The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) was believed to be extinct as a breeding species in Virginia by the mid-1960s. Intensive management efforts since the late 1970s have resulted in a known breeding population that has now exceeded 20 pairs. However, most known breeding pairs currently nest on artificial structures and reproductive performance continues to be erratic. The primary objective of this program is to continue to monitor population trends and to improve reproductive performance through active management. The ultimate goal of the program is to recover a population that is self-sustaining. The Virginia breeding population supported 26 known pairs during the 2013 breeding season. Since 1982, the population has exhibited a steady recovery with an average doubling time of 5.4 years. Fifty-six nesting structures were surveyed for Peregrine Falcon activity during the 2013 breeding season. Occupied nesting structures included 10 peregrine towers, 1 ground nest, 1 bridge, 1 navigation tower, and 2 fishing shacks on the Delmarva Peninsula; 6 bridges, 1 power plant stack, and 1 high-rise building in the coastal plain; and 3 natural cliff sites in the mountains. Twenty-six falcon pairs made breeding attempts producing 91 eggs and 50 chicks known to have survived to banding age. The reproductive rate was 2.0 chicks/occupied territory and 2.0 chicks/active territory. Nine falcons representing 18% of the chicks produced in the state were translocated from the coast to the mountains during the 2013 breeding season. This included 8 females and 1 male. All translocated chicks originated on bridges that have a history of poor fledging success. Birds collected from bridge territories were transported to Hogback Mountain in Shenandoah National Park and released in a hacking program.
Abundance/Distribution; Breeding/Demography/Population Dynamics
The Center for Conservation Biology Technical Report Series, CCBTR-13-07. College of William and Mary & Virginia Commonwealth University, Williamsburg, VA.
Mojica, E.K., B.D. Watts, and S.M. Padgett. 2013. Virginia Peregrine Falcon monitoring and management program: Year 2013 report. The Center for Conservation Biology Technical Report Series, CCBTR-13-07. College of William and Mary & Virginia Commonwealth University, Williamsburg, VA. 17 pp.