Friday, May 05, 2006

Peregrine Falcon Update: 5-May-2006

Central Park South: Peregrine Falcons


As I was heading into the park I watched a Crow moving north along the east edge of the park within the Peregrine's territory.

This is the second time I've seen a crow in the territory with no reactions from the falcons. The only intruders I've seen escorted off the territory this year were other Peregrines.

At Gapstow Bridge I didn't see any falcons on the usual perches. This was the situation from 6:05p until 7:22p. This is when I spotted the male Peregrine flying from the west to perch on the roof of the G.M. Building.

The female falcon joined him immediately leaving the nest unattended for about 3 minutes. The male headed to the nest leaving the female time to preen & stretch her wings.

More often I get to see the female exchanging places with the ‘incubating’ male. Whenever this happens the male waits for the female to approach the nest before he exits.

Tonight I watched the male replace the female. The female left the nest before the male approached her. It could have been that the male was gone so long that she was looking to make sure she would have time to stretch.

She was relieved from duty for close to an hour.

The male Peregrine choose a perch on the north face of the G.M. Building to roost for the night. I'm assuming he remained where I left him at 8:36pm. This is 10 minutes after the end of Civil Twilight or 40 minutes after sunset.

Central Park's Gapstow Bridge
6:05p — 8:35p

Highlights: a long wait to see a Peregrine, two nest exchanges & located the male's night roost.

• From 6:05p until 7:22p no Peregrines were visible.
• At 7:22p the male was seen in the binoculars coming in from the W landing on the W edge of the center section (north face) on the roof of the G.M. Within seconds the female left the nest to perch near him. The male left to attend to the nest site by 7:25p landing first on a fence 6 in from the W edge of the building.
• From 7:33p-7:36p the female was off the perch and flying large circles N of the G.M. Building. At the end of the flight she landed on the N face of the G.M.'s east most fence.
• By 7:40p she flew to the G.M.'s roof just E of the NW corner and remained here until 8:14p when she ‘relieved’ herself. Immediately she lifted off and made a beeline for the nest. It was almost as if she was waiting for that event to happen.
• By 8:15 the male exited and perched on a fence on the G.M.'s north face (left section) 4 in from the E.
• By the time I left the park at 8:36p the male Peregrine was still perched on the fencing.

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


Donegal Browne said...

I'm wondering if like some female Red-tails, Lola in particular, it's Mrs. P.'s perogative to leave the nest when she feels the need and the male's job to then take over nest chores immediately. At least Mr. P was in the near vicinity as opposed to the times that Pale Male has had to hot wing it back from the Ramble.

Ben C. said...


Not sure if a pattern has been spotted over so few observations.

My thoughts were that the male has consistently waited for the female to descend and the female (the only time I've seen it) immediately left the nest site to meet with the male.

I was also thinking that the female was hoping a meal was being delivered which didn't happen.