Sunday, May 07, 2006

Peregrine Falcon Update: 6-May-2006

Central Park South: Peregrine Falcons


Around 5pm the trees surrounding us just west of Gapstow Bridge let loose millions seed pods shown in the image on the right. Click image to see the seed along side a ruler.

It measures approximately 13mm including the stem. If anyone knows the species this belongs to please drop me a line. This particular specimen followed me home in my hair.

The Peregrines didn't fail to appear while we were at Gapstow Bridge. Peter, a friend I met through astronomy, stopped by to see the Peregrine Falcons with his telescope.

From 4:30p-6:02p no Peregrines were seen in the area. The first falcon seen was the male who flew in from the east & perched on the east corner of 9 West 57th St's roof. This perch afforded a decent view in the scope for the many people that happened to around waiting for the Peregrines to arrive.

The male falcon was in the area from 6-7pm. He perched once above the nest site but didn't relieve the female. She had been sitting for at least 1.5 hours and I was surprised she didn't exchange places with him.

He left the area and returned around 7:30p with prey. The female came out to meet him and in mid-flight a prey transfer was made just north of the nest site. She left the area with the prey and disappeared behind the 9 West 57th St. building.

At 8:07p the second nest exchange occurred. She replaced him for the evening and the male falcon headed east and disappeared for the night.

Central Park's Gapstow Bridge
4:30p — 8:30p

Highlights: another long wait for a falcon to show, two nest exchanges & one prey transfer.

• At 6:02p the male arrives after waiting for a falcon to appear since 4:30p. He flew in from the E & perched on 9 West 57th St.'s roof near it's E corner.
• By 6:10p he flew around N of the G.M. & N of the Pierre Hotel. After heading S it was lost until 6:45p.
• Male returns at 6:45p possibly to same perch as before. Notes aren't clear on this.
• By 7:02p he leaves 9W to a fence on the GM's north face 6 in from the W edge at 7:04p. This was a fairly long flight from 9W to the GM.
• At 7:26p he returns with prey. She leaves the nest & they perform a mid-air prey transfer. She disappears with the prey behind the 9W building.
• By 7:36p she returns to perch on a fence on GM's north face 7 in from W edge. By 7:40p she disappears.
• At 8:07p female returns and exchanges position with the male. He leaves the area entirely heading E after exiting the nest.

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


Marie Winn said...

Don't know what happened to my first post. My ID for your seed, Ben, is American Elm, or, possibly, European Elm.

Yojimbot said...

Hey Ben, I was onsite yesterday from 645pm to 7pm. Male peregrine was observed circling the GM bldg and then landed on corner of AXA Bldg. Looked like he was waiting for the grackles to come back...I wonder if this is what prey he exchange with the female.
As for total nesting peregrines in nyc, my count is 14. I'll post pix later on my site

Ben C. said...


Thanks for the clarification for my notes.

Is the AXA Building the same as 9 West 57th. St. (Solow Building) or is it 1290 6th Ave. (looked this up on Google).

Looking forward to the pictures.

Thanks for the # of active Peregrine nests in NYC!

Ben C. said...


Thanks for the information!

American Elm it is. I received an email on this last night and confirmed it with my copy of the Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Trees.

The deep notch (at the top of the photo) is consistent with American Elm (Ulmus Americana).

It was an amazing thing to see that many seeds blowing across our field of view.

Marie Winn said...

[Here is Marie Winn's first comment which was accidentally deleted.]

PS: A good source for tree IDs, [also bark, winter outlines, winter buds, tree flowers, fruit, winged seeds, nuts, berries etc. is The Tree Identification Book - George Symonds, William Morrow, 1958. Don't know if it's still in print. Maybe available at used book sites.

Marie Winn