State capitals with nesting bald eagles? Richmond and…

Great tidbits from the Richmond Times-Disaptch’s Andy Thompson in a recent column about wild birds, nature and our beloved James River:

Juneau, Alaska and Richmond are the only state capitals with a nesting pair of bald eagles within the city limits….Richmond is the only Virginia city with a nesting pair of peregrine falcons.

There is much more touting of our great urban nature preserve:

“It’s a true testament to the efficacy of our conservation and environmental protection laws [that the James is as clean as it is],” said Ed Clark founder of the Wildlife Center. “Clearly there’s much more work to be done, and you don’t reverse 200 years of pollution with 30 years of environmental consciousness, but it is remarkable how quickly some areas of the ecosystem have bounced back. The James River is a perfect example.”

It’s not just falcons and eagles. Every spring for five years now, great blue herons have set up a rookery on an island in the James in the shadows of downtown. It’s quite a sight to see dozens of herons busying themselves with nest making while cars whiz by on the Manchester Bridge.

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