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Richmond Falcon Cam

FledgeWatch Day One Updates:

  • June 11th, 2024

After experiencing some technical difficulties with the door opening device this morning, the pen was opened at approximately 11:00 am. We will be posting updates on the birds when we can, here. So check back regularly for new information on our newly fledged four falcons!

Update 1 (approximately 1:30 pm)

Blue was the first to leave and took flight within seconds of the pen door opening. The bird flew to a window sill on the south side of the Truist building where he remained for a period of time before taking flight once more and heading north. We are unsure of his current location at this time but are keeping watch for the bird.

Yellow left the pen next. She spent a few minutes on the ledge of the building before fledging around 11:45 am. The bird spent several hours on the roof of the First National building before taking flight and circling Kanawha Plaza multiple times. She eventually landed on a building at the corner of S 8th and Main where she remains at the time of this writing.

Red was the third to leave at approximately at 12:15 pm. After a short flight around Kanawha plaza it flew back to the Riverfront building where it perched atop one of the towers. At 1:30 pm he was observed feeding on a prey item and at the time of this writing he is suspected to still be in this same location.

White was the last bird to fledge having done so at approximately 12:30 pm. Due to a lot of simultaneous activity we are not sure where it went immediately after leaving Riverfront. At approximately 12:45 the bird attempted to land on the Federal Reserve building but was unsuccessful. Note that the bird did not collide with the building, it simply miscalculated the landing angle needed. It was temporarily grounded at the Federal Reserve for a short period of time before flying into a nearby parking deck. Staff, including a Wildlife Veterinarian, located the bird in the parking deck where it was observed perching on a railing. The bird appeared alert and in good condition. However, staff elected not to attempt capture as it could potentially spook the bird causing it to become grounded once more in a high traffic area. The bird is currently being observed at this location by multiple staff on hand to intervene if need be.

End of Day Update

Despite numerous staff scouring the city at street level as well as surveying rooftops from varying vantage points, we were unable to relocate Blue. Based on some vocalizations we heard and the behaviors witnessed by the adults, we suspect that he is out of sight on the roof of the Truist building. Staff will attempt to locate him again tomorrow morning.

Following her time spent on the building at the corner of S 8th and Main, Yellow relocated to the west-facing Truist sign. She remained here for the remainder of the monitoring session and was still in place when staff departed around 6:00 pm. While here, she received a meal from one of the adults.

Red remained at his location atop the Riverfront Plaza’s West Tower parapet for the remainder of the afternoon and was still in place at the time DWR staff departed the city. While here, he was delivered a meal by one of the adults.

We regret to report that White suffered a fatal injury shortly after the last update was published. After flying into a parking deck and perching atop one of the outer railings, staff located White but due to her precarious location atop a parking deck railing/wall, staff elected to observe her at a distance. Any attempts to capture her at this location would have been almost certainly unsuccessful and staff did not want to risk her getting spooked so close to I-95 where she could become grounded in traffic. Unfortunately, a car exiting the parking garage drove past her causing her to take flight and collide with the Federal Reserve building. DWR’s Wildlife Veterinarian and several biologists were able to get to the bird within minutes of this happening but the falcon had  unfortunately died upon impact with the building.

Our annual FledgeWatch efforts are organized each year in conjunction with the pen opening so that we can have a multitude of staff on hand to intervene in the event a young bird is grounded and needs assistance. Unfortunately due to circumstances outside of our control, intervention was just not possible in this situation.  This unfortunate event represents the worst possible outcome that could be expected from this much anticipated fledging event and underscores the critical need to monitor the progress that young urban falcons make as they leave the nest.

Although we are all disheartened by this loss, we will be reconvening tomorrow morning for another day of monitoring and will continue to provide updates on Red, Yellow, and Blue as we can.