2013 Peregrine Nestbox News
Nestbox News is an account of activity at a nestbox atop Mack-Cali Realty Corporation's 101 Hudson St., Jersey City, by biologists in the Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP). Follow this chronicle of the nesting behavior and activity of peregrine falcons and their chicks.
We encourage viewers to help support the webcam and all the work of the ENSP through the Income Tax Check-off for Wildlife and Conserve Wildlife License Plates. We appreciate and value your support, as well as the support we've received from the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ and the Mack-Cali Realty Corporation and its staff at 101 Hudson - without their cooperation the nestbox and webcam would not be possible.
May 20, 2013 - Morning Update
Hopefully the drama of the past week is behind us as we watch the new chick grow. We'll determine its sex the first week of June when biologists return to Jersey City to examine and band it. Meanwhile, we'll keep watching.
For more photos from Jersey City the day of the swap, visit Bird Cams Around the World. Thanks to Bonnie for the photo of the female and new chick to the right.
May 17, 2013, 2:40 p.m. - Mission Accomplished!
The chick is now en route to The Raptor Trust for examination and care. We'll update this page later tonight or tomorrow morning, but viewers will know about as much as we do for now.
May 17, 2013, 8:00 a.m. - A Plan Is Formulated
In the nest on Thursday, the chick was not sitting up, which is necessary for it to be fed. It had gotten fed each day, but on Thursday the chick seemed worse, spending most of its time lying down and even apparently stuck on its back. This is not normal for a chick that is two days old. The other three eggs have not hatched and we don't expect them to hatch at this point. The adults are still trying to incubate them, which is also distracting them from the chick.
We may be seeing the lower nest success that is characteristic of older peregrine falcons. While our female remains an excellent caregiver, her eggs have lower viability, and the chick may suffer from a genetic abnormality. The eggs could also be carrying accumulated toxins that are interfering with hatching and normal chick development.
In the interest of keeping this pair active at the nest site, we will be providing them with a foster chick this afternoon that we're transferring from a four-chick nest in Sea Isle City. Biologist Mick Valent will put the chick in and remove the eggs and the sick hatchling. He will deliver the hatchling to The Raptor Trust, where we hope to get a clue as to what is wrong. The eggs will be valuable samples for future analysis.
Fostering chicks into nests is a proven technique and we fully expect the Jersey City adults will quickly adopt the new nestling. By doing this, we will allow the birds to fulfill their nesting cycle, giving full attention to raising one chick. The donor nest also benefits, because the adults will have a little less work raising their three remaining chicks. At both sites, we raise the chances of ultimate survival for all the young.
May 16, 2013, 1:30 p.m. - Problem In the Nest
It could be any number of reasons, or combination of reasons, that this situation is what we're observing. Unfortnately, there is no action we can take to help the chick at this time, and to so would likely be futile in the end.
Meanwhile, the female continues to incubate the three eggs which are almost certainly beyond the point of hatching. A visit to administer medication early next week may have a different purpose if things do not turn around soon. But we'll be watching.
May 6, 2013 - Video is LIVE!
We are excited to share with you the live view atop 101 Hudson Street in Jersey City. The peregrines have been diligently incubating their four eggs since April 11th, and we are looking forward to hatching next Monday or Tuesday. The streaming video is much more interesting to watch than the still pictures (which have been available since early April), and the action during and after hatching makes viewing fascinating and addictive for most of us!
The problems of this past month are a combination of old equipment (some of it in place since 2001), outdated software, and the restrictions of the state website. We are hoping that with viewer contributions, our partner, the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, will be able to replace the system with a new digital one, and make the webcam available via an independent provider. We hope you'll consider partnering on this: watch for the Peregrine Webcam Campaign on the CWF website in the coming weeks. And thank you!!
Now...go enjoy the Live Peregrine Webcam!
April 18, 2013 - Incubation quiet time
Without the streaming video available, and relying only on still images, viewers can see that most of the incubation is by the larger female. The male has been seen sitting nearby, but most often is out of camera range. He has the most responsibility for catching and delivering prey, while she will do most of the incubating; but the eggs are never left unattended for more than a couple minutes.
We are still working on getting the streaming video running and hope to have that available soon!
April 11, 2013 - Four Eggs: A Complete Clutch?
April 8, 2013 - A Third Egg
Incubation won't begin in earnest until the female has finished the clutch. Last year five eggs were laid - an indication the female is getting to be an older bird. We'll continue monitoring the nestbox, as we hope you are as well!
March 14, 2013 - Another Season Begins
As far as the activity at 101 Hudson Street, we are assuming the 2013 nesting season is already under way. Unfortunately, due to budgetary constraints we have not yet activated the cameras but hope to be streaming video and still images before egg laying begins later this month.
We are sure this will be another exciting year observing the peregrine falcons using the nestbox maintained by the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program. The first nestbox was installed in 2001 and has fostered the successful fledging of young every year since (see About the Peregrine Project for a history of the project). Last year was a difficult year, with only one of three fledglings known to have survived through the summer after the hatching of three eggs from a clutch of five. (See the 2012 Nestbox News for details.)
We do want to remind the viewing public that funding for projects such as this remains hard to obtain - the Peregrine Project, like other projects conducted by the ENSP, is funded entirely by grants and donations. Please help this project continue by making a direct donation to the ENSP, or by "checking-off" for wildlife on your state income tax return. By becoming a partner in the work of ENSP you can proudly feel you are doing your part in protecting our endangered and threatened species.
We hope you enjoy following the Jersey City peregrines this season; it's sure to be as exciting as it has been in past years.