Union County, NJ — Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) and the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders today announced that Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery located in Linden, New Jersey, will be sponsoring educational programming around the Union County Falcon Cam. This sponsorship will bring no-cost wildlife education programs to administrators, teachers, and students throughout Union County, New Jersey.
Thanks to this new partnership, students, scientists, and other wildlife enthusiasts all over the world will have more opportunities to study a pair of rare peregrine falcons that have made their nest on the roof of the historic 17-story Union County Courthouse Tower, located in the bustling center of midtown Elizabeth.
“The Phillips 66 company vision is providing energy, improving lives. Our Phillips 66 sustainability efforts are built on four pillars: operational excellence, environmental commitment, social responsibility, and economic performance. Bayway Refinery is proud to demonstrate our social responsibility with the sponsorship of the Peregrine Falcon Educational Programs in Union County. We are excited to be part of a program that will help make learning fun and inspire children within our community,” said Mike Bukowski, Bayway Refinery Manager.
The free Falcon Cam live stream is available on the Union County website at ucnj.org/falcon. This partnership will allow Conserve Wildlife Foundation to provide structured lessons for teachers and activities for students that incorporate Next Generation Science Standards. This curriculum can be expanded on for future use in the classroom. These outreach presentations, along with professional development workshops, will be made available to administrators, teachers, and students in Union County.
“We are so excited that the Phillips 66 sponsorship will allow us to reach and inspire countless children across Union County with our interactive, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics)-based wildlife programs,” said David Wheeler, CWF Executive Director. “Connecting Union County kids and their families with the incredibly diverse nature and wildlife all around them holds so much importance for the next generation’s health, well-being, and quality of life. We greatly appreciate Phillips 66 helping make this a reality.”
Peregrine falcons have been nesting on the Courthouse Tower every year since 2006. In 2016, Union County began offering a free livestream “Falcon Cam” after installing two cameras inside and outside of the nest. This winter a third camera has been added to provide a scenic view, and audio will be available later this year. The Courthouse Tower hosts one of only two falcon cams in New Jersey. The other falcon cam is in Jersey City.
“The Union County Falcon Cam is quickly becoming a significant element in our longstanding commitment to provide Union County residents with the latest advances in environmental education,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “On behalf of the Freeholder Board, I’d like to thank Phillips 66 and Conserve Wildlife Foundation for their work in supporting and expanding this effort.”
The two current occupants of the nest have spent the winter “pair bonding.” Bird watchers who visit the Falcon Cam at the right time can catch sight of the two falcons meeting at the nest, bowing to each other and communicating with gentle sounds called “ee-chupping.”
Breeding season falls between February and March in New Jersey. If the pair is successful in breeding, the female will generally lay three to four eggs in one clutch and these eggs will then be incubated for 29 to 33 days, mainly by the female. The nest will remain occupied almost constantly until the chicks fledge.
In addition to providing a unique learning opportunity for students of all ages, the Union County Falcon Cam provides essential information that helps promote the continued recovery of peregrine falcons in the eastern U.S.
Union County has also provided a link to the Falcon Cam on the Conserve Wildlife website, conservewildlifenj.org. Conserve Wildlife will use the Falcon Cam in its STEAM programs in local schools, and for programming at the County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside.
For quick links to all Union County programs related to conservation and sustainability, visit ucnj.org/green-connection.
About CWF: Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) is a private, independent non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of New Jersey’s endangered and threatened wildlife and the habitats they depend on. We carry out our mission by researching and managing rare animal species, restoring habitat, educating New Jersey’s residents, and engaging volunteers in our conservation projects. Since 1990, CWF scientists and educators have helped conserve and protect a variety of at-risk species of wildlife in New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the nation, while reaching millions of people through outreach, educational programming, and wildlife webcams.
Connect with Union County on social media.