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Eyes to the Skies

Saturday Hot Afternoon Falcon Watch - 7/14/18

July 14th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

*Be sure to click on the pictures to see the full image!*

It was a very hot afternoon, but since I couldn’t get out for my usual early morning watch, I ventured out in the heat of the day to check on the falcons.

I immediately found Beauty on the bottom arm of the Frontier Communication Tower.  She was soaking wet, so she probably took a recent bath.  Possibly in the river.


Below Beauty, inside the framework under the platform was a sleepy juvie.


I noticed that the road behind the City Hall parking lot had a change.  The one-way was switched.


This was my view from the southside of the FCT’s.


From here, I had a better view of Beauty on the lowest arm.


Back at the City Hall parking lot, another view of the sleepy juvie.


I kept hearing the wailing of another young falcon, but couldn’t find it at first.  Then one popped up on the platform below Beauty.  There was a black/green band on the left leg, so it was either Sundara or Mike.  Based on size, it was Sundara and she had a very full crop.  She moved around, back and forth, on the platform, vocalizing up to mom.


When she moved out of my view, I moved back over to the southside of FCT.  From there, I could see her on the platform, with Beauty directly above her.


Again she moved where I could not see her.  So back to the City Hall parking lot.  It’s so much easier to move around on the weekends, when no one else is around.

From my position, I could see that there were now two, very close together underneath the platform.  Both were sound asleep and so was Beauty.  The heat was getting to me, so I ended my afternoon watch.


Again basing it on size, I believe it was Sundara and Letchworth on the Frontier Communication Tower with Beauty.

More hot weather coming our way, with little rain.  Hope everyone is keeping cool!

Friday the 13th Morning Falcon Watch - 7/13/18

July 13th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Yet another warm day on the way, with temps of 90 degrees.  It’s been a long time since we’ve had any rain.  Hope we get some soon.

My falcon watch started at about 7 am, just after Larry O signed off.  The first falcon I saw was from the west side of the Kodak Tower.  There was one on the NE corner of Xerox.  It was way too far away to tell who it was.

*Be sure to click on the pics to see the full image.*


I made my way to the north side of the old Midtown Plaza.  From there I could see that it was Dot.ca.


After a quick search, I found Beauty on the antenna on top of the RG&E bldg.


I noticed that Dot.ca had left while I was checking out Beauty, so I didn’t know which direction he had flown.

Beauty then took off, flying low over the buildings to the south.


I searched for her, but couldn’t find her.

It was time to look for the juvies.

Dot.ca was just flying up to the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT) when I arrived there.  He was on the middle arm, looking south.


From the Andrews St Bridge, I could see that there was a juvie lower on FCT, so I headed back over to City Hall.


Dot.ca was gone, but I was able to get a good view of the juvie.  Dana joined me on the watch.


Finally the juvie lifted her leg and I was able to read her black/green band.  It was 90/BA - Sundara!


While I was talking to a passerby, she took off.  Of course!  lol  Sundara headed west, out of sight.

I drove back to the Andrews St Bridge and saw a falcon heading my way from Kodak.  I caught this one picture of the falcon as it flew over.


This was very close to the gorge, so Dana and I decided to check out the pedestrian bridge.  We didn’t see any falcons there, but we did see a juvie Red-tail Hawk flying over the river and landing on the Genesee Brewery.


It was a big girl and she took off, flying over the pedestrian bridge and heading towards the falls.  The hawk ended up landing in the Falcon Sucking Tree.  I guess this tree is not only for falcons.  lol


The hawk took off and flew down the east side of the gorge, snatching at leaves, just like our juvie falcons do.  I really miss seeing them in the gorge.  Wish they’d find it.  :)


The High Falls Gorge is my most favorite place to watch falcons.  The river is very dry right now due to the lack of rain, but the falls are as beautiful as always.


If you live in or near Rochester, you should visit this magical place.  Enjoy the day and keep cool!  :)

Falcon Watch Pictures - 7/6 - 7/11/18

July 11th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Time to catch up and share some pictures from my falcon watches over the past 6 days.  I’m happy to report that all three juvies are doing well.  I even have some videos that I will share with you soon.  But, in the meantime, here are some pictures I want to share with everyone.  Enjoy!  :)

*Be sure to click on each pic to see the full image.*























The Day After the Fireworks….All 5 OK! 7/5/18

July 5th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

My main reason for going downtown early this morning was to make sure the Rochester Falcons made it through the evening of downtown fireworks.

