Archive for July, 2007

Gallery – Sacajawea at Rest

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Sacajawea at Rest
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Photographer Gary Chadwick sent this picture of Sacajawea, taken on July 7 as she rested on top of one of the High Falls Brewing Company buildings on the east side of the gorge. Gary reports that Sacajawea seemed to be sizing him up as a possible meal!

Mariah and Kaver Are Great Grandparents!

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

millie.jpg

We’ve recently learned that a pair of Peregrine falcons have been nesting at the Toledo Edison’s Bay Shore power plant in Oregon, Ohio. The male, Swifty, was hatched in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His mate is Millie (shown in the picture above), hatched in 2005 at an industrial facility in Port Colborne, Ontario Canada. Millie is the daughter of Freedom and Purity, and Freedom is the son of our very own Mariah and Kaver! (ed. note– in an interesting twist, Swifty’s mother is also named Freedom. What a coincidence!)

Fans of the Kodak Birdcam may recall that 2002 was Mariah & Kaver’s first year together. Mariah’s previous mate, Toronto-born Cabot-Sirocco, failed to return to the nest in the spring of 2002. Freedom and his sister Isis were the first offspring from the Mariah & Kaver pairing.

In 2004 Freedom and Purity began nesting in Port Colborne, but they had chosen a precarious spot for their scrape and all of their offspring were lost that year, blown off their narrow nest ledge by stiff winds. Later the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Canadian Peregrine Foundation installed a nest box at the facility, but it went unused.

In 2005 Mark Nash of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation rescued Freedom and Purity’s two eyases from the nest ledge, fearing that they would suffer the same fate as the previous year’s eyases. In a daring operation they were moved to the much more secure nest box, where Freedom and Purity quickly located them. Both of those falcons survived to fledging. They were named Millie and Ellie for the mills and storage elevators at the facility where they hatched. Millie’s first fledging flight nearly ended in tragedy as she fell into the nearby Welland Canal and had to be rescued by workers at the facility, but both went on to be successful fledglings and in true Peregrine style they struck out on their own later that summer.

In the summer of 2005 members of the Kodak Falconcam and Genesee Valley Audubon Society took a trip to Port Colborne to visit Freedom and his offspring. You can read about that visit here and view a Kodak EasyShare Gallery picture album here.

There was a little drama this year for Swifty and Millie’s two males, Ted and Lucas, as both fell from their exposed nest spot 70 feet up and had to be rescued. They’re both doing well, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife has placed an artificial nest box at the location, to which both of the nestlings were returned after a short stay at a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center. You can read the whole story at the Toledo Blade Newpaper’s website.

It goes without saying that we at the Rochester Falconcam are very excited to receive this news. There is no better reward for those of us working toward Peregrine restoration efforts than to know that the offspring of our local falcons are thriving and spreading across the continent.

Many thanks go to Lisa McKeown of the Rochester Falconcam, who tracked down the information regarding Millie’s identity as well as our fans on the Yahoo Kfalconcam discussion group who tracked down the original news report. We hope to follow the lives of Millie, Swifty and their offspring, and we’ll be sure to bring you any updates as we receive them.

-Jess

Gallery- Portrait of Grace

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

Portrait of Grace
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Lou Capuano took this dramatically lit photo on July 1 when Grace landed near the High Falls observation deck with a morsel of food.

Gallery – Mariah in Alarm Mode

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Gallery Pic July 18
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Joyce Miller reports that this picture of a wary Mariah was taken on July 2nd as several falcon fans gathered to watch her offspring flying nearby in the gorge.

Falcon Update: Four Successful Fledglings!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

As everyone who has been following the fledge watch reports knows, all four of this year’s juveniles fledged successfully! Through the Gallery at Imprints and the pictures posted by many of our watchers in their Fledge Watch Reports, we’ve watched them grow from their first tentative flights. Ananta, Linn, Sacajawea and Grace are now well on their way to becoming accomplished fliers. They’re still spending much of their time near the High Falls area, but they’re also beginning to explore areas farther away. Over the next several weeks we expect we’ll see the juveniles less and less downtown, though our watchers will be keeping an eye out for them through the rest of the summer.

