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Transportation Nation

SLIDESHOW: Baby Falcons Nest High Above New York City

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

360-degree panoramic views, no board approval, occasional visits from the landlord: dozens of peregrine falcon chicks are living the high life in New York City.

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Transportation Nation

Falcon Chicks Born on NYC Bridges

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

There's traffic of a different sort atop three New York City bridges these days.

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority sent out a birth announcement of sorts to report that there are now nine baby peregrine falcons atop three MTA-operated bridges.

Two females, named Rose and Sunset, hatched atop the 693-foot Brooklyn tower at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge:

Rose and Sunset in their nest atop the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (photo by Patrick Cashin/MTA)

Three males, named Locust, Edgewater and Bayside, were born 360-feet atop the Bronx tower at the Throgs Neck Bridge:

Locust (with open beak), Edgewater and Bayside, named for communities near the Throgs Neck (photo by Carlton Cyrus/MTA)

And Floyd, Rocky, Marine and Breezy were born inside a World War II gun turret 215-feet up on the Rockaway (Queens) tower of the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge:

Two of the four new Marine Parkway chicks with nervous mama falcon in background (photo by Chris Nadareski/DEP)

The chicks were born in early May.

According to the New York State Department of Environment Conservation, peregrine falcons were nearly wiped out in the 1960s because of pesticide use. They remain on the state's endangered species list.  The birds have been nesting on New York City bridges since 1983, and the city's Department of Environmental Protection estimates that there are 16 pairs of peregrine falcons living here. City falcons are banded so they can be monitored by federal wildlife officials.

“It doesn’t cost the Authority anything to have the falcons nest here,” said Throgs Neck Maintenance Superintendent Carlton Cyrus. “We just give them some peace and quiet and during nesting season make sure that our contractors and maintenance workers don’t disturb them. This allows the chicks to hatch and gives them a greater opportunity for survival.”

To learn more about peregrine falcons, check out the NYS DEC's peregrine website -- as well as their live falcon webcams.

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