2022 PEREGRINE WATCH SEASON UPDATE
After extensive research into Peregrine falcon conservation efforts nationwide, this year the Preserve adopted a responsive management approach to our cliff closures, with a broader closure at the beginning of the breeding season to optimize successful nest site selection.
Through our Peregrine Watch, we have confirmed nesting activity in the Trapps. As a result, we are revising our temporary climbing and bouldering closures as follows:
- Climbing – No climbing between and including Laughing Man (5.11) and Bullfrog (5.12)
- Bouldering – No bouldering on the 50 Yard Line boulder.
Signage about the closures has been posted at the Trapps Cliff. Please note that this year the Preserve will not be implementing climbing closures at Millbrook Ridge or Bonticou Crag. Peregrine Watch volunteers and staff will continue to monitor Peregrine falcon nest sites at all three cliffs.
As a reminder, Peregrine nesting season may possibly run through late summer. As the season progresses, we will share our latest observations and updates on this webpage.
Thank you for your support of our conservation mission as we work together to enable a successful breeding season and help ensure the continued recovery of these remarkable raptors.
May 27, 2022 – Great news! We have confirmed the presence of Peregrine falcon chicks on the ridge! This is a crucial milestone in our efforts to protect the endangered falcons. It is important to continue to respect the falcons’ space and adhere to Mohonk Preserve’s climbing and bouldering closures. Thank you to the staff, volunteers, and community members that have aided in making observations and contributing to the success of our responsive management closure approach.
April 19, 2022 – The Peregrine falcons are currently in their incubation phase. Incubation includes sitting on the clutch of eggs so as to hatch them by the warmth of the body and is done mostly by the female, with the male bringing the female food. The pair at the Trapps has been showing territorial behavior including chasing off Turkey vultures that have come to close to their eyrie. The male peregrine has been seen standing sentry at various perches around the eyrie.
March 18, 2022 – Observation reports to date indicate that an eyrie has been selected for breeding this year at Millbrook by a territorial pair of Peregrine falcons. Staff and volunteers will continue to monitor at Millbrook and report on their activity.
Monitoring is still occurring at the Trapps and Bonticou cliffs and we expect to make a determination of the eyrie selections at these locations in the coming weeks.
March 3, 2022 – Peregrine Watch volunteers and Mohonk Preserve staff have been monitoring the cliffs for signs of Peregrine activity. The falcons have been seen on the Trapps consistently and will likely be honing in on an eyrie location in the next few weeks. Millbrook and Bonticou observers have noted the presence of Peregrines there as well. This is an exciting time of year when the falcons are assessing the best location to create their nest and lay their eggs.
Feb. 23, 2022 – The 2022 Peregrine Watch Volunteer Orientation occurred on 2/17/2022 with almost 50 people in attendance! Volunteers learned about the program structure, requirements, and how their monitoring efforts will help to protect the endangered species. Mohonk Preserve Rangers are also receiving training this year and will aid in having eyes on the cliffs. Trainings on Peregrine falcon identification and behavior will be occurring over the next few weeks. Thank you to all who attended!
Feb. 11, 2022 – We received the following report of an early Peregrine sighting from our Ranger team. On January 31 at approximately 3:30 PM, Chief Ranger/Director of Visitor Experience Andrew Bajardi and Deputy Chief Ranger Dan Cassidy witnessed territorial Peregrine falcon behavior at the Trapps. While at the southern temporary closure boundary, they noticed a Peregrine chasing off a Bald eagle. The interaction began in very close proximity to a legacy eyrie (nest) and continued about a quarter mile before the Peregrine turned back. They were squawking a good deal, and the eagle was trying its hardest to leave the area quickly. It is unusual to see the Peregrines out this early and indicates that these falcons are active in the Trapps.
Banner Photo by Tom Sarro