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Peregrine Falcon Webcam - Poughkeepsie and Highland, NY

Falcons Nesting on the Mid-Hudson Bridge

Peregrine Falcons are nesting on the Mid-Hudson Bridge, which carries State Routes 44 and 55 over the Hudson River, between Poughkeepsie and Highland, NY.

Thanks to a partnership between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Bridge Authority, and the New York State Department of Transportation, you can view a current image of nest activity from a nest box located beneath the bridge.

The Mid-Hudson Bridge Spanning
The Mid-Hudson Bridge Spanning
the Hudson River between
Poughkeepsie and Highland, NY

Nest Box and Cameras

The first nest box on the Mid-Hudson bridge was put up in the late 80s by "Project Soar " through a program sponsored by the Museum of the Hudson Highlands. However, it was not until 1996 that peregrine falcons nested on the Mid-Hudson Bridge. Since then, falcons have nested on the Mid-Hudson Bridge every year, except 2001. NYSDEC has been responsible for maintaining a cooperative arrangement with the NYS Bridge Authority to comply with the endangered species protection of the Peregrine Falcon. It involves conducting annual surveys, constructing and installing new nest boxes, and banding young at the nest.

In 2000, the New York State Bridge Authority and the New York State Department of Transportation installed a network of cameras on the Mid-Hudson bridge to monitor traffic. This provided an opportunity for the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Bridge Authority and the Department of Transportation to work together on a peregrine camera for the bridge. The Department of Environmental Conservation purchased the camera and other necessary equipment with funding from the Hudson River Estuary Program, and Bridge Authority staff installed and set up the equipment. The Department of Transportation helped with planning and provided some of the funding for the Mid-Hudson bridge camera network.

Location

Banding Peregrine Falcon Chicks at the Mid-Hudson Bridge
Banding Peregrine Falcon Chicks at the
Mid-Hudson Bridge

The Mid-Hudson Bridge is an ideal location for the falcons as there are plenty of pigeons and other birds in the area, and the height of the bridge provides an excellent opportunity for hunting. The 300-foot high towers are ideal roosting locations for the falcons to ambush their prey from above as well as spot intruders before they get too close. The female does much of the 31 plus days of incubating the eggs in the nest while the male does much of the hunting until the young are hatched. Both male and female share the hunting responsibilities until the young disperse from the nest and on occasion both will cooperatively hunt together. The young or nestlings will stay in the nest for approximately 40 days and during that time both adults provide the food to the young. The female is approximately 1/3 larger than the male. Both parents can be seen fiercely defending their territory around the bridge from larger birds.


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