Posted Thursday, February 25th, 2016
On Friday, February 26, at 11 a.m., the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will release into the wild a peregrine falcon that was rehabilitated from a serious wing injury.
The falcon will be released as a symbol of the remarkable recovery of birds of prey –including bald eagles, falcons and osprey – in New Jersey. The bird was rehabilitated by the Millington-based Raptor Trust after being found severely injured in the yard of a Roxbury resident.
The release will take place within the Clinton Wildlife Management Area, located adjacent to the scenic Spruce Run Reservoir. Division of Fish and Wildlife experts and representatives of the Raptor Trust will be available to answer questions about efforts to successfully rebuild populations of these species, which at one time were nearly extirpated from New Jersey.
The Clinton Wildlife Management Area office is located at 141 Van Syckels Road, Clinton, NJ 08809.
Directions: From Interstate 78 Westbound and Eastbound
Take Exit 12.
From exit, follow signs to County Route 635.
Follow Route 635 north approximately three miles to the Clinton Wildlife Management Area Office.
For more information on the DEP’s Endangered and Non-Game Species Program, visit:http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/ensphome.htm
On Saturday, Feb. 27, at 1 p.m., the Raptor Trust will hold a special program entitled, “HAWKS and EAGLES and FALCONS—OH MY!” The cost is $10 per person for ages 8 to adult. To register call 908-647-1091.
For more information on the Raptor Trust, visit: http://theraptortrust.org/
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.