The Center for Conservation Biology in Williamsburg, Virginia closely monitors Virginia’s peregrine falcons — so closely, in fact, that they identify individual nesting birds. CCB may not know the origin of every adult peregrine (some arrive unbanded) but their goal is to know who’s who at every site.
Now that the 2018 nesting season is over, CCB analyzed their identification data and discovered an anomaly in Virginia. Not only did they see the highest turnover rate of any year to date, but three times as many female peregrines were replaced as males.
Only 10.5% of males were lost compared to 35.0% of females. … [This] ongoing trend is opposite of the pattern of survival documented within the peregrine population breeding within the Midwest.Female Peregrines Under Pressure, Center for Conservation Biology newsletter, 2 Oct 2018
The female peregrine pictured above, Hope (black/green 69/Z), hatched at Hopewell, Virginia in 2008. She now nests at the Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning, far away from her Virginia birthplace. She chose a territory where female survival is higher than where she was born.
Read more about Virginia’s peregrine turnover rate in this CCB article, Female Peregrines Under Pressure.
(photo of Hope at the Cathedral of Learning, 27 May 2016, by Peter Bell)