A mid-January climb on Knoblock Mountain in New York saw three climbers thaw out and release a peregrine falcon.
When Tom Klein, Andy Gilpin and Ben Kurdt met in Keene, New York, for Mountainfest in January 2018, they thought they'd just be enjoying the mountain and doing some climbing.
Little did they know they'd come across a frozen peregrine falcon in need of their help.
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation posted a wonderful video on their Facebook page of the men carefully handling and releasing the beautiful raptor.
Tom Klein (camera man), Andy Gilpin and Ben Kurdt found an un-banded peregrine at Knoblock Mountain in Keene, NY during Mountainfest in mid-January. Ice on its wings and tail, likely a result of rain during a thaw followed by a quick drop in temperatures, prevented the bird from flying. The climbers helped to thaw out and dry the feathers allowing the falcon to easily fly away when released. It is likely the falcon would not have survived without the assistance of the climbers.The Peregrine Falcon, a listed an endangered species in New York, nests on cliffs in the Adirondacks – many of which are popular rock climbing cliffs. During the breeding and nesting season cliffs known to have nesting peregrine falcons in the recent past are closed to climbing until it is confirmed they have chosen a nest site. Cliffs without a nesting pair are reopened to climbing. Cliffs with nesting pairs remain partially or fully closed until the young have fledged (left the nest).As demonstrated in the video, the climbing community are great supporters of protecting the falcons during nesting season and throughout the year. Climbers volunteer to observe potential nesting cliffs to identify nest sites, help identify climbing routes to close, monitor nest sites and report the status of their efforts to breed and raise young. Climbers also report sightings and encounters with peregrine falcons at unmonitored locations and respect closed routes and cliffs by climbing elsewhere until they are reopened. DEC thanks the climbing community for their ongoing support and proactive stewardship of our lands year-round. Their efforts play a big role in the success of DEC’s Peregrine Falcon Management Program and the increase numbers of falcons in the Adirondacks. The DEC relies on community partnerships and local support to help protect and care for our wildlife, lands, and environment. For more information on the Peregrine Falcon; http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/56121.html
Posted by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation on Thursday, January 25, 2018
The DEC site said the bird had ice on its body, which likely came from rain during a thaw followed by a plummet in temperatures.
Mountaineers in New York are well aware of the rules following climbs in some areas of the state. During breeding season, some popular climbing sites are closed until young birds have fledged, due to the fact falcons regularly use the cliffs.
We'd like to give a big thanks to these three men and the NYSDEC for sharing this great video!