The trio of peregrine falcon chicks at the Houghton-Hancock Lift Bridge are starting to leave the nest. The Michigan Department of Transportation installed two nest boxes, one each on the north and south bridge towers, in spring 2012 and a pair of peregrine falcons showed up the next spring. The falcons got a prime nesting spot and MDOT got a top-flight pigeon patrol. According to head bridge operator Robert Paavola, the number of pigeons on the bridge has plummeted dramatically since the falcons took up residence and chased them away. After failing to mate last year, the peregrines nested again this year and successfully hatched three eggs in mid-June. MDOT also has boxes with nesting falcon pairs on the International Bridge in Sault Ste. Marie and the Mackinac Bridge.