Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘peregrine falcon’

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey “2014 Annual Report” Released

Friday, March 27th, 2015

CWF Releases its First Annual Report Ever Using a Story Map Format: “2014 Annual Report

By David Wheeler, Executive Director

Technology has proven to be vital to Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s work protecting rare wildlife species over the years. Our biologists depend greatly on modern technologies to band, track, and share online the journeys of wildlife. Our webcams broadcast the most intimate behaviors of nesting birds and bats across the web. And we seek out ever-evolving communications technologies to spread the word about the inspiring stories of wildlife, from social media and infographs to e-books and Story Maps. These technologies offer newfound abilities to share complex data on multiple levels, while still incorporating the awe-inspiring photography and videos that bring wildlife’s stories to life.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey is excited to offer our 2014 Annual Report in a unique format that utilizes one of those technologies – Story Maps. In the past year, we have explored the wonders of American oystercatchers with our first Story Map – and now the annual report allows all of our projects to be highlighted in this interactive format.

A screen capture of one of the pages of the CWF 2014 Annual Report Story Map.

A screen capture of one of the pages of the CWF 2014 Annual Report Story Map.

Visit the multiple pages within this Story Map to learn about Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s many projects and partnerships in 2014, and the imperiled wildlife species in need of our help. Find examples of the innovative and dedicated leadership of our biologists and volunteers. And take an online journey across the state to learn how our projects made a difference in all corners of New Jersey in 2014 – a great year for wildlife in the Garden State!


 

Photos from the Field: Peregrine Falcon Nestbox Installation in Trenton

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
Meeting our goals…we can only hope!

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

In 1993-94 six young peregrine falcons were released at 20 West State Street (Mary G. Roebling Building) in Trenton to help bolster the population of urban nesting falcons in the area. Currently the closest nest is 20 miles away at the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge (where they also have a camera at the nest). Twenty years later and we may finally get some nesting falcons in Trenton! It all started when Jean Bickal, a worker in the building, noticed a falcon that often perched on the building ledges. From there Kathy Clark, a Zoologist with New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife made a site visit and took measurements to see if we could fit a nestbox (dog igloo) out a window on the 10th floor, which also had a roof on it. It appeared one would fit so we setup a date to install the new nestbox.

 

Cities and urban areas actually provide suitable habitat for falcons. Urban areas usually have lots of ledges under bridges or on buildings for them to nest, and abundant prey, in the form of pigeons and other songbirds. In New Jersey we have three other pairs that nest on buildings in Jersey City, Elizabeth, and Atlantic City, plus pairs that nest on the Tacony-Palmyra, Walt Whitman, Betsy Ross, and Burlington-Bristol Bridges.

 

On February 5th we helped install a new nestbox on top of a roof at 20 W. State St. We’re hoping that the falcon seen that day will find a mate and use the nestbox to raise young. Fingers crossed that we get some good news soon!

 

Learn more:

First, we had to fit this "Dog Igloo" out the window. © Jean Bickal

After getting all our gear up to the 10th floor, we first had to fit this “Dog Igloo” out the window…  © Jean Bickal

When we got here a female peregrine falcon was perched on the ledge of the 10th floor roof! © Jean Bickal

We spotted this beautiful young female peregrine falcon on the ledge! © Jean Bickal

 © Jean Bickal

After fitting the nestbox through the window we carried it over to where it would be installed, all as the falcon watched us! © Jean Bickal

Kathy Clark, ENSP Zoologist determines the best location for the nestbox while the adult female peregrine falcon watches us.  © Jean Bickal

Kathy Clark, ENSP Zoologist determines the best location for the nestbox. We moved slowly to not spook the falcon. © Jean Bickal

What a beauty! © Jean Bickal

What a beauty! © Jean Bickal

Ben and Kathy discuss mounting and placement options. © Jean Bickal

Ben and Kathy discuss mounting and placement options. © Jean Bickal

Ben attaches the base of the igloo to some wood to weigh it down. © Jean Bickal

Ben attaches the base of the igloo to some wood to weigh it down. © Jean Bickal

Then gravel is added.  © Jean Bickal

Then gravel is added. © Jean Bickal

The top is installed and Ben mounts it to the base. © Jean Bickal

The top is installed and Ben mounts it to the base. © Jean Bickal

Can never have too much gravel! © Jean Bickal

Can never have too much gravel! © Jean Bickal

While installing the box she perched on a nearby roof top. © Jean Bickal

While installing the box she perched on a nearby roof top. © Jean Bickal

The finished product! © Jean Bickal

The finished product! © Jean Bickal

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

Giving Thanks!