I and a few other falcon fans were watching the fireworks on our falcon cams last night.  They were very loud and quite intense.  At one point, we could hear a falcon (we assume it was Beauty) vocalizing loudly.  I really wanted to make sure they were all ok this morning.

At 6:00 am, I joined Dan on the Court St Bridge.  I was overjoyed to see all three juvies flying high above the Xerox Tower, talon tagging.  Beauty was supervising from the SE corner of the Five Star Bank bldg.  We later saw Dot.ca on the RG&E antenna.  All five were safe and sound.  They had all survived the very explosive celebration the night before.  :)

We were soon joined by Larry O and Dana.

Here are some pictures from the morning watch.  Another very warm day!!!

*Please click on the pictures to see the full image.*







I’m happy to report that repairs are underway on the Cross Rds Bldg.


Dana and I ended our watch at the Seneca Tower location.  Sadly, all was quiet and we saw no falcons there.  Although, Dana and Lou had seen three juvies on the building a couple evenings ago.  We were probably too late to see any activity this morning.

Enjoy the day and keep cool everyone!

4th of July Falcon Watch - 7/4/18

July 4th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Happy 4th of July!

When I arrived downtown on the Court St Bridge at 7:00 am, I was greeted by Dan and Larry O.  Another very warm day was beginning.  Temps are expected to get up to about 93 degrees, and the humidity was rising.  The police were already out, blocking off some of the streets that would be filled with people this evening for the 4th of July celebrations.

Dot.ca was on the Powers camera and one juvie was on the ladder on top of the Civic Ctr.  We assumed, based on size, that this was Sundara.  We’re now pretty sure that she has lost the blue tape from her silver USFW band.  This will make it harder to ID her.

*Please click on the pictures to see the full image.*


Soon after I arrived, Beauty flew in carrying breakfast.  Sundara took off from the Civic Ctr and met her.  We lost sight of both of them, but quickly found one on the Widows Walk (WW).

Dan and Larry said their goodbyes and I headed over to the Times Square Bldg area for a closer look.

Dot.ca had moved over to the OCSR, top IBeam.

4-dc-on-ocsr-7-4-18<— DC on OCSR

From the hole, “aka Aqueduct St”, I could see a juvie on Widows Walk on the southside railing.

5-juvie-on-ww-7-4-18<— Juvie on WW

I drove over to Fitzhugh St on the west side of WW and found a juvie eating on the corner of the Civic Ctr.

6-juvie-on-civic-ctr-7-4-18<— Juvie on corner of CC

A falcon flew up to the WW.  By the time I drove over for a closer look, the juvie I had first seen there was gone and Beauty was now on the southside railing.

7-beauty-on-ww-7-4-18<— Beauty on WW

I met up with Dana and we kept an eye on the juvie eating on the Civic Ctr.  We could see the silver band on the right leg and black/green band on the left leg.  So this was either Mike or Sundara.


Beauty flew over to check to see if there were any leftovers.

11-beauty-on-cc-7-4-18<— Beauty  on Civic Ctr.

We spotted a falcon on a lower Civic Ctr Bldg.  Again, either Mike or Sundara.

12-mike-or-sundara-on-cc-7-4-1813-mike-or-sundara-on-cc-7-4-18<— Mike or Sundara on Civic Ctr

We had some flying by the juvies, and they all ended up over on the Jail Communication Tower.  Joyce joined Dana and I at the parking lot near the Blue Cross Arena, aka Rochester War Memorial.  We found a spot in the shade and settled down to watch the four falcons on the jail communication tower (JCT).  There was some flying and we were able to positively ID Letchworth with her red tape covered band.





At 10 am, it was getting hot and we decided to end our watch.

Five Rochester Falcons were seen by Five Falcon Watchers this morning.

A very happy 4th of July to all.  Enjoy the day and stay safe!


All I can say is WOW! - Monday Morning Falcon Watch - 7/2/18

July 2nd, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

By the time I made my way downtown at 6:30 am, the temperature was already climbing and almost unbearable.  Larry O had reported that he and Dan had witnessed an up close and personal stoop by Beauty from over Xerox to the river on the south side of the Court St. Bridge (CSB).  She missed what she was after and settled on the Jail Communication Tower (JCT).

I decided to check the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT) first.  When I parked in front of City Hall, I could hear the very loud vocalization of a juvenile Peregrine Falcon.  It was Letchworth on the platform of FCT looking up at Dot.ca on the middle arm.


First Dot.ca, then Letchworth and another juvie I hadn’t seen, followed.

4-letchworth-off-fct-7-2-18<— There goes Letchworth!

