Archive for October, 2008

Quest Update: October 21-25

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008


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(Zoom in or out on the map by clicking the small “+” & “-” signs. Move it around by clicking your mouse button and dragging the map in the desired direction. Click the falcon icons for more information about each location.)

Staying true to form, Quest is still spending her days just off the Cape Cod coast. Most of her daylight activity is centered on the Monomoy NWR, though she returned to Wellfleet Bay on the 25th. Interestingly, data from her her transmitter has placed her off shore as early as 2:00AM. This may indicate that she’s doing some nighttime hunting, perhaps taking advantage of prey that are migrating during that time. Peregrines are known to hunt at night, though it usually occurs in well-lit urban areas. Maybe she’s taking her predatory cues from Kaver. We’ve often seen him bring in prey for his hungry eyases at all hours of the day and night.

-Jess

The Island Life for Quest

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008


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In line with her recent behavior, we find Quest continuing to spend her days at the Monomoy National Wildlife refuge. The data over the past few days places her on the north end of the barrier island. She got an early start there on the 16th, appearing over Morris Island at 5:19AM, well before sunrise. Otherwise, her night-time locations continue to be in the area around Chatham and Brewster.

The past few days have also given us some mid-day readings as well as early morning and late evening data. Accurate mid-day data are harder to get because the weak signal from the transmitter isn’t as easy to receive during the day, when there is a lot of radio-frequency interference. Since each transmitted message lasts less than one second, it is more likely that the Argos satellites will receive a weak or garbled signal, or won’t receive one at all. So we’re happy that we’ve been getting some pretty accurate data in the daylight hours over recent days.

-Jess

Quest Finds Joy at Monomoy

Thursday, October 16th, 2008


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Hanging out at the “elbow” of the Cape, Quest has been establishing a clear pattern of behavior. She’s spending the early mornings, and presumably her overnights, in the area around Chatham and Brewster. In a neat coincidence, data for her perch the morning of October 13 placed her at Hawksnest State Park. As we noted in our last update, it looks like she’s occupying her days with jaunts out to Monomoy Island.

Noted as one of the best birding sites in the eastern United States, Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for migrating shorebirds, as well as a number of endangered species including the Piping Plover and Roseate Tern. We can only hope that Quest is feeding on the more numerous resident gulls and other migrants, and leaving the rarer residents alone.

Melissa Lowe, Education Coordinator for the Massachusetts Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary wrote recently to let us know that Quest has been spotted at Monomoy.

“One of our volunteers, Don Manchester who conducts a spring hawk watch for us, counts migrant raptors in the fall down in Chatham at Morris Island for the USFWS Monomoy NWR. I just learned he has seen Quest on several occasions He has watched her chase and try to catch a flicker ([she] was joined by another falcon in the pursuit).”

Melissa went on to say that Don thought that Quest was “looking quite thin”, but the satellite location data continues to show that she’s moving around daily, so it appears that she’s getting enough food to keep her active. We’re grateful to Melissa and Don for this latest report, and glad to know that Quest is still out there practicing her predator skills!

-Jess

Updates: Quest and Nest Box Relocation

Sunday, October 12th, 2008


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Quest hasn’t taken any more surprise trips. She’s continuing to stay close to the southeast corner of Cape Cod, making brief forays over the water. It seems she’s taken a liking to Sequetucket Harbor and Monomoy Island as a daytime destination. Many data points from early in the morning show her near South Brewster. It’s possible she’s found an overnight perch there.


This past Friday, October 10, representatives from the New York DEC and the Rochester Falconcam were on hand for the installation of a nest box on the Powers Building. The Powers Building is at the corner of Main and State Streets, about ½ mile from the Kodak tower. Local falcon fans gathered on the nearby Andrews Street bridge, which provides an unobstructed view of the box. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle newspaper published this article describing the event.

Looking Toward Kodak     Moving the Nest Box      Installing the Nest Box

Rochester Falconcam team member Carol Phillips was on hand for the unveiling of the nest box at its new location, and she brought us these pictures. The view looking north from the observation deck on top of the Powers Building provides an unobstructed line of sight back to the Kodak tower. The nest box will face this way. The DEC believes that will make it easy for Mariah to see the box if she’s perching on the Kodak building, something she likes to do in the fall. The box will also look out onto the Genesee river, and it’s actually closer to the river on the Powers Building than it was on Kodak.

The other two pictures from Carol illustrate the box being installed. The engineering firm of Clough Harbour & Associates LLP, located on the eightth floor of the Powers Building, designed a sturdy platform for the nest box, and the building’s maintenance team installed it. An interesting new feature of the platform is a ramp that will allow the pre-fledge eyases to climb back into the nest box if necessary.

We want to extend our warmest gratitude to Mark Stevens and everyone at S. B. Ashley Management Corporation, as well as Tom Wolanski and his team at Clough Harbour & Associates, and Rob and the guys on the maintenance crew. Their enthusiastic embrace of this program is greatly appreciated by all of Mariah and Kaver’s fans around the world.

A second nest box is planned to be installed on the Times Square building. The exact date hasn’t yet been worked out by the DEC, but as soon as it happens we’ll let you know!

-Jess

Quest Tests the Waters

Sunday, October 5th, 2008


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As Quest continues her stay in the southeast corner of Cape Cod, she’s taking some trips out into the ocean. We’ve been fortunate to get some positional data in daylight hours over the past few days. Our experience to date has been that most of the usable satellite data come in the hours on either side of midnight, so having some daytime data is a nice treat. It allows us to see that Quest been doing some flying out over the ocean. She seems to be staying pretty close to the shore, so it’s likely that she is hunting either shore birds like terns and gulls, or possibly that she’s preying on other species migrating along the coast. Now that Autumn is in full swing here in the Northeaster United States, it will be interesting to see how long she stays in Massachusetts before heading for warmer climes.

-Jess