Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park has the longest hacking history of any site in Virginia. The first hacking phase took place between 1989 and 1993. These efforts were rewarded when the first peregrine pair documented in Virginia's mountains since recovery efforts began was confirmed at the Park's Little Stony Man Mountain in 1992. In 1993, a probable pair was documented in the Stony Man area. The first successful nesting occurred in 1994, when 2 chicks fledged from the Stony Man nest. This pair fledged young again in 1996 and 1997, but spring storms caused egg washouts in 1995 and 1998. The pair failed again in 1999, and no nesting attempt was reported in 2000 or 2001. Hacking (this time with peregrine chicks from at-risk Virginia coastal bridge nests) was re-established in 2000 and has continued on an annual basis since then. This second phase of hacking is credited for the establishment of a pair of falcons in 2005, which fledged one chick from their Stony Man nest. In 2006 the nest was washed out by a storm, but the pair successfully fledged young chicks that were fostered to the site from the Benjamin Harrison Bridge. The pair attempted to breed twice more in 2007, but their eggs were predated by a raccoon. Although 2008 saw no breeding activity at the Park, observations led staff to suspect that a new pair was forming. In 2009 the pair was confirmed, along with young birds that they had fledged. The pair's nest was located on Old Rag in 2010, but was subsequently washed out by a storm in late May. Extensive monitoring by NPS staff and volunteers has been a critical component in documenting the status of breeding falcons at Shenandoah National Park. It will continue to accompany hacking efforts at the Park into the foreseeable future.