Outdoor Updates: Falcons abandon Blue Ridge Parkway nests

Peregrine falcons abandon Blue Ridge Parkway cliff nests

Peregrine falcons form lifetime bonds and use the same cliff face nest sites year after year to raise their young. Cliffs along the Blue Ridge Parkway have long been used as nest sites by peregrine falcons, including favorite nesting sites at Devil’s Courthouse, located at milepost 422 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. But scientists recently announced that the falcons have abandoned the Devil’s Courthouse nesting sites. Though the cause is unknown, biologists said they believe it’s because of increased human activities at the site, especially people who are leaving marked trails and climbing over safety walls. “This intrusion has likely caused the birds to abandon their nests,” the park announced on their Facebook page. Peregrine falcons nested at Devil’s Courthouse from 2000 to 2007 producing 14 young birds that fledged. Since then, only one fledgling was produced in 2016. Peregrine falcons are listed as a threatened species in North Carolina.

N.C. bill would expand “free market” for electric vehicle charging stations

A new bill introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly last week would allow electric vehicle charging stations to resell kilowatt-hours originally purchased from an electric utility. Right now, charging stations buy electricity from the utility by the kilowatt-hour but sell the electricity in time increments. Because every electric vehicle consumes electricity at a different rate, an electric vehicle that charges more quickly will pay less than one that charges more slowly for the same amount of electricity delivered. Proponents of the bill say it will help charging stations make a profit, therefore spurring more charging stations around the state, and that additional charging stations will encouraging more North Carolinians to buy electric vehicles. North Carolina’s vehicle market is about half of the national average, with one plug-in vehicle for every 1,000 residents. The state has 565 public charging stations.

The Bureau of Land Management will pay you $1K to adopt a wild horse

Looking for a new pet? The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will pay people $1,000 to adopt one of the more than the 80,000 wild horses and burros living across the West. Wild horses damage rangeland and often starve when their populations are high. The BLM captures the animals and puts them in corrals, adopting out some of the less feral ones. But most of the corrals are now at capacity and adoption numbers are down, while the number of feral animals out on the range continues to increase. The agency hopes the $1000 incentive will encourage more people to adopt.