Did you know?
Peregrine falcons are one of only two birds that can be found worldwide, except Antarctica. Can you name the other bird?
Jersey City Falcon Cam
Thank you to everyone who watched the 18th season of the Jersey City Falcon Cam! Since 2000, state endangered peregrine falcons have nested on a skyscraper rooftop in Jersey City, New Jersey. This year three orphan falcons were fostered at this nest. The camera(s) will be online again in March 2019.
** For sound, please adjust the volume within the video player. **
Welcome to the home of the Jersey City Falcon Cam – a popular webcam that has captured the annual life cycle of a pair of state endangered Peregrine falcons nesting on a Jersey City skyscraper. This is the 18th season of 24/7 live streaming video, which is the oldest online streaming wildlife camera in New Jersey. In 2014, Conserve Wildlife Foundation undertook a fundraising effort to save the Falcon Cam, which was run by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program. We'd like to thank everyone who donated to help keep the Falcon Cam online!! Please consider making a donation to support the Jersey City Falcon Cam.
Above you see two views: one from outside of the nestbox, and one from inside the nestbox. If you have any technical problems, please email Ben Wurst.
Jersey City Falcon Cam Interaction
Watch, listen, post photos, and interact with biologists.
2018 NestBox News
This week we got news of a JC fledge, BD/74! She was photographed by Kurt Rhymestine at Motezuma NWR in New York on 9/12/18.
We have some great news! All three orphans have fledged and have been seen in the area. BD/74 and 75 have been re-sighted in JC, near 101 Hudson. BD/76 was found on a balcony of a building in Long Island City and was trapped by plexiglass. She was rescued and released unharmed!
This past Tuesday, Cathy Malok, with The Raptor Trust brought back one of our fledged birds, BD/75, who was found down on the ground around a week ago. 74 was captured by the local animal control, who we've kept busy (I told Kathy that we should invited them to the banding next year as a thank you!). 74 had no major injuries, but simply prematurely fledged. 75 was also seen on the ground but she could not be captured. We assume (and hope) she is okay! 76 has not been seen on camera since fledging! We can only hope that she is okay too!
In other news, the video embedded above is the LBI centered film that we mentioned earlier. It features the Sedge Island eyrie and you guessed it, Junior! In the video you can see Kathy holding Junior after banding him. If we do get any re-sightings of him or the Goethals orphans, then we'll be sure to update you! We hope you enjoy the video! Please share with your friends to raise awareness for our coastal raptors! :)
In other news, the online streaming part of this will end at the end of the month. We will still maintain control of the cameras until the end of July, in case we get any action up on the rooftop. If so, then we'll be sure to share some photos that we capture. We can't thank you all enough for your continued support! We feel that this season was a great one for JC and falcons in NJ as a whole! -Ben
We've heard that BD/74 is doing well at The Raptor Trust with no major injuries. She will be released back on the rooftop at 101 Hudson St. sometime next week after some time in their flight cages. BD/75 was seen on the ground below 101 Hudson, but was not captured. We are hopeful that she is alive and well! We assume BD/76 is alive and flying around downtown Jersey City. We hope to catch a glimpse of her on the PTZ camera soon!
Yesterday one of the fledglings (BD/74) was found on the ground beneath 101 Hudson St. inside a fenced enclousure by a Falcon Cam viewer, David K. BD/74 was being harassed by some crows and might not have eaten for at least a day or as long as she was grounded. Luckily he knew exactly what to do in the situation! He called the local Animal Control, who has dealt with injured falcons several times in the past. They came and got her and then she was transported to The Raptor Trust (where she's already spent some time as a hatchling!) for care. It did not look like she was injured, but that was before she went to TRT. We'll have to wait and see if they find any fractures on a radiograph.
The other two eyases have been exploring the whole roof, so it's hard to keep them on camera, especially when you're busy working in the field too!
Late last week, we returned to Sedge Island to band the young falcons produced at one of the first peregrine falcon hacking sites in New Jersey. This was also the location where we fostered "Junior" (from Jersey City) on May 21 after he was cared for by Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc.. He was placed here as it only had two young who hatched less than 36 hours after Junior.
It was easy to tell who Junior was, with his small size and big attitude! He looked very healthy for a young male falcon who would not have survived without human intervention! Here Kathy Clark/NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife holds Junior for a quick photo after banding him for future tracking with both a federal USGS (silver) band and a bi-color state band (BE/42).
As you can see, this foster was a huge success for both the Goethals orphans and the lone eyas from Jersey City!
The Goethals orphans who are being raised by the JC adults, were banded on Tuesday by NJDFW Zoologist Kathy Clark: BD/74:1947-31838, BD/75:1947-31839, BD/76:1947-31840. All three were females and were in excellent condition, with very full crops! When banding them they were actually very calm and happy, since we got there after a big feeding.
For anyone who missed the live stream of the banding, you can watch them on our Facebook page!
