A New Year and a New Pair
Welcome to the 2019 Richmond Falcon Cam! Downtown Richmond has a new pair of peregrine falcons, ushering in a new era. The longtime Richmond male who nested downtown for fifteen years, before struggling last year to find a mate, has not returned. He was at the upper age range for peregrine falcons and the fact that he has not returned, most likely means that he has died.
The Richmond male was a downtown Richmond icon that will long be remembered. For years we enjoyed watching him along with thousands of Falcon Cam viewers; together we cheered his successes and mourned his losses. He leaves a legacy behind him, having reared 32 chicks that survived to flight age–an impressive contribution to the population of this threatened species.
While we will fondly remember the Richmond male, we look forward to getting to know this new pair and hope they will stay together and have a successful breeding season. Here is what we know about them so far:
- The new female is heavy bodied and buffy all over, except for a white throat, and she has barring across her breast. Between her eyes, she has a distinctive white rectangular patch. She is unbanded.
- The new male is smaller than the female, as is the case with peregrine falcons. He looks similar to the previous male with dark barring across his breast, except he has heavier sideburn markings. He is banded with a green USGS anodized band on his right leg. This green band indicates that he was banded in Virginia. His left leg has a black and green band.
Over the last week, we’ve observed this pair engaged in courtship behaviors, such as head bowing to one another and the male offering prey to the female. This pair seems to be most active around the louvers of the Dominion building and less so in front of our camera at the Riverfront Plaza building. It’s unknown where they will ultimately nest or whether they will even stay paired, but we are rooting for them! Stay tuned to the cam to see how the season unfolds.
Updates will be posted on this page as major life cycle events occur. Check out our Richmond Falcon Cam FAQs for additional information.