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Peregrine falcons find safe haven at Essity’s Menasha Paper Mill for a decade

The company celebrates ten years of supporting peregrine falcon conservation with the hatching of two new chicks: Blaze and Scout

Essity’s Menasha Paper Mill is celebrating a decade of being a nesting site for peregrine falcons. Since 2014, these birds have returned annually to nest, and this year, the mill welcomed two new falcon chicks: Blaze and Scout. The chicks hatched in late April in a nesting box situated atop a 100-foot-high boiler stack. 

Over the past ten years, the mill’s employees have been actively involved in maintaining the falcons’ nesting environment. They ensure the safety of the chicks by regularly cleaning the nest and monitoring their well-being. Joe Geiger, the environmental manager for the Midwest Region, emphasized the significance of this initiative, stating: “The falcons illustrate our commitment to sustainability and the environment. Some volunteers help us clean the nesting box in late fall, and others help to promote the message about the falcons. It has become an important event, and people really care about them”. 

The Menasha Paper Mill collaborates with the Wisconsin Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project to support the conservation of peregrine falcons in the Midwest and the Canadian Great Lakes region. This project focuses on scientific research, public education, and field monitoring to ensure the species’ survival. After the eggs hatch, Greg Septon, the founder of the Recovery Project, bands the chicks as part of the ongoing conservation efforts. 

The falcon nesting event is highly anticipated by the mill’s approximately 900 employees in the Fox Cities. Since the installation of a “falcon cam” in 2017, employees have been able to watch the progress of the nesting season. The camera provides live footage of the chicks, known as eyas, from hatching to growth. To date, 20 eyas have hatched and been named since the falcon cam’s introduction. This year, the father, Bucky, born at the WE Energies Port Washington Generating Station in 2013, guarded the eggs alongside an unbanded female. 

Peregrine falcons, once endangered in the early 1970s, were removed from the endangered list in 1999. Typically, a female falcon lays up to four eggs in late March or early April, which hatch approximately 30 days later. 

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