The Minnesota Zoo is well known for its 485 acre facility in Apple Valley, Minnesota – just minutes away from the Mall of America. However people may be less familiar with the amazing work the Zoo does outside of Minnesota. The Zoo’s Conservation Advisory Team and the Minnesota Zoo Foundation have been sending Zoo staff around the world for years with the Ulysses S. Seal Conservation Grant. This grant allows staff to help support conservation projects they are personally passionate about and even participate hands-on in the research, if possible. Since 2005, this grant program has supported six separate grants to the Midwest Peregrine Society.

North Shore, Minnesota | June 17, 2014

Climber with Chicks at North ShoreIt’s Tuesday June 17 and the banding team (Jackie Fallon, Jenny Prom, and Karla Anderson) left the cities before 5:00 am to travel to the North Shore. Eight nest sites were climbed today. They included natural cliff ledges on private property (Ellen’s Bluff), a box set on a beam (North Shore Mine), and cliff ledges in state parks (Gold Hoist Cliff, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park). There were some sites on the North Shore that only the banding team are able access, but in most of the state parks there is the opportunity to educate many interns, guests and park employees who visit to observe.

Two more trips are coordinated to the North Shore (June 24 and July 7) to wrap up the 2014 banding season. Hours of observation by the field team, private landowners and state park employees help us find these nest sites each year. We can’t thank them enough!

North Shore MineSeason Summary

2014 was an excellent year for peregrine falcons production in Minnesota, and the Midwest in general. Despite a cold spring, with snow remaining on the ground into mid-May in the northern tier of the state, we had 85 chicks fledge successfully from 33 sites we monitor in MN, in addition to at least 10 additional chicks that hatched, but did not survive to fledging age for various reasons. In total, we had 42 sites that had occupancy by at least one pair of falcons, plus several additional sites that had a single bird in residence. In addition, the Raptor Resource Project states in their 2014 report, that 35 chicks were produced at 12 sites. This preliminary information shows that Minnesota produced at least 120 chicks at 45 unique territories. It is important to realize this does not include any additional unbanded birds that are within the state.

Adult Peregrine North Shore

The banding team would also like to thank the Minnesota Zoo’s Ulysses S. Seal Conservation Grant Program for helping us again this year.