Baby Falcon Makes His Home Atop The Verrazano Bridge

Bird-watchers, get your binoculars out because several of New York’s bridges, including the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, are now home to endangered baby Peregrine falcons.

The chicks hatched in early May and were recently banded by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection Wildlife Studies division.

The falcons are named after their points of residence: Belle for Belle Harbor; Jake, for Jacob Riis Park; Bennett, for Floyd Bennett Field; and Gil, for baseball star Gil Hodges all live atop the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge.  Leif, named after famed sailor Leif Ericson, lives on top of the Brooklyn Tower at the Verrazano Bridge.

Falcons are considered to be the fastest animals in the world with downward flights exceeding speeds of over 200 mph.

The falcons nearly went extinct in the 60’s due to pesticides in their food. However, the MTA and the DEP have been providing nests for the birds and watching them from afar since 1983.

“We provide the nesting boxes and give the [Department of Environmental Protection] wildlife expert access to check the eggs and band them, but our primary goal is to just let them be,” said Verrazano-Narrows Maintenance Superintendent Daniel Fortunato to the NY Daily News.

Falcons are known to mate for life and hatch eggs in the same nests annually. There are now over 20 pairs of falcons living throughout New York City.

Video and photos courtesy of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/ Patrick Cashin and Carlton Cyrus.

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