Monday, February 29th, 2016
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protections Division of Fish and Wildlife on Friday released a peregrine falcon that was found injured in Roxbury and nursed back to health by the Millington-based Raptor Trust following serious wing injuries that left it unable to fly.
This falcon’s remarkable road to recovery is symbolic of the comeback of birds of prey from past use of harmful pesticides.
The falcon release at the Clinton Wildlife Management Area in Hunterdon County also drew attention to the state income-tax wildlife check-off, which helps fund work done by the DEP’s Endangered and Nongame Species Program.
These photos show DEP Supervising Zoologist Kathy Clark and Raptor Trust Director Chris Soucy releasing the Falcon.
For the full story, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/2016/16_0009.htm
Some facts about Peregrine Falcons from the Raptor Trust:
This mighty falcon is one of the most widely distributed birds in the world, inhabiting every continent except Antarctica. It’s scientific name peregrinus means “wanderer,” a reference to its long-distance migrations. In the mid 20th century Peregrine populations suffered drastic declines, primarily because of DDT poisoning. In 1970, there were only 39 known breeding pairs in the entire lower 48 states. Since the 1972 federal ban on the use of DDT and the initiation of conservation programs on their behalf, Peregrines have been brought back from the brink of extinction. New Jersey’s small breeding population is considered endangered.
Peregrines are large falcons, 15 to 20 inches long, with a wingspan of 3^ feet. They have a distinctive facial pattern with a dark “mustache” mark on the cheeks. Adult Peregrines have slate blue backs.
Their favored nesting sites are generally high, rocky cliff ledges in remote places overlooking a lake, stream, or river, but they are known to nest on the rooftops or ledges of city buildings and in the steelwork of bridges.
Peregrines feed mainly on other birds, catching whatever is available, from small songbirds to large ducks. They dive at incredible speeds, approaching 200 miles an hour, to capture their prey in mid-air.