Peregrine FalconsBiologists extend closure of climbing wall
The eggs have hatched, but the chicks won’t be leaving home on Deception Crag Wall until July 9, keeping it off limits to climbers about a week longer than first announced
Biologists discovered the nesting peregrine falcons in April, and have been monitoring them since. “We first sighted the wee little ones May 27,” said Chris Anderson, Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist. He said the birds are a bit late developing.
Egg incubation takes about 30-plus days and after hatching about six weeks before they abandon the nest or fledge. In the meantime, state and federal agencies will keep the climbing rock closed.
State parks report up to 200 people attempt to climb the wall on weekends. The area is a combination of State Parks and U.S Forest Service management and both agencies are working with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to protect the peregrine falcon nest.
The birds are on Forest Service land accessed through Iron Horse Trail State Park and near Olallie State Park. The peregrine is designated a sensitive species and requires the Forest Service to protect its breeding habitat.
Peregrines have dark gray or black plumage on back and wings, and a black mark on the face resembling a mustache. The name “peregrine” means wanderer. The birds that nest in Alaska and northern Canada and winter in South America may migrate as much as 15,500 miles in a year.