Skip to Main

Peregrine falcons return to nest at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge

SAULT STE. MARIE — A pair of peregrine falcons is back at the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge, nesting on the U.S. side this year after nesting on the Canadian side in 2023.

Karl Hansen, bridge engineer for the International Bridge Administration (IBA), said the peregrines laid three eggs in the U.S. side nest box.

Nest boxes were installed on the bridge in 2010, placed at locations that had evidence of past nesting activity. Over the years, 39 falcon chicks have been hatched since IBA staff started counting the birds.


“Since both nest boxes were installed, until last year the birds had never nested in the Canadian box, as far as we’re aware,” Hansen said. “This year, they’re back in the U.S.A.”

A team from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) typically bands the birds at the IBA mid-summer. Color-coded bands attached to the legs of young birds allow scientists to track the movements, reproductive behavior, and population growth of the falcons. Peregrines are a migratory species; pictures of at least one of the birds banded at the International Bridge have been captured as far south as the Dominican Republic.

Michigan lost its peregrine falcons in the 1960s and 70s due to DDT and other environmental contaminants. Since conservation efforts started in the mid-1980s, the number of peregrines has generally increased, according to the DNR.

Of all the active peregrine falcon nesting sites monitored by the DNR in the Upper Peninsula, the International Bridge is the second most productive behind Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

The IBA’s live video stream of the U.S. nesting box, the “FalCam,” is viewable at

Local Trending News