Peregrine Falcon Watch in Acadia

A volunteer helps point out a Peregrine falcon nest with the help of a long lens and TV.
Viewing an active peregrine falcon nest from The Precipice Trailhead parking lot.

NPS/AYTT

With the help of a high-powered lens and a television, volunteers can point out the peregrine falcon nest high on the cliffs on The Precipice.

Peregrine text

For centuries, peregrine falcons hunted the skies of the world, displaying their impressive in-flight hunting tactics. By the mid-1960s, researchers determined that peregrines were no longer a breeding species in the eastern United States. Nest robbing, trapping, and shooting first contributed to their downfall, followed in the 1950s by ingestion of chemical pesticides and industrial pollutants.

Peregrines nested on Mount Desert Island at least as long ago as 1936. The last known nesting pair was reported in 1956. From 1987 to 1990 adult peregrines returned to Acadia, but did not produce young.

The first successful nesting at Acadia in 35 years occurred in 1991. Since that time, at least one and sometimes four pairs have produced young in the park. We monitor these nesting sites, including one on The Precipice. Come join a volunteer during nesting season to catch a glimpse of these amazing birds!

 

A baby peregrine falcon is being held by two scientists as they attach a band to its leg.
A baby peregrine falcon is being held by two scientists as they attach a band to its leg for identification.

NPS/Todd Edgar

Baby peregrines can often be heard screeching and crying from their nests high above.

Last updated: April 8, 2015