Peregrine Cliffs are Reopened to Climbing and Hiking

A recent release from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department announces the end of the peregrine breeding season

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department's press release below announces the opening of cliffs, trails and overlooks that were closed during the Peregrine Falcon breeding season. Audubon Vermont coordinated monitoring efforts throughout the state. More than 50 community scientists contributed to the effort to monitor at least 46 occupied cliffs. Below are the preliminary results from the 2023 breeding season:

2023 Preliminary Results Summary (all counts minimum):

Total Sites Monitored: 46

Territorial Pairs (no nesting): 3

Nesting Pairs: 39

Successful Pairs: 27

Failed Nests: 12

Fledglings: 52

Unknown Nesting Status: 4

Peregrine Falcon on Territory in Vermont Photo: Shirley Zundell


Press Release

For Immediate Release:  August 7, 2023

Media Contacts:

Jillian Kilborn, VT Fish & Wildlife 802-636-7918

Margaret Fowle, Audubon Vermont 802-238-0046

Peregrine Falcon Nesting Season Complete

Cliffs Clear to Hike and Climb Again

Hikers and rock climbers can return to Vermont cliffs now that peregrine falcon nesting season has ended.  The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has confirmed that all the young falcons have learned to fly and should not be disturbed by human presence on the cliffs.

“The young peregrines have fledged, and nesting data suggest many of Vermont’s falcons had a successful year,” said Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s nongame bird biologist Jillian Kilborn.  “The falcon’s nesting success is due to a combination of factors, including good weather early in the nesting season and cooperation from hikers and rock climbers who observe a respectful distance from nesting falcons during this critical period.  Peregrine nesting success would not be possible without more than 50 volunteers who monitor the nest sites statewide from March to the end of July.” 

According to Audubon biologist Margaret Fowle, who coordinates the monitoring effort on behalf of the Fish and Wildlife Department, biologists and volunteers monitored peregrine pairs that occupied at least 50 Vermont cliffs in early spring and summer. 

“We greatly appreciate the time and effort volunteers put into monitoring the population this year, and we thank landowners and recreationists for their cooperation in protecting nesting peregrines from human disturbance,” said Fowle.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife and Audubon Vermont partner to monitor and protect peregrine nesting sites in Vermont.  Peregrine falcons were removed from the state’s Threatened and Endangered Species List in 2005.  Ongoing cooperation from recreationists and continued monitoring efforts by Vermont Fish and Wildlife and Audubon Vermont will help ensure the peregrine’s remarkable recovery in future years.

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