Monday, May 08, 2006

Peregrine Falcon from Central Park

I met Ben at Gapstow Bridge for a second day. Shortly after I arrived, another birdwatching friend of Ben's, Donna, arrived with a Swarovski Spotting scope. Later, a couple would join us bringing the number to 5. A number of passersby would stop and take a look through one of our optics. The female Peregrine Falcon was observed for most of the afternoon. She is perched on a building which is a good distance from us some 55 floors high.

Both falcons were unseen for nearly an hour. Actually, I hadn't seen the make at all since I arrived and Ben suspected he was tending the nest. Just prior to the one hour disappearance a man on the roof was observed. It was speculated that maybe his appearance caused the female to take off to divert attention to the nest. When she did return and ultimately dropped down into the nest, Ben recited exactly what was to occur, almost to the second. We watched the female drop out of sight to the nest and within a minute the male popped out of the fence and leaped from the building in familiar bullet fashion.

Ben's report of the day is found here. I continue to be surprised by the expressed interest of the pedestrians. Surely four tripod mounted scopes and bins with 5 persons collected at the knoll is more than enough to attract a person's curiosity. But one can sense their interest when they stop, look, and ask questions. Most were impressed by the sight of the female falcon and became more excited when she soared about the building.

Since I am not really a part of the birding community, some of my observations included watching the birders. Through their conversations I learned that their is a more formal structure and ranking membership to their community. I was also privy to the naming of these falcons, getting an idea of how the "process" works. I'm glad that TotL and team TotL doesn't have such a formality. But then again we're small, we make mistakes, and we have fun. The birding community may offer the same but I get the impression that it has many more people to please.

While I'm at it I'll throw in a photo of Pale Male Jr. It is so convenient to open the window, set up the scope, and spy on PM Jr. I even videotaped him getting up and flying from this stoop. It would be cool to see some offspring. I was able to watch two young ones late last summer. When I returned from vacation in early September, it appeared as if the nest was abandoned. These recent observations are my first since that time last year.