All photos from the MTA Photos Flickr, for the full album see here.
If you thought New York was ruled by the pigeon, think again. There are 33 and counting Peregrine Falcons living atop the tallest points in New York City, and more importantly, they eat pigeons for breakfast. Some of their nesting locations include the Brooklyn Bridge, Verrazano Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge, George Washington Bridge, Metropolitan Life Building, Bank of New York, St. Regis Hotel, and Riverside Church.
Peregrine Falcons nest in high places so they have a great vantage point for hunting. They have flying speeds of 60 miles per hour, and when they dive-bomb their prey these falcons can fly up to 200 miles per hour! They are one of nature’s fastest birds and most skilled hunters. They are native to the East Coast down to Georgia. However, when DDT was on the upswing in the 1950s, their population in these areas dwindled dangerously.
As well as being the fastest and the best hunters, we would like to nominate these birds having the greatest facial expressions.
However, these falcons now serve as an environmental success story. They were among the first animals to receive aid from the Endangered Species Act of 1973. After efforts in the ’80s and ’90s, over 145 falcons have been found in New York City. Now, New York City has the highest concentration of Peregrine Falcons, anywhere, according to an interview with Chris Nadareski, a wildlife biologist with NYC’s Department of Environmental Protection.
Many of these falcons also have names. The ones on the Throgs Neck Bridge are named Locust, Edgewater, and Bayside. They are almost all named after the area in which they reside.