BY LUKE TABET
Six peregrine falcon chicks that hatched last month were recently fitted with tracking bands as part of the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) nesting program. The chicks were hatched in nesting boxes installed by the MTA on the Throgs Neck Bridge and the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge.
The nesting boxes for the peregrines were 215 feet high on the Marine Parkway’s Rockaway tower and 360 feet on the Throgs Neck’s Bronx tower. The MTA has been participating in the State DEC’s nesting program since it started in 1983, making this its 30th year.
Peregrine falcons were nearly wiped out in the 1960s due to pesticides that poisoned their food supply, and have remained on the State DEC’s endangered birds list since that time.
“Other than providing the nesting box, our primary goal during mating season and until the chicks leave the nest is to stay out of their way,” said Marine Parkway Maintenance Superintendent Carlton Cyrus.