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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE02-20

May 23, 2002

Contact: Geoff Ryan (718) 595-6600

Jack & Jill Have Triplets At 55 Water Street

Peregrine Falcons Can Be Seen On The Internet

Commissioner Christopher O. Ward of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that Jack and Jill are the proud parents of triplets. The Peregrine Falcon couple and their three daughters reside on the fourteenth floor of 55 Water Street, overlooking the East River near the southern tip of Manhattan. The family can be seen live at the nest on two Web sites: www.nyc.gov/dep and www.55water.com.

"We are pleased to report that DEP Wildlife Biologist, Christopher Nadareski, placed identification bands on the chicks yesterday and found them to be in perfect health," said Commissioner Ward. "Hatched from their eggs three weeks ago, the fuzzy chicks are developing feathers now and will be fledging from the nest within two-and-a-half to three weeks. The computer screen provides a great way to watch the parents bring food to the nest and observe the chicks' rapid development."

In 1993, a pair of Peregrine Falcons, Jack and Diane, established a nest site and raised several broods of young at the Bank of New York Building on Wall Street. The couple moved to 55 Water Street in 1999 and raised several more broods. Jack was born and banded in 1990 on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, while Diane's origins are unknown. Diane, estimated to be about 13 years old, was found in lower Manhattan, in 2001, with a severely arthritic wing and is now in retirement at Cornell University. Jill, a newcomer on the scene, met up with Jack in the fall of 2001 and has become his new life partner. Staff at 55 Water Street has been able to read a band on Jill's leg, and have traced her back to the Carpenter Nature Center in Iowa where she was banded in 1992. Peregrines mate for life, but readily find new partners when a mate dies or otherwise disappears from the territory.

After World War II, the widespread application of organo-chloride pesticides, primarily DDT, caused eggshell thinning and reproductive failure in Peregrine Falcons, as well as some other bird species, and Peregrines were extirpated from the eastern United States by the early 1960s. They have been making a remarkable recovery, but are still listed as Endangered Species in New York and some other eastern states.

Today, there are 15 territorial pairs of Peregrines Falcons and 12 active nest sites within the five boroughs of the City. 55 Water Street is the only one being televised on the Internet. Other sites include the Verrazano Bridge, the Throgs Neck Bridge, Riverside Church, New York Hospital, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

DEP, in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, manages the Peregrine Falcon program in the metropolitan area. The program involves ensuring that nesting falcons have appropriate nesting boxes to prevent eggs and young from rolling off nests; inspecting the birds and their nests to ensure that they are free of disease; banding the birds so that their travels and lifetimes can be traced, maintaining records of the birds, and protecting them from human disturbance.

Commissioner Ward said, "We at DEP are particularly pleased that the management and staff of 55 Water Street have been so helpful in every respect, from installing cameras at the nest site to establishing the Internet connection, from providing materials for the nest box to keeping us informed on the birds activities.

Additional information about Peregrine Falcons in the City and around the country can be found at:

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600