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June 27, 2008

Three New Falcons on Mid-Hudson Bridge

Highland, NY - Three baby peregrine falcons chicks have a new home on the Mid-Hudson Bridge.   

Wildlife biologists recently visited the bridge to place leg tags on the chicks and monitor the perch.  Mother and children were pronounced healthy and in great shape.

Falcon Mother and Eyas

The name Peregrine means “wanderer,” and northern-nesting Peregrines are among North America’s long-distance migratory species, traveling as much as 10,000 miles a year.  Peregrines mate for life and usually return to the same nesting spot each year.  The state Bridge Authority provides nesting areas on each of its five spans for Peregrines.

The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird on the planet in its hunting dive, soaring to a half mile or more, then diving at speeds in excess of 200mph. The top speed recorded for a Peregrine dive is 242.3mph.

Falcon Eyas

Falcon chicks are called eyas and grow the downy coat as they mature.  It is expected that the chicks will take flight in the very near future.

A medium-sized falcon, the Peregrine will grow to about 15 to 21 inches long and have a wingspan   of more than 3 feet.

Female Falcon at MHB

   In 1970, the Peregrine was federally protected in    the United States. Peregrines have since made a    strong recovery, aided by wildlife management    such as providing habitats on structures like the    bridges over the Hudson River.