Sunday, May 07, 2006

Mrs. Peregrine, nearly 5 slats high.

Trump Parc Nest, GM Peregrines, and Elm Fruit

Sunset: 7:58PM
Temperature: 63F.
Humidity: 28%
Wind: Light and variable
Sun w/light haze
Civil Twilight: 8:28PM

All times PM unless otherwise noted.

4:12 Dodging taxis in the crosswalk at Columbus Circle heading for the fountain, I suddenly see all these "things" in the air. Bits of pale paper from a malfuntioning incinerator? Snow in May? By the the time I've reached the center island there are thousands of them swirling in circles, ascending up and up and up, following the draft used so handily by the the Red-tailed Hawks to gain elevation. No they aren't paper and certainly they aren't snow. They are thousands of the flying fruit of the American Elm Tree. A common sight fifty years ago in the United States, but due to the devastation of Dutch Elm Disease, Central Park may be the only place where it can be seen today. Extraordinary lengths were undertaken to save the park's population of American Elms and the flying of their fruit is a very rare thing indeed. Not only for their beauty in flight for the human eye but for the birds and mammals who feast on them.

To see a larger than life detail photograph of the elm fruit, they are in reality about the size of a fingernail, click on the link below and go to nature observer Ben Cacace's site.

Little Hill-The Trump Parc Nest

4:12-5:13 Not a hawk in sight.

5:14 Red-tail appears between Trump Parc and The Hampshire House, from S to N and into the Park.

5:17 Jr. to north edge of nest with unknown prey in talons. He surveys the area surrounding the nest.

5:18 Jr. still standing, looking out, leans over and beaks prey. Lifts it just enough to see. It's a pigeon. Walks to center of nest. Making room for Charlotte to land?

5:19 Charlotte to nest left, looks at pigeon. She stands facing in, he stands facing out. She begins to pull and eat small feathers, her tail to Park. She then plucks feathers, breeze carries them, eats some flesh, eats a few more fluff feathers. She turns and faces out, starts serious eating.

5:25 Jr. takes off, he circles Central Park South, then circles east of Little Hill. Charlotte continues eating. Jr. circles over nest, circles over Hampshire House, Jr. flies behind Hampshire House. Charlotte eats large portions.

5:27 C. is still eating.

5:29 Charlotte takes off the nest and circles to the NW and into the Park.

5:34 Jr. swoops over nest, circles back, swoops again. Courtship moves. Circles in sky, another swoop. He brought a present where's Charlotte?

5:37 Jr. to nest. He walks center, disappears deep into bowl, tail to park.

5:38-6:00 Jr. still out of sight. I'm still alone on Little Hill. Man appears just below Little Hill. He sidles up to the Park's stone wall and urinates on it.

6:00 I decide to go see how the Peregrines are doing.

Gapstow Bridge

6:20 Mrs. Peregrine is perched in the midsection of the north face, top level of the GM building, three railings in from the west. (See my blurry photo at top of page.) There is quite a crowd of humans for Peregrine Watch this evening. Ben Cacace, his friend, astronomy buff Peter, bird watcher Gabriel comes by, several other bird watchers whose names I didn't catch, my apologies, plus a long line of New Yorkers and tourists who are quite delighted that, "Those birds are HERE?

6:22 Mrs. P. whetts her beak on the railing and deftly "strips" each toe from root to tip between the two portions of her beak to clean her feet.

6:27 She does something but my notes are illegible.

6:53 Mrs. P. beak movement. Vocalization?

6:54 Mrs. P. is up, around , and over GM building, lands west section GM w4. She does sit on that fourth railing after all. It has been thought they might not sit that one. First time we know of that it's been observed.

6:55 She's up to 5, then up and to east.

7:00 I leave to look for an open bathroom. One of the difficulties about being away from the Fifth Ave. Hawk Bench. It's an odessy. East first, no luck, then west which is lucky for the hawk sighting.

7:28 RT appears over the green glass building on 57 th St. between Columbus and the next avenue east where Jr. used to roost at night when last years fledges were still on the adjacent roofs.(Sorry, I didn't get the address, but I will.) RT perches on the far southwest corner of the roof.

7:29 Second RT appears circling over first RT.

7:30 Circling RT out of sight.

7:31 Perched RT gone. RT with folded wings dives down 58th, west to east.

7:32 RT circles above 58th then disappears from sight. I head to the Borders in the AOL building.

7:49 I arrive back at Gapstow Bridge. Ben says Mrs. P. arrived back at 7:40 with either some small feathered prey in her left talons or feathers stuck to her foot. It wasn't clear. She perched on the NW corner of GM roof.

7:50 Mrs. P. is up and perches on GM w3, two away from the nest.

7:53.5 (Illegible note) then she goes to 7, and drops out of sight. We assume she walks to 5 because...

7:54 Mr. P. appears below railing at 5, and drops off into the air.

7:59 Mr. perches GMe4, facing in.

8:11 Black-crowned Night-heron arrives in the Pond area and stands stealthily in the reeds. He's really quite beautiful but creepy.

8:28 Civil Twilight, Heron goes to roost half way up a tree on east edge of pond. Mr. P. is still in place and likely to stay.

8:30 Exit.


Sam said...

Yay mom! Great job on the site... cute article on the flying fruit. Keep up the good work!

Love, Sam

Anonymous said...

Looking good to me! mob