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Vermont hikers can return to trails near falcon nests Aug. 1

July 27, 2021 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Hikers and rock climbers can return to Vermont trails and cliffs Aug. 1 because the peregrine falcon nesting season is over, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

Biologists and volunteers monitored peregrine pairs that occupied at least 52 Vermont cliffs in early spring and summer this year, said Vermont Audubon biologist Margaret Fowle.

Every spring, hiking trails and rock climbing routes near nests are closed while the peregrines raise their young. All the young peregrines are now flying and they wouldn’t be disturbed by human presence on the cliffs.

Vermont bird biologist Doug Morin said nesting data suggests the peregrines had a successful year. A final report will be issued later this year.

“The falcon’s nesting success is due to a combination of factors, including good weather and cooperation from hikers and rock climbers who observe a respectful distance from nesting falcons during this critical period,” Morin said.

Peregrine falcons were removed from the state’s Threatened and Endangered Species List in 2005 after decades of efforts to restore a breeding population of the birds in Vermont.