MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says hiking trails near peregrine falcon nesting sites on cliffs across the state have been reopened.
That's because the young falcons that were hatched and raised in the nests are now flying.
Audubon biologist Margaret Fowle says 41 peregrine pairs were spotted on cliffs this spring, 37 pairs nested, and 27 pairs successfully produced an estimated 50 young.
Fowle says two new nesting sites were discovered this year suggesting additional falcon pairs are selecting territories.
About 40 volunteers helped monitor the nests.
Peregrine falcons were once wiped out in Vermont by pesticides that made eggs brittle, but restoration efforts brought the birds back. They were removed from the state's threatened and endangered species list in 2005.
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