If you’ve been following us all year you remember that first Mariah and Archer, then Beauty and Archer, appeared to be making a nest site on the north side of the Midtown Plaza tower. All of the human tenants are out of the tower and a large-scale asbestos removal project is under way now.
After the territory battle that displaced Mariah it appeared to our volunteer watchers that Archer and Beauty had settled into this location to start a nest. Then, after a few weeks they abandoned the site and moved to the prepared nest box at the Times Square building. We never went up to the presumed nest site at the Midtown Plaza tower because we didn’t want to stress the new pair if they were nesting, and because the building had been largely shut down.
Recently, Rochester Falconcam members Carol Phillips and Susan Conway were able to secure access to the ledge site one day before the asbestos abatement work got going. Carol took some pictures of the ledge (view her KodakGallery album) and reported on what they found.
We were able to get up to the same floor as the failed nest site. There were no windows from inside to view the gutter, so we walked out onto the top of the lower section of the building. The same level as the nest site gutter. We were able to view the gutter from the NE corner of the building looking south. The gutter is too narrow to walk out onto.
There is no drainage from this gutter. In fact, there are pipes that are pointed down into this gutter to drain water from the tower above. During our torrential rain storms, this gutter would have filled with water. In my opinion, this nest would never have never [been] successful.
The gutter itself is about 12-15 inches wide and 7-8 inches deep.
Susan and I looked for evidence of broken eggs or anything else from a Peregrine nest, but couldn’t find anything.
So, it looks like Archer and Beauty may never have laid eggs at Midtown. If they did, the nest apparently failed and any trace of it has since been washed away. The site doesn’t look ideal for a nest in any case, since as Carol noted there’s not much drainage, and in fact the gutter might have collected rainwater from other parts of the building.
It’s not unusual for the nest of a new Peregrine pair to fail. We’ve also seen many cases in which Peregrines have made poor choices for nest sites. We’re glad that Archer and Beauty availed themselves of the artificial nest box at Times Square. It will provide an excellent nest, protected from too much wind, rain and sun. We’re hopeful that next year we’ll see them lay their first clutch of eggs in Rochester.