- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia supported 31 breeding pairs of peregrine falcons during the 2016 breeding season, a record high.

The birds were largely concentrated along the coast, according to a new report from the Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary.

Virginia’s population of breeding peregrine falcons dropped because of the use of pesticides and had a pre-DDT population of 25 breeding pairs. Reintroduction efforts began in the late 1970s.

The falcons’ improved viability in Virginia coincides with other increases in large birds. Virginia’s bald eagle population is thriving at levels not likely seen since before the United States was a country.

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