Monday, May 08, 2006

Peregrine Falcon Update: 7-May-2006

Central Park South: Peregrine Falcons

Tonight there was a great gathering of optics near Gapstow Bridge to view the Peregrine Falcons over the south-east corner of Central Park. This was good to see & may not happen again for quite some time.

Peter arrived with a 70mm refractor & 22 power binoculars. Donna showed up with a spotting scope. Dave showed up with someone whose name I didn't get, sorry! She & Dave hung in there until the end.

I arrived at the Gapstow Bridge site around 5pm. By 5:15p a falcon arrived. He or she dropped down to the nest level before I could determine its gender.

From 5:20p - 7:54p only the female falcon was seen & was perched in view for a total of 1.5 hours on 3 separate occasions.

By the end of the night we determined that he was sitting on the nest from the time I arrived until the nest exchange at 7:54p. This is at least 3 hours.

She disappeared for awhile while the five us waited around as it started to get chilly. Everybody hung in wondering when she would return. At 7:40p we spotted her as she perched on various spots on the G.M. Building until 7:54p.

This is when she made the move to the nest. I asked Dave to view the nest exchange through my scope, Donna was at hers & Peter at his. We waited a minute or so for him to appear after she dropped from the fence.

Everybody, including the two of us with binoculars, witnessed the male leaving the nest area. He flew to perch on a fence near the east edge of the G.M. The excitment from the group as the male falcon left the nest site was much more than I expected. This was also good to see.

Overall it was another enjoyable night observing these Peregrine Falcons. Many people stopped by to take a look at the perched female in the scopes & all were impressed.

Central Park's Gapstow Bridge
5:00p — 8:35p

Highlights: one nest exchange & the male falcon was on nest for at least 3 hours.

• No falcons were spotted after scanning the area.
• By 5:15p a falcon dropped down to the nest level before I could identify it to gender. The location was on the GM's N face, right section, 7 in from the W. There was a possible nest exchange which I would've missed since I was looking with the scope at a different set of fences.
• By 5:20p the female arrived & landed on the GM. She left the area around 5:46p. Her perch was on the GM's N face, center section, 2 in from the W.
• By 6:14p she perched on a fence in the center section 3 in from the W.
• From 6:55-6:56p she perched on two different fences then left the area. A man was spotted on the roof of the GM Building pointing out something to someone. The female Peregrine was flying in the vicinity.
• By 7:40p she returned back to the GM Building perching on the roof's NW corner. She appeared to have something in her talons. All were in agreement but we couldn't confirm if it was prey.
• At 7:50p she flew to a fence on the GM's N face, right section, 3 in from the W edge.
• At 7:54p she flew to the fence above the nest & dropped down to nest level. The male falcon exited from the lower portion of the fence as we all watched.
• He flew to perch on a fence 4 in from the E edge of the building & remained there until we left around 8:35p.

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