We are headed back to Sedge to band Junior (and his adopted nest mates) next week and will be sure to update you on his status!
Today we will be visiting 101 Hudson St. (and the UC Courthouse in Elizabeth) to band the eyases for future tracking. The banding in Elizabeth will take place at 10am and here at 1pm. If you tune in around those times and see NO YOUNG in the nestboxes, then don't get alarmed! We bring them inside to be banded. We hope to stream the live banding in JC on our Facebook page at 1pm.
Our good friend, Northside Jim joined us and Dr. Miller to foster Junior into his new loving home. You read Jim's side of the story on his blog and watch a video that he made that's above. Make sure to hit that HD button! Enjoy! BW
Our mission of fostering young into the Jersey City eyrie has been a glowing success. Both 41/AX and her mate have been raising the orphan eyases as their own! They are exceptional parents and predators, no doubt. Young here have been very well fed, as many have reported on our interaction page.
I'm happy to report that after some specialized care, Junior has been fostered into another falcon eyrie. Last week he was transported to Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research in Newark, Delaware. On Sunday I got word from Kathy Clark that Junior needed to be fostered ASAP. At Tri-State, after receiving fluids and more attention from avian rehabilitation experts, including care from 2011 Women & Wildlife Awards Leadership recipient, Dr. Erica Miller, Junior had perked up and began acting like a normal young eyas!
We knew exactly which nest he would be fostered into, one which hatched less than two days after Junior hatched on the evening of May 9, located at Sedge Island, off Island Beach State Park. This nest also only had three eggs, so if we fostered in Junior here then they would have a full clutch if all eggs hatched. On Monday, May 21, Dr. Miller volunteered to transport Junior to meet with me in Barnegat Light to foster him into the Sedge Island nest. We launched our boat and headed towards Sedge Islands. Light wind, mild temperature and clear skies made for a beautiful day to give this young falcon a second chance.
Upon arriving to the nest, which failed to produce young last year (from an exchange of breeding adults), both adults were present and we could tell that they did have young in the nestbox, a great sign for fostering Junior into the nest! Dr. Miller and our volunteer/local wildlife blogger Northside Jim climbed up the old hacking tower to check the nest and raise up Junior in a small duffle bag. We found there only two of the eggs hatched and the young were very close in size to Junior, great news! We checked and treated the Sedge eyases for a parasitic fly and then put Junior in the nest. Dr. Miller brought along some farm raised quail and fed Junior one last time before we left.
We will return in two weeks to band Junior and the Sedge eyases for future tracking. We are still planning to band the JC young on May 29 and will let you know the exact time when we figure out all the details for the day (we are also planning to band at the UC Falcon Cam nest).
Our good friend Northside Jim is putting together a video of fostering Junior into the Sedge nest, so stay tuned for that! -BW
As many of you may know by now, yesterday Kathy Clark and I visited 101 Hudson St. After watching the camera 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.
We first met with Cathy Malok of the Raptor Trust to get the orphan eyases, who came from the Goethals Bridge and were nursed back to health. They were found when a giant steel girder was brought down from the bridge onto a nearby construction area (this was on Monday, May 7). The crew working on the bridge had no idea there was a falcon nest inside the bridge and that there were tiny hatchlings (we believe they hatched around May 5) inside the girder. They were not found until the next day when construction workers heard chirping sounds and acted fast to cut open the steel girder to find out what was inside (the entrance to the girder/nest was from the bottom and it was closed off once lowering it to the ground). Lo and behold there were three hatchlings in there! At that age, without close parental care, the young eyases would not survive, so Kathy directed the environmental staff to put them in a box and keep them warm.
“I don’t know how they survived” said Kathy as she explained the ordeal to colleagues. Kathy arrived at the site in the morning on Tuesday, May 8 and said that they were almost cold to the touch. She picked up the hatchling eyases and gave one to each person standing in the construction office to warm with their hands. Warming them up by hand helped ensure their ultimate survival, along with some tiny bits of food. After that, Kathy met up with Cathy from TRT where they would go to be nourished back to health.
After being under the care of staff at TRT for almost a week, we knew that we had to find another nest to foster them into. That was not easy. We visited many nests throughout New Jersey and checked data for nests already checked. It was impossible to find another nest with few young that were around the same age, except for one: Jersey City. But we were concerned with the overall health of the lone eyas and didn’t want to foster in three (slightly older), very healthy eyases to jeopardize survival of their lone offspring.
In the end, after assessing the health of the JC eyas up close, we decided the foster all three orphan eyases into the JC nest. This would give 41/AX the chance to use her great parental skills to provide for the three young while we help nurse the JC eyas back to health. We hope to foster the JC eyas into another nest but first we have to get him healthy (I say him, but it is hard to tell the sex right now)
These are always tough decisions to make and we know that not everyone is happy that we intervened, but in the scheme of things, we had to act or the lone JC eyas would not have survived, and we wanted to find the best home for the three survivors of the Goethals Bridge demolition. This kind of effort is what brought falcons back to New Jersey, now with a stable population of at least 30 nesting pairs.
