With an assist from hikers, it was a good year for peregrine falcons in Vermont

More than 50 pairs of peregrine falcons occupied Vermont cliffs in early spring and summer, producing more than 60 fledglings. (C.P. Merrill/Vermont Fish & Wildlife)

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont Fish & Wildlife has reopened the cliffs closed to hiking and access earlier this spring to protect nesting peregrine falcons.

“The young peregrines have fledged, and nesting data suggest Vermont falcons had a good year,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s migratory bird biologist John Buck. “A final report will be issued later this year.

“Peregrine nesting success is partly due to cooperation from hikers and rock climbers who observe a respectful distance from nesting falcons during this critical period. This success would not be possible without the more than 40 volunteers who monitor nest sites statewide from March to the end of July.”

According to Audubon biologist Margaret Fowle, who coordinates the monitoring effort on behalf of the Fish & Wildlife Department, biologists and volunteers monitored more than 50 peregrine pairs that occupied Vermont cliffs in early spring and summer, and more than 60 fledglings were produced.

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