Hikers and rock climbers can return to Vermont cliffs starting Aug. 1 now that peregrine falcon nesting season has ended.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has confirmed that all the young falcons have learned to fly and will not be disturbed by human presence on the cliffs.
“The young peregrines have fledged, and nesting data suggest Vermont falcons had a very successful year. A final report will be issued later this year,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s migratory bird biologist John Buck. That success is due to a combination of good weather and cooperation from hikers and rock climbers who kept their distance from nesting falcons during this time. Additionally, more than 50 volunteers monitored the nest sites statewide from March until recently.
Audubon Vermont biologist Margaret Fowle coordinated the effort and said biologists and volunteers monitored peregrine pairs on approximately 57 Vermont cliffs this season.
“We greatly appreciate the time and effort volunteers put into monitoring the population this year, and we thank landowners and recreationists for their cooperation in protecting nesting peregrines from human disturbance,” she said.
Peregrine falcons were removed from the state’s Threatened and Endangered Species List in 2005.