We work closely with biologists with the Endangered and Nongame Species Program to help monitor the peregrine falcon population in New Jersey.
New Jersey is home to more than 25 breeding pairs of Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus). We work closely with biologists with the Endangered and Nongame Species Program to help monitor the population. Each winter we conduct maintenance on nesting towers, and in spring and summer we monitor nest sites for activity. At active nests a remote motion-activated camera is deployed in spring. It allows us to be able to identify each individual bird by their color auxiliary leg bands. It also provides more valuable information including nest success, age, site fidelity, and the turnover rate in the population. After we have successfully identified the breeding pair, we continually monitor each nest or eyrie until the young are old enough to band (approximately 3-4 weeks old). In 2013 there were 26 active nests in New Jersey. The core of the population continues to nest on towers and buildings throughout the state.
At a nest site in Jersey City, we have a webcam on the top of a building at 101 Hudson St. The webcam has allowed viewers to follow the nesting season from courtship to fledging (March to July). Ben Wurst & Kathy Clark, ENSP write entries in Nestbox News, an online journal that summarizes events and milestones during the nesting season.
Thanks to early reintroduction efforts, peregrine falcons are now a fairly common sight (if you know where to look). Below is a map with a few good areas where you may be able to view peregrine falcons in their natural habitat. From the Palisades cliffs along the Hudson River to the southern tip of the Cape May Peninsula, peregrines can be seen in these areas.
During summer months you can find them in urban areas near nest sites at 101 Hudson St in Jersey City, the courthouse in Elizabeth, or at the old Atlantic Club in A.C. You might also be able to catch some interactions between fledglings and adults along the cliffs of the Palisades near Alpine. In fall head down to Cape May Point State Park to see them during migration at the Hawk Watch. Their migration peaks in early October. During winter months visit Edwin B. Forsythe NWR Brigantine and Holgate Units to see wintering birds.
2013 Peregrine Falcon Project Report - 144.8KB
2012 Peregrine Falcon Report - 133.2KB
2011 Peregrine Falcon Report - 155.2KB
2010 Peregrine Falcon Report - 252.1KB
2009 Peregrine Falcon Project Report - 112.4KB
- Peregrine falcon information including identification, life history, habitat, and current threats
- NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, Endangered and Nongame Species Program
Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager: Email