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Three Peregrine Falcon Chicks Are Hatched and Banded at MTA Bridges and Tunnels

Bridges and Tunnels
Updated May 24, 2024 2:15 p.m.

Falcon Chicks Hatch at Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in May 2024

View Photos of This Year’s Hatchlings


Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Bridges and Tunnels today announced that three healthy peregrine falcon chicks have been hatched and joined their falcon mom in a specially built nesting box atop the 693-foot Brooklyn Tower of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. The fluffy hatchlings, who enjoy 360-degree views of the city skyline from their perches, were recently banded for wildlife monitoring.

The 2024 newcomers are perching comfortably atop the tower with unhatched eggs remaining on the Marine Parkway Bridge Brooklyn tower.

Each year, around the end of May, research scientist Chris Nadareski, of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, climbs to the top of the bridges and puts identifying bands on the falcon chicks. This helps wildlife experts keep track of the number of peregrines in the city and identify them in case they become sick or injured. The bandings took place on May 24 when the falcon chicks were about three weeks old. MTA Bridges and Tunnels has been part of the state nesting program since 1983.

Peregrine falcons were nearly wiped out by the 1960s as a result of pesticides in their food supply and remain on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation endangered birds list. Urban falcons like to nest atop bridges, church steeples and high-rise buildings because they provide an excellent vantage point for hunting prey, including pigeons and small birds.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels provides a nesting box for the falcons at each of the bridges but otherwise leaves the birds alone, particularly during nesting season. Falcons mate for life and generally return to the same nest to hatch their young.

The banding process is performed in accordance with agency procedures and does no harm to the chicks.