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Falcon Chicks Hatch Atop Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge

The fluffy hatchlings, abut three weeks old, were recently banded for monitoring.

Three healthy peregrine falcon chicks hatched and joined their falcon mother atop the 693-foot Brooklyn Tower of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.

The fluffy hatchlings were recently banded for wildlife monitoring, according to a news release from Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Bridges and Tunnels division. 

Each year, research scientist Chris Nadareski of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, puts identifying bands on falcon chicks. This helps wildlife experts keep track of the number of peregrines in the city and identify them in case they become sick or injured, according to the news release.

The bandings took place on May 24 when the falcon chicks were about three weeks old. The banding process is performed in accordance with agency procedures and does no harm to the chicks, the agency said. 

The MTA's  Bridges and Tunnels division has been part of the state nesting program since 1983. Peregrine falcons were nearly wiped out by the 1960s as a result of pesticides in their food supply and remain on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation endangered birds list.

Urban falcons like to nest atop bridges, church steeples and high-rise buildings because they provide an excellent vantage point for hunting prey, including pigeons and small birds.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels provides a nesting box for the falcons at each of the bridges but otherwise leaves the birds alone, particularly during nesting season. Falcons mate for life and generally return to the same nest to hatch their young.