Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘raptor’

A Young Eagle Gets A Little Help

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

by: Larissa Smith, Biologist

This is a story that shows how individuals and groups work together to help eagles in New Jersey. On May 23rd wildlife rehabilitator, Vicki Schmidt, picked up and transported an injured juvenile eagle to Tri-State Bird Research and Rescue. The eagle had been reported injured and on the ground by a concerned citizen in Hopewell Township, Cumberland County. It was found near a known eagle nest which is located on a communications tower and the injured eagle was assumed to be the chick from that nest. New Jersey Eagle Project volunteer Jim McClain was able to confirm that he last saw the chick on May 19th, perched on one of the tower railings.  When he returned on the 23rd and didn’t see the chick, he had assumed it fledged, not knowing that it had been taken to Tri-State.

Young eagles start “branching” (hopping on to branches) as well as; flapping, jumping, and hovering, to strengthen their wings for flight. Eagles fledge around 10- 12 weeks of age. In this case, the young bird most likely took it’s first attempt at a flight and hit an object which injured it’s wing and left it unable to fly. If no one had spotted this bird on the ground it could have been predated or died.

Tri-State reported minor soft tissue damage to the wing, but that the bird was alert and perching.  The young eagle continued to recuperate and was banded with a federal band and released on June 1st.  Tri-State volunteer Tom Jones transported the bird back to the nest area and with the help of volunteer, Jim McClain, the bird was released. The bird flew and landed on a nearby roof where it perched.

Eagle Release June 1, 2018@J. McClain

June 1, 2018@J.McClain

eagle perched after release@J. McClain

Jim reported that the fledgling and both adults were seen at the nest on June 7th and 9th, so we know that the young eagle is doing well. Thank you to all involved in this lucky eagles recovery.

Fledgling back on nest June 10, 2018@Jim McClain

 

 

The Record: Peregrine Falcons Enjoy Penthouse View From Jersey City

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Story by James M. O’Neill, The Record

A peregrine falcon chick is shown after it was removed from its nest for banding.

Several scientists, protected by the curious combination of an umbrella, a duster and a hard hat, scrambled across the roof of a Jersey City high-rise this week to fend off the fierce attack of two adult peregrine falcons.

The scientists were there to briefly retrieve three falcon chicks from a nest box 42 floors above the city streets, so they could weigh, measure and band the birds before returning them.

The three chicks, still covered in fluffy white down, are the latest additions to a growing population in New Jersey of the world’s fastest animal.

Click here to continue reading the story.
Click here to watch the accompanying video of the falcon banding.

Tracking NJ Eagles: Harmony 2

Monday, June 4th, 2018

“Harmony 2”, photographed in CT and doing well.

by: Larissa Smith, CWF biologist

Harmony 2@ Andrew Drummond

Andrew Drummond captured this image of “Harmony 2” on Memorial Day in Marlboro, VT.  She was banded as D/64 and outfitted with a transmitter May 29th, 2012 at  Merrill Creek, Warren County.  We have since been following her movements on Eagle Trax.  She fledged in 2012 and spent her first winter on the lower Chesapeake Bay before traveling to Maine. She has spent the last five years in a 100-mile swath of western Connecticut and Massachusetts, and now into southern Vermont. She is of breeding age so we suspect that she will be nesting in the area next season.

Management of Urban Nesting Falcons in New Jersey

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
Human Interaction and Quick Action Ensure Survival of Young Falcons in Urban Areas

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Yesterday NJ Fish & Wildlife Zoologist Kathy Clark and I visited 101 Hudson St. after watching the Jersey City Falcon Cam for several days since the first and only egg hatched on Wednesday evening, we became more and more concerned for the health of the 5 day old eyas. We also came upon a brood of three young (and healthy) falcons who were displaced (we’ve called them orphans) from the old Goethals Bridge, which is currently being deconstructed. Knowing that the orphans needed a home, we decided to visit JC and assess the health of the lone eyas, collect the unhatched eggs, and possibly foster in the orphans here. (more…)

Falcon Comeback Continues in Union County

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

By Jasmine Lee, CWF Education Assistant

Spring has sprung, and peregrine falcon eggs have hatched! Viewers of our Union County Falcon Cam have enjoyed an exciting few days with the last of the four eyasses (baby falcons) emerging yesterday.

The adult female falcon 91/BA (“Cadence”) originally hails from Rochester, New York. She staked her claim on this nest last year and laid eggs very late last season, but the eyasses did not survive. This year, 91/BA got a timely start, with her first egg being laid on March 29, 2018. Incubation of her clutch of four eggs began on April 3.

While peregrine falcon feathers provide excellent insulation, it can be difficult for body heat to get past the feathers and to the eggs. An adaptation for this is the brood patch on the male’s and female’s chest. This patch has a high concentration of blood vessels close to the surface of their skin to allow for easier and better body heat transfer to the eggs.

After about 32 days, it is time for hatching to begin. The chicks begin by using a small “egg tooth” to peck a hole through the egg shell: this is called the external pip. After breaking the membrane, the chick can breathe some fresh air, and vigorously start the final process of hatching.

Around 8 AM on Saturday, May 5, the first eyas at Union County emerged! As we watch over the next few weeks, we will see a lot of activity in the nest as the parents work hard to feed the hungry chicks. The eyasses are completely dependent upon the adults and will eat an incredible amount, but they typically double in size in just six days! They will continue to be under constant care until they are ready to fly in approximately seven weeks.

An Inspiring Recovery

A peregrine hunts on the wing. ©Brian Kushner

In 2017 there were 34 nesting pairs of peregrine falcons were reported in all of New Jersey. Around two-thirds are known to have made their homes in buildings like the County Courthouse.

Until recent decades, the peregrine falcon population was in steep decline along with other birds of prey due to habitat loss and the pesticide DDT. By 1964, peregrine falcons had disappeared completely from New Jersey and all other states east of the Mississippi River.

Peregrine falcons were one of the first birds to be the focus of conservation efforts after the 1960’s.

In the 1980’s an intensive re-introduction effort began in the tri-state region, with biologists from the Endangered and Nongame Species Program and CWF leading the way in New Jersey. Since 2000 the New Jersey population has stabilized at approximately two dozen nesting pairs annually.

Livestreaming in Union County

2018 marks CWF’s second year partnering with Union County, providing a live stream of the action in and around the peregrine falcon nest located on the roof of the County Courthouse in midtown Elizabeth. CWF is proud to share the excitement in livestreaming the UCNJ Falcon Cam on our website and to use the webcam in our Union County school presentations, generously funded by Phillips 66.

Go to our website today to watch our new feathered friends as they continue to interact, and to learn more about the Peregrine Falcon. For more information about peregrine falcons, you can also visit the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish & Wildlife.

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