Virginia.gov

New River Gorge National River, WV

Hacking of falcons from Virginia and other northeastern states was begun in 2006 at the New River Gorge in West Virginia. This effort on the part of NPS, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and Three Rivers Avian Center led directly to the establishment of a breeding pair at the Gorge in 2009. The pair consisted of an unbanded female and of a male originating from New Jersey which was hacked at the Gorge in 2007. Although the falcons produced 1 or 2 chicks, the brood unfortunately failed. The pair was also present in 2010, but no breeding was documented.

An earlier hacking effort at multiple West Virginia sites between 1987 and 1990 had resulted in occupancy of the Gorge by a falcon pair in 1991, although these birds were not documented to breed. Peregrines were sighted within the Gorge again the following year, but no territorial pairs were documented.

In 2007 hacked juvenile falcons at the Gorge were fitted with satellite transmitters and are being tracked by CCB. One of these birds went on to breed at a quarry at Harpers Ferry in West Virginia in 2010. Hacking at the Gorge will likely continue into the future.