2019 NestBox News
In 2019 three young falcons were produced at this nest, which was the first time that this male and female succuessfully raised their own brood of young!!
2019 NestBox News
Today the live stream was ended for the season. All in all, this was a great year for the pair who nests here. It was their first time producing their own brood of three healthy female falcons. The adults will remain near their nest site and the young will disperse. The camera(s) will start streaming again in late March 2020. Thanks to everyone for their continued support of the Jersey City Falcon Cam!
BM/13, who has been at the Raptor trust for care, was returned to the nest this morning by Zoologist Kathy Clark/NJDFW.
After taking it all in for a minute, 13 settled down for a meal Kathy left for her. We hope to have more info on the investigation into the window washers who caused the disturbance to this nest soon - we'll share as soon as we can! Thanks to all for your care and support for these falcons.
We are happy to say that Zoologist Kathy Clark/NJDFW released BM/17 back on the roof at the nest level. BM/17 has been at The Raptor Trust for care. She has been in a flight cage and can now fly on her own. Biologists watched carefully to see where BM/18 was on the roof, esp. when Kathy would release 17 back on the roof.
Long story short, 18 remained on a parapet while Kathy released 17, who made her way back to the roof with the nestbox and up to a parapet to reunite with her sibling!
As viewers can tell you, a lot has happened since our last update. On June 3, Kathy Clark, Supervisory Zoologist/NJ Fish & Wildlife and CWF visited 101 Hudson St. to band the three 3 week old eyases. All three are females. This is the first successful brood for 41/AX, the nesting female, who has been here since 2015. She is now seven years old and a productive falcon! The three female eyases have been very well cared for since hatching. They have been well fed and brooded closely until they were large enough to keep warm on their own. All three were banded for future tracking: BM/13:1947-31877; BM/17:1947-31881; and BM/18:1947-31882.
All was going very well as they were able to leave and enter the Nestbox to explore the rooftop and building ledge. They could be seen flapping and jumping, all to help strengthen their flight muscles for their first flight when they fledge from the nest. Unfortunately, on Sunday, June 16, starting at approximately 8:45am, window washers entered the rooftop area (41st floor) where the falcon nestbox is located. The eyases (young falcons) were 5-6 weeks old and very close to fledging, so this is a very dangerous time for them to be disturbed. Pushing (by disturbing them) the birds to fledge early can be disastrous. Since they are unable to fly on their own and without much skill, they often land below or another ledge or end up on the streets below.
As soon as the workers entered the area, the adults could be heard calling and dive bombing them, to defend their eyrie (nest) and young. From the human disturbance, two eyases (BM/13 & BM/17) left the ledge on the 41st floor and one remained. At one point viewers noticed the remaining eyas was being sprayed with water from above, which may have been an attempt to drive or push that bird off the ledge, which luckily failed. The workers remained in that area for the majority of the day until we were able to reach engineers for the building to escort them from the area.
Later that day a volunteer nest watcher visited the area and saw one eyas on a lower ledge. On June 18, BM/17 was found on the ground and was captured and transported to The Raptor Trust. On June 21, BM/13 was located and also taken to The Raptor Trust. Currently the one eyas (BM/18) remains near the nestbox/ledge.
This is now a law enforcement issue which is being investigated by NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife. We are deeply saddened by this and will keep you all updated on the status of these majestic birds.
I apologize for the delay in updates here! As you can all see, we have three healthy eyases!! This marks the first year that 41/AX has produced her own healthy brood of three young. The first hatched on 5/9 and then the remaining two hatched over the next 48 hours. As they have grown and demanded more attention, the remaining egg did not hatch. All young seem to have been getting plenty of care and have been well fed by both adults.
On Saturday, May 18 Kathy Clark, Supervisory Zoologist with the Endangered and Nongame Species Program visited 101 Hudson St. to medicate all three young for trichomoniasis, a disease that's common in pigeons. If left untreated, it can kill young falcons. They are treated with antibotics and will get a second dose when we visit 10 Hudson St. on June 3rd to band the young for future tracking. We'll be sure to keep you all updated on when the banding will occur and will be recording video of the banding to share afterwards.
When at 101 Hudson, we are hoping to adjust the angle of the IR light and stength of the illumination, since at night it is quite dim. Formerly lights on the roof helped to cast indirect light into the nestbox and now those lights are off, so we have less light and will try to turn up the intensity of the IR light to compensate. BW
Hatch watch is here! We are just as anxious to see what happens at this nest as everyone who is watching online. As soon as an egg starts to hatch, we should hear peeping after the hatchling breaks through its shell and takes its first breath of air. I witnessed pipping at a nest that I visited at the beginning of the week to retrieve our "spy cam" that we use to ID the breeding adults. The hatchling was peeping like crazy as it was breaking through its shell with its egg tooth.
As we have stated before, egg laying at this nest was a bit abnormal this year. Kathy Clark believes that this could have been from an altercation with a rival female. If this occurs during egg laying, which is a very sensitive time, then the female will drop or loose an egg. There is no way to be certain about this, but it is our best guess.
- Egg #1 was laid on March 28/29. Today would be day 40 if she started to incubate right after laying, but they were on and off the egg for several days.
- Egg #2 was laid on April 3. Today is day 35 from laying.
- Egg #3 & 4 were laid on April 7 & 8. Today is day 30 & 31.
