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 Post subject: About the Richmond Falcons
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:36 am
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Location: Mechanicsville, VA
In 2000, Dominion Power proposed hacking falcons from the roof of their building. In partnership with Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) and The Center of Conservation Biology at The College of William and Mary (CCB), they acquired 5 falcons from captive breeders in Idaho and California when they were 4 weeks old. A hack box was installed on top of the 22 story building, and the five falcons (4 males and 1 female) were placed in the box. Within a few days of fledging, all 5 falcons were spotted.
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The current Richmond pair include one of the males hacked in 2000. His bands are V/S (black/red). The female is not banded.


The Richmond pair got together in 2002. They nested on a balcony nest on the 17th floor of the BB&T building from 2003 to 2005. This building is across the street from the Dominion Building, and is also their favorite perch during the winter. There was no ledge area for the fledglings to practice flying. The first year, 3 chicks hatched. Fledging was difficult from this building. In 2004 they had a clutch of 4 eggs. Only one survived after fledging. There is no info on the 2005 nest. In 2004 and 2005 the biologists started "penning" the young falcons to prevent premature fledging. The falcons were moved to the roof of the building where the pen was located.
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In 2006, the pair moved to an existing nest box installed on top of the Riverfront Towers. This building is on the same block as the prior two buildings, but located directly on the James River.
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By April 19, 2006 all four chicks had hatched.
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A pen was installed during banding to prevent premature fledging.


In 2007 the pair attempted to nest on the Lee Bridge over the James River, a few blocks below the Riverfront Tower. There is no nest box installed on this bridge, and the eggs eventually fell through and the nest failed. The pair re-nested late in the season on the Riverfront tower.
Four chicks hatched in 2007, 3 females and 1 male.
Their band IDs:
Z/49- female
60/Z- female
61/Z- female
X/27- male
The male and one female were hacked to Breaks Interstate Park in West Virginia as a part of the program to reestablish Virginia falcons to their historic nesting locations in the mountains.


In 2008 the pair nested in the Riverfront Tower nest box. This nest failed during hatch. The remains were analyzed to determine a cause, and high concentrations of lead were found.


In 2009, the pair attempted to nest again on the BB&T building and the Bank of America building, both a block away from the current nest box. These attempts failed, and the pair returned late to the current next box. They laid 4 eggs, three of which have hatched.
These 3 chicks were banded in July:
Male USFWS Band #1126-11828 - Aux. Band 19/AB - Weight:627 grams
Female USFWS Band #1807-65007 - Aux. Band 02/AD - Weight: 848 grams
Female USFWS Band #1807-65008 - Aux. Band 03/AD - Weight: 883grams

In 2010, the pair laid four eggs at the Riverfront Tower nest. Three of the four eggs hatched.
3 chicks were banded 6/1/10:
Band # 1807-65017, Auxiliary band 12/AD - Weight 910 grams, Female
Band # 1126-11844, Auxiliary band 10/AS - Weight 670 grams, Male
Band #1126-11845, Auxiliary Band 11/AS - Weight 600 grams, Male
In 2011, the male banded 10/AS was found dead in Harrisburg PA.

In 2011, the pair laid four eggs at the Riverfront Tower nest. Three of the four chicks died at hatch. The fourth, a male, survived to fledge but then ran into a building on his first fledge attempt and died.

In 2012, the pair laid three eggs at the Riverfront Tower nest. All 3, a male and 2 females, fledged successfully. The male died later when he hit a local building

In 2013, the pair laid five eggs on a rocky ledge at the Dominion Building. All five eggs in the clutch failed prior to hatch in mid-April. The pair laid another clutch at the Riverfront Tower nest in early/mid May. In mid-June, 2 chicks hatched successfully and 2 chicks failed at hatch. In 2 weeks, before the chicks were mobile, they suddenly disappeared from the cam view. DGIF went to the roof and found the body of one of the nestlings.

In 2014, the pair had laid 3 eggs at the Riverfront Tower nest and started incubating the last week of March.
Two females hatched and fledged. One female banded with yellow tape ran into a building after fledging and ended up at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. She lost one of her eyes and was non-releasable. She is now an educational falcon at the Wildlife Center and was named Maggie. A children's book was written about her in 2016.

In 2015, the pair laid 4 eggs at the Riverfront Tower nest. One egg hatched and fledged successfully. He was banded 1126-11921 (green USGS federal band) and 99/AS (black over green auxiliary band).

In 2016, the pair laid 4 eggs but none hatched successfully.

DGIF reports on 2 Richmond born falcons breeding in other areas "A male who fledged from Richmond in 2003 is part of a pair that successfully fledged a single chick this year in Baltimore read more. A female that hatched in Richmond in 2006 and was hacked (released) from Shenadoah National Park has nested under a bridge in Lancaster County, PA since at least 2009."


The webcam installed at the Richmond nestbox was originally purchased by VDGIF for and installed at the Norfolk Botanical Garden Bald Eagle nest, along with the remaining NBG Eagle Nest Cam. The Richmond nestcam was moved to the Richmond Peregrine Falcon nest when they saw an opportunity to provide constituents with a close-up video view of an urban falcon nestbox, and in recognition that the second camera at the NBG wasn't necessary to provide great coverage of that site.

Overhead of the nesting area~compliments of RichmondMike!!

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 Post subject: Re: About the Richmond Falcons
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:36 am
Posts: 5710
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
DGIF has added a very complete Q&A on the Richmond falcons, and falcons in general here:



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