Friday, May 12, 2006

Peregrine Falcon Update: 12-May-2006

Central Park South: Peregrine Falcons

Donna, her daughter Sam & my friend Peter were at the Gapstow Bridge site to view the falcons. If was good to have Donna's spotting scope on hand to confirm the gender of the Peregrines. Company is great to have while waiting around for long periods without much to do!

For nearly two hours & 45 minutes either of the pair of falcons were visible. A couple of highlights include two nest exchanges & seeing the male falcon intercept a large raptor approaching their territory. This raptor appeared to be another large falcon — probably a female Peregrine.

Central Park's Gapstow Bridge
6:05p — 8:50p

• After arriving at the Gapstow Bridge site at 6:05p the male Peregrine was perched on the NW corner of the G.M. Building's roof. It left this perch at 7:05p.
• At 7:05p the tiercel (male) headed E with purpose. After traversing the space between 5th Ave. & Madison Ave. he appeared to come into contact with a large raptor, possibly another female Peregrine Falcon. The intruder headed N and by 7:07p the male was perched again on the NW corner of the G.M. Building.
• By 7:22p he flew to the roof's central section on its N face.
• At 7:25p when the male falcon was apparently leaving the territory the female left the nest to dive on something just E of the G.M. Building. We didn't see her intended target since she disappeared behind a building.
• By 7:27p he was seen again on the G.M.'s roof. Shortly after spotting him he headed directly to the nest & dropped down from the fence to the floor. The nest was unoccupied by an adult for approximately 2 minutes.
• By 7:30p the female stopped by the nest & dropped in for a moment but she soon returned to the fencing & left to perch on the G.M.'s W face 1 in from the S. This was a new perch for the group watching. She stayed here from 7:33p until 8:05p.
• By 8:05p she moved to a fence on the N face of the G.M.'s right section, 2 in from the W. By 8:07p she flew to the fence above the nest & dropped in on the male. Within a minute the male exited the nest site & perched on a fence on the G.M.'s N face, left section, 1 in from the east.
• By 8:09p the male falcon flew to the 9 West 57th St. Building's roof towards the E edge then shortly after flew to the NW corner of the G.M.'s roof.
• He stayed on this conspicuous perch until 8:47p — 13 minutes after Civil Twilight began. We didn't see him leave the perch and all regular roosts were checked. The area around the fences were no longer visible this late after sunset with binoculars.

Related items:
• Peregrine Falcon updates — 2006: 13-Apr, 21-Apr, 24-Apr, 26-Apr, 28-Apr, 30-Apr, 4-May, 5-May, 6-May, 7-May, 9-May, 11-May, 12-May, 13-May, 14-May, 16-May, 17-May, 18-May, 19-May, 21-May, 22-May, 23-May, 31-May
Earliest Peregrine Falcon Nest in N.Y.C.?
Behavior of Peregrine Falcons in the N.Y.C. Region
      by Richard A. Herbert & Kathleen Green Skelton Herbert
Obs. of Duck Hawks Nesting on Man-made Structures
      by Horace Groskin