Larry O and Dan saw all three heading down Main St. towards downtown.

I joined Dan and Larry on the Court St. Bridge, just in time to see four falcons flying high above the Xerox Tower (XT).

I quickly grabbed my camera and practiced my flight shots, of which there were a lot!

Dan, Larry and I enjoyed the air show by this year’s juvies, Letchworth, Sundara and Mike.  Dot.ca was flying above them, showing them all kinds of impossible maneuvers.  Impossible for us un-winged watchers, but the juvies did their best to mimic their dad.  In between, they had lots of fun chasing each other and talon tagging high above the Xerox Tower.  At one point, we had five in the air, but only for a moment.

Here are some of my favorite flight shots.

*Be sure to click on each one to see the full image.*







This was our view from the Court St. Bridge.



Both Dan and Larry left me, so I headed over to Woodbury Blvd, where I had a closer view of the Xerox Tower.


I only had one juvie in view on top of the light tower on the roof of the Xerox Tower.


and then there were two!  A second juvie flew in and the chase was on!



Both juvies flew west towards the Times Square Bldg.

Back at the Frontier Communication Tower, I found Letchworth on the middle arm.


Letchworth flew down to the platform of the shorter FCT.  There was a lot of wing action up there, so I assume food was involved and at least one other juvie up there.  Of course Letchworth was the loudest.  lol


Letchworth again took off and I found her on the north railing on Widows Walk.  That’s where I left her, when I decided to end my watch.  As I was driving away, I spotted a falcon on the base of Mercury.  It was Beauty!


I was very happy to see her, since we had mostly seen Dot.ca and the 3 juvies during the morning watch.  It was a nice way to end it!

Keep cool everyone!  There are more really hot temperatures on the way!

All Three Juvies are Flying High & Doing Great! - 6/30 & 7/1/18

July 1st, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

A heatwave has started in Rochester, NY and I wanted to go out for early morning watches Saturday & Sunday.  Today is going to go up to 98 degrees with a heat index of 105!

Both mornings, I met Dan on the Court St Bridge around 6:30 am.  Larry O joined us Saturday morning.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

There wasn’t much to see Saturday morning for the first part of my watch.  After Dan left, Larry O and I decided to check the High Falls Gorge.  The only raptors we saw were three Red-tailed Hawks, an adult and two juvies.  Other than that, it was very quiet.  Larry and I said our goodbyes and I headed downtown for another look.  I wasn’t disappointed.  I soon heard that wonderful sound that juvie Peregrine Falcons make when they’re flying with each other and talon tagging.  I could see three at a time flying high above Xerox and B&L.  Yes, I know these buildings have new names, but I’ll continue to call them by the names I remember.  lol

During my Saturday morning watch, I saw all five downtown Rochester Falcons.  Here are some pictures that I took during this watch.

*Be sure to click on all the pictures to see the full image.*







Sunday, July 1, 2018

Sunday Morning Watch started with an outstanding stoop by Beauty!  When I arrived on the Court St. Bridge Dan pointed out that Beauty was soaring high above the Xerox Tower.  As we watched, Beauty started her stoop.  Her wings folded back and swoosh!  At what seemed supersonic speeds, Beauty fell from the sky, hurtling towards the river on the south side of the bridge.  We lost sight of her as the pigeons took panicked flight in all different directions.  When I next saw her, she was carrying a pigeon back towards the Times Square Bldg.  I moved back to get a better look and saw that she brought it to the Widows Walk and she was surrounded by at least two juvies.

Dan had to leave, so I headed over to the Widows Walk.  I spent an hour with Letchworth, Sundara, Mike and Beauty before it got too warm and they were hunkered down in the shade after all getting a share of the meal this morning.

All three juvies are flying high and doing great!  Enjoy this 4th of July week and keep cool!





The Day After…. All 3 Juvies Flying! - 6/21/18

June 21st, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Morning Afternoon Watchers: Kathy O, Dana, Ron and Carol P.

Weather: For the first day of Summer, it was a chilly day!  Brrrr!

Early this morning, I found newly fledged Sundara on the Powers Bldg.  The same building she had fledged to yesterday.  She looked bright eyed and ready to join her siblings.  She was doing a lot of wing stretches and flapping strongly.

5-fledge-watch-powers-bldg-6-21-18<— The Powers Bldg.



I found Letchworth on the SW corner of the lower roof on the Cross Rds Bldg.


