Big City Burd


A fun thing to tell the kids while driving down the Boulevard in Surf City is that the Water Towers are painted that funky shade of blue because someone at Public Works thought it was supposed to say “Smurf City” back in the 80s. But that joke does not really work in this day and age, mostly because your kids have no idea who the Smurfs were, and also because it is a really, really stupid thing to say. Even children can recognize that.

So instead you can just show them the Peregrine Falcon sitting up there. PEFA (Peregrine Falcon) have long loved the great Ocean views afforded by the Island’s water towers. As these bird mangling monsters continue to make a comeback along the Coast we are seeing more and more of them, and some of us are having more and more near-fatal collisions in front of the Surf City 5 & 10 as we avert our gaze from the road to look for them. PEFA on the Surf City tower have become so common, the local Police (I’m not making this up) are starting to get annoyed by how much blood and dead bird parts they are finding on the squad cars they park below.

There is always a chance that one spring a PEFA couple will attempt to build a penthouse nest up there, but that does not appear to be happening. Most of the winter you’ll notice beautiful, adult Peregrine Falcon taking those choice water tower perches. But now that PEFA nesting season is in full swing, and the adults are busy getting busy back at their nests, an adorable Juvenile has claimed the Surf City tower for her own. Just keep a sharp eye out because occasionally an adult will return to get away from its nagging spouse for a bit, and a wicked PEFA fight will break out in downtown Surf City when it discovers the Juvenile using the premium, “adults only” perches of LBI. Peregrine Falcon are the world’s fastest animals and watching them dive bomb each other at speeds of up to 240 MPH over Island Golf is something you won’t soon forget.


With their wicked flight skills and preference for all-things-tall, PEFA are particularly well suited to Urban Living. In addition to watching our local PEFA when you’re in downtown Surf City, you can follow along with some other Big City Burds at the Jersey City Falcon Cam this spring, savoring the sights and sounds of a Peregrine couple’s life atop a skyscraper in downtown Jersey City.

Longtime Readers will remember Beatrice and Baby Ivy from last year’s epic Eggdrop action. Sadly, Beatrice did not return to the nest for the first time in many years. Her age, her infertility, and her failure to show all suggest that Beatrice has left the building, figuratively and literally.

But a new female named Juliette and her mystery mate have discovered the nest and look ready to close the deal and make that rooftop a home. Spring has arrived. Time to grab some Black Pepper Skinny Pop and tune into the Jersey City Falcon Cam. Here’s to hoping for a successful nest. We still have a few open water towers on the Island, so we need more little baby PEFA.

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