Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘raptors’

Third Grade Students Explore the Fascinating World of Peregrine Falcons

Wednesday, May 15th, 2024

by Rachel McGovern, Director of Education

Peregrine falcons are fascinating to learn about—they are swift, fierce, and intelligent birds. They are a joy to teach about, too! CWF is fortunate to have the opportunity to teach about these amazing birds of prey with students in Linden Public Schools, due to the generous support from Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery.

Each year, CWF visits every third-grade classroom in the Linden Public School District to deliver in-depth lessons about peregrine falcons. These lessons delve into the life history of peregrines, the reason for their decline, and how they are recovering today. Students explore how these falcons have adapted to modern-day landscapes by nesting on manmade structures rather than exclusively choosing their traditional cliffside sites. For city-dwelling students, it’s a revelation to discover that these endangered raptors thrive in environments like their own.

Central to this educational initiative is the Union County Falcon Cam– a live camera on a falcon nest located just a couple miles from Linden’s elementary schools. This camera has been in operation since 2016. It is run in cooperation with Union County and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. A live feed brings the viewer into a nest on the roof of the Union County Courthouse where Frida and Mango, the current pair at this nest, raise young each year. Students learn about the history of the camera and check in with the birds during their lesson. Teachers are also encouraged to check in with the falcons regularly for students to watch them raise their young.


Third Grade Students Host the Annual Bird Festival at Ridge Street Elementary School

Friday, March 29th, 2024

by Rachel McGovern, Director of Education

The spotlight was on the third graders at Ridge Street Elementary School during the Annual Bird Festival! Over the school year, the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey guided third graders at Ridge Street Elementary School in Newark, New Jersey through an exploration of the state’s fascinating birds as part of the Soaring with STEAM curriculum. Students delved into the lives of ospreys, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, and other avian species while engaging in STEM-based projects. To culminate their learning journey, the third graders organized a festival aimed at educating parents, visitors, and younger students about the diverse birdlife in New Jersey.

Students gather to learn about peregrine falcons from third graders at Ridge Street Elementary School.
Photo Credit: Ashley Menniti

Orphaned Osprey Chicks Find New Homes

Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

by Sherry Tirgrath, Wildlife Biologist

Three young osprey chicks found themselves without their parents after a utility pole nest caught fire at the National Guard Training Center (NGTC) in Sea Girt, NJ. Osprey often choose utility poles as nesting structures because of the 360° view they offer. Fires caused by the nests, composed mostly of dried sticks and seagrass, aren’t uncommon. Because of the safety hazard imposed by the nest, it was removed from the utility pole at the NGTC with three healthy chicks inside. The chicks were approximately a week to ten days old when removed from the nest and were brought temporarily to The Raptor Trust in Millington by Charles Appleby, Chief of the Environmental Bureau of the NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NJDMAVA) to be cared for while a new nesting platform could be built. Reuniting the chicks with their parents in a safe nest box would give them their best chance at survival.

Three young osprey chicks were removed from a hazardous nest.

Species on the Edge Contest Winners from Previous Years Visit The Raptor Trust

Tuesday, April 18th, 2023

by Rachel McGovern, Director of Education

Each year, CWF hosts the Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest for fifth grade students in New Jersey. Thousands of students submit artwork and essays advocating for the protection of a threatened or endangered New Jersey species of their choice. Winners of this contest attend field trips and events during their winning year and are invited to events for years after to continue learning about wildlife and related careers in New Jersey.

Past contest winners, along with a parent or guardian, gathered at The Raptor Trust’s education center to learn about avian rehabilitation.

Last month, a group of past contest winners braved the rain and cold to attend a special program and tour at The Raptor Trust in Millington, New Jersey. The Raptor Trust provides medical care and rehabilitation to injured and orphaned birds, leads educational programs to benefit native birds, and provides permanent homes to many non-releasable raptors.


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.