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Eyes to the Skies

First of Year 2019 Falcon Watch Report - 3/17/19

March 23rd, 2019

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It’s was a long, cold Winter.  Finally, Spring has sprung (although it’s still cold - Brrrrrr!) and love is in the air for our Rochester Peregrine Falcon pair.  Beauty and Dot.ca have been seen mating and hanging out at the Times Square Bldg nest box.  Can’t wait to see their first egg.  :)

I, and other Watchers, have been keeping an eye on our Rochester Falcons, Beauty & Dot.ca and Billie and her new beau, an unbanded tiercel.  I got a really nice look at them this past weekend.

Sunday, 3/17/19


From the Court St Bridge, I could see that Dot.ca was inside the Times Sq Bldg (TSB) nest box.


I got out of my car to check out the river, which was living up to it’s name, the Mighty Genesee River.  The water was raging from the Spring thaw, flowing south to north, towards Lake Ontario.


I drove over to Aqueduct St (aka “the hole”) and found fellow falcon watcher Dana watching Beauty up on the Wilder Bldg.


Dana told me that I had just missed Beauty and Dot.ca mating up there.

After awhile, Beauty took off and flew up to the nest box.  We could hear them chupping, so I’m sure they were bowing to each other.

Dot.ca flew out of the nest box and landed on the Wilder Bldg green strip.


Seneca Tower Area

All was quiet and peaceful, so Dana and I headed over to the west side of the river across from Seneca Towers.  We met up with fellow watcher Ron K, who had spotted both Billie and her new beau in the trees on the west side of the gorge.  I was glad he was there to point them out, because I sure would have had a hard time finding them.

11-billie-3-17-1910-billie-3-17-19 <—- Billie

9-billies-beau-3-17-19-28-billies-beau-3-17-19-2 <— Billie’s beau

He is unbanded and such a cute little guy.  So happy she found a new mate after the loss of Seth.

They both took off and flew together over the river.  It was time for us to end our watch.

Ron walks through this area quite often and has been keeping an eye on them.  He has seen them mating.  Ron sent me a few recent pictures he’s taken of Billie and her beau and has given me permission to share them in my report.  Thanks Ron!

Pictures by Ron Kalasinskas

1a-billie-march-2019-ron-k7a-billie-march-2019-ron-k2a-billie-march-2019-ron-k <— Billie

And her beau…..


Post Thanksgiving Falcon Watch - 11/24/18

November 24th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Hello fellow falcon fans!  I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Although there have been no reports, be assured that we have been keeping an eye on our Rochester Falcons.

It’s been very cold here in Rochester, NY and we’ve had some snow.  I wanted to get out this morning before the rain started this afternoon.

It didn’t take me long to find both Beauty and Dot.ca.  They were sitting side-by-side on the Frontier Communication Tower’s NE box.


I moved around to the other side to get a different view.


Both Beauty and Dot.ca took off and the hunt was on!  The Church Pigeons were off!  Dot.ca flew north and Beauty chased the pigeons.  She was unsuccessful and I watched as she flew southeast.

6-beauty-on-the-hunt-11-24-18-27-beauty-on-the-hunt-11-24-18-2 <— Beauty on the hunt!

9-church-pigeons-11-24-18-2 <— Church Pigeons

Dot.ca returned to the NE box on the Frontier Communication Tower.  I could hear him kakking.

8-dc-returns-to-fct-11-24-18-2 <— DC on Frontier Comm Tower (FCT)

I left Dot.ca to try to find Beauty.  After having no luck finding her, I parked on the Andrew St Bridge.  From there, I had a great view of the area.  I could see that Dot.ca was no longer on FCT.

At first I couldn’t see them.  There they were!  Both were on the corner of City Place which is just south of the Frontier Communication Tower.  Beauty had a successful hunt and she was eating.  Dot.ca was watching her and waiting patiently.

10-bdc-on-city-place-11-24-18-2 <— My View from the Andrew St Bridge of B&DC on City Place

From the Hochstein parking lot I could see Dot.ca on the corner and just a bit of Beauty as she ate her meal.

