Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Jersey bird

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) recently announced the arrival of a peregrine falcon chick. The proud parents nested in the steelwork under the I-95 Scudders Falls Bridge. I traverse that bridge once a week when I’m attending my little class o’ regulatory dabbling at Temple U.

It’s a heavily trafficked span, but apparently that didn’t bother the peregrines. The article notes that the presence of the raptors is symbolic of the environmental rebirth of the “dirty Delaware.” The river valley north of the bridge is quite attractive with bike paths along the canals that bracket the river (better — ahem — on the Jersey side; our tax dollars at work) and scenic forest, cliffs and little old river towns hugging the high banks.

Although the span between New Hope PA and Lambertville NJ would have been a much more chic nesting location than Scudders Falls, that ancient bridge is a grid floored structure. Not much privacy there.

The presence of the peregrines adds just a little more (OK, just a little) validation to the informal state slogan: “New Jersey: Not as Bad as You Think!” Plus I love raptors. I know that peregrines adapt to the cosmopolitan life style (see Jack and Diane) so it’s kinda cool that they’ve become another roadside attraction along interstate.


Photo courtesy of the Pennsylvania Game Commission who supplied this and others to DRJTBC who in turn, supplied them to TOLLROADSnews


  1. #1 Bill the Cat
    August 31, 2008

    If only we could teach falcons to prey upon pigeons, we could reclaim our cities!

  2. #2 Suesquatch
    September 3, 2008

    There are peregrines nesting on the Verrazano Bridge. Been there for years. Fort Wadsworth benefits because very evening at dusk they hunt for prey and do very well on pigeons.

  3. #3 Doc Bushwell
    September 3, 2008

    Bill, I fear the pigeons are winning. The Manhattan and Verranzano Bridge peregrines (as Sue mentions) indeed dine on pigeons but a streetwise urban falcon can only do so much.

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