With Land Conservation Comes Peregrine Falcons

peregrine falcon, wildlife habitat, cliffs

Have you seen a bird sky-diving at over 200 miles per hour around the Lake? Knocking out their prey mid-flight? You might now. The distinctive “Kak kak kak” of the Peregrine Falcon can now be heard louder than ever on Lake Champlain and their spectacular divebombing flights are on the increase.

Extremely rare not too long ago, Peregrine Falcons are now coming back in increasing numbers to repopulate their once larger territory. These shy birds need quiet places to nest on undeveloped cliffs. In 2011, three pairs of Peregrine Falcons nested at three different Lake Champlain Land Trust natural areas—finding the perfect spot to raise their young.

The two northern pairs raised at least two chicks in each nest. The parents will likely come back to the same cliffs year after year, hopefully producing critical additions to the Champlain Valley’s population.

The Lake Champlain Land Trust has been working with landowners and communities to conserve the habitat and lakeshore around Lake Champlain, which provides important nesting areas for many birds, including falcons.

Your conservation efforts have given these incredible birds another chance of survival here in the Champlain Valley. As one of the first animals protected by the Endangered Species Act when the now-illegal pesticide DDT caused their eggs to break, Peregrine Falcons disappeared from Vermont altogether until captive breeding programs reintroduced them in the 1980s. Thanks to the efforts of many, including Vermont Peregrine Falcon recovery expert Margaret Fowle, populations in Vermont have been on the rise.

“I’d say that peregrines are out of the woods in terms of extinction, but they still need some help to continue to thrive. Vermont ‘s peregrine population may continue to expand to new cliffs, but protection from human disturbance during the breeding season is key to the species’ success. Because of the land trust and the community we are having Lake Champlain successes,” said Audubon Vermont’s Ms. Fowle.

By continuing to protect habitat around Lake Champlain, we help ensure that many peregrine parents will have the opportunity to live in our lakeshore natural areas with their young. Thanks to you, our Vermont heritage now includes winged lakeshore residents who were almost extinct.

If you donate right now, you can help us protect even more peregrine habitat and help speed its recovery on Lake Champlain.