11-bdc-on-city-place-11-24-18-2 <— Dot.ca and Beauty on City Place

Every now and then I got a glimpse of Beauty.  Dot.ca preened and attempted to get rid of a pellet.


When Beauty had her fill, she walked towards Dot.ca with the remainder of her meal.

14-bdc-on-city-place-11-24-18-2 <— Beauty gives the leftovers to Dot.ca.

Dot.ca took her offering and flew off with it towards the Frontier Communication Tower.  He landed on top of the white disk.


While Dot.ca ate, Beauty remained on the corner of City Place.

19-beauty-on-city-place-11-24-18-218-beauty-on-city-place-11-24-18-220-beauty-on-city-place-11-24-18-2 <— Beauty on City Place

It started to lightly rain, so I ended my downtown watch.  It was great seeing Beauty and Dot.ca doing well as Winter approached.

On my way home, I stopped at Maplewood Park for a quick look at Seneca Towers (ST).  I could only see one falcon, and based on size, I believe it was Billie on the north end window ledge.


Last weekend, 11/18/18, Kathy O and I had seen both Billie and her beau on top of ST.


It looks like this small tiercel is continuing to hang out with Billie.  :)

Keep warm everyone and enjoy the upcoming holiday season!

The Visitors….Time for a Break - 9/26/18

September 26th, 2018

By Carol P.

My heart hasn’t been into falcon watching for awhile and yesterday I found out a good friend had passed away.  Donna loved the falcons and every living creature.  Well, she wasn’t too fond of snakes and spiders. lol  When I heard she had passed away, it broke my heart.  It just goes to show that life is too darn short.

So, that being said, this will be my last report for awhile.  Time to take a break.  Beauty and Dot.ca are continuing to guard their downtown territory.  If anything changes with our pair, it will be reported.  There are other watchers that keep an eye on things too.  So hopefully they’ll report and share pictures now and then.  That would be nice.  :)

On Monday, Kathy O and I saw both Beauty and Dot.ca together on the Frontier Communication Tower.  We even got to hear some ee-chupping.  Love that sound!

So, here are some pictures of the off-season visitors and other things.  There is a young male, hatched in 2017 hanging out at a nearby mall (Marketplace).  His name is Fission and he comes from Canada.  We also have a visitor at the BS location again this year.  By size, I’d guess a female, and she’s unbanded.  I can’t be sure, but it may be the same female that we’ve had past Winters.

Fission (at Marketplace Mall)


BS Girl


Miscellaneous Birds and Stuff




I’ll end with a couple pics of Beauty and Dot.ca from Monday.


Fly Free Donna.  You will be truly missed.  :(

Rochester Falcon Watch Report - 8/20 - 9/15/18

September 16th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Well, here I am catching up again.  Since my last report, there have been no sightings of any of our juvies.  Looks like they’ve left the area.  Of course, they may pop up again for a visit.  You just never know.  If they are seen again, we’ll be sure to report it.

In the meantime, both Beauty and Dot.ca are frequently seen keeping guard over their downtown territory.  They have been seen many times on the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT) and the Old Changing Scenes Restaurant (OCSR).  Our cameras have even caught Beauty and Dot.ca at the Powers nest box now and then, but not too often.

Here are some pictures from my falcon watches (8/20 to 9/15).  Enjoy!

*Be sure to click on any pics to see the full version.*


1-bdc-on-fct-8-20-18-22-dc-on-fct-8-20-18-226-dc-on-fct-8-20-18-2<—Beauty & Dot.ca on FCT

