Redwater Falcon Nest is for the Birds
At our Redwater Fertilizer Operations (RFO) facility in northern Alberta, there are two longtime guests whose presence never flies under the radar.
Each spring and summer for the past nine years, RFO has hosted one of Alberta's 60 or so breeding pairs of peregrine falcons. Through close partnership with the Alberta government and the Alberta Conservation Association, RFO has continually aided in conservation efforts for the species and even installed a Falcon Cam – providing a live, 24x7 video feed of their nest.
This safe location at RFO has become their home. Though these birds have been reported as nesting as far away as Texas, the pair successfully finds its way back to Redwater every year, and annually adds three or four new falcons to the population.
"From the late ’70s and into the ’80s, there was only a single breeding pair of peregrine falcons known to be alive east of the Rockies," says Dale Harris, RFO's Health, Safety & Security Supervisor. "We have taken significant measures to reduce their species' chance of extinction, with population numbers steadily increasing most years."
Returning viewers to the Falcon Cam may notice that new rungs have been installed on the nest's surroundings to prevent newborns from falling out before they can fly. Viewers should be aware that the falcons regularly bring home freshly caught meals.
Billed as ’the fastest animal on earth’, peregrines can reach speeds over 200 miles per hour. Redwater's falcons earn their stay by doing their part to keep the site's pigeon population under control. Note that each year, if you tune into the Falcon Cam around the third week of June, you might get to see some of their eggs hatch.
Tremendous effort has been taken at Redwater over the years to ensure the protection and conservation of this species remains a priority. Keep up with the progress of the adult and baby peregrine falcons by tuning into the Falcon Cam this summer.