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Posts Tagged ‘Jersey City Falcon Cam’

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

Monday, 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.

Jersey City Falcon ruffles some Canadian feathers!

Friday, September 18th, 2015
79/AN or “Ivy” thriving in Toronto

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager


Look at that plumage! A beautiful two year old female peregrine falcon. Photo courtesy Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station.

Look at that plumage! A beautiful two year old female peregrine falcon. Photo courtesy Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station.

I’ll never forget banding this particular eyas. Here’s a flashback entry of Nestbox News after the banding:


“The banding day when as smooth as it could. I found I would be all alone with banding there the evening before (Kathy was too engulfed in budgeting to join me). So, for the first time I would be banding at JC (Jersey City) all alone. I have banded young falcons before, so I wasn’t worried. If you know me, I like a good challenge! Six guests joined me to watch at 101 Hudson St. and our Executive Director, David Wheeler would be joining us to help. However, things changed rapidly.. Shortly after arriving I got a call from David that he had vehicles issues while only 1 mile away! He was stuck and could not abandon his car, which was a rental…bummer! I was all on my own now. For safety reasons, I was the only person allowed on the roof to grab the eyas. Easy, right? I thought so… I had all my gear: helmet, umbrella, gloves, box. Check. I headed out onto the roof to grab the eyas. As soon as I opened the door the adult female came diving down from the upper parapet to drive me off. We use an umbrella to ward her off. Since Kathy had the usual umbrella, I brought my wife’s. When I had to grab the eyas I needed two hands, so with no helper (to hold the umbrella) I sat it down on the edge of the nestbox and on my helmet. I quickly load the eyas in the box. I hear the female swoop down towards my head. The umbrella is gone! She took my wife’s umbrella and flew off with it! I bring the eyas inside, examined her (determined its a female) and band her legs for future tracking. All in all, everything went well considering the circumstances. I never found the umbrella…” —Fast forward to this past March… I got the umbrella back!! Building engineers at 101 Hudson St. found my wife’s umbrella on a ledge of the building.


Ivy to other sites

Map of nest sites and the banding station.

After an uneventful season for all of us Falcon Cam viewers this year we need some positive news… Well, last week 79/AN or “Ivy” was re-captured at a banding station outside of Toronto, Canada. She has also caused quite a news storm up there! After she was captured Tracy Simpson, Raptor Centre and Education Coordinator with the Canadian Peregrine Foundation started to piece together the puzzle…


“We were talking about her last night and thinking, “Oh yeah, remember that sub (adult) that showed up at that one nest a few times…  …and don’t forget that other incident downtown. Could that have been Ivy?”  So she is suspect number one in several incursion incidents around the southern province all along the lakeshore area.” said Tracy. Apparently Ivy is working her way into the local peregrine falcon scene, which looks to be pretty active up there.


Sporting her bands. Photo courtesy Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station.

Sporting her bands. Photo courtesy Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station.

Ivy was caught in a mist net at a hawk watch/banding station, called the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station. She was described as a “cracking female Peregrine falcon” who was already banded. They assumed she was a Toronto hatched falcon but after being caught they reported the bands to USGS and found out that she’s a Jersey City girl! Here’s a link to their post on Facebook with more photos.


Tracy informed me that they have some volunteers who are watching her interaction with the local resident pairs. She also said that Ivy “stands a real chance at finding a home here in Toronto.” We’re happy to know that 79/AN is alive and well in Canada. Hopefully we’ll get some more news on her in the future, all because she was banded!






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Ben Wurst is the Habitat Program Manager for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.