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 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 3 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 4 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 5 Pastafarian former porn star Asia Lemmon allowed to wear colander in driving licence photo
Duchess of Alba dead: Billionaire Spanish duchess who lived life by her own rules, dies at 88
New York snowstorm: Death toll rises to 10 as residents battle with further snowfall
These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
Chelsea balcony collapse: Two people dead and six injured in London
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine
£8 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To assist a young family with the care ...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...
£55000 - £70000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world lead...
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world leading services pr...