Since 1981, NH Audubon conservation biologists and a legion of dedicated volunteers have worked tirelessly to advance Peregrine Falcon population recovery in New Hampshire. NH Audubon first became involved as organized releases of captive-bred falcons were ending and monitoring of wild-breeding pairs began. From a single cliff-nesting pair that fledged two chicks in Franconia Notch in 1981, to a record-high of 43 young fledged in 2018, NH Audubon observers have been there for 37 years!
NH Audubon is pleased to provide live streaming video of the Peregrine Falcon nest at 1750 Elm Street in Manchester, NH, with the support of our partners Peregrine Networks and Brady Sullivan Properties.
Link to Camera 1 live stream
(Also see links to the other two camera views plus highlights of the year with egg, hatch and fledging dates.)
Read more about our
Peregrine Falcon Monitoring and Management project.
In 2018, NH Audubon staff and volunteers documented New Hampshire’s best Peregrine Falcon breeding season in the nearly four decades since recovery efforts began in the state around 1980. New record highs were set in all statistical categories that we track, including 25 territorial pairs and 17 successful pairs. An exceptional total of 43 young fledged in 2018 (1.87 young fledged per nesting pair), marking the first time during post-DDT recovery that more than 40 young falcons fledged in the Granite State in a single breeding season.
Season highlights included three pairs that fledged four young each: Rattlesnake Mt. in Rumney, Fall Mt. in Walpole, and a quarry in Westmoreland. The Merrimack River valley now has five breeding pairs, with falcons nesting successfully in a nest box on the stack of Granite Shore Power’s Merrimack Station in Bow, and on a nest tray placed by NHDOT under the I-293/101 bridge in Bedford. More than 25% of New Hampshire’s Peregrines now nest on human-created structures, including buildings, bridges, stacks, and quarry walls.
Thanks to our partnership with Biodiversity Research Institute and Stantec Consulting, four adult female Peregrines with solar-powered satellite transmitters continue to send us their locations daily. These include a year-round resident at the I-95 Bridge in Portsmouth, as well as migratory birds that breed in Rumney and Walpole. Another female, who formerly bred at Bear Mt. in Hebron and who has been continuously transmitting since May 2014, jumped to a neighboring territory in March 2018 and raised young successfully at Holts Ledge in Lyme!
We confirmed the banded status of 23 individuals (45%). Two notable band encounters in 2018 involved falcons that died but had connections to the Brady-Sullivan nest box in Manchester. A venerable Manchester offspring from 2001, 17-yr old “Black/green *6/*4”, who nested in Lawrence MA since 2003, died in early April shortly after a fight with a rival male. One of his 5-yr old offspring was the breeding male at the I-293/101 Bridge in Bedford until he was found dead in June. After he died, his mate successfully raised their three chicks to fledging on her own.
Thanks to all those volunteers, landowners, and climbers who support our Peregrine Falcon recovery efforts, and to various natural resource agencies and groups who assist us in many key ways. Peregrine Falcon management is conducted in partnership and with funding from NH Fish & Game’s Nongame Wildlife Program.
Spring 2017 marked the 37th consecutive breeding season for New Hampshire’s recovering Peregrine Falcon population. While still listed as state-threatened, our Peregrines continue to expand to new nest sites, albeit quite slowly. NH Audubon continues to play a lead role in their monitoring and management.
In 2017, we documented a state record-high 24 occupied territories. Several other breeding metrics that we track annually were not as strong. We confirmed 19 incubating pairs but only 12 productive sites, down from a record-high 14 in 2016. Yet, we tallied 31 fledglings for an average of 1.63 young per nesting pair, quite close to the state’s 37-year average of 1.65 young per nesting pair. Also encouraging is that in the last four breeding seasons 30 or more young have fledged each year—a first for the state since monitoring began in New Hampshire in the early 1980s.
