New digs for peregrine falcons that nest on old Champlain Bridge
Outside of nesting season, peregrine falcons are known to travel widely – their name, in fact, comes from the Latin word 'peregrinus,' meaning 'wanderer.' (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP Photo/Daily Hampshire Gazette, Carol Lollis)
MONTREAL -- Peregrine falcons that made their homes on the old Champlain Bridge are moving to new digs.
Three nesting boxes were removed from the old bridge before a dismantling operation that is set to begin in 2020.
The birds will settle into new nesting boxes on the new Samuel de Champlain Bridge when they return in early April to start their families. Two of the boxes have already been installed on the new bridge to help the falcons transition.
The delicate removal operation was carried out by Skytech, a Montreal company that specializes in high-altitude work. It was supervised by Falcon Environmental Services (FES), which said the transition appears to be going smoothly so far, and that one falcon has already moved into its new condo.
The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated has been working with FES since 2002 to help the birds, installing nesting boxes, setting up a safety perimeter around work sites during nesting periods, monitoring the birds regularly, and intervening when necessary.
Outside of nesting season, the birds of prey are known to travel widely – their name, in fact, comes from the Latin word 'peregrinus,' meaning 'wanderer.'
Peregrine falcons, though, have an incredible homing instinct; according to National Geographic, some nesting sites have been in continuous use for hundreds of years, occupied by successive generations of falcons.
The birds will be able to settle in for a while, at least: the new Champlain Bridge is expected to last 125 years.