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Peregrine Falcon couple returns to MSU

Spartan Stadium Falcon Cam
Apollo (L) and Freyja have returned to a nesting box atop Spartan Stadium at MSU. Last year, the pair produced three chicks that successfully fledged.

A peregrine falcon couple appears to have returned to a nest atop Spartan Stadium at Michigan State University.

The MSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club and the university’s Infrastructure, Planning and Facilities Department erected a nesting box on the southwest corner of the football stadium last year. It attracted the falcons, named Apollo and Freyja, who made it their home for the year. Freyja laid four eggs. Three hatched and successfully fledged.

Club President Molly Engelman says falcons often return to the same site for the purpose of mating. 

“You can’t always tell what wild animals are going to do,” she explained. “So, it’s always kind of up to chance, but based on their biology, it’s highly likely we’ll get some more chicks this year.”

Engelman adds that the female was first seen back in East Lansing on Feb. 19, the same day thousands of people were on campus to welcome students back to MSU after the mass shooting.

“I was with my roommates, who are also in the club with me, and we were just so ecstatic. We immediately drove to the parking lot behind the stadium,” she added. “And were just looking and aww-ing at her flying around! We were just so happy to see her come back.”

A webcam is trained on the nesting box, and Engelman says visitors to campus may see mating rituals like dive-bombing aerial displays over the next few weeks.

If the birds mate again, eggs could appear at the end of March.