Two healthy peregrine falcon chicks are enjoying sweeping beach views with their mom atop a bridge that connects Brooklyn to the Rockaway peninsula, according to MTA officials.
The chicks recently received identification bands as part of an ongoing program by wildlife experts to track and study the majestic birds which were once a rare sight in New York State.
On Thursday, Chris Nadareski, a research scientist with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, scaled the 215-foot Rockaway tower of the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge that connects Brooklyn and Queens to check on the chicks living in a specially built box with their mother.
Their mom watched intently as Nadareski carefully removed the two chicks from the nesting box, checked them over, placed the aluminum bands on their legs and returned them to the box.
"These bands help us identify how long these birds will survive, where they might fly off to in migration in the future," Nadareski said in a video recorded last week when he visited the birds.
He said the chicks should be able to take their first successful flight off the bridge in about three weeks.
"They may stay in the New York City areas or they may fly down the Atlantic coast to Central or South America for the winter time," Nadareski said.
MTA officials said there are falcon nests with unhatched eggs on the Brooklyn tower of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge and the Queens tower of the Throgs Neck Bridge.
Falcons nest on many bridges and tall buildings across the state, officials said. In previous years, falcons have successfully nested on top of the Nassau University Medical Center building in East Meadow.
The state’s population of peregrine falcons was dangerously small in the 1960s due to pesticides in their food supply, which includes pigeons and small birds. They are still listed as endangered birds by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.