Baby Falcons Hatch on Financial District Skyscraper

By Irene Plagianos on May 21, 2014 1:33pm 

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 A pair of falcons have returned to a longtime nest at 55 Water St.
Falcons Return to 55 Water St.
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FINANCIAL DISTRICT — At least three fledgling peregrine falcons have hatched on the 14th-story ledge of a Downtown office tower.

The baby falcons, born over the past few days at 55 Water Street have had their short lives captured on a live webcam that’s back in action this spring, after Hurricane Sandy shut down the “BirdCam."

When the falcon mom, named Adele, is not sitting on her newborns, the fluffy, white babes emerge for a feeding. Adele laid four eggs this year, and it remains unclear whether her last youngling has hatched.

Peregrines have nested at the 54-story office building since the 1990s, and the webcam, installed more than 10 years ago, developed a following of viewers from around the world.

Thanks to the BirdCam, avid virtual bird-watchers can glimpse every moment of the falcons’ nesting, from laying eggs, to hatching their younglings, to seeing the babies take their first flight.

Though the hatchlings may be cute, peregrine falcons are known as one of nature’s most remarkable flying hunters.

The falcons dive onto their prey in mid-air at speeds of as high as 200 miles per hour. They use their talons to knock their victims out, and if that doesn’t work, they use a “tooth-like projection” in their jaw to dislocate the spine of their prey, according to the 55 Water St. website.

The Department of Environmental Protection comes to 55 Water St. each year to place bands on the newly born falcons, to keep track of the once-endangered species.

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