BAR HARBOR — The National Park Service says it is reopening three cliffs and their associated trails to public entry soon following a closure to protect peregrine falcons.

The park service closed the areas, which include Precipice, Valley Cove, and Jordan cliffs, in March to protect the falcons from disturbances while they were nesting. The service says the protection resulted in the fledging of five chicks this year compared to 11 last year.

The areas will reopen to the public on Thursday.

In Acadia, the falcons nest on ledges and in small caves high on the cliff walls. They lay their eggs in “scrapes” — shallow indentations that they scratch out with their talons in soft earth on the floor of their nests.

The peregrine falcon is the world’s fastest animal. It can reach speeds over 200 mph when performing the “stoop,”  which involves soaring to a great height and then diving steeply, hitting one wing of its prey so as not to harm itself on impact.

The service says the closure of cliffs and trails during nesting season has helped with the fledging of more than 125 chicks from Acadia cliffs over the last 20 years. They became endangered in the middle of the 20th century and have since recovered.

Read more on birding in Acadia



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