Typically falcons lay every other day, so the gaps between egg laying indicate that something happened. Usually falcons don't start incubating until they lay a full clutch and incubate for 29-32 days. With that said, we should see eggs hatching in the next day. We won't know how many eggs will successfully hatch until some start to hatch. If you hear some peeping or see signs of hatching, please post to our Interaction page! BW
All has been quiet at the nest here in Jersey City since our last update. The male and female have been trading off incubation dutiies of their four eggs to forage, feed and preen. The male does most of the foraging during this time, so when 41/AX gets a break to feed, he steps in to incubate. He is not banded and has a more vibrant color to the fresh of on the base of his bill, called a cere, around his eyes, and on his legs and feet. The female is banded and is not as vibrantly colored.
Hatching at this nest will be interesting, since the #1 egg was laid on 3/28 and they started to incubate more steadily on the 30th, so if we say that was the start date of incubation of that egg, then today would be day 24 of 32 days (when eggs begin to hatch). Egg #2 is on day 19 and the final two eggs are on days 14 & 15. Typically eggs are laid within a few days and then hatch within a few days, so all young are around the same age, so it'll be really interesting to see what happens when the first eggs hatch and those young get more attention from the adults.
At other nest sites throughout the coast, in partnership with NJ Fish & Wildlife, we are currently monitoring them for incubation. When visiting nests we install a small remote, motion-activated camera inside the nestbox. This captures video when the adults come and go from the nestbox, during incubation exchanges. The video captures their leg bands and allows us to identify the breeding pair and determine if they are the same pair or new at that nest. Most nests begin hatching in early May, so we will return to these nests in a couple weeks to check for hatching.
41/AX has been busy since our last update - she laid egg #3 on April 7, and # 4 on April 8. Peregrine clutches average 3 to 4 eggs, that are inclubated for about a month.
It appears that 41/AX laid an egg overnight, which could mean that she lost (or dumped) egg #2 & #3 during a possible altercation with a rival bird over the weekend. It's hard to know what actually happened, but there is no reason for a healthy adult to not lay a full clutch of eggs since we know there is plentiful food sources in this urban habitat. Time will tell if she lays another egg or not.
I know it's been a while since our last update. Not much has happened over the past two weeks, but overnight 41/AX laid the first egg! I knew something would happen soon. Yesterday evening I was watching and saw that she was hanging near the nestbox, which always seems to be a sign that she will be laying an egg soon. Low and behold, I tuned in this morning and saw the first egg! Egg-citing times for this pair. We shall see how they do this year after only hatching one egg to a malnourished nestling last year (though this gave us the opportuniuty to foster in orphans who all successfully fledged). Hopefully we'll see them produce a full brood of healthy young this year! BW
March certainly roared in like a lion. Snow piled up on the rooftop and has lingered with the cool temperatures. Only a small mound is left today. This is quite common to see. I had a memory on Facebook from three years ago where we had to shovel snow on the roof to get to the nestbox to check on the nestbox and cameras... It is still a little early for eggs, but as you can see in the pinhole camera view, there is a very well defined scrape or shallow depression in the gravel. Last year the first egg was laid on 3/26 (4/17 in 2017), so we should start to see 41/AX in or around the nestbox more often as we get closer to egg laying.
Both live feeds have been activated! Activity has been low, but we wanted to get these online since there could be some early season action, like what has happened over at the Union County Falcon Cam. Earlier this week the nesting female, BA/91 was outcompeted by another falcon (unbanded). She was still a young falcon and in her prime (hatched in 2015, from Rochester, NY). She survived the battle with the rival, but was found by Union County staff on the ground beneath the Courthouse with injuries to her wing and leg(s). She was transported to the Raptor Trust and will be examined by their veterinarian to determine the extent of her injuries. There has been evidence of high turnover rates of females in other eastern states. It might be true here in NJ and once we begin nest checks this spring, we shall learn more. BW
Welcome to another year of the Jersey City Falcon Cam! This year marks the 19th year of the Falcon Cam, which we are proud to say is New Jersey's oldest and longest streaming wildlife focused webcam! In the day and age of technology and wildlife webcams galore, we're happy to keep this stream going to highlight wildlife conservation and management in urban areas of New Jersey. Life as an endangered species is fragile, but peregrines have thrived alongside humans and our development when they are given space and privacy to nest and raise young. Buildings like 101 Hudson St. have played a crucial role in the recovery of falcons in New Jersey to 40 known pairs. Partnerships with private building managers (that have suitable areas for nests to be established) who seek to support and benefit from nesting falcons will play a huge role in helping the population remain stable throughout the state. We hope to see the population inhabit more urban and suburban sites to maintain a robust population.
We visited 101 Hudson St. earlier this week to re-activate the camera(s). No falcons were present when we were there for a short time, but that was expected with the high winds out of the NW that day. Their nestbox was also full of snow from a storm the day before.
Today they were both captured on camera in the late morning and it looks like they were scraping in front of some snow in the nestbox. Here is video of the male entering the nestbox. The male also It appears that it's the same pair. 41/AX, a NY'er who will be 7 years old this summer. She started nesting here in 2015.The unbanded male (if it's the same male) claimed this territory in 2016. After the drama over the past couple years, it'll be interesting to see what happens this year. Will the pair produce their first full, healthy brood? Let us know your thoughts or questions over on our Interaction page!
There still hasn't been too much activity at the nest, but will will activate one live stream (PTZ cam) next week. Subscribe to our channel on YouTube to get notifications when we start a live stream! Please don't forget to share with your friends and family and donate to support this educational initiative! -Ben