2015 Nestbox News
Highlights from the 15th season of the Jersey City Falcon Cam. There was a turnover in the nestingh pair this year and no young were produced.
This will likely be the last entry of Nestbox News for the 2015 nesting season. It's bittersweet to write. All in all I think it was good, albeit a short season. From the moment we set foot on the rooftop on March 4th we had a feeling the old pair was gone. It was likely a battle ensued and the new pair has claimed the precious eyrie atop 101 Hudson St. We got to witness and hear courtship displays but no eggs were ever laid. It's now too late for the pair to nest and raise young. Most other falcon nests in New Jersey are all just starting to hatch. With that said, we will be canceling the internet at the end of May, that we use to stream the cam, since it is expensive for us to maintain. We hope to see you back here for another season in 2016 to (hopefully) watch the new pair raise a brood of falcons for the first time! We'd like to thank everyone who watches and supports the Falcon Cam. --Ben
As we all watch and wait we wonder, will the new pair breed this year? We have some knowledgeable insight from Kathy:
"There's still hope. We've seen females attempt to nest as 2 year olds when they may hatch one or not. This female is a 3 year old (technically, she's in her 4th year counting 2012), so she is mature to nest. We don't know the male's age but he has adult plumage. They're still doing a lot of courtship, which solidifies their relationship. He brought her prey just yesterday after one of those vocal sessions. We probably have another couple of weeks before I'd say it's not going to happen."
We learned a bit more information about the new female, 41/AX in the past few days. Like others, she's a New York bird turned Jersey girl. She originated from a nest near the Bayonne Bridge in 2012. You know how we feel about naming birds...but she was named "Juliette" when she was banded by Chris Nadereski, NY DEP. Her and her nest mate (a male) were given names "that were inspired by their birthplace," according to a Port Authority spokeman. Juliette for Bayonne's Juliet St., which passes under the bridge.
In the past the falcons nested on the Bayonne Bridge, which can be treacherous for young fledgling falcons that sometimes fall onto the busy roadway below. Instead, the Port Authority built a new platform for the nesting falcons. Kudos to everyone who moved the nest and gave these wonderful birds a chance to survive in the urban environment, where many natural wonders are un-noticed by many.
Thank you to nest watcher, Mike Girone for the info on the history of Juliette (41/AX).
Winter is reluctantly giving way to spring. Peregrines are paired up for nesting. And, thankfully, the cameras are rolling in Jersey City. Keen and early observers have already documented important news for our JC pair: the female who has ruled this roost since 2002 is gone, replaced by a three year old with leg band 41/AX. Further, the reliable and stalwart tiercel 2/6 is also missing, replaced by a new, unbanded male.
To have both of these long-term nesters replaced in the same season is unusual. In 30 cases of mate replacements at NJ nests, only two involved both new adults in one season. We knew that the female was getting old, even though we didn’t know her exact origin or hatch-year; she had been nesting in JC since 2002 and likely hatched at least three years prior, in 1999. She did not lay eggs in 2014, another sure sign that she was entering peregrine old age. The tiercel was NJ’s oldest male nesting in 2014, but by no means a record-setter at 11 years old.
I suspect there were serious battles in the skies over Jersey City in the weeks leading up to this season. But then again, peregrines grow more vulnerable to many urban hazards as they get older. Their flying skills must be top-notch to navigate through buildings, wires and all kinds of vehicles. The original tiercel at JC was permanently injured in April, 2005, when he flew into a wire at the train station next door to 101 Hudson. Even experienced falcons can fall to these hazards, but advanced age increases those chances.
We will miss these two wonderful falcons. They are in the NJ Falcon Hall of Fame for being webcast all these years, and for living long and productive lives. Only one other nest, atop a casino in Atlantic City, has had similar long term resident individuals.
At the same time, we welcome the new falcons and look forward to a new start to this new season. Stay tuned. --Kathy Clark, ENSP Zoologist
Last week got our first view of the nesting male at 101 Hudson St. It's a new, unbanded bird, so we will not know his origins. The former male wore a bi-color aux. band (2/6). Kathy C. believes that a battle ensued at this nest site over the winter. We'll have more information on what might have occurred shortly.
We learned that the female was banded on May 25, 2012 in New York. We'll learn more about her soon from the NYC biologist soon and will post that info when we get it.
A new falcon has been re-sighted in the nestbox! Thank you to all the cam viewers for watching and grabbing images of the new bird. Mike Girone shared the image above with us that confirms that there is a new falcon at the nest site. Using the bi-color, alpha-numeric auxiliary band (41/AX) we'll be able to ID her. We know that she is not a NJ bird and is most likely from NY. We're patiently waiting to learn more about her origins! We'll post an update when we get some information about her. --Ben
On the 9th, we got an email from Ginger, who works on the 37th floor of 101 Hudson St. and she said that one falcon landed on their balcony! So, we have hope that the pair will soon be seen in and around the nestbox!
March 9, 2015
Welcome to the 15th season of the Falcon Cam! We visited 101 Hudson St. last Wednesday to re-activate the camera stream. The rooftop was blanketed under a pile of snow. We weren't too surprised to see that. We were surprised that no falcons were at the site. Usually at this time of year (the beginning of their nesting season) they hang around their nests to defend their nesting territory. We also recall a large number of pigeons on the lower portion of the building!
Given the former nesting female was approx. 20 years old (from our estimates by getting a partial read of her band number) she could have been lost this winter. It's still early, so we'll have to see what plays out over the next couple weeks.
If you see a falcon at the site, try and save a screen shot and let us know!
Find Related Info: Peregrine Falcon
Jersey City Falcon Cam
Live from 101 Hudson St. in Jersey City!