MILTON, KY (FOX19) - The peregrine falcons that have made the Milton-Madison Bridge their home over the years have a new nest. A new falcon box has been put in place on the underside of the new bridge over the water.
Since 2002, falcons have been known to make the bridge their nesting spot. When the new Milton-Madison Bridge work began, the project took measures to protect these birds of prey. As construction progressed, the falcon box was located on old pier #5 – the only pier that was not being re-used. Two weeks ago, the old pier was demolished.
To accommodate the falcons, a new nesting box has been put in place, and workers on the scene report seeing falcon activity around the new box.
Peregrine falcons are no longer on the endangered species list. However, they are still federally protected. It is illegal to harm or destroy a falcon or its nest. Peregrine falcons are strong hunters, diving at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour to prey on other birds in mid-flight. There are only 13 known nesting pairs in Kentucky.
For the past two seasons, the falcon box was the home of new newly hatched chicks, marking the first known times the falcons nesting on the bridge successfully mated.
The falcon box will remain attached to the truss when the new bridge slides onto its refurbished piers, which is expected to take place in March.
Named one of the top 10 bridge projects in the country by Roads & Bridges Magazine, the Milton-Madison Bridge Project has been the recipient of several state and national engineering awards for innovation.