Nine baby falcons have hatched atop three MTA bridges, a safe and quiet perch to begin their lives, according to experts.
The endangered peregrine 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.
“It doesn’t cost the Authority anything to have the falcons nest here,” said Throgs Neck Maintenance Superintendent Carlton Cyrus. “We just give them some peace and quiet and during nesting season make sure that our contractors and maintenance workers don’t disturb them. This allows the chicks to hatch and gives them a greater opportunity for survival.”
The three sets of peregrine chicks were all born around the first week of May, the MTA said.
Two girls were born on top of the 693-foot Brooklyn tower on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. They were named Rose and Sunset, in honor of Staten Island’s Rosebank neighborhood and Sunset Park in Brooklyn, respectively.
A short flight away, three boy peregrine falcons were born 360-feet atop the Bronx tower at the Throgs Neck Bridge. The boys were named Locust, Edgewater and Bayside in honor of Bronx and Queens communities near that bridge.
The final four chicks were born inside a World War I gun turret 215-feet in the air on the Rockaway tower of the Marine Parkway-Gild Hodges Memorial Bridge. The babies were named Rocky for the Rockaways, Floyd for nearby Floyd Bennett field, Marine (for the bridge) and Breezy for Breezy Point.
Peregrine falcons, which mate for life and nest in the same spot each year, were nearly wiped out in the 1960s because of pesticides in their food supply, and remain on the NYS Department of Conservation’s endangered birds list.
The baby birds should begin flying when they reach about 6 weeks old, experts said.