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CHESAPEAKE -- A falcon chick has been rescued from the High Rise Bridge in Chesapeake and there are more in potential danger.

VDOT had a barge at the site Thursday, and one of the chicks was perched on a crane that was going to be used to rescue four Peregrine falcons.

Research biologist Shawn Padget with the College of William and Mary slowly made a move to recover the juvenile and was able to safety get the bird off the crane.

Experts say the falcon is just 41-days-old and was not quite ready to fly, so he eventually ended up in the water. That is the problem with all the falcon nests in Hampton Roads that are on bridges: the new birds are always in danger of drowning.

'The reason we're here today, Joe, is we're trying to save these chicks from what you just saw and that's going in the water and drowning,' explained Padget. 'We got here and the bird was on this barge. If this barge hadn't been here, that bird would have already been in the water.'

Padget then went up in a bucket to rescue another chick perched high atop the bridge. Meanwhile, the mother falcon was making herself known by screaming at the intruders.

'Peregrine Falcons are off limits. You can't touch them. If you were to find one in the water, your best bet would be to rescue it first and then call the game department,' Padget added.

A second chick flew to some scaffolding. Padget plans to come back Friday to try and rescue it.

The falcon that was rescued will be taken to the Shenandoah Valley Friday and released into the wild. Experts believe the bird will do well there and will be flying in no time.


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