Falcons swoop in Wall St canyons of Wall St
Sunday 11 June 1995
Where only 25 years ago they were considered as good as extinct in North America, peregrine falcons are today making a steady if fragile comeback.
In the eastern US, where they used to flourish before being ravaged by the insecticide DDT, there may be as many as 100 nests. One is here at 48 Wall Street, one block north of the New York Stock Exchange, atop the 30-floor Depression-era headquarters of the Bank of New York.
So proud is the bank of its new tenants that the staff has named the nesting pair Alexandra and Hamilton after the bank's founder, Alexander Hamilton. And now there is an added reason for excitement: five falcon chicks were recently hatched. Even in the best conditions, the species can usually be expected to produce three or possibly four young at a time.
"Something good must be happening," said a National Parks Service ranger, Ozzie Rosa, who recently helped ring the offspring so that they can be tracked after they fly the nest. Another falcon's nest, on Grant's Tomb, on the Upper West Side, has also produced five chicks this season.
New York seems to have a special attraction for the rare birds. Mr Rosa believes there are 11 nesting pairs in the city. "The canyons of the city are more or less representative of the cliff dwellings they're used to," he explained. Other sites chosen by the falcons: the Met-Life (formerly Pan-Am) building in midtown, and the George Washigton Bridge.
Greyish-blue with white underparts, the falcons apparently find New York especially hospitable. One of their favourite meals is lazy plump pigeons, of which there is an abundance in the city. And in these parts they need fear only one predator, even a little more fierce than themselves, the Red Tail Hawk.
And there is at least one known pair of Red Tail Hawks on a ledge of a smart West Side apartment block, next door to the home of Woody Allen.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of UK Magento hosting so...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind are working with this secondary s...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We are working with a school that needs a t...