Hide and Seek
Over the winter DGIF biologists accessed the ledge to perform maintenance on the Falcon Cam and to fashion a new fledge pen for the upcoming nesting season. This work was completed in December and we continued to see both adult falcons in the area and frequenting the nest ledge atop the Riverfront Plaza.
As the breeding season drew closer we expected to see more and more frequent visits to the nest box as the adults prepared for breeding. Although we continued to see them around Downtown we were not seeing them in and around the nest box. In past years the pair has occasionally waited until just before they were ready to lay eggs before appearing at the box so we continued to watch and wait.
Reports from observers downtown indicated that the birds were becoming very active. DGIF biologists manning the camera noticed the female regularly perched on a vertical opening along the top of the Southeastern face of the One James River Plaza building (the Dominion Building). The female was noted using the same opening on a number of occasions over a period of weeks and finally today we watched her walk into the opening and remain there for well over two hours. This seemed to be a strong indication that the birds had found a new nest site. DGIF contacted personnel at the building and they investigated confirming that the birds were indeed nesting here…and had three eggs!
Photo courtesy of Stu Hanckel
The pair is using an nest box first erected when peregrine falcons were released from the roof of the Dominion building from 2000 through 2002. Although falcons have been breeding in downtown Richmond since 2003 they have never used this box…until this year. For more details about the Richmond falcons please go here DGIF is coordinating with building personnel and will continue to monitor this pair and their breeding progress. We do not know at this point if we will be able to place a camera to follow them We will to post updates as we learn more.