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<p>Three male peregrine falcon chicks were recently banded atop the 360-foot tall Bronx tower at the Throgs Neck Bridge.<br />
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<p><div style="float:left; margin-right:10px;"><img src="/sites/default/files/archive/imgs/falcon.jpg" alt="Peregrine falcon photo"></div>They join two other sets of feathered cousins at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge where two female chicks were born atop the 693-foot Brooklyn tower, and four chicks 215-feet atop the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial on the Rockaway side of the bridge. Those chicks have not been banded yet so their gender is unknown.</p>
<p>Banding takes place about three weeks after the chicks hatch when their talons have grown to adult size. Each new chick receives an identification band for future monitoring by federal wildlife officials. The banding is done by wildlife specialist Chris Nadareski, of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection's Wildlife Studies division, which coordinates the city falcon program in cooperation with the State Department of Environmental Conservation.</p>
<p>Peregrine falcons 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 peregrine nesting program began in the city in 1983, and the first two established nests were at the Verrazano-Narrows and Throgs Neck Bridges. Urban 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.</p>
<p>Peregrine falcons mate for life and nest in the same spot each year. The young falcons begin flying when they are about six-weeks-old. Nadareski estimates that, as of this year, there are 16 pairs of peregrine falcons who call the city home.</p>

<div class="frame" style="float:right;width:337px;margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:8;margin-left:8px;padding-bottom:8px;"><img style="margin-bottom:18px;" src="/sites/default/files/archive/imgs/Locust_Edwater_Bayside_2011.jpg" title="The 3 chicks are from back to front Locust, Edgewater and Bayside, named for neighborhoods near the Throgs Neck Bridge" alt="The 3 chicks are from back to front Locust, Edgewater and Bayside, named for neighborhoods near the Throgs Neck Bridge" /><span>The 3 chicks are from back to front Locust, Edgewater and Bayside, named for neighborhoods near the Throgs Neck Bridge</span><br /></div>

<div class="frame" style="width:337px;margin-top:0px;margin-bottom:8;margin-left:8px;padding-bottom:8px;"><img src="/sites/default/files/archive/imgs/Rose_Sunset2.jpg" title="The 2 chicks are Rose and Sunset, also named for Verrazano-Narrows neighboring communities of Rosebank in Staten Island and Sunset Park in Brooklyn." alt="The 2 chicks are Rose and Sunset, also named for Verrazano-Narrows neighboring communities of Rosebank in Staten Island and Sunset Park in Brooklyn." />The 2 chicks are Rose and Sunset, also named for Verrazano-Narrows neighboring communities of Rosebank in Staten Island and Sunset Park in Brooklyn.</div>

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