Thursday, May 19, 2022

Peregrine falcons on Spartan Stadium make their grand debut

February 7, 2022
<p>Workers from Michigan State University Infrastructure Planning and Facilities pose with the falcon nest box on Spartan Stadium, installed on Jan. 28, 2022.</p>

Workers from Michigan State University Infrastructure Planning and Facilities pose with the falcon nest box on Spartan Stadium, installed on Jan. 28, 2022.

For the past five years, a pair of peregrine falcons have been nesting atop Michigan State University’s Spartan Stadium.  

The Fisheries and Wildlife Club at the university has taken the initiative to prolong and enrich their stay, as well as expose their existence to MSU students, staff and faculty.

“We have had a pair of peregrine falcons coming here for about five years,” Vice President of the Fisheries and Wildlife Club Quinn Bozek said. “During their wintering time, they will come up and reside in the upper sections of the stadium, so we are installing a nesting box for these falcons up on top of the press box.”

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Along with the press nesting box, they are adding a camera so they can live monitor the babies as they grow — as long as they take to the nest box.

“What we’re providing for them is a fairly large nest box,” club chair Evan Griffis said. “This stimulates their natural breeding habitat, which is cliff-side, mainly.”

The falcons are on the highest point on campus, which is ideal for them to rest and protects them from any predators that attempt to dive-bomb them.  

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“It could also provide some really interesting research opportunities,” Griffis said.  

“The nesting box is just there to promote a possibility of their breeding rates,” Bozek added. “It’s not really a habitat per se, it's just so they can hopefully breed in an area and have a safe space to do so.”

When asked about MSU’s prevalent interest in the well-being of the falcons, both Bozek and Griffis said the university is attempting to do its best to protect these birds. 

“We're trying to set an example for other universities as well to take an interest in their urban wildlife,” Bozek said. “The ecology is very different from, say, where they'd be existing where there are no humans.  We're trying to provide an area where if they do choose to mess around here ... that they can do so safely and have a good place to foster their young.”

They hope their club's efforts will inspire other universities as well.

“We’re promoting the conservation of an endangered species,” Griffis said. “We want to provide an example for other universities to follow suit.”

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