DEEP: Only One Successful Peregrine Nest this Year

Only One Successful Peregrine Nest this Year
Adapted from an article that appeared in the July/August 2002 issue of  Connecticut Wildlife.

{Peregrine falcon chick in nest.}
This peregrine falcon chick, from the nest platform on the P. T. Barnum Bridge in Bridgeport, was banded by Division biologists in late May 2002.

Although 2002 was a great year for nesting bald eagles in Connecticut, peregrine falcons did not fare as well.

Travelers Tower Peregrines

In the May/June issue of Connecticut Wildlife, it was mentioned that the Peregrine Falcon Webcam was back on-line. Unfortunately, web surfers did not have much to see when they visited the webcam. The peregrine falcon pair that nests on the Travelers Tower in Hartford laid one egg this year; however, the female did not incubate the egg and the pair did not produce any chicks this year.

It is anticipated that the peregrines will return next year to the Travelers Tower and give webcam viewers the chance to see nesting peregrines in action.

The DEP Wildlife Division would like to thank the personnel at the Travelers Co. and Trammel Crow Co. (facility managers for the Travelers Tower) for their assistance, especially Elizabeth Connors (Travelers) and Joe Lagana (Trammel Crow).

Barnum Bridge Peregrines

The peregrine pair that nests under the P. T. Barnum Bridge in Bridgeport again produced two chicks that were banded by Wildlife Division biologists in late May. The chicks are expected to fledge from the nest box in early July.

Since 1997, the Division has banded and examined peregrine chicks hatched in Connecticut as part of the protective management program for this state endangered species. Attaching leg bands is a very useful tool for wildlife managers. The identifiable bands enable biologists to track the movements of banded peregrines, providing important information to the federal recovery program for this recently delisted species. Although the peregrine is no longer on the federal endangered species list, it is still classified as endangered in Connecticut. Therefore, it is necessary to collect any pertinent data that can be added to our knowledge of this speciesí life history in our state.

The Wildlife Division would especially like to thank Mary Baier of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) who allowed Wildlife Division staff to use DOT equipment and contractors to access the nest box. Appreciation is extended to Dan Biron from DEP Inland Wetlands, who has been very helpful with all peregrine issues along Interstate 95 and who is also the DEP liaison to DOT. The Wildlife Division also would like to thank Captain Tim Purdy (tugboat operator), Dominic Caciopoli (safety boat operator), John Fronte (labor foreman) and Edward Pawlick, L. S. (DMJM & Harris, Inc., Party Chief) who helped in the banding process.

Milford Peregrines

{Peregrine falcon perched on bridge.}
One of the adult peregrines from the P. T. Barnum Bridge watches from a perch while Division biologists examine its young and attach leg bands.

Another peregrine pair set up housekeeping but did not lay eggs this past spring in the Devon section of Milford at an NRG power plant along the Housatonic River. NRG employees had built a nest box for the birds after the pair was seen in the area, preying on pigeons. Once the box was built and put in place atop a decommissioned conveyor tower, it took about three weeks before the birds set their talons on the gravel inside the 32-inch wooden crate.

What is interesting about the male of the Milford pair is that it was banded in New Hampshire in 1996 and was the only chick in the nest that year. The banding effort that year was featured in photographs and text that appeared in a Scott-Forsman Beginning Readers booklet written by home-schooler Jesse Beecher of Tamworth, New Hampshire, who volunteered for Audubon Society NH as a falcon nest site monitor at Square Ledge. New Hampshire biologists were excited to find out that this male was alive and thriving because they had not had any reports about him since his banding in 1996.

Peregrine Falcon Page