Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘peregrine project’

Four Peregrine Falcon Chicks Banded in Union County

Friday, June 5th, 2020
Left: Adult falcon in flight. Right: Peregrine chick ready to be banded. Photos by Eric Sambol.

Peregrine falcons have nested atop the Union County Court House in downtown Elizabeth for many years. Each year, before the young birds fledge, scientists gather up the chicks and band their legs. 

The banding was a smaller than usual human affair this year to comply with social distancing and other health restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it was a very active avian event with the adult falcons energetically dive bombing the biologists as they brought the eyases (young falcons) indoors for the banding.


Number of Peregrine Falcons Hatched in New Jersey Rose to 78 in 2019

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020
Ben Wurst, Conserve Wildlife Foundation Biologist, with peregrine falcon. 

The peregrine falcon’s New Jersey comeback story continued in 2019. The number of young produced rose slightly to 78 in 2019, as compared to 75 in 2018. The adult population was slightly lower at 38 known pairs, as compared to 40 known pairs in 2018.

Peregrine falcon populations had plummeted across much of the United States due to widespread use of the pesticide DDT before it was banned in 1972. Since the early 1980’s, peregrine falcons have been recovering at a slow but steady pace in New Jersey. While population numbers continue to increase, peregrine falcons still face a number of serious threats in New Jersey, particularly contaminants like pesticides, PCBs, and heavy metals in the food web.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) and our partner New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) recently released the 2019 New Jersey Peregrine Falcon Research and Management Program Report highlighting the continued recovery of the peregrine falcon in New Jersey.


Peregrine Falcon Bandings in Jersey City and Union County: The Importance of Banding Chicks

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Story by Alison Levine

Two sets of peregrine falcon chicks were recently banded high atop buildings in Elizabeth, Union County, and Jersey City. Biologists from Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) checked the health and measurements of the falcons, while also placing both United States Geological Service bird bands and state auxiliary bands so the birds can be identified in the future.

NJTV and TAPintoUnion captured the banding in Union County, while News 12 New Jersey and CBS-2 covered the Jersey City banding.

(more…) Online Cameras Peer into Nests of ‘Rock Star’ New Jersey Predators

Monday, March 18th, 2019

Story by:

Top: Duke Farms Eagle protects two eggs that are expected to hatch soon.
Photo credit Conserve Wildlife Foundation.
Bottom: Peregrine Falcons in Union County exhibit mating behavior.

Photo credit Union County.

A pair of American Eagles tend to their nest atop an 80-foot Sycamore tree at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, days away from the hatching of two eggs, while the courtship season has begun for a female peregrine falcon nesting on the roof of the historic 17-story Union County Courthouse in downtown Elizabeth.

The predators have achieved “rock star” status in classrooms and homes across the state and the country thanks to video cameras that have been installed on trees and within the nests of the birds by wildlife biologists, with live feeds available online.


Donations needed for Falcon Project!

Monday, May 5th, 2014
New cart needed to carry remote, motion activated camera to nests

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Each spring we work with NJ Fish & Wildlife Biologists to deploy a remote, motion activated camera at coastal peregrine falcon nests. The camera is set at the entrance to nestboxes or Dog Igloos to capture video of the adults as they enter and exit the nestbox when they are incubating eggs. As the pair exchanges incubation duties they go in and out, past the small camera. Most adults where leg bands (that they were given before fledging): one USGS band (silver or black:NJ, and one auxiliary color band with an alpha/numeric code). The data that’s collected helps biologist to keep track of the population and also allows us to find out the age of adults, their origin, nest site fidelity, and turnover rates.

To carry this wonderful camera to nest sites we use a small cart (made by Wheeleez, Inc.) transport it over the saltmarsh environment. Why is the Wheeleez cart important? Well, the cart has huge tires with low ground pressure. This helps us to leave a small footprint on our coastal saltmarshes. It glides easily over spartina covered marshes and fits perfectly over extension ladders that we use to cross small ditches on our way out to falcons nests that are on old hacking towers. There are around 10 towers where we deploy this camera and the cart is crucial to this project!

The current cart is over 10 years old and is falling apart. It’s wheels fall off and now it’s being held together with cable ties… We could carry it by hand, but there’s a heavy battery inside the Pelican Case that houses the camera system. We also carry a 16 or 20′ ladder to access nests, which are on 30-40′ towers. Carrying both by oneself would be extremely difficult, especially considering we sometimes walk long distances to a nest (and often cross many ditches). We’re asking for your support to help us purchase a new cart. We need to raise $300 within the next 14-21 days.