The peregrine falcon makes a Jersey comeback
The peregrine falcon is back. And they've taken up residence atop some of New Jersey's most pricey real estate with killer views.
David Wheeler, executive director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, says pesticide overuse weakened their egg shells so they could not support the parents' weight. But pesticide reductions and learning more about what helps and what hurts them, has helped falcons.
"The falcons' own adaptability has really proven to be tremendously beneficial to the birds," he said.
The falcons have set up nests on Hudson and Delaware bridges and atop some of the state's tallest buildings. There's a falcon nest on the towering Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth and at 101 Hudson St. in Jersey City.
"Where they originally nested primarily on cliffs, let's say up in the Palisades or along the Delaware Water Gap, they have adapted to where they now," Wheeler said.
Volunteers were busy at nesting sites in Elizabeth and Jersey City on Tuesday to band peregrine falcon chicks in order to track their future movements. They banded seven chicks in the two cities. All were reported "healthy and well."
According to Wheeler, falcons are the fastest animal on Warth, "which is pretty remarkable to have these right in places like downtown Jersey City and Elizabeth."
Wheeler says there are more than 30 nests in New Jersey alone, and more in New York and Philadelphia.