2013-06-07 / Community

Falcons Hatch On Marine Parkway Bridge


Three baby falcons, like these shown here, were born atop the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, making them the newest additions to the Rockaways. Photos courtesy of the National Park Service Three baby falcons, like these shown here, were born atop the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, making them the newest additions to the Rockaways. Photos courtesy of the National Park Service The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Bridges and Tunnels division announced that three Peregrine falcon chicks were recently born atop the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge.

The new additions to the Rockaways were among six that hatched last month high atop two MTA bridges. The other three were born on the heights of the Throgs Neck Bridge. All were banded as part of the State’s nesting program.

This year marks the 30th year MTA Bridges and Tunnels has participated in the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s nesting program, which began in New York City in 1983. The program is coordinated in New York City by NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s Wildlife Studies Division Specialist Chris Nadaresk, who frequently climbs high atop various buildings and bridges to band and record the falcons.

The newest MTA peregrines include two males and a female at Marine Parkway Bridge. The Marine Parkway peregrine chicks hatched 215-feet atop the bridge’s Rockaway tower. The Throgs Neck chicks hatched 360-feet on the bridge’s Bronx tower.

“Other than providing the nesting box, our primary goal during mating season and until the chicks leave the nest is to stay out of their way,” said Marine Parkway Maintenance Superintendent Carlton Cyrus.

Said a peninsula resident, “Well, Rockaway is a great place to raise a family.”

Urban falcons like to nest atop bridges, church steeples and high-rise buildings as they provide an excellent vantage point for hunting prey.

Peregrine falcons nearly became extinct in the 1960’s due to pesticides in their food supply, and remain on the State DEC endangered birds list. Peregrine falcons mate for life and nest in the same spot each year.

For Brooklyn-Rockaway commuters and falcons alike, things are looking up.

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