Mixed Fortune For Mariah

Last week we reported some of the changes that have been occurring here in Rochester. It is a year of uncertainty for both Mariah and for her many fans around the world. Between relocating her nest box and the changes in her family situation we’re wandering uncharted territory. Of course we remain hopeful that Mariah will establish a nest and raise a twelfth family of Peregrines this year. Whatever happens, we will commit to bring you as much information as we have, as soon as we have it. But we’re going to avoid speculation as much as we can. We realize that may mean we don’t have all the answers that everyone may want, but we think it’s important to be as accurate as we can, and to avoid making pronouncements that may turn out to be incorrect at a later date. So at those times where it is necessary for us to infer behavior or to make assumptions about what is going on we’ll be sure to make that clear. Now on to the latest news.

Mariah continues to spend a lot of time at the Kodak tower. Last year after the nest box was removed, Kodak hired an environmental firm to erect netting around the top of the tower in an effort to discourage her from trying to return to her former nest site. Her affinity for the tower is very strong though, and while the netting has prevented her from physically accessing the ledge where her nest box had been installed, it hasn’t stopped her from perching on the tower and trying to get at the nest site. Her instincts and habits are very strong. They’ve been reinforced for eleven years, so it’s no surprise that she wants to return to the tower. Everyone involved in the relocation effort in 2008 was aware of this possibility. Eventually she should tire of trying and look for a nest somewhere else. This is what has happened at other artificial nest sites, and it occurs often in the wild when a Peregrine’s nest is destroyed by weather or otherwise rendered uninhabitable. We’re hopeful that Mariah too will move on as soon as she realizes she won’t be able to use the nest site she’s accustomed to.

We’ve recently heard from the DEC regarding this situation. They had previously discussed with us various measures that we might take to try to entice Mariah toward one of the relocated nest boxes. One suggestion is to “seed” the nest box with food that would be appealing to a falcon. Hopefully once she’s there she’ll consider it a good nesting site. The DEC intends to contact the managers at both the Powers Building and the Times Square building to get their assistance in seeding one or both of the relocated nest boxes. No firm plans have been made yet but we’ll bring you any news that we receive from these sites, including the results of any seeding that takes place.

Speaking of nest sites, we’ve got three cameras working at the Powers Building. We’ve also installed cameras at the Times Square nest box. We’re working with one of the tenants there to hook into their network and electrical power. Most of the installation is done, and we’re just taking care of some configuration and connectivity issues that are preventing us from transmitting images from this site. As soon as we get those wrinkles ironed out we’ll be able to provide images on our Main page and also the Mulit-view page.

A bit of good news came recently from Falconcam member Carol Phillips. She reported today that Mariah was spotted perched on the Times Square building, right above the nest box! Mariah stooped off the building and hunted pigeons over the river and into a nearby park. This may be an indication that she’s attracted to this site. It’s impossible to say whether she’s truly interested at this point, since no one has observed her going into the nest box there, but we remain hopeful that this is a good sign, and our dedicated volunteer falcon watchers will be keeping a close eye on as much of Mariah’s activity as possible.

Unfortunately, we also have some sad news to report. Tybropa-Cree, the tiercel that we reported about last week who was observed mating with Mariah, was found deceased by the side of a busy highway on Tuesday, the 17th. He has been positively identified via his black ID band number, 15/V. Everyone here at the Rochester Falconcam was hoping that this new male would prove to be an able mate to Mariah and a provider for a family. It’s distressing to learn that he has fallen victim to human activity, however unintentioned.

This is unquestionably another blow to Mariah’s fortunes, but she’s proven herself to be very adaptable over the years and she is, if anything, a survivor. It is still possible for her to find a mate and successfully nest this year. There was another tiercel in town before Tybropa-Cree, who had been keeping Mariah company. She seemed cool to him, and he appeared to leave the area when T-C asserted himself. But in the absence of competition from multiple suitors, Mariah will pair with any male that comes into the area. Northward raptor migrations will be occurring for the next several weeks, and Rochester lies along a major migratory route, so it is quite possible that at least one suitable male will fly through the territory this spring. In past years any such “passage” birds would have been driven off by Kaver, but in the absence of a territorial male a newcomer would be likely to be welcomed. While things look dim right now, there’s hope yet for Mariah.

Following the removal of the nest box from Kodak last summer, we at the Rochester Falconcam made a conscious decision to avoid publishing updates to the renovations occurring there. After all, it wasn’t really intended to be the locus of activity for the falcons, and we felt that we ought to use our limited resources to concentrate on Mariah’s new home. The work at Kodak was delayed though, and the repairs are only now getting under way. We’ve received many expressions of support, but also some comments questioning Kodak’s motives in relocating the nest box, as well as their commitment to the Peregrine restoration efforts in Rochester and New York. We dealt with many of those issues last year so we won’t revisit that conversation, but we believe it’s important to let everyone know that Kodak continues to be a valuable asset to the Rochester Falconcam, providing both financial and “moral” support. We’re grateful for their continued involvement with Mariah and her family.

Many of you will recognize the name Tom Hoehn. Tom was the driving force behind the original Kodak Birdcam. He’s an ardent supporter of Mariah and of the Rochester Falconcam’s continuing mission. Tom recently wrote to us with his perspective, and we’d like to share some of his note with you.

