At about 1:30 a.m. on Monday morning, March 22, the momma Peregrine Falcon in the Tappan Zee ( Mario M. Cuomo) Bridge nesting box laid an egg! As Lindsay on the Nextdoor social network put it, “You may remember that last year they laid 2 eggs which unfortunately didn’t hatch. If they hatch, it should be about 30-35 days from now.”
You can watch on the link below; the camera snaps one photo per minute, but you can choose a date and time and then navigate using ‘”forward'”and “rewind”: https://www.newnybridge.com/peregrine-falcons/
The top image was taken in the dark with an infrared sensor, so it’s gray and the egg appears white since it was warm. Here’s a shot from the daytime showing the proud parents and their egg in a “better light.”
Ornithologist and Emeritus Chair of TEAC, Carole Griffiths, gives us a few fun facts about the falcons:
Peregrine Falcons are one of the most widely distributed of birds, living in tundra, the tropics, wetlands and deserts. The name Peregrine means “wanderer,” and our Peregrines are among North America’s long-distance migratory species, some moving 25,000 kilometers annually.
These falcons were a cause célèbre of the environmental awakening in the 1970s, greatly harmed, along with other birds of prey, by the widespread use of DDT. Their comeback started after federal protection in 1970 and the banning of DDT by 1972. Extirpated from this area, they were reintroduced through federal breeding programs and are now successfully breeding in the Northeast. In this area, most used to nest on cliffs in the Palisades, but now they nest on metropolitan bridges and urban skyscrapers. Their diet specializes on birds, but can include some mammals.
They are among the fastest flying animals, clocked at around 200 miles an hour when swooping for prey, and have been long admired as nature’s perfect aerodynamic performer.
We wish our falcons well and hope for a healthy chick in a few weeks!
UPDATE: Reportedly, there is now a second egg!
FURTHER UPDATE: Now there are three!