28-billy-at-st-8-20-18-227-billy-at-st-8-20-18-2<— Billie at ST


3-beauty-on-base-of-mercury-8-26-18-2<— Beauty on base of Mercury

1-sunrise-8-26-182-river-gold-8-26-18-2<— Early morning sun on the river

4-gbh-bcnh-8-26-18-25-gull-fish-gulp-8-26-18-2<— Life on the Genesee River

6-billie-at-st-8-26-18-2<— Billie at ST


1-beauty-on-fct-9-1-18-24-beauty-on-fct-9-1-18-2<— Beauty on FCT

2-dc-on-ocsr-9-1-18-2<— Dot.ca on OCSR

3-high-falls-9-1-18-2<— High Falls


1-dc-on-ocsr-9-2-182-beauty-on-fct-9-2-18<— Dot.ca on OCSR - Beauty on FCT


1-beauty-on-fct-9-3-18-2<— Beauty on FCT

2-dc-on-powers-9-3-18-2<— Dot.ca on Powers Bldg

3-dc-on-fct-9-3-184-peak-a-boo-dc-on-fct-9-3-18-25-peak-a-boo-dc-on-fct-9-3-18<— Dot.ca on FCT


1-bdc-on-ocsr-9-8-18-2<—Beauty & Dot.ca on OCSR

4-beauty-on-ocsr-9-8-18-25-dc-on-ocsr-9-8-18-2<— Beauty & Dot.ca on OCSR


1-dc-on-fct-9-9-182-dc-on-fct-9-9-18-23-dc-on-fct-9-9-18<— Dot.ca on FCT

4-dc-on-ocsr-9-9-18-25-beauty-on-ocsr-9-9-18-26-dc-and-beauty-on-ocsr-9-9-18-2<— DC & Beauty on OCSR

7-billie-on-st-9-9-18-2<— Billie at ST


1-beauty-on-fct-9-15-182-beauty-on-fct-9-15-183-beauty-on-fct-9-15-18<— Beauty on FCT

4-beauty-on-fct-9-15-18<— Beauty on FCT

5-dc-on-ocsr-9-15-181<— Dot.ca on OCSR

This Past Week’s Falcon Watch - 8/19/18

August 19th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

I’ve been out a few times over the past week, but haven’t had time to post pics.  So, here we go.

The heat continues here in Rochester, NY and so do the falcon sightings.  I’ve seen juvies a couple of the days I was out.  I thought it was Sundara I last saw eating on OCSR, but after checking my pictures, I’m pretty sure I’m seeing a “2″, not a “9″ on he black/green band.  I was very surprised!

Here are some pictures I wanted to share.  Enjoy! and make sure that you click on them to see the full image.


Beauty & Dot.ca sharing a meal on the library.



Now for a surprise.  I thought I was watching Sundara, but after checking my pics, I’m almost certain I’m seeing a 2 on the band.  So, this was Mike!!!  He was on OCSR with Beauty.




Juvie eating on FCT.  Was not able to ID.



The only falcon I saw during my Sunday morning falcon watch was Beauty.  I first saw her on the Jail Comm Twr, then OCSR and finally on Mercury’s foot.  She was very wet, preening after a bath.  Larry O and Zeke joined me on the Court St Bridge.

2-beauty-on-mercury-8-19-18-2<— Beauty on Mercury’s foot.

Here are pictures of a Great Blue Heron and a Kingfisher hunting on the river below.


Beauty took off, heading east.  After driving around, I found her on the Frontier Communication Tower.


At the end of my watch, I checked out Seneca Towers, and the east and west ends of Kodak Park.  I found no falcons, but at the west end of Kodak Park, I found 100’s of Gold Finches eating in the fields and drinking from puddles.  They must be migrating.  That was awesome to see!


Enjoy the day!  I’ll continue to let you all know what I’m seeing on my falcon watches.  :)

Sunday Morning Falcon Watch - 8/5/18

August 5th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Another very warm day in Rochester, NY, with temps of 90 degrees (F) due.  No rain in the forecast, just clear, blue skies.

*Be sure to click on any pictures in this report to see the full image.*

I joined Dan on the Court St Bridge just before 7:00 am.  It’s always fun to join Dan on an early morning falcon watch.  Downtown was pretty much empty, no JW’s or festivals this weekend.  I grabbed my chair and coffee and settled down for my morning watch.  There were no falcons to be seen, but there was a lot of activity above and on the river below us.  Lots of gulls and ducks and herons.  Dan pointed out the Black-Crowned Night Heron (BCNH) hunting for fish on the river and another one that had flown into the tree near the library.  As we were watching them, a third BCNH flew into the tree just below the one that was already there.


