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The Jersey City Peregrine Project

In the winter of 2004 the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ (CWF) partnered with the Cornelia F. Bradford School in Jersey City on The Peregrine Project, created to raise awareness about one of the New Jersey’s endangered and threatened species, the peregrine falcon. One product of the effort is The Peregrine Project Curriculum. The Verizon Foundation generously provided funding for this project.

The Peregrine Project is a hands-on, multi-disciplinary project using the peregrine falcon as its focus to teach reading, writing, science, geography, technology, and art. The Cornelia F. Bradford School is located around the corner from 101 Hudson Street, where in 2001, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife installed a Web cam on a nesting pair of peregrine falcons.

From February to June 2004, the second graders at Cornelia F. Bradford School, learned about this endangered species through reading, writing, and art, using the Internet and library for their research. Using classroom computers, the children were able to observe the peregrines and their behavior as the birds cared for their newly hatched chicks. The second graders kept a journal about the peregrine falcon family as well as observations of all urban wildlife that they encountered on a daily basis. The hallways of the school were lined with pictures, articles, and artwork about birds of prey and peregrine falcons. Encouraged by their teachers, students “thought like birds” for a weekend and then constructed bird nests that were displayed throughout the school.

CWF purchased books, binoculars, and stuffed peregrine falcons for the second graders to help in their education about the rare bird. Teachers in turn used the materials to help with their lessons.

On May 21, 2004, the children were invited to witness the banding of the peregrine chicks by state biologists. The event was televised on WNBC and appeared in The Bergen Record and The Star Ledger. After that, an assembly was planned, featuring live raptors including a red-tail hawk, Harris’ hawk, barn owl, and great-horned owl.

The lesson plans and activities contained in the curriculum, entitled Peregrine Falcons, Raptors, and Other Urban Wildlife, is the result of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ’s partnership with the Cornelia F. Bradford School. Written by their three second grade teachers, Roberta Kenny, Michelle Longo-Sare and Debra Richman, it details the lessons and activities they used to teach about the peregrine falcon in the classroom. Using the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, the 23 lessons are multi-disciplinary, incorporating reading, writing, science, art, and technology. The lessons build off one another, first discussing birds in general and then focusing on birds of prey and finally onto peregrine falcons.

We hope that you find the Peregrine Project Curriculum inspirational as well as helpful in your teaching of birds of prey, and specifically peregrine falcons. Let us know what you think! Please send comments or questions to: maria.grace@conservewildlifenj.org.

A species once extinct on the eastern seaboard of the United States is once again flying high in the state of New Jersey. In 2004, 19 pairs of peregrine falcons nested in New Jersey. Educating the future citizens of New Jersey, is one important way of ensuring their continued recovery.

Peregrine Project Curriculum (pdf, 860kb)

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: June 13, 2005