Beauty came in with food and brought it to the north end of the Cross Rds Bldg to prep it.  When she flew in, Dot.ca followed, along with Mike.  Sundara took off and landed next to her sister Letchworth on the Cross Rds Bldg.  Mike ended up on the top IBeam of OCSR.  He made an awesome landing there!  Dot.ca flew over to the Powers Bldg.

6-fledge-watch-dc-6-21-18<— Dot.ca on Powers Bldg.

10-fledge-watch-mike-6-21-18<— Mike on OCSR Top Ibeam.

After prepping the food, Beauty brought it to Mike on OCSR and beak fed him.

11-fledge-watch-beauty-mike-6-21-18<— Beauty feeding Mike.

After feeding Mike, she took the prey over to Letchworth and Sundara on Cross Rds.  They were very aggressive, and she ended up leaving it on the ledge for them to feed themselves.

13-fledge-watch-letchworth-sundara-6-21-1812-fledge-watch-beauty-letchworth-sundara-6-21-18<— Beauty brings food to Letchworth and Sundara.

Beauty flew back over to OCSR.

14-fledge-watch-beauty-6-21-18<— Beauty to OCSR.

After the girls finished their meal, Beauty returned to the corner of Cross Rds, where she was joined by Mike.  He wanted just a bit more.  He is very good at following the food.  lol

15-fledge-watch-beauty-mike-6-21-18<— Beauty and Mike on Cross Rds Bldg.

A little later on, we witnessed Beauty successfully hunt a pigeon over Main St.  She flew over us with her catch, heading south.  She landed on a couple different buildings with it before heading over the river to the library, where I believe she cached it.

16-fledge-watch-beauty-6-21-1817-fledge-watch-beauty-6-21-18<— Beauty with prey.

My watch ended at just before 3:00 pm.  After being there for 8 hours, it was time to head home.  All was quiet.

Before heading home, I stopped on the Andrew St. Bridge, where I found all three juvies on the NW corner of the Cross Rds Bldg.  They were all huddled together under the watchful eye of Beauty, who was on the Powers Bldg.

18-fledge-watch-all-3-6-21-18<— Mike, Letchworth and Sundara on Cross Rds Bldg.

All Three Successfully Fledged! - 6/20/18

June 20th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Success!!!  As of late this afternoon, all three eyases have fledged from the Times Square Bldg.  Mike, Letchworth and Sundara have graduated from eyases to juvies (or fledglings).  Sundara was the last to fledge this afternoon.  She took her first flight to the Powers Bldg, landing on the top ledge.  The fledge watchers will continue to keep a close eye on them while they hone their flying skills.  Beauty and Dot.ca will continue to feed them and teach them how to be Peregrine Falcons.

We also have received information that Billie and Seth have been seen flying with three young ones near Seneca Towers.  This is wonderful news!

Here are a few pictures from today.  Enjoy!

*Be sure to click on each picture to see the full image.*

1-fledge-watch-bs-6-20-18 <— Sundara spreads her wings under the watchful eye of Beauty.  This is before she fledged.

2-fledge-watch-mike-6-20-18 <— Mike taking off from the Times Square Bldg Wall after visiting with Sundara.

3-fledge-watch-sm-6-20-18 <— Sundara and Mike at the nest box.

4-fledge-watch-letchworth-6-20-18 <— Letchworth on Times Square Bldg, on the ledge above the nest box.

Fledge Watch Continues - No New Fledges - Saturday - 6/16/18

June 16th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Today’s Fledge Watchers:

Morning/Afternoon - Kathy O, Dana, Larry O, Dan, Carol Lukka, Darlene, Carla & JP, Carrie and Carol P. (6:30 am - 4:00 pm)

Evening - Kathy O, Carol Lukka, Carrie, Joyce, Jeanne, Carla and Larry O.  (4:00 - 9:00 pm)

Weather:  Very Sunny, with temps in the low 80’s.  Not much of a breeze.

There was a lot of activity at the nest box, but no new fledges today.  Not even Mike attempted to take flight today.  Lots of flapping by all three, strengthening their wings.  Will tomorrow be the day Mike goes again and will it be Letchworth’s time to fledge.  Only time will tell.

The highlight of the watch was when Sundara finally got the courage to make it down to the wall to join her sister and brother.  It was a beautiful sight.

As I type this report, Mike is on top of the nest box roof and Sundara and Letchworth are running the wall.

Here are some pictures from today’s fledge watch.  Enjoy!

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











*During the evening watch, Mike took some flights around the area and Times Square Bldg.  According to Joyce, he even chased a swift!  When the watchers left at  9:00 pm, he was on the southeast wing ledge.  Sundara and Letchworth remain at the nest box.

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