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Queens Chronicle

Bridges to wildlife

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Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 11:18 am, Thu Jun 14, 2012.

The Throgs Neck Bridge is the home of two female peregrine falcon chicks that hatched this spring. Skye and Baysie, named for Fort Schuyler and Bayside, live with their parents atop the 360-foot Bronx-side tower.

MTA officials said they are among seven endangered peregrine falcon chicks to hatch on its bridge towers this year. The birds were nearly wiped out in the 1960s because of pesticides in their food supply.

Falcons, which are predators, like to nest on bridges, high-rise buildings and other tall structures when nesting in urban settings to help them spot and hunt pigeons and other smaller birds.

They are the fastest-moving members of the animal kingdom, capable of reaching 200 miles per hour in a full-out dive.

The MTA’s only cost is the boxes provided for the nests. The authority also brings in Department of Environmental Protection wildlife experts to check the eggs and band and monitor the chicks once they are hatched.

Other falcons were hatched this year on a 215-foot Marine Parkway Bridge tower in Rockaway, and a 693-foot Brooklyn tower of the Verrazano Bridge.

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