On the south side of the bridge, we saw two Great Egrets come in for a landing.  A third continued south down the river.


Also, there were two Great Blue Herons hunting below.


Larry O (with Zeke) joined us at 7:2o am and Joyce (with Casey and Abby) joined us at 7:45 am.  Although we had no falcons to watch, it was fun catching up with everyone and watching the river life below us.



At 8:00 am, Dan headed home and Joyce, Larry O and I headed over to the Frontier Communication Tower.  Joyce spotted one falcon on the east side below the platform.  Since it was quiet and we saw no others, we headed over to the pedestrian bridge at High Falls.  There was an adult Red-tailed Hawk on the south side of the pedestrian bridge, surrounded by House Finches!



Joyce pointed out where she saw the falcon on FCT.  This was our view from the pedestrian bridge.


The Red-tailed Hawk took off and landed in a tree in front of the falls.


This was our view of the falls and downtown area.  Not much water was flowing over the falls due to the lack of rain.


Larry had to leave, so Joyce and I returned to the Frontier Communication Tower, where we found both Beauty and Dot.ca.  There was definitely a juvie falcon up there, but we never did see it.  Beauty was on the north side of the platform and Dot.ca was under the platform on the east side.  We could hear the juvie falcon wailing every now and then.  Especially when Beauty moved.  We figured she was somewhere up there on the platform with Beauty.


Carrie joined us and I really hoped that Sundara would make an appearance for her.  Carrie is the falcon watcher that named her.  I ended my watch when our shade shrunk down to nothing around 10:45 am.  The temperature was rising and the falcons would hopefully find shade of their own.  I hoped my sacrifice would bring Sundara out of hiding.  :)

Saturday Morning Falcon Watch - 8/4/18

August 4th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

The heat continues, on and on and on and on……

High 80’s today and mid-90’s the next two days.  Plus the high humidity, makes it pretty much unbearable.

*Please be sure to click on any pictures to see the full image.*

I arrived on the Court St Bridge (CSB) just before 6 am.  I had hoped to find Dan there.  After about 15 minutes, with no falcon watchers or falcons in sight, I headed over to the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT).  As I approached, I could see a falcon on the lowest arm.  It was Beauty and she was facing south.


About three minutes later, I heard that most wonderful sound of a juvie wailing.  It landed on the east side platform railing, just below Beauty.


While I was tweeting this out, both took off while I wasn’t looking.  This happens very frequently to the falcon watchers.  Again, I was searching.  From the CSB, I found Beauty on the Jail Communication Tower (JCT).  From where I was, I could not find the juvie.


Beauty took off, heading north, back towards the FCT.  That’s exactly where I found her.  She was in hunt mode, so I settled in to watch her, hoping the juvie would return.


At 7:30 am, Beauty took off, this time heading west.  I waited to see if she would return.

Eight minutes later, a falcon flew in from the east, carrying food and landing on top of the large white drum on FCT.  The juvie was following close behind, also landing on the drum.  It was Dot.ca who had brought in food for the juvie.


Dot.ca left the juvie and landed up on FCT.


Larry joined me, with Zeke.  He collected one of the feathers that fell from the prey the juvie was eating.  Can anyone guess what it might be?


We were chatting when I yelled out FOOD!  lol  Now you have to know that I saw a falcon flying in low carrying prey.  Larry knew exactly what I meant when I yelled FOOD!  hahaha!  It was Beauty and she landed very low on the Frontier Communication Tower.  She had brought in a pigeon, and she was panting when she landed.


The juvie finished eating and hopped off the drum into the framework.  Dot.ca watched from above.


Beauty continued to eat her meal, until there was just a little bit left.



The juvie continued to wail, loudly.  Guess Dot.ca’s offering wasn’t big enough.  When Beauty finished eating, she looked up at her young one, answering softly.  Beauty took off with her leftovers and the juvie followed.  The juvie flew up to meet her and Larry and I watched a perfect food transfer overhead.  After tucking the food in, the juvie returned to the FCT.


