Update on Yellow
On Friday, June 17th, after the conclusion of Fledge Watch, one of our biologists was contacted by a local wildlife rehabilitator regarding a juvenile peregrine falcon that was grounded in downtown Richmond. The rehabilitator had been contacted by staff at the Canal Walk’s Casa Del Barco restaurant (just a few blocks from the nest box location) and had identified the bird as Yellow from the Richmond brood.
Upon arriving on site, the DWR biologist was able to retrieve Yellow, who made no attempt to flee, from the hood of an SUV. Although the bird seemed alert and there were no obvious external injuries, the lack of a flight response, coupled with the fact that the bird had also become grounded on fledge day, prompted staff to transport her to the Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV) for further evaluation.
WCV vets found Yellow to be in good clinical condition, and she was able to achieve lift and symmetrical flight when tossed during a flight test, indicating that she is physically able to fly. However, she refused to fly from the ground on her own. Despite this, the WCV feels the flight behaviors they were able to observe warrant her release.
After careful evaluation of release options, DWR biologists feel that it is in Yellow’s best interest to be hacked at Shenandoah National Park (SNP). If the bird is released in Richmond she runs the risk of once more landing at ground level, which could lead to her being struck by a vehicle. Furthermore, at SNP she will receive monitoring beyond what would be feasible for DWR staff in Richmond. Yellow will be transported to the hack site on June 23 and kept in a hack box, where she will receive regular meals for 48 hours prior to her release. Once the hack box is opened, she will be free to roam the landscape at will. Hack site attendants will monitor her daily during the following weeks and continue to make meals available to her as she hones her hunting skills.
We hope that by releasing Yellow at SNP, she will ultimately contribute to the re-establishment of a breeding population of peregrines in their historic mountain range in Virginia.
As a reminder, the camera stream will be turned off tomorrow 6/24/22 until the spring of 2023 for a new season.