Saturday, February 16, 2008

Under Pressure

As nesting season fast approaches, resident raptors have begun to cement their territory and begin work on their nests. Unfortunately, the two great area Churches (The Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Riverside Church), that have hosted both numerous successful nests throughout the years, are themselves are undergoing extensive renovations. Apparently the Churches suffer from numerous leaks and intrusive scaffolding now covers their exterior. In both cases, the repairs come very close to what are now active nests.

I watched both the male and female make sorties into the park, snipping off branches with their powerful beaks.

To date, I have not witnessed any copulation, and last years eggs were laid around March 14th. That still gives us a few weeks of time for the Cathedral to make their repairs. If anyone has a contact at the Cathedral, maybe we can petition for them to begin the work on that part of the Chapel.
Up on Riverside, the same problem exists.

Both species show a lot of tolerance for human activity, but we've seen it before in numerous cases, notably the 5th Ave. red-tailed hawks--Pale Male and Lola--but also in others, where human presence can disrupt nests. The GM peregrines are another notable situation where the installation of the spotlights for the new Apple Store disrupted the nesting peregines. All in all, New York City has many successfully nesting raptors that all have to contend with human interference at one time or another. Hopefully we can find a balance between the needs of our institutions and places of business and the rhythms of the natural world.

1 comment:

Christopher Eliot said...

Hi, I've just looked through your blog for the first time, and really enjoyed it. Thanks. If you're in Harlem, it's far from you, but just a tip: we've been seeing a pair of peregrines frequently over the last 2 months around the 11-story Axinn Library at Hofstra University in Hempstead. I haven't spotted anything like a nest, but have gotten to see them pretty close up when they've perched on the lower levels.