Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Peregrine Falcons of Downtown Binghamton, NY

One of the joys of working in our downtown area here in Binghamton, New York, is knowing that high above you, a pair of peregrine falcons is taking care of business. 

Back in 2001, a pair set up on top of the Security Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York building, and proceeded to nest.  They (and another pair that took over at some point, I believe), make this an annual ritual.

I have been fortunate enough to see the falcons several times over the years.  Sometimes, bird watchers set up near the Broome County Court house when they are sighted, and allow noonday office workers out and about at lunch to share their binoculars.  And, enough times....how do I say this delicately, but if I have to walk past the Security Mutual building, I must step around....er, the remains of their lunch.  Pigeons are their favorite, and they are choosy about which parts they eat.

I understand they can dive at 200 miles per hour.  I've never seen one take prey, but I have heard their haunting screeches.

In June of 2008, someone I know who works in the Security Mutual building sent me these photos.  I would like to share these photos with you.

Thank you, Donna, for these photos. As Donna explained at the time:

"Please enjoy the pictures of the male, baby Falcon, approximately 3 months old, that hit the window of the Security Mutual Building around lunch time, and decided to take a little rest on the ledge, outside offices on the 8th floor, before he took off flying to join the rest of his family.  We learned from the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) that this may have been his maiden flight."  

The building visible in most of the pictures is the Broome County Courthouse.

This is an action sequence.  The bird rests on the ledge, a bit stunned, recovers, and then finally flies away. 

The pigeons may not be happy to have the falcons in town, but many office workers in downtown Binghamton are thrilled to have the falcons live among us.

 Here, the falcon peeks into the 8th floor offices.

What a beautiful sight.

 A very nice closeup.
 Great shot down Court Street, as the bird prepares to take off.  And finally, the happy ending.
 
The young birds, sadly, do not always survive to adulthood.  But I believe this one did.










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