May 28 2008
How about this! The nest at Gulf Tower looks empty.
The Gulf Tower peregrine chicks are due to fledge (fly for the first time) in the next few days, most likely between May 28 and May 31. The male will fly first, possibly a day or two before the female. Even though the nest looks empty at least one of them is probably here but out of camera range.
Fledge dates are very weather-dependent. The young birds try not to fledge during rain or high winds. Since today is clear and sunny, this may be the day the young male takes his first flight.
After first flight, the fledgling stays put and waits for mom or dad to bring food. The parents feed their young wherever they are – even if they are scattered among various places. If one bird fledges later than her siblings, those who fledged earlier sometimes return to the nest to cash in on parental food deliveries.
After everyone has flown for a day or two, they won’t return to the nest. It’s their baby crib and they don’t need it any more.
If you’re downtown, you may be able to see the young birds ledge-walking and exercising their wings. Stand near Penn Station and look up toward the top of the Gulf Tower at the side of the building facing you.
Especially examine the top floors with windows (not the stepped pyramid top of the building). You’ll know you’ve found the young peregrines if you see brown birds flapping their wings.
Watch for the adults delivering food to find out where a fledged chick has landed.
Update at 9:10pm: Tasha fed both chicks at 9:10pm on Wed May 28. Clearly, they haven’t left the nest yet.