Manchester had two breeding pairs this year, at the I-293/101 Bridge and the Brady-Sullivan Tower. Rumney also had two pairs with one at Polar Caves and one at Rattlesnake Mountain. Workers at the Irving Oil Marine Terminal in Portsmouth discovered a prematurely fledged juvenile who “just dropped in” from the massive I-95 Bridge looming overhead. Diamond Peaks in the Second College Grant fledged young later in August than ever recorded in 378 prior New Hampshire fledging records, dating back to 1981.
Working with Stantec and BioDiversity Research Institute, we caught two more adult female falcons (Walpole’s Fall Mountain and Portsmouth’s I-95 Bridge) and fitted them with 12-gram, solar-powered satellite transmitters. We are now tracking daily movements of four birds throughout the year.
Peregrine Falcon work is supported by a federal grant to NH Fish & Game and a grant by the Blake-Nuttall Fund. Thank you also to our field volunteers and others who assist with this work, including partners at Appalachian Trail Conservancy, BioDiversity Research, Brady-Sullivan Properties, Irving Oil, MassWildlife, NH DOT, NH Fish & Game, SingleDigits, and Stantec.
Exciting new developments in on-line Peregrine Falcon viewing at the Brady-Sullivan Tower in Manchester, NH! Since 2003, the public has been able to use their computers to watch Manchester’s peregrines raise their young, thanks to gear originally provided by Spectra Access, Inc. Well, after more than a decade, the equipment was really showing its age in 2015, and the viewing experience was no longer something that any of us were pleased to share with the public. That’s why NH Audubon is so delighted now to announce that Single Digits (which purchased Spectra Access in late 2014) has just installed two new high-resolution cameras that will significantly improve nest viewing!
One new fixed camera focuses on the perch located just outside the nest box, and provides a sweeping view of downtown Manchester and the Merrimack River. The second PTZ camera enables Single Digits’ technicians and NH Audubon’s raptor biologist to rotate and zoom. We can focus on the birds incubating eggs deep inside the nest box, then follow the chicks as they increasingly explore the box, and finally watch them test their wings on the outer ledge. By repositioning the adjustable PTZ camera closer to the entrance of the box, we expect much better lighting and far less glare than before. And this camera has night-viewing capabilities, which opens a whole new window on peregrine behavior during hours when birders rarely watch raptors. We hope you will enjoy watching on your computer, tablet, or smart phone!
NH Audubon is incredibly grateful to Single Digits for their interest and support, and to Brady-Sullivan Properties for hosting the nest box for the past 15 years. Check out the view for yourself!
Sometime during this past winter, a new unbanded female Peregrine Falcon took up residence at the Brady-Sullivan Tower. She replaced “02/Z,” a black/green banded female Peregrine Falcon that was in residence since 2006 and was nearly 10 years old when she disappeared. Over the past calendar year both of Manchester’s resident Peregrines – the black/green banded male “6/7” and the female mentioned above – have been replaced by new individuals. At the end of March, we also noted a second male Peregrine challenging the new resident male for possession of the site. But, in spite of all this domestic upheaval, the breeding territory continues to be active, and we continue to watch for arrival of the eggs (we appear to be at 4 and counting!) and the month of incubation which will follow.
6/29/15: The four chicks have fledged, one has met an early death from a collision with the building but the other three seem to be doing fine.
Photos, from the top: Beginning birding class outing by Dyanna Smith, female Peregrine Falcon (Brady Sullivan Tower, Manchester, NH, March 2008) by Chris Martin.
The New Hampshire Audubon offers multiple opportunities for those interested in joining us as a member or donating for one of our various causes.
Founded in 1914, NH Audubon’s mission is to protect New Hampshire’s natural environment for wildlife and for people. It is an independent statewide membership organization with four nature centers throughout the state. Expert educators give programs to children, families, and adults at centers and in schools. Staff biologists and volunteers conduct bird conservation efforts such as the Peregrine Falcon restoration. NH Audubon protects thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and is a voice for sound public policy on environmental issues. For information on NH Audubon, including membership, volunteering, programs, sanctuaries, and publications, call 224-9909, or visit www.nhaudubon.org.