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Richmond Falcon Cam

Banding Scheduled for Friday, May 24th

  • May 20th, 2024
An image of four peregrine falcon chicks around the nest box and the adult female perching upon the nest box

The adult female perches atop the nest box while the four chicks rest below.

Pending no inclement weather, this Friday (5/24) will be a big day for the four falcon chicks in Richmond as Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources staff plan on capturing and banding the chicks that day.

Since hatching, the chicks have grown dramatically in size, with both feathered ‘eye masks’ as well as wing primaries now visible in addition to their white down. In addition to feather development, the four have been exercising their muscles, regularly stretching their wings and practicing tearing off pieces of meat from prey items that have been delivered by the adults.

On banding day, the camera will be turned off temporarily while biologists are on the building ledge. The chicks will be collected and brought inside where they will be weighed, measured, and fitted with two aluminum bands.

In addition to banding and data collection, biologists plan to install the pen that has been used in previous years to prevent early fledge events. The pen will be placed in front of the nest box and will allow the chicks to continue to access the box. This pen is a precautionary measure to ensure that no premature flights take place before the chicks have fully developed their flight feathers and are therefore able to fly.

Once banding and data collection has been completed, the chicks will be returned to the nest box and the camera will be turned back on. Be on the lookout for a follow-up post that will announce the sex of the chicks, their alphanumeric band codes, and their measurements.