News from Richmond and Beyond
Biologists from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources accessed the nesting ledge today to remove the pen. Falcon Cam viewers will recall that the pen was put in place to prevent the young falcons from fledging early or falling from the ledge. Following the nesting season the pen was temporarily left in place to further acclimate the adult falcons to its presence.
Birders in Richmond continue to report sightings of both the adult and juvenile falcons. The birds seem especially fond of hunting at a Purple Martin migratory roost in Downtown Richmond. Up to 11,000 Purple Martins roost nightly near the Farmers Market in Richmond, as they stage for the migration south. Hundreds of onlookers come to watch the spectacle as the swirl into their roosting trees for the night…its even the focus of a festival “Gone to the Birds”. The peregrine falcons (as well as local red-tail hawks) add an element of excitement to the affair. This roost should be active for a week or so yet check it out if you’re in the area.
This year brought news of Richmond-born falcons raising their their own broods along the mid-Atlantic. A male who fledged from Richmond in 2003 is part of a pair that successfully fledged a single chick this year in Baltimore. A female that hatched in Richmond in 2006 and was hacked (released) from Shenandoah National Park has nested under a bridge in Lancaster County, PA since at least 2009. This year for the first time she successfully hatched chicks. Demonstrating the hazards that peregrine falcons must cope with, both of the chicks from this nest fell into the River below the nest – and were rescued by passing boaters. The success of the birds that hatched from the Richmond nest underscores the importance of peregrine falcon management efforts here in Virginia.