Congratulations to Shirley Zundell for winning the July 2018 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month. The image of an adult Peregrine Falcon in its eyrie with two chicks was the most popular photo-observation. Shirley snapped the image from a distance as she completed a nest monitoring survey.
Last year, Peregrine Falcons successfully raised at least 63 young birds, according to Audubon Vermont who monitors nesting Peregrine Falcons in partnership with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. This is similar to nesting success from previous years, though down slightly from a record high in 2016. You can view a map on Vermont eBird of Peregrine Falcon sightings from this summer and add your own.
Peregrine Falcons declined in the 20th century nationwide due to loss of habitat, disturbance to nests, and the effects of the pesticide DDT. Laws such as the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and a ban on DDT have aided in the recovery of these birds. In 2005, Peregrine Falcons were removed from Vermont’s state endangered species list following years of conservation effort.
Visit iNaturalist Vermont, and you can vote for the winner this month by clicking ‘fav’ on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!