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Posted In: Birding

‘Fledge Watch 2017’ is on for RVA’s Peregrine Falcons

Andy Thompson

June 28, 2017 10:00am

Just because the action is winding down at the RVA Osprey Cam, doesn’t mean there’s no bird cam action in Richmond right now. In fact, over at the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries peregrine falcon cam, the excitement is building for Fledge Watch 2017.

A screen shot of the DGIF’s peregrine falcon cam atop the Riverfront Plaza downtown.

The DGIF Falcon cam follows the breeding season of a Peregrine Falcon pair that nests in downtown Richmond atop the Riverfront Plaza building. This year there are two chicks, and the 2017 Falcon Fledge Watch has been scheduled for Thursday, July 6th.  The DGIF will remotely open the pen door, by activating the mechanical device previously installed on the pen, sometime between 9:30 and 10 a.m. allowing the young falcons to exit the pen and take their first flight when they are ready. As in past years, DGIF personnel and volunteers will be present at several vantage points in downtown Richmond to monitor the birds and ensure that their first day on the wing goes well and without incident.  A second day of monitoring may take place on Friday, July 7th.

Falcon Cam observers may have noticed that the chicks, now nearly six weeks old, are really beginning to look like young falcons. Their brown and buff juvenile plumage has grown in, almost entirely, with only a few scattered traces of down remaining and they’ve developed the distinctive falcon facial markings. They’ve also been seen occasionally exercising their wings in preparation for their first flights.

Click here to check out Richmond’s only pair of peregrine falcons and watch the big event next week.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?