Public Info

Union County Announces Successful Banding of Four Recently Hatched Peregrine Chicks at the Historic Union County Courthouse Tower

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is celebrating the successful banding of four recently hatched male peregrine chicks at Union County’s Courthouse Tower, located at 2 Broad Street in Elizabeth. These identification bands, along with web cameras installed on the courthouse roof, assist the County and its wildlife preservation partners in carefully tracking the behaviors, whereabouts, and habits of the peregrine falcons, with the hope of better understanding and preserving the species.

“We are delighted to welcome these beautiful new additions to Union County,” said Union County Chairwoman, Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “We appreciate the privilege and responsibility of having this endangered species in the state of NJ living and breeding on our grounds.  We proudly continue our partnership with the NJ Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation in our shared commitment to preserving and protecting our precious wildlife.”

On May 20th, Union County’s Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded, Vice-Chairwoman Lourdes Leon, and County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi, along with personnel from the Trailside Nature and Science Center, judiciary staff, and wildlife preservation partners, NJ Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, helped place identification bands on four recently-hatched peregrine chicks.

The baby peregrines received a health checkup and were promptly returned to their nest with their attentive parents, Mango and Frida. This adult pair have successfully raised 23 babies on top of the courthouse since 2019.  This brood of falcons will be officially of fledging age in early to mid-June.  

The population of peregrine falcons in the U.S. was severely reduced in the 20th century due to pollutants, including the pesticide DDT. They were added to the federal endangered species list in 1973. As a result of improvements in many parts of the country, the falcons were removed from the federal list in 1999. However, they continue to be an endangered species in New Jersey.  These falcons typically nest on rock cliff ledges; however, peregrine falcons have adapted to use tall buildings in cities such as the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth.

Union County participated in the restoration effort in 2006, when County personnel, under the guidance of state wildlife experts, affixed a nesting box to the Courthouse Tower roof.

Every year since then, a pair of peregrine falcons has laid eggs in the nesting box. Cameras were installed in 2016 to provide the 24/7 Falcon Cam livestream of the interior and exterior of the nest.

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is proud to support efforts to restore and preserve the population of peregrine falcons in our region. To learn more and see the falcons in action, visit Union County’s free “Falcon Cam” livestream at