After eating, the juvie took off with the food and took it up to the top of the drum.  It looked like a good place to cache the food.  Both the juvie and Beauty had very full crops.


Dot.ca had other ideas for the leftovers.  It was his turn to eat breakfast.  He landed next to the juvie on the drum.  The juvie wasn’t happy, but decided to let dad have it.



While Beauty watched from above on the platform, the juvie landed below her in the framework.


Joyce, with Abbey & Casey, joined me at about 10 am.  Dot.ca finished his meal and flew over, landing just below the juvie.  This was our first good comparison.  Based on the size difference, we believe that the juvie we had been watching all morning was Sundara.  I never did get a good enough picture of her bands for a positive ID.


This was the time my camera battery died.  So no more pictures.  While Joyce and I watched over the next hour, Dot.ca gave a stooping lesson to Sundara.  He dove off of the tower and Sundara followed.  Beauty followed after them.  All three ended up very low on the communication tower.  That’s where they remained, until I left at a little before 11 am.  After I left, Joyce reported seeing both Beauty and Dot.ca leave.

Tomorrow will be a very warm day.  Stay cool everyone!

Playing Tag with Sundara! - Sunday Morning - 7/29/18

July 29th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.


*Please be sure to click on any pictures to see the full image.*

I’ve been searching for juvies this past week and seeing very little of them.  When I have, it’s been at a far distance and I haven’t been able to positively ID them.  Today, at 6:30 am, as I passed by the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT), I heard the very familiar and much missed wailing of a juvenile Peregrine Falcon.  It’s like a siren song to the falcon watchers.   I first spotted an adult on the middle arm.  It was Beauty.


Finally, I found the source of this beloved sound.  There was a juvie eating on the FCT below the platform.  I was even able to see the 90 black/green BA band on the left leg.  Yes!  It was Sundara!  I hadn’t seen her in such a long time.


I drove over to the south side of FCT to see if I could get a better look.


Beauty took off, heading east and Sundara followed.  Sundara soon returned, landing on the middle arm of FCT.


She moved over to the other side of the arm and I moved back over to the City Hall parking lot.



Sundara took off again, this time heading south and returned a few moments later.  This time landing on the east side of FCT below the platform.  I found a nice picnic table and settled in for a Sundara watch.  :)



I was really enjoying the cool temps and bright sunshine, sipping my coffee and watching the parking lot fill up with early morning churchgoers. It was a beautiful morning, spent watching a beautiful girl!


We stayed in each others company for quite awhile, before she took off, again heading south.  I looked over at Kodak and saw that Dot.ca was on the NW corner of the playground netting.  He took off on a hunt and ended up on the east side.


I was off again, in search of Sundara.  Love playing tag with the falcons!

As I drove down to Aqueduct St (aka “the hole”), I spotted a small head up on the platform of Rochester’s Mercury statue.


It was Sundara and she was wailing again.  A perfect clue that this was a juvie and not one of the adults.

Soon after I arrived, she took off again, heading northwest.  I caught up with her quickly.  She was up on the SE corner of the railing on top of the Powers building and she wasn’t alone.  She was there with an adult, who had passed over food that she was now mantling.


After parking my car in the hole, I took a walk over to the Powers Bldg where I had a very nice view of Sundara eating her 2nd breakfast of the day.



Sundara quickly finished eating and got down to a good preen.  It was time to make herself pretty.  lol


Soon she was on her way again.  She flew behind the Cross Rds Bldg and ended up on top of the OCSR roof on the south side corner.


About 10 minutes later, Sundara flew around the back of OCSR.  I did not see her come out either side, so I figured she landed over on the northside, in the shade.

I was right!  From the Andrews St Bridge (ASB), I saw that she was now on the top of the OCSR on the northside corner.  Here’s a view of what I could see from the ASB.


Before I ended my watch just before 9 am, Sundara had moved from the corner, walking towards the west corner.  She was gone from view when I left.


