Three nests at Acadia National Park produced eight peregrine falcon chicks in 2018, making for a successful year for the state-endangered birds despite the unusual failure of a nest at the Precipice.
According to Bruce Connery, the park’s wildlife biologist, four peregrine falcon chicks fledged at Valley Cove over Somes Sound; two at Jordan Cliffs and two on Ironbound Island. The nest at Jordan Cliffs is a nice story because park leaders in late May had initially feared that a nest there had also failed.
In an email, Connery wrote that a visitor in early June reported the nest at Jordan Cliffs and added that “we are thrilled as we were able to band both chicks.”
The park reopened the popular Precipice Trail and a section of the Orange & Black Path on July 13, according to a park press release, which is earlier than usual.
The Precipice Trail, which goes up the east face of Champlain Mountain, is usually closed from late March or early April until late July or early August each year because of nesting peregrine falcons, but a nest failed this year at the Precipice.
Connery said in a press release that it is not uncommon for falcon pairs to fail to nest in some years. He noted that this year was only the second time in 27 years that a pair has failed to nest successfully at the Precipice. In addition, Beech Cliff above Echo Lake did not yield any falcon chicks this year or for the past several years and Connery has said he does not know the reasons for that.