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 Post subject: History of Cobb Island Falcons
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:29 am 
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Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Cobb Island is historically significant as the site of the first peregrine release in Virginia. As a part of the national reintroduction effort, 250 falcons were hacked in Virginia between 1978 and 1993. In the initial stages of the reintroduction, the geographic focus was the coastal areas of Virginia. The area has abundant prey and is isolated, with minimal human disturbance. It was believed that the peregrines would eventually repopulate historic nests in the Mountains. Between 1978 and 1985, 115 chicks were hacked in Virginia coastal areas. The chicks came primarily from falconers . 40 chicks were released at Cobb Island, and 38 successfully fledged. The first successful breeding pair in 20 years occurred north of Cobb Island at Assateague Island in 1982. Other pairs began to form at the hack towers and bridges along the coast of Virginia in the late 1980's. In 1985, the hack program shifted focus to the mountains to reestablish the historic nesting locations of falcons in Virginia. (See Virginia falcon map for current active nesting pairs).

Cobb Island has been a very productive source of peregrine chicks since the 1980's. The island is currently owned by the Nature Conservancy and is a barrier island off the Virginia eastern shore. The area is remote and beautiful.

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