DGIF biologists accessed the ledge yesterday to remove the pen. The pen was initially installed to keep the young birds from leaving the ledge before capable of flight. Following the successful fledging of the falcons - it was decided to leave the pen in place to allow the adults to become acclimated to it during the post-fledging period. Our hope is that allowing the adult falcons as much time as possible to become accustomed to the pen will reduce any stress that it's installation during the breeding season might cause.
Given the history of early fledging attempts with this pair, and the young male chick's fall from the ledge this summer - it is likely that we will continue to employ the pen to ensure the safety of the chicks.
The adult falcons are not being seen as regularly in the downtown Richmond area over the last several weeks. This is not unusual for this pair, which although non-migratory does seem to expand their area of operation during the non-breeding season.