Raptor release trifecta
The Wildlife Center of Virginia is busy today and tomorrow, accomplishing something it has never done before: releasing the raptor big three–a peregrine falcon, golden eagle and bald eagle that had been rescued and rehabilitated. Center President Ed Clark released the falcon, rescued in Virginia Beach in January, today in Hampton. That was at 11:30 at the Grandview Nature Preserve, according to a press release. Peregrines are native to Virginia, though they were nearly wiped out by the early 1970s by pesticides and pollution. The center, based in Waynesboro, says that there are now about 20 breeding pairs, thanks to a reintroduction program that began in 1978. I got a close-up look at a peregrine chick a few years back when biologists with the Center for Wildlife Biology at the College of William and Mary checked a nest box high up a smokestack at Dominion power’s Possum Point Power Station in Dumfries. The golden eagle was released at noon at Wintergreen Resort. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries biologists injured the bird during a research operation in Page County in February. Golden eagles, the center says, are uncommon visitors to Virginia’s mountains during the winter months. On
Thursday, Clark will release the bald eagle at the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge near Warsaw, at 11 a.m. The immature bird was found on its back near a road in King George County in May.