In 2006, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service, The Plateau Action Network, and Three Rivers Avian Center teamed up for a 5 year effort to bring the Peregrine Falcon back to the Gorge. A total of 15 birds were released over the Summer and volunteers monitored the birds as they developed their flight skills up and down the Gorge. Over the next 4 years, many more will be released.

In the Fall the birds migrated away and we all are anxious to see how many return this Spring. Because of their high velocity lifestyle, Peregrines have a very high mortality rate for the first 3 years of their lives. Capable of attaining speeds of 260 miles an hour, they are the fasted creatures on planet Earth. Their aggressive and acrobatic flying style makes them a natural spectacle of the first order. It will be good to see them flying free here in the Gorge once again.

This series of photos illustrates the 2006 introduction of Peregrines to the hack site in the New River Gorge National Park 
Once out at the site, we had to transfer the chicks from the carrier to the hack box, which was a  bit nerve wracking  as there can be no slip-ups out on the edge of the cliff either with the birds or people. Baby Peregrines may be small, but they are high strung and loud.

Into the box they go.
Below, Wendy Perrone drops food down the tube into the hack box. The idea is to not allow the chicks to see who is feeding them and thus avoid psychologically imprinting the birds on humans.
The Peregrine have arrived and are about to be transported out to the hack box on the cliff by WV DNR's Jack Wallace and Alisha Morey of TRAC. It was a sweaty twenty minute walk out to the cliff and we all took turns with the transport carrier.  
A New Home
Here Jack gets an earfull from one of the chicks.

Below From left to right:
Craig Stihler (WV DNR), Jack Wallace (WV DNR), Ron Perrone (TRAC), Greg Phillips (NPS), Matt Varner (NPS), Alisha Morey (TRAC), Wendy Perrone (TRAC), Lauri Sprague (NPS).