NEW YORK (PIX11) — A dozen baby peregrine falcon chicks had an amazing view from their unique nursery, hatching above three MTA bridges.
According to the MTA, 2015 newcomers include “two boys and one girl almost 700 feet above Verrazano-Narrows Bridge’s Brooklyn tower; one boy and three girls 215-feet above the Rockaway tower at Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge; and two boys and two girls 360-feet on the Bronx tower at the Throgs Neck Bridge.”
Peregrine falcons were nearly wiped out in the 1960s as a result of pesticides in their food supply, and remain on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation endangered birds list. Urban falcons like to nest atop bridges, church steeples and high-rise buildings because they provide an excellent vantage point for hunting prey, including pigeons and small birds.
Each year research scientist Chris Nadareski, of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, climbs to the top of the three bridges and puts identifying bands on the falcon chicks. This helps wildlife experts keep track of the number of peregrines in the city, and identify them in case they become sick or injured. The bandings took place on May 28 and May 29 when the falcon chicks were only three weeks old.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels provides a nesting box for the falcons at each of the bridges but otherwise leaves the birds alone, particularly during nesting season. Falcons mate for life and generally return to the same nest to hatch their young.