Archive for June, 2008

Finally, Young Seneca Fledges!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008


Early this morning our on-site fledge watchers reported that Seneca took her first flight! With that, all five of the 2008 eyases have fledged, bringing to 43 the total number of fledglings produced by Mariah at the Rochester site in eleven years. It’s a remarkable feat that’s unmatched by any other site that we’re aware of!

You can read updates about Seneca and the other fledglings from Lisa McKeown and Carol Phillips in our FalconWatch blog!

-Jess

Gala to Feature Local Falcons in Photography and Art

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

For the second year, the Gallery at High Falls will exhibit art and photographs featuring the Peregrine falcons of Rochester.

There will be an opening night gala on Saturday, 28 June 2008 from 5:00-7:00 PM. The gala is sponsored by the Genesee Valley Audubon Society and the Rochester Falconcam. The exhibit will run throughout the summer.

We will showcase amazing photography by our local falcon watchers, along with sculpture, drawings and paintings by artists who love the Peregrine Falcon.

The gala is open to the public, and there’s no dress code — come as you wish. A $15 donation from our guests is suggested, and we’ll serve terrific hors d’oeuvres from the Triphammer Grill, as well as a cash bar featuring a selection of our great New York State wines.

We hope to see you there and we’re looking forward to another great opening!

-Jess

So You Want to Be A Fledge Watcher?

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Susan B on Ledge
If you missed our recent Fledge Watcher Orientation meeting, don’t despair! You can still participate.

First, download and print a copy of our 2008 Fledge Watch Brochure. The brochure provides an overview of information that you need to be a successful fledge watcher. It includes a list of contact numbers, recommended fledge watching gear and instructions for how to rescue a downed fledgling.

Next, check out the Fledge Watch Calendar. Fledge watch shifts are available from 7AM to 9PM every day from now through mid-July. You can sign up for as many or as few shifts as you want. We request that shifts be two hours in duration or more, but whatever amount of time you can volunteer will be greatly appreciated! And don’t worry if you see that someone else has signed on to the same time you’d like to watch. The more watchers we have out at one time, the better we can cover all the ground once the fledglings start really flying.

When you decide on which shift(s) you’d like to take, send an email to Lisa McKeown, our Fledge Watch Coordinator. You can reach her at either of the following addresses:
gladyshall@gmail.com or
sponsorship@rfalconcam.com

Be sure to include your name and the dates & times for the shift or shifts you’re interested in filling. And to make it easy for Lisa to pick out your email from all the rest, be sure to include the words “Fledge Watch” in the subject line.

While you’re looking at the calendar, take a moment to browse the other pages at the Rochester Falconcam’s FalconWatch Blog. We’ve included helpful guidelines for posting your fledge watch reports and using the FledgeWatch blog. You won’t be able to post your report on the FalconWatch blog until you’ve been accepted as an author at the blog. We’ll send you a username and password that will allow you to post your fledge watch reports.

Finally, have fun! Fledge Watching provides a rare opportunity to see one of nature’s true marvels up close, and to help ensure the safety of the fledglings. You’ll most likely find a group of “regulars” nearby who’ll be happy to walk you through the basics, so come one come all, and join the 2008 Fledge Watch!

-Jess

Lily the Stowaway

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Lily hitches a ride
Photo courtesy of Canadian Peregrine Foundation
From Linda Woods comes word of a little adventure for Lily, one of Rhea Mae’s daughters who recently fledged at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto, Ontario Canada. Apparently Lily thought it would be fun to take a bus trip, as Linda reports…

At around 9:00 a.m. Lily took off from her window sill at the Keg area and headed east through the pedestrian court. Knowing that’s short flight, I found her on the ground, but there was lots of open space and she immediately took off a second time flying low, heading north and towards the Richmond St. Her flight was low and flew just over the skylights of the court area.

I was thinking she may do the “bat thing on the wall of the Sheraton, she instead landed on the roof of a High- way Coach. I immediately found the driver as he was boarding passengers and told him of his stow-away.

At first they driver was not concerned, and others did not understand the situation, but after informing them of our young birds and showing them Little Lily, they immediately gave me their full support.

Read all of the exciting story and see more photos at the Sheraton Centre observation page on the Canadian Peregrine Foundation website. It’s wonderful that Rhea Mae’s fledglings and all of the other falcons in Toronto have such caring people looking out for them!

-Jess

We’ve Got Fledglings!

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

We won’t give away all the details, because that honor belongs to the watchers who’ve been out for hours this morning and afternoon watching after our newest falcon fliers! We’ve had 2 fledges so far today– one this morning and one around lunchtime. Be sure to check out our FalconWatch blog for all the latest news!

