Cam Website

Tags: birds, animals
Tina Lopez
Tina Lopez

A senior communications consultant at Xcel Energy, Tina manages the company intranet and the Bird Cam website. She also volunteers for HawkQuest, a non-profit that provides environmental education.