What’s Happening at the Nest?
Now that the four juveniles have not only fledged but also demonstrated competent flight and landing capabilities, we will be removing the Falcon Cam live stream from the website in the upcoming days. We want to extend a very sincere thanks to all of our viewers who stuck with us this year despite the assortment of camera-related technical difficulties we encountered. We look forward to bringing you the stream again early next spring, possibly through the lens of a new camera!
We are grateful to the property managers who graciously granted us access to their buildings, which gave us a much-needed bird’s-eye view of the downtown Richmond landscape. We also thank our partners at Comcast for their sponsorship and all of our viewers for diligently tuning in throughout the season!
And, if you still haven’t had your fill of the falcons, fear not…you can always make a trip downtown in the coming weeks to see if you can spot the birds yourself!
- The pen will be opened today, June 14th, after which time time the falcon chicks will be able to fledge at their leisure. DWR staff will be positioned at various locations on the ground and within the surrounding buildings to monitor the chicks during their first day on the wing. We will be providing reports from the field, so be sure to refresh your browser periodically to see if any new updates have been posted.
9:15 AM: The remote opening device is being installed on the pen door. The stream will resume and the pen door will open several minutes after device installation.
9:50 AM: The pen door has been opened and all chicks have fledged the pen. The blue chick remains on the parapet ledge at Riverfront Plaza while the white chick is perched on one of the nearby buildings. Staff are attempting to locate red and green. We would also like to apologize for the poor camera coverage following the opening of the pen. We were attempting to operate the camera via a wireless internet connection which greatly impacted our ability to remain connected to, and remotely operate the camera, during the fledge. Further, three of the fledglings left the ledge for surrounding buildings immediately following the pen opening where they were out of view from the camera for the remainder of the day.
10:51 AM: Blue has left the parapet ledge and is on top of the Truist building. White has not left its location. Staff are still attempting to locate red and green.
12:50 PM: Green has been located and an adult has arrived with a prey item.
2:09 PM: All four fledglings have been confirmed perching on different rooftops in the vicinity of the Virginia Lottery building.
5:20 PM: Staff are departing downtown after monitoring all four fledglings for the remainder of the afternoon. We did not observe any major collisions or failed landing attempts today. Never the less, we will have staff stationed downtown again tomorrow to continue monitoring their flight and landing capabilities.
9:10 AM: Almost immediately following staff arrival this morning, three juveniles were located in the vicinity of the Virginia Lottery Building. Two of the three have been confirmed as white and red. Staff are attempting to identify the third visible fledging and locate the fourth that has yet to be observed today.
3:12 PM: Staff continued to monitor the birds throughout the morning and into the early afternoon. All four birds were located and identified via their band tape at various points throughout the day. Further, each fledgling demonstrated successful flight and landing capabilities at various points during our monitoring. Unlike in recent years when fledglings have stayed closer to Riverfront Plaza, the center for activity this year seems to be the Old Dominion and the Virginia Lottery buildings where the birds spent a substantial amount of time perched atop roofs and/or signs. Multiple prey deliveries from both adults as well as aerial interactions between the juveniles and their parents were observed throughout the late morning. Based on these behaviors, staff decided to conclude this years Fledgewatch around 1 PM.
Pending no inclement weather, we will be opening the pen on Wednesday, June 14th.
In conjunction with the pen opening, DWR staff will be stationed downtown on Wednesday and Thursday as part of our annual FledgeWatch monitoring to observe the birds during their first days on the wing. At this stage the chicks will have the strength needed to fly, but it can take them several days to perfect their flight and landing skills. By having staff on site during this critical period, we can intervene and get a chick medical attention more quickly in the event of a building collision, grounding, or failed landing attempt.
What to expect?
On Wednesday morning, the camera will be temporarily turned off while an actuator (the tool used to remotely open the pen) is installed on the pen door. Following the quick installation of this device, we will reconnect the camera and then allow the chicks time to settle before powering the actuator to open the door. Although we cannot guarantee the exact time when this will happen, it will likely occur at some point between 8:30-9:30am. Once the pen door is open, the chicks will be free to leave the pen at their leisure.
Unlike in previous years where viewers needed to wait until the evening blog post to find out more about the day’s events, we will instead be posting regular updates throughout the day to keep viewers more informed as to the on-the-ground action. Be on the lookout for the creation of a post, just like this one on the main page, which we will regularly add notable updates to as the day progresses!
Internet service to the Falcon Cam provided courtesy of Comcast Business.
The DWR Falcon Cam follows the breeding season of a peregrine falcon pair that nests in downtown Richmond, Virginia. The nest box is located atop the Riverfront Plaza building. If you’re in the area, look up! You may catch a glimpse of the famous birds! We hope each year that the pair will once again choose to nest at this site, so that our camera may provide an educational experience for all to enjoy.