Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘2013’

Month of the Falcon – Part III

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
History of the Jersey City Falcon nest

 by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Peregrine nestlings in the nestbox at 101 Hudson St.

Peregrine nestlings as viewed from the nest cam at 101 Hudson St.

We hope you’re enjoying the “Month of the Falcon” series! The summary below was created to tell the story of a peregrine nest (also referred to as an eyrie) at 101 Hudson St. in Jersey City where a live webcam broadcast the live view of the nest during the nesting season. It’s important to remember that we would not know any of this without the use of the camera to monitor the nest. The summary was written using posts to Nestbox News and from banding and re-sighting data from Kathy Clark, Supervisory Zoologist with the Endangered and Nongame Species Program.

1999

A pair of peregrines were first spotted by observant building managers at 101 Hudson St. more than 10 years ago. They often caught glimpses of peregrines streaking through the sky, in pursuit of prey, with the NYC skyline in the background. They knew what they were witnessing was rare and wanted to help. They contacted biologists with the Endangered and Nongame Species Program and a plan was made to help establish a nesting pair there. In 1999 there were only 15 known pairs of peregrine falcons in the state. (more…)

Month of the Falcon – Part II

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
PEREGRINE FALCONS…BUILT FOR SPEED

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Peregrines are now common residents of NJ's coast. Photo by Northside Jim.

Peregrines are now common residents of NJ’s coast. Photo by Northside Jim.

It’s hard to believe now, but peregrine falcons were once extirpated from their nesting grounds in the Eastern United States. They were federally listed as endangered in 1969 (prior to the passage of the Endangered Species Act of 1973) under the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969.

Shortly thereafter a reintroduction project began. New Jersey was one of the first places were wild nesting occurred.

Today more than 25 pairs of peregrines nest in New Jersey and their reproduction here remains strong. However, biologists remain concerned of their long term recovery since they have some of the highest loads of DDE and mercury (Clark et al. 2009). (more…)

Save the Jersey City Falcon Cam!!

Monday, December 30th, 2013
Tiercel peregrine falcon at Jersey City. © Kathy Clark/ENSP

Tiercel peregrine falcon at Jersey City. © Kathy Clark/ENSP

Since 2000, a pair of state endangered peregrine falcons have nested on a building in Jersey City, New Jersey. Peregrine falcons are drawn to urban areas since there are high levels of prey (pigeons) and suitable areas to nest (building ledges and outcrops). To follow along with their daily life cycle a webcam was first installed in 2001. Since then it has broadcast their success and struggles over the years to reproduce and help bolster the population in the state.

Peregrines have made a remarkable recovery in New Jersey since their reintroduction in the 1970s, and the Falcon Cam has allowed us to help raise awareness for their conservation. This past year we learned that the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, who hosted the camera since it’s installation, no longer has funding to maintain the webcam. Over the next month we’ll be fundraising to help keep the webcam online! At the same time we’ll also be featuring a weekly series “The Month of the Falcon” with insight from biologists and awesome photos of peregrines from New Jersey.

Duke Farms 2009 Eagle Chick All Grown Up

Monday, December 9th, 2013
Jersey banded bird re-sighted in Maryland

by Larissa Smith, Wildlife Biologist/Volunteer Coordinator

NJ banded eagle at Conowingo Dam, MD © Kevin Smith

NJ banded eagle at Conowingo Dam, MD © Kevin Smith

The Duke Farms eagle camera was put in place in 2008. Since then it has had quite a following of people interested in seeing the pair raise their young. After the young birds leave the nest it is unknown what happens to them. The mortality rate for first year eagles is fairly high since they are just learning how to fly and hunt on their own.  So it was quite exciting when on December 1, 2013 Kevin Smith photographed a NJ banded bird at Conowingo Dam, Maryland. He was able to zoom in close enough to view the green band which read C96. This bird had been banded on May 18, 2009 at Duke Farms. He was the oldest of three males raised by the pair in 2009 while being watched by eagle cam viewers. Below is a photo of the three chicks in the nest following the banding. The largest bird on the right is C96.  Now at 4 1/2 years old he is almost a mature adult but still has just a slight amount of brown in his tail feathers (photo on left).

Conowingo Dam is a popular spot for eagles this time of year due to the abundance of fish. Kevin noted that the eagles were catching smaller fish than usual and eating them on the fly. The photo below on the right shows C96 moving the fish from his talons to his bill. Kevin reports that he (C96) would then circle back around looking for more fish and got his share of food that day. It is good to know that C96 has survived and is healthy.

  • The Duke Farms eagle cam is up and the pair is getting the nest ready for the 2014 nesting season.

 

NJ banded eagle at Conowingo Dam, MD © Kevin Smith

NJ banded eagle at Conowingo Dam, MD © Kevin Smith

Duke Farms eagle nest at banding May 18, 2009 © Mick Valent

Duke Farms eagle nest at banding May 18, 2009 © Mick Valent

Piping plover sister school project

Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Dispatch from Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, The Bahamas
Sister School students of Amy Robert Primary School

Sister School students of Amy Roberts Primary School, Abaco, The Bahamas, working hard on their Piping Plover Unit!

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ continues to be extremely excited about our sister school project which links a school on Green Turtle Cay in Abaco, The Bahamas and one in Ocean City, New Jersey, USA through piping plover conservation. We particularly like how it is shaping up to be a multi-disciplinary educational initiative. Below is a report we received last week from Jan Russell, the project teacher from the Amy Roberts Primary School on Green Turtle Cay:

Today was the first official in-class activity to start the Joint Piping Plover Unit.  On Monday the students were placed in groups based upon their strengths and identified cooperation skills. The first activity included a review of the Power Point presentation presented by Todd Pover and Stephanie Egger of CWFNJ when they visited us on November 5, 2013.  As each slide was presented, each group recorded a comment or question on a large sheet of poster paper.  The comments and questions will be used to develop our research direction and our final product choices. (more…)

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