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2011 Jersey City Fledge-Watch

Two fledgelings in flight Nestbox News entries typically conclude in June as each year's young fledge and take to the skies above Jersey City and beyond. In 2011, the last entry was posted on June 20. Fortunately for staff involved in the project, as well as the many readers of Nestbox News, local peregrine observers and Wildlife Conservation Corps volunteers Mike Girone and Bonnie Talluto made five weekend visits to the area around 101 Hudson Street to observe the birds while braving the frequently hot weather and curious looks of passersby.

Reports submitted by Mike are reproduced here, along with some photos, in this new page, Jersey City Fledge-Watch. We hope you enjoy the information and images Mike and Bonnie have provided. (Fledgling flight photo courtesy of Bonnie Talluto, click to enlarge.)

Fledgling perched on building June 25-26, 2011
On Saturday, the female fledgling was spotted flying around at 8:50 a.m. before perching at 10 Exchange Place. An apparent food-drop from the adult female to the male fledgling occurred near the top of 10 Exchange just after 9 a.m. The male fledgling ate, and flew over to 101 Hudson at 11:05 a.m. This was the first day Iíd seen both fledglings in flight.

Sunday started off with both fledglings present at the very top of 10 Exchange Place around 8:10 a.m. The adult female flew in at 8:43 a.m., and suddenly the entire falcon family was airborne, over the Hudson/Montgomery St. intersection! About 2 hours later, both fledglings and the adult male were in the air together in the same area as before. The adult male broke off, while both fledglings flew over Hudson St. and almost right overhead; the male fledgling was in pursuit of his sister, but they took turns grappling with and chasing each other.

July 2-4, 2011
On Saturday, a perched prey transfer took place around 10:15 a.m. on 101 Hudsonís 39th floor ledge. Both fledglings were already present, having just flown over from the west side of 10 Exchange Place. The adult female flew in and landed beside them. The nearest fledgling grabbed the prey and hopped down to the roof area, while the adult female took off to a nearby perch. The other fledgling then dropped down to the roof to join its sibling.

Monday (July 4) began with the male fledgling flying around, then perching on a decorative ledge on a low riverside building around 10 a.m. He flew off around 10:30, heading west to Hudson St., then turned south and disappeared behind the building. After walking south to Grand St., at 10:40, I spotted both fledglings soaring together. They started out over Greene St. just west of 101 Hudson, and gradually drifted almost 2 blocks north. They also gained significant altitude during this time (becoming specks to the naked eye), and were briefly joined by the adult male. Very impressive demonstration of this new flight skill theyíve acquired!

July 9-10, 2011
The most exciting weekend of the fledge-watch started off on Saturday around 9 a.m., when both fledglings were spotted soaring and gliding together across a 3-block area around 101 Hudson! Just before 10:30 a.m., an osprey flew in from the south (likely from Liberty State Park), and was promptly escorted out of the area by both adult falcons! One adult was particularly aggressive, diving at the osprey and possibly making brief contact with the larger raptor (as seen in photo below)!
Peregrine pursues osprey
Click to enlarge
Peregrine pursues osprey
Click to enlarge

Afterward, both fledglings were seen flying again, and perching on a 39th floor ledge on the southwest corner of 101 Hudson. The male remained there, while the female flew around to perch on the north side of the building.

On Sunday the male fledgling was spotted on a low tier at 10 Exchange Place at 8:10 a.m. He remained there until 10:55, when he spotted the adult male flying in with prey. He promptly flew to his parent, and they performed a perfect mid-air beak-to-talons prey transfer! The female fledgling was briefly spotted afterward, and both disappeared around the north side of 101 Hudson. Unknown which of them ended up with the prey, but one was later seen perched on a northwest corner of 101 Hudson, looking down at the roof area a lot. What a joy & privilege to witness the mid-air prey transfer, one of the first major milestones in a young peregrineís life!!

July 16-17, 2011
The female fledgling was spotted flying north over the river walkway at 9:18 a.m. Saturday, and landed at the very top of 10 Exchange Place. She moved in from the edge and wasnít spotted again while I was there (till 11:15). Later, a little after 10 a.m., I spotted the adult female perched on a 39th floor ledge at 101 Hudson. She was still there when I left.

July 23-24, 2011
Sunday morning, at least one fledgling, or possibly both, was spotted. Just before 9 a.m., the female fledgling flew out over the river walkway from the west, in-between two low riverside buildings. She gained height, and turned southwest, disappearing over the buildings. A walk to the southern end of Hudson St. didnít turn up a sighting. While walking back north at 9:30, I spotted a fledgling perched on a decorative ledge on the southwest corner of a low building across the street from 101 Hudson. My initial impression was that this was the smaller male fledgling. He seemed quite content there, doing a lot of preening and walking a few feet north along the ledge. He was still there when I left at 11:30...

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Last Updated: September 15, 2011