It’s A Boy!
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) biologists successfully banded the falcon chick today and identified it as a male, weighing in at 625 grams (approximately 1 1/3 pounds). His band numbers are 1126-11921 (green USGS federal band) and 99/AS (black over green auxiliary band). The chick was judged to be in good health during the banding. The biologists also nearly captured the adult female in hopes of banding her as well; although they briefly had her in their net as she perched on top of the Falcon Cam stand, she ducked down and out of the net in the one spot where it was unable to touch the ground.
While the chick was being banded, a second team of VDGIF biologists assembled the pen outside of the nest box and filled it with the same type of gravel substrate as that inside the nest box. The pen functions as a tool to prevent the chick from fledging prematurely, an incident which has occurred at this nest site in the past. A wooden plank was strapped to the top of the pen in order to provide shade for the chick when he explores the area outside of the nest box. The mechanical device strapped to the front of the pen will eventually be used to remotely open the pen door when it comes time for the chick to fledge.