-Jess

Could Susan “B” The First To Fledge?

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Susan B on the Scrape Roof
It looks like Susan B has taken the leap up to the roof of the scrape! This picture was taken less than an hour ago. It takes a bit of flapping to get up to the roof from the perch rail or the ledges on either side of the nest box, though it’s not really flying. She’s showing quite an adventurous streak! Will Susan B fledge before her brothers? Our dedicated watchers are on the case, so keep watching, and don’t forget to check the FalconWatch blog for all the latest reports!

-Jess

Fledge Watch Reports Get a Home of Their Own

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

FalconWatch Blog Screenshot

For 2008 we’re introducing the FalconWatch blog! The FalconWatch blog will store all of the reports from our fledge watchers throughout the summer and beyond. You’ll be able to comment on the reports just as you can with the articles posted at Imprints! We’ll be adding links for the new blog to the Rochester Falconcam website soon. In the meantime, you can click the link above to read the first three fledge watch reports, or click the FalconWatch Blog link on the right side of the Imprints screen.

-Jess

Moving Toward Fledging

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Zephyr on the Perch Rail
This morning brought us the first evidence that the eyases are starting to test the boundaries of the nest box. Here’s “Z-man”, Zephyr, standing on the perch rail of the nest box a little after 6AM today, while his siblings look on. Over the next few days we should begin to see more of the eyases moving out onto the perch rail. This position gives them more room to spread their wings and exercise the muscles they’ll use when they take their first flights.

Last year, the first of the 2007 eayses fledged on June 20, so the next several days promise to bring some real excitement! Our fledge watchers will be out and reporting soon, so we’ll bring all the news to you as soon as we receive it.

UPDATE!!
Zephyr beside the nest box
Zephyr has left the nest box! He hasn’t flown yet, but as you can see in the picture above he’s hopped over to the small ledge beside the box. Our on-scene watchers report that he and his siblings have spent the day practicing their wing-flapping. Now that one of them has taken the first steps beyond the nest box, it’s likely the others will follow before too long.

UPDATE June 16!!
Susan B. on the ledge
Susan B. took her first step out of the nest box yesterday, but didn’t go farther than the perch rail. Today she was out again, this time on the ledge beside the nest box. In the picture above Susan B is on the left.

Zephyr took another walk outside the nest box this morning, and this time he jumped down onto the catwalk beneath the nest box. It’s an area the local watchers call the “Playpen” because the pre-fledge eyases have a lot of space to run around there. We’ll try to get some shots of Zephyr in the Playpen using Camera 1’s ability to pan tilt and zoom, so keep watching!

-Jess

New Vistas for Mariah and Kaver

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Today Kodak issued a press release about a major project to make repairs to the Kodak tower’s stonework facade. The work will begin later this summer and continue for three years. CLICK HERE to read the details from Kodak.

We at the Rochester Falconcam are very excited about this new chapter in the story of Mariah and Kaver. Even though this news means the falcons’s nest box will need to be relocated, we’re confident that they will continue to call Rochester home. With the help of Kodak and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, we’ll be placing several nest boxes in locations frequented by Mariah and Kaver. We’ll draw upon the extensive knowledge of our falcon watchers and others to determine the best spots for the boxes.

The welfare and safety of Mariah, Kaver and their offspring have always been of the highest importance to both Kodak and the Genesee Valley Audubon Society and that will continue to be our top priority. Falcon watchers who’ve trained their binoculars on the tower can attest to the poor state of the stonework on the building. For many years Kodak has restricted repair work on the tower out of concern for the falcons. But after some of the masonry fell off the building last year, Kodak realized they couldn’t wait any longer. The state of the building poses a safety hazard for everyone who works in it and to the falcon family.

Repair work is scheduled to begin in late July, well after the fledglings have left the nest. The work will continue for the next three years. During that time the Kodak tower will be completely encircled in scaffolding. We all know how fiercely Mariah and Kaver defend their nest box. With scaffolding wrapped around the tower and dozens of workers moving around the building’s exterior, there is a real threat of injury to the falcons or the workers if Mariah gets too aggressive. So after extensive consultations with the Genesee Valley Audubon Society and the New York State Department of Envionmental Conservation (DEC) over the past several months, the decision has been made to relocate Mariah and Kaver’s nest box away from the tower. By moving the nest box we hope to avoid any danger or injury that might result from a territorial defense.

What does this mean for the Rochester Falconcam? Our passionate team of falcon watchers will be carefully monitoring Mariah and Kaver to see which of the boxes they choose for their new nesting location. We’ll need your help too! The more eyes we have watching Mariah and Kaver’s movements and activity, the more likely we are to discover which nest box they’re most likely to use. So if you’ve ever thought about coming out to do some falcon watching, this year you have the chance to make an important contribution, not to mention getting to see Rochester’s most prominent citizens in action!

