Palmyra Cove Nature Park (PCNP) is a 250-acre urban oasis along a highly developed area on the Delaware River. Habitats include wetlands, woodlands, meadows, wild creek and river shoreline, and a freshwater Tidal Cove after which the park is named.
The Institute for Earth Observations at Palmyra Cove is a STEM educational initiative for students and teachers that studies Planet Earth. This is a unique and engaging facility where experiences can be shared…and innovative collaboration begins!
Thanks to video cameras focused on the peregrine falcon box, web visitors have a birds-eye view of the nesting boxes atop the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge and Burlington-Bristol Bridge. Peregrine Falcons have been successfully nesting in those boxes since 2008 and 2009, respectively, and can be observed nesting on the top of the bridges from late March through early June.
Because peregrine falcons are an endangered species in New Jersey, biologists with NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Non-game Species Program promote falcon nesting in our state. Those biologists are on site routinely to band falcon chicks and track their progress. Annual reports are posted online here.
UPDATE May 2020 — On Monday 5/11 the Tacony-Palmyra nest was about 6 days overdue for hatching. On Tuesday 5/12 a zoologist from the NJ DEP went to the nest atop the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge to place a chick from another nest and remove the unhatched eggs. The foster chick was 8 days old and is from a coastal nest in Cape May County that had 4 chicks. Usually fostering works really smoothly, and it’s expected that the adults will go from incubating to brooding soon.
Tacony Palmyra Bridge
HOW NESTING BOXES CAME TO BE
In 1990, the Burlington County Bridge Commission staff built and installed a nest box atop the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, at the point where the bridge arch begins to slope toward Pennsylvania. A similar nesting box was installed atop the Burlington-Bristol Bridge in January 2009.
- The peregrine falcon is the fastest animal in the world. One bird was clocked at 217 miles per hour.
- The peregrine falcon is found on every continent except Antartica.
- A peregrine falcon’s wing span is about 3 feet.
- A peregrine falcon can fly at about 6 weeks of age.
- The word “peregrine” means “wanderer.” Some falcons migrate thousands of miles each year.
- Peregrine falcons are 22 to 24 inches long and weigh about 2 pounds. The female is larger and stronger than the male.
- Peregrine falcons usually lay 3 to 4 eggs in the Spring.
- An adult falcon usually eats one bird a day, including water fowl, shore birds, and pigeons.
- A peregrine falcon may live as long as 20 years.