Monday, May 15, 2006

Peregrine Falcon Update: 14-May-2006

Central Park South: Peregrine Falcons


After not seeing a single falcon last night it was reassuring to see both the male & female falcons this evening. During the two hours & forty-five minutes spent observing the Peregrines more time was spent not seeing any falcons from the Gapstow Bridge site.

«Click image for weather history for 14-May-2006»

For 80% of the time I was aware of the location of only one of the pair — this was the one that was on nest.

Even with all of this ‘inactivity’ there was quite a lot to see.


• When I arrived the male Peregrine Falcon was perched on a favorite spot on the W edge of the G.M. Building's center section.
• A mid-air transfer of prey, male feeding female, just N of the nest, was seen around 6:38p followed by a nest exchange with the male taking over the duties.
• A final-for-the-night nest exchange, leaving the female on nest, happened around 8:08p around 3 minutes after sunset.

Central Park's Gapstow Bridge
5:33p — 8:15p

• When I arrived at the site just W of Gapstow Bridge the male falcon was perched on the roof of the center section of the G.M.'s N face — W edge. By 5:39p he flew to the W edge of 9 West 57th St., banked, then landed on the E side of the building's roof.
• By 5:42p the male made a few passes at the W edge of the G.M.'s roof before landing on the previous perch on the G.M. It appeared the tiercel was concerned with something on the roof. Tonight, two window washing support structures were hanging over the W side of the building.
• By 5:43p the male flew from the G.M. towards the W with purpose disappearing behind some trees. By 5:45p he returned to a perch on 9W just out of sight. At 5:52p I thought I saw something shaped like a falcon heading S near 9W but it was only a brief look.
• No falcons were seen until 6:31p when the male was spotted heading E below roof level of the G.M.'s N face. He turned S. Then he was gone.
• By 6:36p the male arrived from the SW to land on the same perch on the center section of the G.M.'s roof.
• By 6:37p the female exited the nest to meet the male for an in-flight transfer of prey just N of the nest. Shortly after this the male falcon headed for the nest entering it at the base of the fence.
• The female then headed S along the G.M.'s W edge with the meal. Then she headed E & then she disappeared by 6:38p. Since she didn't bring the meal to the nest they are probably still incubating eggs. Hopefully these eggs are still in good condition.
• No falcons were seen until 7:10p when the female returned without prey & perched on the nest fence for a second before heading E.
• No falcons were seen until 8:08p when the female returned from the S along the G.M.'s W edge landing on the nest fence. She immediately dropped to the floor. The male appeared at the base of the fence within a minute & flew E well below the level of the nest along the G.M.'s N face. He flew around the building, heading S & ending the evening's observations.

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