Homebody at Tom Nevers & Mariah’s Return


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No new real news about Quest, who has stayed close to Tom Nevers for the past week. Most of the stong transmissions came in the early morning hours when Quest is presumably sleeping, so perhaps we aren’t seeing the full scope of her wanderings. What is clear is that she’s returning to the same small area day in and day out, and most likely not venturing very far from it. In fact, on the 28th of January and February 2nd, Quest was in exactly the same spot, a wooded area adjacent to the residence at 68 Tom Nevers Road. Since these data points occurred in the early morning and late evening hours, it’s likely this is a sleeping spot for her. If anyone currently resides at that address, they might have a good opportunity to see her.

Other interesting plots for Quest occurred on the 29th of January, and again on February 1st. These place her in the vicinity of the Coast Guard radio tower at Siasconset. This is probably the highest point on the island, and if she’s perching at the top of the tower, Quest doubtless has an unobstructed view of much of Nantucket.

If you’ve been following the reports from our on-scene watchers at the FalconWatch Blog, you’ve already heard the good news. If you haven’t, why not??? Anyway, we’re happy to announce that Mariah flew back into Rochester a few days ago! A non-resident falcon (female) and tiercel (male) had been making themselves at home at many of the perching spots familiar to our volunteers for the past couple of months, but they both left the area as soon as Mariah returned. Some research suggests that migrating Peregrines may have nearly as much affinity for a particular wintering site as they have for their home territories. Interestingly, these winter migrants aren’t often interested in taking over a territory, just in having a place to roost and hunt during the winter. When the regular residents return, the migrants often leave without engaging in territory battles or other disputes, to head back to their own “home” territories. Perhaps that’s the case with our winter visitors this year. In any event, we’re glad that Mariah has returned to Rochester for an astounding 14th year!

She’s been spending a lot of time on the Kodak tower, so there’s still some uncertainty as to whether she’ll find and move into one of the two nest boxes that have been placed downtown for her. Our dedicated watchers will be braving the mid-winter freeze here in town to keep an eye on her, so keep checking back for more reports!

-Jess

4 Responses to “Homebody at Tom Nevers & Mariah’s Return”

  1. Maureen in MA says:

    Very interesting to read about winter migrants and “home” territories. Thank you for that bit of education, Jess. It seems that that was the case here. Now let’s hope that M&K find one of the new nest box sites!

    Thank you too for the update on Quest. At what point in time do you think she might make a move to find a summer “home” territory of her own? Is it possible for her to remain in Nantucket year round, or do falcons always migrate to another summer destination?

  2. Alison in Austria says:

    As the observations via webcam over the past 10 years or so have shown, some peregrines do not peregrinate at all. So it is 50/50 whether Quest decides the Cape is paradise and she is not going to leave it come spring and summer. As many birds migrate through, so will other peregrines and her chances of finding a mate (”Tom”?) there are as good as anywhere. On the other hand, since it is a really nice spot, there may even be a summer pair of which we previously knew nothing which claims the territory and Quest may be “encouraged” to move on in the spring.

  3. Maureen in MA says:

    I appreciate the info, thank you!

  4. Phayne Bushner says:

    I’ve enjoyed watching the falcons for several years now. We live in Colorado, and were visiting the small city of Yuma in northeastern Colorado this past weekend. We spotted a peregrine falcon sitting on the boarded side of a trailer on the edge of a parking lot in Yuma and were amazed! Falcons are not known to live in this area. Perhaps the bird was migrating, but we are not aware that this might be a migratory route. We were not able to approach the bird closely enough to note whether it was banded. Would be interested to know if peregrines have been released in this area???