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
Don DeRogatis volunteered to help us safely climb a 130' water tower at Bayside State Prison this summer. His reward was holding this nestling peregrine falcon, which will one day be flying at speeds upwards of 200mph! Thanks, Don!! © Ben Wurst

Don DeRogatis volunteered to help us safely climb a 130′ water tower at Bayside State Prison this summer. He was rewarded by holding this peregrine falcon nestling as we banded it for future tracking. Being able to say to you held the world’s fastest bird is definitely something to brag about! Thanks, Don!! © Ben Wurst

The success of Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ to manage and protect our rare wildlife depends greatly on our dedicated volunteers. Our volunteers construct and maintain osprey nesting platforms, perform road patrols to reduce terrapin road kills, count bats, install fencing to protect beach nesting birds, protect beaches for critically endangered shorebirds, and help amphibians cross roads safely on rainy nights. They also dedicate much time to watching bald eagle nests with the Bald Eagle Project. This past year they spent an amazing 3,500 hours monitoring eagle nests throughout the state of New Jersey!!  We wouldn’t be able to work with as many different species and accomplish all that we do without help from these dedicated volunteers. We’d also like to thank all of our members and donors for helping us complete our mission of “Keeping New Jersey’s Wildlife in our Future.”

From all of the staff at CWF, we hope you have a great Thanksgiving and a happy holiday season!

Jersey City Magazine spotlights Falcon Cam!

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

 

Peregrine falcon by Bonnie Talluto

Nesting female peregrine at 101 Hudson St. © Bonnie Talluto

Jersey City Magazine and the Hudson Reporter spotlight CWF’s beloved Falcon Cam in this month’s issue. The webcam, on the roof of  101 Hudson Street in downtown Jersey City, boasts countless dedicated viewers who just can’t stop watching!

Donations needed for Falcon Project!

Monday, May 5th, 2014
New cart needed to carry remote, motion activated camera to nests

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Each spring we work with NJ Fish & Wildlife Biologists to deploy a remote, motion activated camera at coastal peregrine falcon nests. The camera is set at the entrance to nestboxes or Dog Igloos to capture video of the adults as they enter and exit the nestbox when they are incubating eggs. As the pair exchanges incubation duties they go in and out, past the small camera. Most adults where leg bands (that they were given before fledging): one USGS band (silver or black:NJ, and one auxiliary color band with an alpha/numeric code). The data that’s collected helps biologist to keep track of the population and also allows us to find out the age of adults, their origin, nest site fidelity, and turnover rates.

To carry this wonderful camera to nest sites we use a small cart (made by Wheeleez, Inc.) transport it over the saltmarsh environment. Why is the Wheeleez cart important? Well, the cart has huge tires with low ground pressure. This helps us to leave a small footprint on our coastal saltmarshes. It glides easily over spartina covered marshes and fits perfectly over extension ladders that we use to cross small ditches on our way out to falcons nests that are on old hacking towers. There are around 10 towers where we deploy this camera and the cart is crucial to this project!

The current cart is over 10 years old and is falling apart. It’s wheels fall off and now it’s being held together with cable ties… We could carry it by hand, but there’s a heavy battery inside the Pelican Case that houses the camera system. We also carry a 16 or 20′ ladder to access nests, which are on 30-40′ towers. Carrying both by oneself would be extremely difficult, especially considering we sometimes walk long distances to a nest (and often cross many ditches). We’re asking for your support to help us purchase a new cart. We need to raise $300 within the next 14-21 days.