Just a heads up that right now is an excellent time for peregrine falcon viewing at Lock and Dam 1 in Minneapolis near Minnehaha Creek. I took the above photo of one of the chicks Saturday. Look at that baby peregrine–doesn’t it look like quite the thug?
Here’s a screen capture of the dam from Google Maps. I circled the area you want to stand in to view the falcons. Of course it helps to have binoculars or a scope, but the falcons are quite visible without optics.
The cool thing about the timing for the next two weeks is that the chicks are losing their natal down and growing feathers–they should be easy to see and huddled in the back of the nest box. They are quite active as they beg for food and practice flapping their wings when they take flight very soon.
Here is one of the adult birds that was perched near the nest–look at that, her foot is tucked and her feathers are fluffed. That’s a sign of a relaxed and contented bird. The Lock and Dam peregrines are a treat in the Twin Cities–easily accessible and awesome birds. You can also watch for other species around the dam including great blue herons and double-crested cormorants. Take advantage of this cool view before the chicks leave the nest box.