Under the cloak of secrecy, a pair of peregrine falcons adopted an Osprey Platform as a nesting site in 2002. Since the late eighties,' a pair of osprey has returned to this osprey platform to raise their young. Since the Spring of 2002, the osprey pair had been evicting wintering Peregrines that were using the platform as a vantage point and roost. Unfortunately, the Osprey pair did not return in 2002 for unknown reasons. The wintering Peregrine was not driven off and they made their timeshare a home. On June 11, 2004, two downy chicks were seen on the nest platform. This was the first record of Peregrine Falcons nesting in the marshes of the Town of Hempstead.
Since peregrines are an endangered species, certain protocols needed to be followed. The osprey platform was replaced with a roofed structure designated for this species in New York State, which better supports the typical habitat of a peregrine falcon, who prefer to nest in cavities on the sides of cliffs. Since then, this nest has been occupied by three different females. These peregrines are not migratory; they are year-round residents that live in our marshes feeding on the abundance of bird species throughout the year. They begin their nesting process in March, laying their first eggs usually by mid-March, with the eggs hatching by mid-April and the young birds eventually leaving the nest in the early part of June.
The female of 2021 is brand new after successfully defeating the previous matriarch, and claiming her husband. All the banded females from this nest have all been travelers from outside of the Town of Hempstead. The first one in 2004 originated from Virginia, the second from Pennsylvania in 2017, and our most recent one from New Jersey in 2021. Visit the NYS DEC website to learn more about Peregrine Falcons.