Maine transportation and wildlife officials will relocate a peregrine falcon nesting platform on the Piscataqua River Bridge on Thursday to create more of a buffer between the nesting birds and construction crews who will be repaving the bridge over the next three years.

A southbound lane on I-95 will be closed from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. while the platform is moved and a new nesting box is added.

The nesting platform will be placed at a higher elevation on the bridge connecting Maine and New Hampshire to encourage the birds to nest higher, according to the Maine Department of Transportation.

Erynn Call, the state raptor specialist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said relocating the nesting platform will move the birds further from workers on the bridge.

“(The falcons) are very aggressive and protective,” she said. “It is a safety concern for maintenance crews.”

Peregrine falcons are listed as endangered in both Maine and New Hampshire. During an informal survey in 2018, 15 pairs of peregrine falcons were observed in Maine.

Call said peregrine falcons don’t build their own nest structures. The nesting box used on the Maine-New Hampshire bridge includes a tray of gravel so eggs don’t lay directly on wood or cement. The gravel also helps regulate the temperature of the eggs and protects them from moisture. The falcons typically lay eggs in mid-April to May.

Peregrines, similar in size to a crow, are celebrated as the fastest bird in the world, with the ability to dive at speeds up to 200 mph.

The work will be done by the Maine Department of Transportation in coordination with biologists from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, New Hampshire Fish and Game and the New Hampshire Audubon.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @grahamgillian


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