Conserve Wildlife Blog

THREE SUCCESSFUL FLEDGES MARK THE END OF FRIGHTENING 2019 FALCON CAM SEASON IN JERSEY CITY

July 31st, 2019

The breeding season started off well enough for the peregrine family that star on our Falcon Cam in Jersey City this year. Four eggs were laid, three sisters hatched, were banded and were growing up high atop the skyscraper at 101 Hudson Street. Thousands of viewers enjoyed seeing them flapping and jumping, strengthening their flight muscles for their first flight to fledge from the nest.

Three Jersey City sisters in mid-June.

Then, on Father’s Day, a crew of window washers entered the 41st floor roof where the eyrie (falcon nest) and young were located. Viewers of the livestream saw and heard the adults in defense mode and then noticed that two pre-fledgling age young were missing. The young were almost six weeks old and very close to fledging, so any kind of human disturbance would cause them to leave the ledge to escape the human threat. One nestling (BM/18) remained on the rooftop ledge and viewers noticed water being sprayed at her.

The next day, one young falcon, BM/17, was found and taken to The Raptor Trust, where she recovered well and was returned to the nest on June 25th. She and her sister BM/18 were clearly overjoyed to be reunited. Check out video of the heartwarming reunion on our friend Northside Jim’s blog.

BM/17 making her way back to the nestbox area of the roof.

While the falcons’ fans were thrilled and relieved at BM/17’s return, BM/13 gave us all quite a scare. It was almost two weeks before she was located and rescued. When she was found it was clear from her condition that fortunately her parents knew where she was and had continued to feed her.

After she was located, BM/13 was also taken to The Raptor Trust for rehabilitation, where they helped heal an injury to her beak. After some expert care from the Trust, Kathy Clark from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife was able to return BM/13 to the nest on July 12.

NJFW Biologist Kathy Clark keeps an eye on the sky for BM/13’s parents as she returns the young falcon to the nest.

While we were all glued to the cam hoping for, then celebrating, a good outcome for all three chicks, New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officers were hard at work making sure the window washing company was held accountable for violating the NJ Endangered Species Conservation Act. The company was cited and paid a substantial fine. The money from the fine has been earmarked for the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and will be put to work helping our state’s wildlife and the habitats they depend on.

So, after a dramatic summer, all three of the falcon sisters were reunited and Falcon Cam viewers were able to watch them take to the skies. The season came to an official end on July 31st when the cam was shut down until next year.

As Bonnie Coe, CWF volunteer, and falcon super fan, wrote on the Jersey City cam interaction page “Goodbye, beautiful view of the falcons, Jersey City, and Manhattan. All in all, in was a Miracle Season for the Jersey DreamGirls. I have fingers crossed that they will be reported elsewhere as they wander far and wide.”

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