[CT Birds] East Granby Peregrine

Stephen Broker ls.broker at cox.net
Wed Jun 11 13:41:41 EDT 2014

In addition to the 17 or so territorial or nesting pairs of Peregrine Falcons currently in Connecticut, there are increasing numbers of surplus or floater birds.  Some of these floaters (as seen at West Rock) are USFWS color banded and have been traced to their natal areas.  The greater number of peregrines in the state are nesting on human-made structures (bridges, buildings, power plants).  I'm aware of four pairs of peregrines that are on cliffs, at West Rock Ridge State Park (Woodbridge), East Rock Park (New Haven), Sleeping State Park (Hamden), and on a rock ledge along the lower Connecticut River.

Historically (pre-1950), peregrines nested on just four trap rock ridges in the Central Valley Lowlands:  Talcott Mountain (Avon/Farmington); Ragged Mountain (Berlin/Kensington); Hanging Hills of Meriden; Mount Carmel/Sleeping Giant (North Haven or Hamden).  In addition, peregrines nested on the Travelers Tower in Downtown Hartford from 1943 to 1948.  There has been a gradual but steady increase in territorial pairs in the state over the past 15 years, so any appropriate habitat has potential for pulling in a pair of peregrines.  The cliff-nesting birds do require extensive shear drop-offs that are mammalian predator-free, although they are highly tolerant of human-caused noise and other, less direct disturbance.

Thanks for your interesting post, Brian.

Steve Broker (Cheshire)    

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