Author Topic: NY / New York - 55 Water Street - 2008-11  (Read 7981 times)

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Offline Enraptured

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Re: NYC 55 Water Street - 2008 / Rocky & Jubilee
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2008, 21:25 »
Following the link to the New York Times is well worth it! Very cute picture and lovely story!

Offline Liz

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Re: NYC 55 Water Street - 2008 / Rocky & Jubilee
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2008, 22:22 »
I sure get the idea of wanting to put out a net!  

winnipeg_gal

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Re: NYC 55 Water Street - 2008 / Rocky & Jubilee
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2008, 22:16 »
I can't agree more.  A great picture and a wonderful story.  I find it especially heartening to hear of a nest that had a "banner year" this year.  Thanks TPC for posting this story. :)

Offline Liz

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Re: NYC 55 Water Street - 2008 / Rocky & Jubilee
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2008, 17:42 »
What a wonderful story and fabulous photo!  Thanks, TPC.  

Offline eagle63_1999

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Re: NYC 55 Water Street - 2008 / Rocky & Jubilee
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2008, 17:32 »
Ohhhhhhhh what a beautiful picture of those four kids.  Thank-you for including the link :)

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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NY / New York - 55 Water Street - 2008-11
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2008, 17:27 »
2008 NESTING SEASON

55 Water Street
New York City, New York



Photograph by Robert Wilenker

Television monitors rarely make New Yorkers pause, but in the marbled lobby of 55 Water Street, an insurance company worker named Katherine Stronk was transfixed recently by the image on the screen of four peregrine falcons in their nest on the building’s 14th floor.

“I check in on them every day,” Ms. Stronk said, barely taking her eyes off the monitor, which sits between a cafe and a magazine stand. “They were like cotton balls when they were born.”

Some 17 breeding pairs of peregrine falcons live in the city, their nests perched on skyscrapers and bridges. In a long-term joint effort, city and state biologists are identifying, monitoring and studying the falcons, which nearly faced extinction in the 1960s from the pesticide DDT. But Ms. Stronk and other falcon aficionados have a nonscientist to thank for the Webcam in the lobby. His name is Frank Magnani, and he is the building manager of 55 Water Street.  The story of the Water Street falcons began on a sunny day in 1997, when Barbara Saunders, an information technology analyst, stepped out of her nearby office to eat lunch on a promenade that overlooks the East River. “I saw something dive,” she said, “and I thought: ‘Oh, my God! What was that? That ain’t no seagull.’ ”

Ms. Saunders saw the bird fly to 55 Water Street and reported the sighting to Mr. Magnani. He in turn notified a city biologist, who helped him install a nest box to support the peregrines’ breeding efforts.  Two years later, Mr. Magnani installed the first camera, which projected a small black-and-white image into the lobby. “We got so much interest from the public,” he said, “you’d have a couple hundred people standing down there.”

Much has changed at 55 Water Street since the early years. Among other things, the original breeding pair, Jack and Jaie, have left, and their nest was adopted by a new pair of birds, named Jasper and Jubilee. But the rhythms of nature have stayed the same, which means spring is still the breeding season, and its climax is the chicks’ effort to fly from the nest, high above the F.D.R. Drive and the East River. Many years, on that inaugural journey, some fledglings from 55 Water Street are unable to mimic their parents’ effortless loops around the sky and through the canyons of the Financial District. Fighting gusty winds and learning how their wings work, some end up hit by cars or in the choppy water of the river. More than half of the birds won’t make it through their first year.

In late May, the four chicks at 55 Water Street became more active and started to explore the far reaches of their nest. On that day in the lobby, Ms. Stronk saw three of the young birds standing on the balcony’s edge while the fourth bent over the remains of a pigeon, ripping off pieces of flesh with its beak. On the last day of May, a quiet Saturday when the office building was nearly empty, the first fledgling flew. And fell. Bill DeMauro, the security supervisor on duty, learned that the bird had landed in the middle of a film set on South Street. Carefully, he scooped up the frightened but uninjured fledgling and returned it to the nest.

The birds’ fortunes are endlessly fascinating to those who live and work in the neighborhood.

“Everyone asks about the birds — we call them the 55 Water Street mascots,” said Orlando Burgos, whose station is the front desk. “There’s something good going on here. But it’s heartbreaking, too. Every year, we watch them grow up, and then half of them end up on the road. You just want to put a big net up over the F.D.R. to catch them.”

Two days later, just after sunrise, another bird was found on South Street, facing off a fire truck emerging from the station. The firefighters managed to get the creature into a milk crate, and it too was returned to the nest. Ms. Saunders, the technology analyst who first saw the nest back in 1997, was staked out on the promenade the first week of June, and on Wednesday, June 4, she witnessed the first chick’s successful flight. The next day, two more followed. THAT left just one bird in the nest; it was the runt of the brood, but it was growing stronger each day. Ms. Saunders was checking the monitor on Friday morning when she and other passers-by saw the chick hop-fly across the nest.

“I’m so happy she’s flapping!” said one of the watchers.

The next day, that falcon, too, flew. That achievement meant it was a banner year for the birds, with all four chicks successfully entering the life of an urban falcon. Many more dangers await them, of course, but at 55 Water Street, it was smiles all around.


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/nyregion/thecity/15falc.html?em&ex=1213675200&en=d968a1ac2672d991&ei=5087%0A
« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 01:16 by The Peregrine Chick »