UNION COUNTY, NJ — The Union County Board of County Commissioners invites residents of all ages to take a look at the county’s Falcon Cam, which provides a livestream of the action in and around the peregrine falcon nest located on the roof of the Union County Courthouse.
“Peregrine falcons are listed as an endangered species, and Union County is very proud to assist in ensuring the survival of these remarkable birds in New Jersey,” said County Commissioner Chairperson Alexander Mirabella. “This live feed helps build an appreciation for preserving our natural heritage and provides an enriching experience for county residents and observers from all over the world.”
The Falcon Cam has chronicled the activity of multiple pairs of adult peregrine falcons throughout the years. The pairs have been nesting on the roof of the historic tower of the Union County Courthouse, located at 2 Broad St. in midtown Elizabeth.
Falcons have been nesting on the courthouse every year since 2005. After the first falcon couple was unsuccessful at building their nest due to weather conditions, Union County staff stepped in to help. With an assist from the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife zoologists, the county installed a repurposed, igloo-style doghouse and cameras inside and outside of the nest.
The cameras provide schools, researchers and birding enthusiasts with new learning opportunities, and, last year, the nest cam was equipped with audio.
The pair currently at the nest site is named Frida and Mango. Zoologists generally shy away from naming wildlife, but, in this case, since the two are not banded and thus cannot be referred to by their band numbers, officials gave them names to help observers tell them apart. The female is named after the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, because of the wide marking, or unibrow, between her eyes. The male, Mango, is named for his bright yellow–orange bill and feet.
This nesting season, Frida has laid four eggs, and the pair has begun incubating consistently. The eggs are due to hatch between Monday, April 26, and Thursday, April 29.
To watch the pair tend to their eggs and later care for their chicks, or eyases, visit the Union County Falcon Cam at ucnj.org/falcon.