Conserve Wildlife Blog

Jersey City Falcon Cam Alumni Update: 79/AN “Ivy”

November 30th, 2015

Jersey Girl settles in Toronto, Canada

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

79/AN "Ivy" continues in Canada. Photo by Charmaine Anderson taken in Toronto, Ontario.

79/AN “Ivy” continues in Canada. Photo by Charmaine Anderson taken in Toronto, Ontario.

The above photo could be of any peregrine falcon from the continental United States. But, with the use of auxiliary “field readable” leg bands (NJ falcons where a black federal band on their right leg and a bi-color [green-black] band on their left leg) we know that this is 79/AN, a one year old falcon with roots in Jersey City, New Jersey. She originated at a nest atop 101 Hudson St., where an online camera has broadcast the live stream since the early 2000’s. If you watched her grow up then you know that she came from a special breed of falcons: absolute fearless and truly dedicated ones. I know I’ll never forget banding her…it was quite the memorable experience.

But she was the last of their kind. Ivy’s adopted parents at Jersey City were replaced with new adults in the winter of 2014-15 and their nest site was taken over by new adults. Today, the bands on her legs allow us and others the ability to properly identify her in the field. Without the bands that she wears, we would not know anything about the bird in this photo. Instead we know that 79/AN or “Ivy” as she’s been named has been hanging around several existing nest sites in Toronto. These nest sites are dominated by older (and now infertile) adult females. Could Ivy be setting the stage for a nest takeover of her own?

Only time will tell… She’s been seen there for several months now (after being re-captured in September), and it does seem like she has no reason to leave, with an aging population of breeding falcons, plentiful prey (like pigeons, doves and blackbirds), and plenty of rooftops, it sounds great for young falcons like 79/AN!

This also goes to show that banding young falcons in New Jersey is a critical tool for biologists to be able to learn a lot about them, including their age, mortality rate, breeding success, migration patterns, turnover rates, and more. We’re excited for future updates from the Canadian Peregrine Foundation, who monitor these majestic birds in Canada. The Jersey City Falcon Cam will be re-activated in mid-February.

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