Raptor Wednesday

About to ascend the steps of the City Hall subway station, I heard a Peregrine. Or thought I did, anyway: the subterranean is generally not good habitat for falcons. Emerging in the plaza besides the old Tweed Courthouse, I looked all around, raptor-senses tingling. I didn’t hear it again.

My eyes did fall on a Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree next to the courthouse. Wrong bird, though, for the sound. I watched and listened for a few minutes. The hawk kept its own counsel. I walked towards Broadway between the Courthouse and City Hall. Near Broadway, I heard a falcon again. Yes, definitely a Peregrine. But where? I went all the way around the courthouse. Nothing seen or heard. I returned to my initial Red-tailed-view. This time, the Red-tail moved, flying the short distance to a parapet of the courthouse, and voila, there was the falcon, chattering loudly, circling overhead. The Peregrine then shot up to the top of the scaffolding on the old Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank across Chambers St.  (I didn’t have my camera with me.)Two weeks later, having an appointment in the area, I came early and brought my camera along and wandered around a very chilly City Hall Park. Nothing to note but some extremely puffed up pigeons and a couple of silent crows. After lunch with a friend, we walked down Duane Street towards Broadway and our trains. Three blocks ahead, the gold pyramid-topped U.S. Court House at Foley Square (Cass Gilbert pere et fils designed this, which is why it’s so good) puts an emphatic stop the street. I spied something tiny and dark flying to the lantern way up there. Seemed unusually high for a pigeon. I applied my telephoto. Yes, that distinctive Peregrine color/silhouette, perched on the rail surrounding the lantern. Closer and from other angles. Still too far away up there to get a good photo, but the documentation is what counts. I’ve seen a Peregrine in the area three of the last five times I’ve been in the area there.

In other Peregrine news, the smokestack pair continue be seen: most mornings there are one or two up there.

4 Responses to “Raptor Wednesday”


  1. 1 alaspooryorick February 14, 2018 at 10:31 am

    love the architectural temples to beauty that also perch up high

    • 2 mthew February 14, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      True: barely anybody can see these things way up there, and yet there are are, gracing the city like last bit of icing on the top tier of a cake.

  2. 3 Matthew February 15, 2018 at 10:28 am

    FYI, I work at 26 Federal Plaza across the street from the courthouses. My view is looking at the courthouses and I see Peregrines in the area on almost a daily basis.

    • 4 mthew February 15, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      Very cool. There’s probably a scrape, or nest site, in the area. It’s too early yet for them to settle in with eggs, but pair-bonding proceeds apace.


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