As you watch this video you will hear an enraged squawking. That’s either the Momma or Poppa Peregrine Falcon absolutely enraged because rangers are banding their chicks. This family of peregrine falcons lives in a specially constructed box made especially for them, very high up on a New York bridge. There are just 20 nesting pairs in New York and these birds are on the endangered list.
However the plight of these wonderful birds doesn’t count with the board of the super ritzy building at 25 Central Park West on the Upper West Side. Their noses are all out of joint because resident Steve Nislick and his wife Linda Marcus have provided a sturdy nesting box for a family of peregrine falcons outside their bathroom window. The Board say it’s illegal, they weren’t told it was being put in and despite being securely bolted into the wall they are maintaining it could fall on people’s heads. At the moment Nislick and Marcus are having a standoff with the Building Manager over removal of the box. The Landmarks Preservation Commission is being drawn into the stoush because building management says the box prevents renovations. The Landmarks Commission is pretty used to stoushes and it will be interesting to see where it lands on this one.
What exactly is upsetting the Baord of 25 Central Park West. Peregrine Falcons have a specific breeding season then they fly off. They do however return to the same spot next the next year and if the nesting spot is gone they often don’t breed. Surely the issue of safety is easily settled by an inspection and some nifty negotiating could surely encompass both the needs of this endangered species and the property rights of some very well heeled New Yorkers. Share and share alike. These feathered friends have graced this beautiful city. Let us make them welcome and support a most important conservancy breeding program even if, as in this case those falcons really were naughty in not negotiating with the building’s bpard in the first place about whether they were allowed to nest where they wanted to.