On June 1st VDGIF biologists attached leg bands to three falcon chicks nesting on a high-rise in downtown Richmond, VA. The bands will allow the birds to be visually identified and tracked once they leave the nest.
Peregrine falcons are a threatened species in Virginia, where only 21 nesting pairs have been confirmed. Peregrine falcons historically nested in the mountains of western Virginia, but have increasingly adapted to living in cities, and nesting on the tops of tall buildings and bridges.
Falcons can fly at extremely fast speeds when hunting—up to 200 mph, and they prey on other birds. This video is narrated by VDGIF biologist Stephen Living, and shows the chicks being collected, banded, and returned to special pen that will safely hold the birds until they are ready to fly.
The brooms the biologists use are to deter the defensive parents from making contact as they swoop down to protect their chicks.