Western Brooklyn

Verrazano Bridge Workers Save Stranded Falcon Chick

The falcon as it awaits a checkup with the vet. (Source: MTA)
The falcon as it awaits a checkup with the vet. (Source: MTA)
Savior of falcons. (Source: MTA)

Two MTA Bridges and Tunnels workers rescued a one-month-old peregrine falcon from danger after it landed on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge’s roadway and couldn’t take flight.

Here’s the story, via MTA press release:

MTA Bridges and Tunnels Maintainers Ed Sheehan and Asif Subhan were in a sweeper truck doing routine cleaning near the Brooklyn tower in the early morning hours of June 17 when they spotted something on the small strip of curbing adjacent to the center median, which divides east and west bound traffic.

“I think I just saw a cat,” Subhan told his colleague. The two circled around in the truck to get a closer look and were surprised to see the female falcon standing still, staring at them. They immediately radioed back to the facility to let them know what they found. Maintainer Angel Acevedo and Bridge and Tunnel Officer Michael Chorynoy, who was on patrol, quickly joined them.

The bird didn’t have any visible injuries but was unable or unwilling to fly. The fast-acting foursome cornered the scared, young falcon. Acevedo deftly scooped the falcon up while Sheehan made a make-shift crate in order to safely transport her back to the Verrazano-Narrows administration building.

“It’s not unusual for young falcons just getting their wings under them to run into this kind of trouble,” said city DEP wildlife expert Chris Nadareski, who oversees the peregrine falcon program in New York City and bands the MTA chicks each spring. “It will take a couple of more weeks before they get full control.”

After being checked out by a vet, the falcon was returned to its 695-foot-high next on top of the bridge’s Brooklyn tower.

“She went straight into the nesting box and began squawking for her parents to feed her,” said Nadareski

The chick was one of four hatched in May on top of the bridge, and one of 11 born on three MTA bridges citywide this year.