We’re appreciative to everyone who has watched this camera over the years and supported our efforts to keep NJ’s oldest streaming wildlife focused camera online. We are tentatively planning to band the three orphans at 101 Hudson St. on May 29. We may or may not stream live, but either way we will be shooting video to share with you later.
The time that we've been so patiently waiting for has arrived! The first egg hatched last night and a few screen shots from the camera were posted to our Interaction page were posted around 9:30pm showing the freshly hatched (with wet downy feathers) eyas. The first feeding was at 6:30am. The other three eggs should hatch in the next day, so we hope to hear even more of a commotion at this nest over the next 24 hours.
Kathy Clark and myself are planning to visit several falcon nests in N. Jersey early next week, including some on natural cliff nest sites and the falcon nest atop the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth. We will be checking for nestlings on the cliff sites and treating young in Elizabth for tricomoniasis. -Ben
Day 28 of incubation feels like day 19 of incubation. Things have remained quiet here over the past week, however that will change in a couple days when the eggs begin to hatch. Just last week I saw this really great video from Skunk Bear on NPR about how developing birds breath from within an an egg. I instantly thought of all the young falcons who will soon be taking their first breaths from within those egg shells.
Activity will really pick up once the young start to hatch. The male will begin to catch more prey which he will deliver to the nest and his mate. Signs of hatching consist of the female moving around more since she feels (and hears) the young falcons moving around in their eggs.
So far things have been pretty quiet at this nest site (which is good). Today would be day 19 of incubation if they fully began incubation on April 5. Hatch watch begins on May 5, day 30 of incubation.
Imagine being a falcon and having to sit in the same place for a month! The female, who does the majority of incubation, does get breaks to feed, preen and stretch her wings. Hatch watch at this nest begins on the first weekend in May. Several other falcon nests in NJ have already hatched young. One in Atlantic City hatched two young and one on the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge (where there is also a camera on the nest) hatched four young late last week.
This is the time of year when NJ Fish & Wildlife biologists and CWF staff are working to deploy a motion activated, remote "spy cam" at nests to read the leg bands of the adult birds as they enter and exit the nestbox. We're usually able to ID each bird (if they are banded) at every nest using this method, which we've helped with over the past 10+ years. We can then determine if it's the same pair or if a new adult has taken over the territory. We typically try to finish this monitoring before young hatch in late April/early May.
The female, 41/AX has laid a full clutch of four eggs which are being incubated! She had three on April 3, so the fourth must have been laid on April 5. They both have been sitting pretty tight, so it has been hard to catch a glimpse of the fourth egg, but one viewer posted a screenshot of all four eggs two days ago. Peregrines incubate for around 30 days, so hatch watch will begin during the first week of May. The female and male will take turns incubating with the female doing the majority of incubation. Young hatch around the same time since incubation isn't fully initiated until all eggs are laid. Let's hope that more than one hatch this year as the nesting pair have become more experienced.
Last night 41/AX laid her first egg of the season! We knew this day was coming as when female falcons are getting ready to lay an egg, they remain close to (or inside) the nestbox, especially at night. Actually, last night I was showing a friend how I could control the camera from my iPhone. When we looked, we saw 41/AX perched just outside of the nestbox.
As compared to the last two years, this egg was laid ~ three weeks earlier (April 19, 2017 & April 17, 2016). A sign that 41/AX is becoming a more experienced adult. This is her third year of nesting at 101 Hudson St. In 2016, she laid one egg but it was never incubated (we believe there was a shakeup with the pair or the unbanded male was replaced). Then in 2017 she laid three eggs but only one hatched and successfully fledged.
How many eggs will 41/AX lay this year? Time will tell but we hope to see a full clutch of four eggs. Falcons lay in intervals of every other day, so egg #2 should be laid tomorrow, possibly in the evening. Once the full clutch is laid then they will begin incubation which normally lasts around 30 days. -Ben
I highlighted this in our blog post which summarized the 2017 nesting season - BD/62 was re-sighted by her band in DeKorte Park in the Meadowlands in September, so we know she’s alive and well in North Jersey! The Falcon Cam will begin streaming in March for the 2018 nesting season. BW
We visited 101 Hudson St. this week. We had to make changes to the local network upon restarting internet service. Everything turned on and started working right away. We went out on the roof check the nestbox and clean off the lens covers. The male was present (pictured above). Our camera consultant got a snapshot of the female, so she is around too. If you catch screenshots/photos, make sure to post to our Interaction page!
- Learn more about the history of the Falcon Cam
- Peregrine Project, including past project reports
- Peregrine Falcon information including life history, habitat, range, reproduction, status and conservation.
Introduce Peregrine falcons to your students today! We offer lesson plans to help your students to learn about birds of prey, predator/prey relationships, and much more!