NEW YORK - Meet the newest residents of the West Side of Manhattan. These newborn gulls have a penthouse pad on the Green Roof of the Javits Convention Center.
"We have 29 species of Birds, and now we have over 148 Seagull nests, which all contain two to three eggs per nest," said Richard Brown, Chief Engineer of the Javits Center.
The nearly seven-acre green roof was installed five years ago at the Convention Center as part of a renovation project, it's the largest of its kind in the state and one of the nation's most expansive.
It was designed to reduce energy consumption at Javits and it also absorbs seven million gallons of rain water a year, keeping it out of the sewer system. But it has also become a haven for birds, bats, and even bees, there are five hives.
Right now is breeding season for the numerous Gulls who have made the roof at Javits their nesting spot, so protective moms are here guarding their hatchlings and eggs.
"We're always keeping that in mind when we are working and being around the Birds, that we are always keeping an eye on them, and if ever find an injured bird we actually take them with the Audubon Society. We notify them. And then we get them rescued," Brown said.
The birds are attracted to the various flowering plants on the roof, and there is plenty of water, provided by the condensation from air conditioning units.
The expansion of Javits is expected to be complete in two years, and it will feature more green initiatives like this, including a more than one-acre farm, and great views of the current green roof. For folks who work here, it's been a pleasant change from the old days when there was nothing much up here.
"Now we are actually part time environmentalists, as well as working on all the equipment up here, so it's been a really neat privilege," Brown said.