I ended my watch with a quick check of the Kodak Tower, hoping to find a falcon there.  No such luck.  But, I did find a bit of road that had been dug up, exposing the bricks that once paved an old road.  I really enjoy seeing stuff like this.  :)


On my way home, I stopped by Maplewood Park for a quick look at Seneca Towers.  From there, I could see one falcon sitting on the westside railing.  I was too far away to ID this falcon.  All was quiet and peaceful here.  A nice way to end my Sunday morning watch.


This was one of my favorite pictures of Sundara from this morning.  She’s looking skyward.  Sundara would soon master the sky and hopefully find a mate of her own and raise children.  We do love to hear about our young ones after they leave Rochester.  Fair winds Sundara, Letchworth and Mike.


Beauty at the Library - Saturday Morning - 7/28/18

July 28th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It’s getting harder and harder to find the juvies.  We did see one yesterday on top of the Kodak Tower, with black/green band on the left leg.  So, it was either Mike or Sundara.  Too far away to positively ID.  Oh, and Dana and I saw an adult and two juvies at Seneca Towers yesterday.  One had food and one was flying around.  It was so good to see them.

This morning I met Dan on the bridge a little after 6 am.  Larry met us a little later with Zeke.  It was another very busy day here in Rochester, NY.  The Jehovah Witnesses were here for a second weekend and people were gathering for the Puerto Rican Festival parade.  There was also some sort of food function near the old Midtown Plaza.  Very busy!

I spotted a falcon on the Rochester Public Library as I joined Dan.  It was Beauty.  So nice to see her complete a meal and fill her crop, without a juvie stealing her food.  She deserved this quiet time.  :)

I wanted to share some pictures I took while watching Beauty at the library.  Enjoy!






Sunday Morning Falcon Watch - Another Very Warm Day! 7/15/18

July 15th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

*Please be sure to click on the pictures to see the full image!*

It was another very warm day here in Rochester, NY.  I got downtown just after 7:00 am and it was already close to 70 degrees. Temps were expected to go up into the high 80’s.  Again, no rain in sight.

Just before I arrived, Larry O and Dan reported seeing Beauty bring in food over the river.  A juvie flew up to her and there was a food transfer.  They saw the juvie go to the southside of the Times Square Bldg (TSB) and Beauty to the Powers Bldg.

I checked the southside of the TSB, but could see no falcons there.  From Aqueduct St (aka “the hole”) I spotted a falcon eating on the NE lower corner of the Widows Walk (WW).



I moved a little closer, to the parking lot on the northside of the TSB.  From there I could only get a quick look at a head and wings now and then.  At one point, a pigeon flew in and landed next to the juvie.  Falcon wings came up to greet it and the pigeon flew off very quickly.  Wish I had gotten that picture! :)


After finishing breakfast, the juvie walked down the ledge, heading south.  I finally got a nice view of a red taped silver USFW band.  It was Letchworth!



Letchworth took off heading north and I followed.  I do love playing tag with the falcons. :)

I found her in a lower section on the north side of the Frontier Communication Tower.



Further up inside the framework, below the platform, there was a sleeping adult falcon.  Pretty sure it was Dot.ca.


Letchworth took off again, this time heading north.  I followed, but could not find her.  After checking out the whole downtown area, I returned to the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT).  Dot.ca was still there, and I could hear a juvie Peregrine Falcon wailing.  It took me awhile, but I finally found the juvie on the shorter FCT.



This juvie had a silver band, so it was either Sundara or Mike.  After checking my pics, I’m pretty sure it was Mike.

Mike moved around, wailing loudly.  Dot.ca was still dozing above.  After awhile Mike spread his wings and took off, heading east.


It was time to search again.  When I was driving towards the Times Square Bldg, I saw a falcon fly very fast towards OCSR.  It landed on the southside top Ibeam, near the west corner.  From the hole, I could see that it was Dot.ca.


It was 10:00 am when I ended my morning watch.  It had been awhile since I saw Mike and I was happy to see him doing well.

Enjoy the day, and keep cool everyone!

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