The PA’s Falcon Protection Strategy: Tag, You’re It

By Abigail Goldring, Media Relations Staff

We experience many annual traditions in our lifetimes – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. The list goes on. The Port Authority has more than its share of memorable moments and milestones, and one of the most special is the naming and tagging each year of baby Peregrine falcons that nest near the Bayonne Bridge.

Recently, three newborns — Martha, Rosie and Juno, named to honor World War II heroes and the 75th anniversary of D-Day celebrated earlier this month — joined the Port Authority’s extended family.

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(l-r) Chris Nadareski, NYC DEP; PA’s Richard Kerney, and city DEP’s Douglas Auer

“Martha was the first name of one of the first female war correspondents. Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon who represents the women who worked in factories and shipyards during the war. And Juno is the name of one of the beaches used as a landing area during the invasion,” Staten Island Bridges (SIB) General Manager Olga Krueger explained.

The tagging process went like this: Rich Kerney, a SIB maintenance unit supervisor, and Chris Nadareski, a research scientist with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), climbed up a 40-foot nesting tower in the Arthur Kill near the Bayonne Bridge.

Nadareski secured identification bands around the newborns’ tiny claws — much to the displeasure of their protective mother and father. The parents aggressively circled and clawed at him and Kerney throughout the process, out of concern for their babies, but soon enough Nadareski returned them safely to their care.

The Port Authority built the nesting tower in 1989 to provide shelter for the falcons, away from the bridge, to lay their eggs. For more than 30 years now, Nadareski has been tagging them to collect information on their migration patterns and health conditions. The hope is that this process will help this endangered species’ population continue to grow.

 

Photo Credit: NYC Department of Environmental Protection

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