The “official” four-week fledge watch has ended for 2007, but we’ll continue to bring you updates on the falcons throughout the summer, so be sure to check back often! On behalf of the Genesee Valley Audubon Society and the Rochester Falconcam, we want to thank each and every watcher– official and unofficial– who donated their time and effort to help ensure the safety of the fledglings and to document their activity. I’ve missed writing, but it was great to read all of the fledge watch reports that have been posted. We’re certainly very fortunate here in Rochester to have such a dedicated and talented group of volunteers.

In the weeks to come the young falcons will begin to strike out on their own. They may range far away, or stick close to home. Sometimes juveniles are reluctant to leave. Life isn’t easy for a first-year falcon. They need to hunt in order to survive, and that’s hard work. There are reports of juveniles begging food from non-parental adults along Peregrine migration routes. It’s much easier to have your food brought to you than to have to get it yourself. If any of the fledglings do try to stay around, the adults will eventually drive them out of the territory. Think of it as kicking the kids out of the house. They can’t stay around forever, after all.

Mariah and Kaver sometimes make it look easy, but the fact is that hunting is a difficult task. By some estimates, Peregrines are successful in only one out of every 5 or 6 hunting attempts. It takes a lot of energy to hunt, so a young falcon, lacking experience, can get into trouble if it has a bad run of luck. It’s an unfortunate fact that the highest mortality rate occurs among juveniles at this stage, often because they can’t catch enough food to survive. We’re hopeful that all four of this year’s Rochester fledglings will go on to lead successful lives, but experience teaches us that one or more of them probably won’t make it. We can take comfort in the knowledge that the strongest of them will likely survive, and perhaps in a few years we’ll hear that they’ve established territories of their own just as Freedom and Ranger have done.

Meanwhile, we’re still busy here at the Rochester Falconcam. Look for some exciting new features coming soon!

-Jess

Fledge Watch- Jim Pisello, Tuesday July 17, 12:30-1:00PM

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

While the watchers skipped lunch for a chance to see the falcons today, Linn enjoyed a nice meal. You can view pictures and video here.

Fledge Watch Pictures- Lou Capuano, July 17, 12:30- 1:00PM

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Linn’s First Catch(?)

I stopped down to the bridge this afternoon for a short visit. After waiting a half hour with no juvies in sight, I decided to head back to work. However, just as I was getting into my car, Carol P called to me to say that Linn was in the tree. I only managed to snap a few pics of Linn eating a small bird, before heading back to work. I wondered if this was a catch that Linn made by herself – I didn’t see a food transfer. Here are some of the pics I took.

Gallery – Ananta Takes Off

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Ananta Takes Off
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Marcia Lyman sent this beautiful picture of Ananta taking off from the roof of the High Falls Office building. Her riveting gaze and the frozen action are what make this such an engaging shot.

Look for more pictures in the Gallery at Imprints. If you have pictures of the Rochester falcons that you’d like to submit, check out our submission guidelines.

Fledge Watch- Carol Phillips- Sunday, July 15, 9:00a.m.- 2:00p.m.

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Lots of Food Delivered to the Young Peregrines

If you were wondering if Mariah and Kaver were still feeding the juvies, the answer is yes. During my Sunday Fledge Watch, both Mariah and Kaver delivered food to Ananta, Linn, Grace and Sacajawea. All six Falcons were seen during the day, spending most of their time in the Genesee River Gorge area. Here’s a Kodak EasyShare Gallery Album with pictures from Sunday’s watch.

Fledge Watch- Lou Capuano, Saturday, July 14, 9:00am- Noon

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Grace and Linn Hit the Beach

You know, just when you think you’ve seen it all with falcon watching, something unusual happens that reminds you that there’s always something new to see. This album captures on of those moments.

Lou