We’ll work with the landlords and building managers to re-install our cameras and the other equipment we need to bring the story of Mariah and Kaver to our viewers around the world. We’re confident that this will begin a new and exciting chapter for the Rochester Peregrines and for the Rochester Falconcam!

We know you’ll probably have many questions. Please use the Comments on this post to ask them. If you email us we’ll receive your note, but others are probably wondering the same thing you are, so the Comments are a good way for us to give answers that everyone can read. We’ll try to answer as many of your questions as we can, and we’ll be sure to keep you abreast of all the news throughout the year.

-Jess

A Quartet of Offspring Updates: Banding

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Rhea Mae & Tiago
cpf-banding-sheration-center.jpg
Rhea Mae laid four eggs this year. They all hatched, but one of the eyases sickened and died within a few days. The other three are all healthy, and on June 3rd they were banded by members of the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and the Canadian Peregrine Foundation. Also on hand were several members of the Rochester Falconcam. They were given the honor of naming one of Rhea Mae and Tiago’s offspring!

The three eyases were examined, banded and named as follows:

  • Unity (named by the Rochester attendees) Male 24 days of age and sporting a blue and red “taped” band
  • Belle Female 24 days of age, wearing a red and yellow “taped” band
  • Lilly Female 24 days of age, wearing a white and blue “taped” band

Linda Woods of the CPF reports that both Rhea Mae and Tiago put up a spirited defense of the nest during the banding. Rhea Mae is reported to have physically blocked the nest with her wings outstretched, and actually had to be moved out of the way by the banders! Linda also notes that the eyases have begun expressing their own “personalities”. She writes:

Belle appears to be a bit of a “Prima Donna” preening constantly and always preferrs to sit on the lip of the nest tray.
Unity enjoys stamping his feet, as if he were Tom Cruise dancing in the movie “Risky Business”, and Lily, she sits back, flips her head upside down and watches the others doing silly things.

Rhea Mae and Tiago look like they’re doing a great job raising their three youngsters. We’re looking forward to hearing more reports when they fledge.


Freedom and Millie
Gunner gets a drink
At the ADM plant in Port Colborne, June 7th was the big day for banding. Only one of Freedom and Millie’s three eggs hatched this year, but that’s pretty good considering that Millie is not yet fully mature. Doug Garbutt reports:

Today was an interesting day in Port Colborne. We had some very special guests here to band our young falcon. Mark Nash & Bruce Massey from the CPF, Anne Yagi from the MNR & 2 girls from the Owl Foundation were all on hand. Many interested workers took the opportunity on their lunch break to view as well. Mom & dad falcon showed their displeasure while the young one was missing. Anne determined the bird to be a healthy male weighing in at just over 700 gms. He now has a solid black band 40 over V with red tape on the USFW band. Gunner was chosen as a name from the list submitted by employees.

As you can see, Gunner is well fed and a real healthy tiercel. Thanks to Doug, Rolf, and all the folks at Port Colborne for taking Freedom to their hearts and looking out for his family!


Millie and Swifty
Rochester Falconcam team member Lisa McKeown has been keeping up with Millie, Freedom’s daughter from 2005. It turns out she and her mate Swifty had three eyases this year. They were banded the day before the Rochester falcons. Here’s Lisa’s report:

I spoke with Dave Scott from the Ohio Dept of Natural Resources,
Division of Wildlife. Here is an update on Millie, Freedom and
Purity’s daughter.

She is nesting at the same place as last year, the Bayshore Power
Plant in Oregon, Ohio, just east of Toledo. Once again she did
not use the nestbox and chose the conveyor belt. She is with the same male
as last year, Swifty.

Millie laided three eggs this year. On 5/28/08 they banded the
eyasses. There are 2 females and 1 male. Here are the names and band
information for the eyasses:

Electra (female) black P over green 55
Sparky (female) black S over green 75
Chance (male) black D over green 47

WooHoo three more eyasses to carry on the legacy of Mariah, Kaver, and
Freedom!

More great-grand eyases for Mariah and Kaver– Amazing!


Linn
Finally, According to Mark Nash and the observers at the Canadian Peregrine Foundation, Linn continues to be seen at the converted hack box she took over late last year at the east end of Toronto. An unidentified male has been observed with her, but there was no nesting activity. The fact that she and the male are both sub-adults makes this feat even more impressive, since there is bound to be competition for nesting spots in the Toronto area. We’re hoping that Linn and her male friend will maintain control of their territory and perhaps next spring we’ll be able to report that they’ve begun a family of their own!

-Jess