- Associated Press - Sunday, July 31, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife will be opening hiking trails that were closed earlier this year to protect the nesting sites of peregrine falcons.

The trails will be reopened Aug. 1.

Migratory bird biologist John Buck says the young peregrines have left the nest. He says nesting data suggests the peregrines had a good year, but a final report will be issued later.

Buck says the falcon’s nesting success is due to the combination of good weather and the cooperation from hikers and rock climbers who observe a respectful distance from nesting falcons.

Audubon Society biologist Margaret Fowle, who coordinates monitoring for Fish and Wildlife, says biologists and volunteers monitored 49 peregrine pairs that occupied Vermont cliffs this season.

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