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Power Plants and Peregrines

TransAlta’s involvement in supporting and partnering on peregrine conservation goes back many years.

"TransAlta has had the three plants around Wabamun Lake, and since 2006, we’ve seen 55 peregrines fledge successfully," says Cheryl McNeil, Senior Advisor of Stakeholder Relations at TransAlta. "How remarkable when you think of how these birds can thrive in an industrial setting!"

Much of it has to do with the fact that all three plants are situated in areas rich and diverse with wildlife (with thriving heron, osprey, bald eagle, and raven populations too). But it’s more than coincidence—it’s people who really care.

With peregrines making the power plants home for years, the environmental teams at TransAlta have built a strong passion for the birds. And so it made perfect sense when the company officially became a major sponsor of the peregrine falcon camera initiative in 2016. Since then, their contributions have helped ACA to be able to stream live video through web cameras—set up in some unforgiving places—all to capture the various peregrine nesting sites in Edmonton and area.

"It started when we got involved in Wabamun's Kids Can Catch, which is a terrific event that we’ve seen grow," says Cheryl. "In my ongoing conversations with ACA, I started to understand more about the peregrine cameras initiative, and thought, 'wow, that could be a really great fit.'"

TransAlta thinks the peregrine cams are an exceptional educational tool. Anyone can see into the intimate life of a peregrine, from nesting in the spring to hatching and fledging in the summer. With so much interest across the province, TransAlta is excited to see the amazing birds engage people of all ages.

As the cameras continue to stream, so do ideas. "I'd love to see a camera and nestbox here at the Sundance plant," says Cheryl. "We know there are opportunities for other species at risk, and by partnering with ACA, we can continue to help educate the public about conserving wildlife."

Count us in. Thank you TransAlta!

Watch the Peregrine Cameras

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