By Chris Neary
Workers were perched 85 feet on a hydraulic lift on Feb. 16, gaining a birds-eye view of the Shaw Lane Power Plant with the sun blazing and winter air chilling their hands to the bone.
As a special request from MSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club, Roofer I John Patterson and Roofer II J.R. Brown (pictured) installed a man-made falcon nest atop the campus's former power plant. Roofer II Rick Travis coordinated their efforts and said this was the first time they had installed this type of bird nest.
"We like to help out other (MSU) departments as much as we can," Travis said.
Fisheries and Wildlife Senior Justin Miller said the nest was made to attract the Peregrine falcon, a bird that was on the national endangered species list until 1999.
Miller said the club got the idea to put a falcon nest on top of a building when the birds were seen nested on I-beams during the Spartan Stadium addition in 2006. He and his father built the wooden nest last spring and recently received approval from Michigan Department of Natural Resources to place it.
The new nest is perched on small steel girders on the southwest corner of the Shaw Lane Power Plant roof.
Amy Viscito, president of MSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club, said there are three reasons why the Shaw Lane Power Plant roof is the prime spot on campus for attracting these falcons.
"The (Shaw Lane Power Plant) roof is close to where they were last seen nested, the building is unused and their food is nearby at Spartan Stadium," Viscito said, referring to pigeons that scavenge trash at the stadium.
February 18, 2009