Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Union County’

Photos from the Field

Wednesday, May 29th, 2024

by Ben Wurst / Senior Wildlife Biologist

There aren’t many times when you get to climb to the roof of a courthouse in a major metropolitan area. Except if you’re a raptor biologist! We recently joined NJ Fish & Wildlife’s Chief of the Endangered and Nongame Species Program, Kathy Clark and Union County staff and guests to band the four young falcons produced at a nest atop the Union County Courthouse, home to the Union County Falcon Cam.


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.


Three healthy peregrine falcon eyases in Elizabeth!

Saturday, May 7th, 2022

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Another season of growth and new life is here! As many species are beginning their annual life cycle to reproduce, some peregrine falcon pairs already have young. The eyases (young falcons) at the Union County Falcon Cam are a prime example. They are now a little over a week old and have been examined and treated for a pigeon borne disease, called trichomoniasis, which adult falcons can transfer to their young. If young falcons would get trich., then they could perish. Kathy Clark, NJDEP Fish & Wildlife Supervisory Zoologist, UC staff and colleague Cathy Malok, w/ The Raptor Trust visited the site to ensure the survival of this brood.


Union County Falcon Cam Female “Frida” Lays First Eggs Of The Season

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

by Ethan Gilardi, Wildlife Biologist

Union County Falcon Cam female, “Frida,” stands over her clutch.

Last Friday, Union County Department of Parks & Recreation Environmental Specialist Betty Ann Kelly sent us an exciting update on the Union County Falcon Cam.

It looks like our famous peregrine pair are officially expecting!

Great news! 

As some of you know, the rooftop of the Union County Courthouse has been home since 2006 to a pair of peregrine falcons, a threatened bird of prey species. Our female, nicknamed “Frida” because of her large “unibrow” between her eyes (reminding us of the South American artist) has laid her first egg of the season on March 19th, 2021 at 9:45 a.m.! 

We can expect possibly two or three more eggs over the course of the next few days with hatching occurring sometime in late April. 

Go to to catch a glimpse of the falcons and possibly the egg on our falcon cam!

We will keep you posted!

Betty Ann Kelly

Just two days later, this past Sunday, we received even more good news!

Today at around 2:20 p.m. after what seemed like considerable effort, our female peregrine falcon laid egg # 2. 

All is well. 

We expect another egg or two in the next few days. When the last egg is hatched, both male and female falcons will consistently incubate. 

By the way, this egg only looks bigger because of the camera’s wide angle lens. 

Go to to see! 

Betty Ann Kelly

And like clockwork on Wednesday, March 24th, even more good news came down the line!

At around 7:03 this morning, our female falcon laid a 3rd egg. 

She seems to be incubating a little more consistently, so this may be it, but it is possible that she will lay a 4th egg. 

Stay tuned! 

Betty Ann Kelly

Will there be a fourth egg? Stay tuned!

Keep an eye out on the Union County Falcon cam page to watch our falcon friends and maybe catch a glimpse of another egg arrival!

Also remember to check out CWF’s Falcon Cam page to join the Disqus conversation and see screenshots and updates posted by the webcam’s loyal viewers.

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.