Protecting peregrine falcons in Vermont, unveiling all-things-birds Facebook page in Michigan

Outdoor recreation types can help nesting peregrine falcons by avoiding 12 Vermont cliff areas this year. (Photo by Steven Faccio, Vermont Center for Ecostudies)

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Several cliff areas are currently closed to protect nesting peregrine falcons, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department .

“Peregrine nesting is well underway this spring,” said John Buck, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department biologist. “The falcons are very sensitive to human presence so we ask climbers and hikers to please maintain a respectful distance from all nests. These closures help people to choose an alternative route in advance.”

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department partners with Audubon Vermont to monitor the sites throughout the nesting season.  These sites will remain closed until Aug. 1 or until the department determines the risk to nesting falcons has passed. Additional sites may be added to the closed list if nesting falcons choose new sites.

  • Barnet Roadcut (Barnet) – Rte 5 pullout closed.
  • Bolton Notch “Upper Upper West” (Bolton) – cliff closed to climbing.
  • Bone Mt (Bolton) – areas of cliff closed to climbing.
  • Deer Leap (Bristol) – cliff-top closed.
  • Eagle Ledge (Vershire) – cliff closed.
  • Fairlee Palisades (Fairlee) – cliff-top closed.
  • Hazens Notch (Lowell) – cliff closed to climbing.
  • Marshfield Mountain (Marshfield) – areas closed to climbing.
  • Mt Horrid (Brandon) – Great Cliff overlook closed.
  • Nichols Ledge (Woodbury) – cliff-top closed.
  • Rattlesnake Point (Salisbury) – cliff-top closed.
  • Snake Mountain (Addison) – area south of pond at top is closed.

“The areas closed include the portions of the cliffs where the birds are nesting and the trails leading to the cliff tops or overlooks,” said Buck. “In many cases the lower portions of the trails are still open, and we encourage people to get out with good binoculars or a scope to enjoy watching the birds from a distance. We will update the closure list as more nesting data are reported.”

Last year saw a record nesting season for Vermont’s peregrine falcons, with more than 79 young birds successfully growing up and leaving the nest. “The peregrine’s recovery is a great success story,” said Margaret Fowle, Audubon Vermont Conservation Biologist. “The population continues to do well thanks to the efforts of our many volunteers and partners.”

And in Michigan, several conservation organizations in Michigan have partnered to elevate the importance of birds, public lands and bird conservation. As part of the partnership, Audubon Great Lakes has launched the MI Birds Facebook page – a one-stop shop for everything birds in the Great Lakes State.

MI Birds is the product of a cooperative partnership between Audubon Great Lakes, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Audubon, Detroit Audubon, Pheasants Forever, the Ruffed Grouse Society, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, the Kalamazoo Nature Center and the Michigan Natural Features Inventory.

 

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