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Someone emailed me recently asking about the state of the Peregrine banding project. I've been involved in working with Audubon biologist Chris Martin for the past 5 or 6 years. It's been a great opportunity to see these birds up close and personal and to give something back to the outdoors that I love so much. I really have appreciated the opportunity to work with him and observe the banding process.
In my opinion Chris Martin and New Hampshire Audubon have done marvelous work in helping to document and preserve these wonderful birds. There are many volunteers in the outdoor community who aid in this process, including a number of climbers who help him get to the nests in quite remote and often dangerous locations every year. As many of us do, it is something that I look forward to doing every season.
Below is a summary of the results from the 2007 Breeding Season that Chris just sent to me. I hope you find it as interesting and informative as I did.
The 2007 peregrine falcon breeding season in New Hampshire was a record-setter in several respects. The state’s peregrine breeding population continues to increase slowly, with 2 more historical sites (Peaked Mtn in Piermont and Ragged Mtn in Andover) newly occupied by pairs in 2007. Successful breeding for the first time was documented at recently-occupied Bear Mtn in Hebron. In 2007, NH had 18 territories occupied by at least one resident falcon, surpassing the previous post-DDT state record high mark set in 2006, and 18 sites with territorial pairs also set a new record high. NH Audubon conducts this project under contract with NH Fish & Game.
The 12 successful nests documented in 2007 also set a new state high, surpassing the mark of 10 successful nests documented in 2000, 2001, and 2003. A total of 24 young fledged in 2007 (state record high is 27 fledglings in 2002), but 5 nest attempts failed and 5 additional nests produced only 1 fledgling this year, resulting in an average productivity of only 1.41 young fledged/active nest. Of the 5 designated NH sites which are monitored triennially (2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015) with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) national post-delisting peregrine falcon monitoring protocol, 60% (3 of 5) were productive in 2007.
NH biologists and cooperators banded a total of 10 nestling peregrine falcons at 5 of the state’s 12 productive falcon nests in 2007. Banding in NH was conducted at one site by USFWS biologist Michael Amaral, and at 4 sites by NH Audubon biologist Chris Martin as a designated sub-permittee on a federal banding permit issued to Amaral. A total of 6 unhatched peregrine eggs were recovered from 3 NH sites in 2007, and all samples were delivered to the USFWS New England Field Office in Concord, NH.
Efforts to determine the banded status of resident peregrines at NH breeding sites in 2007 yielded the following results. Of 36 individuals (18 pairs), banded status was confirmed for 22 (61%) and unconfirmed for 14 (39%). Of the 22 individuals where banded status was known, 13 (59%) were unbanded, 8 (36%) were color-banded, and 1 (5%) was banded in an undetermined way on at least one leg. Positive individual IDs were made on 5 (63%) of the 8 color-banded individuals. These included a HY2000 male from NH that is mated to a HY2005 female from MA, a HY2002 female from NH for whom we have both breeding and over-wintering location data, a HY1997 female from CT, and a HY2003 female from CT. To date, a total of 55 of 284 (19%) peregrine fledglings originally color-banded at nest sites in NH have been re-sighted (alive or dead) in subsequent years.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective April 17, 2015
I know, I know there are some folks who will say that this or that climb is still IN, but believe me there really is no safe ice in the lower elevation now, so the rating has been dropped to a 1. This indicates that the only ice is in the higher terrain now. And in fact, other than climbs that have some significant part of them in the shade, like Pinnacle, everything else should be considered suspect. That said the skiing is supposedly amazing right now so grab it while you can. Starting next week we will move fully into rock season and will switch to BugCON ratings.
Cathedral Ledge, Bartlett, NH failed w/o evidence of incubation
Eagle Cliff, Franconia, NH failed w/o evidence of hatch
Frankenstein Harts Loc, NH failed w/o confirmation of hatch
Owls Head, Benton, NH 4 fledglings, not banded
Painted Walls, Albany, NH 6/22/2007 1 fledgling, not banded
Rattlesnake Mtn, Rumney, NH 6/25/2007 Female Male
Square Ledge Albany, NH 1 fledgling, not banded
Bolt Chopper Pleads Guilty (from AAC E-News):
In mid-July, notorious bolt chopper Ken Nichols pled guilty to violating a no-trespass order, the result of charges filed against him after he removed bolts from a climb at Farley Ledge in western Massachusetts in April. Nichols had been served with six trespass notices in June 2005, prohibiting him from visiting Farley Ledge or Mormon Hollow, two popular crags managed in part by the Western Massachusetts Climbers' Coalition. Conditions of Nichols' plea agreement included two years' probation, a $250 fine, an order preventing him from visiting five western Massachusetts crags, and, most importantly, an order prohibiting him from chopping or damaging any bolts or hangers on any climbing route. Nichols, a veteran rock climber from Connecticut, has been removing bolts from climbs in the Northeast for nearly two decades. Read more at www.stopken.org.
Rumney Gathering & Fundraiser:
The first annual Rumney Climber's Association fundraiser is Aug 18th in the AM. I will be setting up shop Rumney Parking Lot around 8 and run till people are fed. Rain date is Saturday the 25th. Donations are suggested w/ all proceeds going to the RCA anchor and bolt replacement fund. We hope people bring friends and appitite to feed on some organic blueberry pancakes.
AMC/AAC August Gathering 2007:
The AMC and the American Alpine Club are co-sponsoring a gathering in August. Everyone is welcome! Great climbing opportunities abound! Beautiful bolts at Rumney; tranquil trad in Franconia; true alpine on Cannon; exploration at Owl's Head. Catered dinner for those who respond to Eric or Bill before the 23rd. Cost is $15.00/person (est. max.) Otherwise: BYOB!
Fri.-Sun., August 24-26, 2007
WMNF Campground, Campton, NH
Camping fee: $5.00/person/weekend
Group site "B" for 40 reserved
Rain or shine (bring tarps to keep the beer dry)
(Drop in; no need to sign-up for camping)
Must reserve with Eric Engberg or Bill Atkinson for catered dinner:
Bill Atkinson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Engberg: email@example.com
There are very few bugs out there. A few mosquitoes & some deer flies are all I'm seeing. "A little dab will do ya" will be just fine as far as the bug dope.
Mobile Version Of NEClimbs:
Up on one of the Mount Washington Valley's finest crags and want to know what that climb you're looking at is? Or maybe you're on your way up from Boston and want to check out the Ice Report for your upcoming weekend plans. Or more likely, you're at work just want to daydream about your next adventure. Well if you have a smart phone handy, you can get to NEClimbs from anywhere you have cell service. While it doesn't offer every single feature of the site and it's not an "app", in mobile form, it does do a whole lot and is very useful. Here is the live link to the mobile version of NEClimbs:
Check it out and if you have issues on your specific phone, please feel free to let me know.
NEClimbs & White Mountain Report On Facebook:
Join us and LIKE us on Facebook. I'll try and post some interesting pix every Thursday and the latest Ice Report in the season, tho certainly not the whole Report. Here's where you can check it out:
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
In 1961 I led this chimney in a state of metabolic uproar. At the base of the pitch I smoked several cigarettes (the first and last ones of my life). This was to calm me. Then I spooned half a jar of honey. This was to ensure superhuman strength. Mort Hempel, my partner, watched this silly ritual with mouth agape and eyes exploding with fear.