Sunday, April 01, 2007

Park Ave. Peregrine Falcons: 30 March 2007

320 Park Ave.
(7:05pm EDT)
345mm | ISO: 200 | Shutter: 1/25s | Aperture: f/3.6

After spending a few evenings watching this pair of Peregrines some patterns are emerging:

  • They prefer certain perches over others. Four buildings have been used for this purpose and 2 are used more often than the others. The preferred buildings are 299 Park Ave. (‘UBS Building’) & 320 Park Ave. (‘Mutual of America Building’)
  • The pair have engaged in some tandem flights. One will head out and the other will leave its perch and lead or follow the 1st. It's not possible from my vantage point to see the results of this behavior.

During lunch I spotted a Peregrine Falcon going to perch on 320 Park Ave. at 12:50pm . At 12:57pm it left towards the SE over 51st St. I departed at 1:00pm.

Also seen were 3 Turkey Vultures heading NW over Lexington Ave. at 12:40pm.

After work I stopped by the site again. I arrived at 5:28pm & left at 7:20pm.

After scanning the tops of the buildings I picked up the 1st Peregrine which was already on 320 Park Ave. on a favorite perch pictured in the March 28th entry. This perch is on the south side of the roof. The building is on the west side of the avenue.

Shortly after at 5:32pm I spotted an already perched falcon on the southeast corner of 350 Park Ave. (‘Park Ave. Bank Building’). By 5:30pm it set off to the east then headed back towards 320 Park Ave. and then it was gone. Later on at 5:47pm this Peregrine was seen heading north over Madison Ave. I didn't seen where it was originally perched.

At 6:36pm the 320 Park Ave. bird went through every conceivable type of stretching possible — wing & leg, tail spread plus a lifting of both wings which has been referred to as the ‘De Lorean’. This phrase was coined by D. Bruce Yolton while watching owls preparing to fly out. The camera wasn't out to capture any of these poses.

At 6:48pm, more than 80 minutes on the same perch, the 320 Park Ave. falcon lifted off and traced a few counterclockwise circles. It then headed towards a building's east face into one of the openings near the roof — 4 openings from the north edge.

Within a minute the other Peregrine arrived from the south to enter the same face on the same building — 3 openings from the south edge.

At 6:50pm a falcon exited the building and headed to a new perch on 320 Park Ave pictured in the photo above.

At 7:11pm the female Peregrine (the size difference is obvious when they're seen together) left the building heading north along Park Ave. The 320 Park Ave. falcon then left its perch leading the female. They both headed north. When they passed the Four Seasons Hotel (around 58th St.) they veered west over Central Park.

I left shortly after at 7:20pm.

Question: Does anyone know of a place where the public can visit in one of the buildings surrounding the territory where these Peregrines have set up their territory? Thanks in advance.


Yojimbot said...

Interesting field notes...I'm wondering if a trip to the top of 30 Rock might be in order one of these days in order to get prolonged views of their comings and goings?

Ben C. said...

This is an excellent idea!

I wanted to do this when they were nesting on the G.M. Building last year and think that this nesting season calls for it more since there is a small question on the nest location.

Let me know if you (or others) are up for this?

Here's where a pair of 18x50 image stabilized binoculars would come in handy.

Keep in touch.