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NEWS

For Immediate Release
May 21, 2011

Peregrine Falcons Hatch at Mid-Hudson Bridge
Fans Can Name the Falcons

Highland, NY – It’s springtime at the Bridge Authority - bridge cleanup, fixing winter’s wear and tear and the birth of three Peregrine Falcon chicks on the Mid-Hudson Bridge. 

“It’s an annual tradition,’ Executive Director Joseph Ruggiero said.  “The falcon cam gets a lot of hits at the DEC web site and our YouTube posts last year got thousands of views.”

These chicks are the 39th, 40th and 41st Peregrine Falcons fledged from the nesting box in the past 15 years at the Mid-Hudson Bridge.   “We are fortunate that our facilities have been so successful in helping re-establish such a beautiful and important species,” said Ruggiero.

The Bridge Authority hosts nesting boxes on each of its five Hudson River bridges.  The boxes were installed in the late 1980’s as part of an effort to re-establish the Peregrine in the Hudson Valley.  Peregrine Falcons are listed as an endangered species.

The Authority partners with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to provide the public with live snapshots of the Peregrine nest.  The webcam can be viewed at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/53052.html. The live-shot is updated approximately every 10 minutes.   The DEC web site also includes additional information about Peregrines as well as other webcams around the state.

Fans can also see video of the Peregrine and three chicks on YouTube.  An earlier clip of two of the young and a new clip from this week are available at http://youtu.be/zHzz14JPSrA and http://youtu.be/moIvzDuWBH8.  Fans can also search YouTube for “Falcon Feeding Chicks 2011”.  The Bridge Authority expects to post additional video over the next few weeks.

“This year in addition to the DEC webcam and our video on YouTube, we will be “tweeting” out pictures and updates of the new chicks periodically. You can follow us at @NYSBridge on Twitter, or look for the New York State Bridge Authority on Facebook,” Ruggiero added. 

One of the new features on Facebook will be an opportunity for fans to “Name the Falcons”.  Visitors can leave a message on Facebook with suggestions for a name for each of the three new Falcons.  A committee will announce the results on June 1st.

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

Falcon chicks are called eyas and lose their downy white coat as they mature. 

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

For all of the latest news, business opportunities, and Authority updates please follow us on Twitter at @NYSBridge (https://twitter.com/#!/NYSBridge).  You can also find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com) by searching for the “New York State Bridge Authority.”

Quick Facts about the New York State Bridge Authority

  • The NYS Bridge Authority operates the Bear Mountain, Newburgh-Beacon, Mid-Hudson, Kingston-Rhinecliff and Rip Van Winkle bridges.       
  • The Authority is funded from bridge tolls and receives no tax monies for bridge maintenance and operation.
  • The Authority holds the highest bond rating given any public toll-transportation entity in the United States, reducing bond and annual costs.
The $1 passenger vehicle toll for east-bound passage on all Authority bridges is among the lowest nationwide for self-supporting transportation agencies (there is no toll for west-bound passage).