“During these last 11 years Kodak has scheduled all building maintenance around the [nesting] season of the Peregrines. This included a huge project to replace the four tower elevators a few years ago. I remember working with facilities people at that time discussing the helicopter that would lower the equipment into place from above and that it had to be planned for the Fall. Debris from the falcon’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner often clog the drains on the rooftops. This has caused water to flow into offices. I have personally had many, many conversations with office workers in the Tower that are tolerant of kacking falcons outside their windows as they try to get their work done. They understand what the falcon effort is about and have put up with damp walls and loud noises for the good of the program. They get it.

Any falcon watcher can tell you about the condition of the upper floors of our Tower. From their arsenal of binoculars, scopes, and cameras they can see that the façade has numerous cracks. It is now at a point where serious remediation is required for the safety of the people in the area as well as the long term viability of the building itself. Imagine having a leak in your 100-year old house that you can’t fix until August. Or, worse yet, having a section of stone that may be close to falling. The repairs we are doing are significant enough that they cannot be completed outside of the falcon nesting season. In undertaking this project the falcons were a top consideration in planning and representatives from the DEC have been involved every step of the way. We have a great partnership with those wonderful people and I don’t think I am speaking out of turn when I say that they genuinely are appreciative of Kodak’s long term support of Peregrine repopulation efforts.

[Kodak] helped fund the relocation of the nestbox and the installation of cameras. [...There] is a very significant level of sophistication that goes into this setup. Most people do not have an understanding of what it takes to implement multiple cameras, automatically feeding webpages, hosted to accommodate significant traffic, all from the roof of a building in all kinds of weather. Finding funding for an effort like that in this economic climate is not something that should be taken for granted.

Each and every morning as I walk in from the Kodak Office parking lot my gaze is upward. I have seen the graceful flight of Mariah for years and I never cease to be amazed at the beauty and power of this resilient Peregrine. She is truly incredible. Watching her offspring take flight each year is always an adventure. If you have made it this far in this note I am glad you took the time to hear the perspective of a person who works at Kodak, has been part of the program for years, and is focusing on the realities of the current situation and working with many to make sure that the best things are done for all parties –- including our beloved falcons. Thanks for listening, Tom

We realize that these are uncertain times on many levels, for the falcons as well as their many fans. We’re gratified that you have stuck with us through all of the ups and downs we’ve experienced. We can’t promise there won’t be more challenges this year, but we hope that 2009 will ultimately be full of great accomplishments and success for Mariah, and great memories for all of us who care so passionately about her. We look forward to bringing you another year with Mariah, Rochester’s most prominent citizen and the most prolific Peregrine in New York, if not the country. We thank you for your continued interest, support and patience as we travel this new road together.

-Jess

45 Responses to “Mixed Fortune For Mariah”

  1. Birdlover says:

    Thank you for this very sad and tragic update.

  2. Joyce (Scottsville) says:

    Thank you for sharing this news, as unfortunate as it is. I am saddened by another heartfelt loss. Just when we were getting our hopes up for the 2009 season, we are hit with another blow. This year has been an emotional rollercoaster. I pray and hope that Mariah remains healthy, another tiercel or Kaver finds his way to Rochester, and we have a successful season.

  3. Jim says:

    Birdlover, it’s too bad you feel that way. There are some challenges here, but where’s the tragedy? Tybropa-Cree’s death is unfortunate, but is it any more tragic or sad than the death of any of the birds that he, Mariah, or another bird of prey killed for their sustenance? Death is a part of the natural order. Everyone who watches these falcons and hopes to learn anything from them ought to keep that firmly in mind.

    Isn’t it more productive to look for the positive in this, rather than dwelling on the negative? Rather than wallow in pathos I choose to take comfort in the news that Mariah was spotted on the Times Square building. That’s a first for this year, as far as I know, and something that might point to better fortunes to come for her. I choose to be optimistic that there will be more opportunities for Mariah to attract a mate this spring. I choose to believe that she’s going to demonstrate the adaptability and will to survive that has seen her through 13 or more years. Why be miserable when there is so much news here to take heart in?

  4. carla says:

    Thanks Carol,for sharing.It’s good to know how things are aroond the tower.Greetings Carla

  5. bluhawkk says:

    Thank you for this detailed update.

    TC was a beauty. Is it firmly established that he was the victim of what I assume was a collision with an auto?

    If Mariah is pregnant by TC, will this affect her choosing/accepting another mate?

    If she produces eggs without a mate, what is the outlook for her success as a solo parent?

    Wishing that tough lady the best of years.

  6. Kathy says:

    Thank you for the update and for the sad news about TC. For me it’s sad news because TC was raised here in Toronto and I fledge watch with one of the guys that hand raised him so it’s a bit personal. We were all so excited when we heard that he had made it this far..

    Thank you for all the hard work you are doing for Mariah. She is without a doubt thought of as ‘Queen of the Skies’, even up here in Canada. We have several of her offspring in the area that are or will be raising young this year and we are extremely proud of that fact! Long may she reign!

  7. Kim in Italy says:

    Thank you Jess, Carol and Tom for this detailed update, it was really needed.
    Though death is death for everybody, human as animal beings, PF’s death is especially sad to me and can’t change my feeling about.
    Anyway if really I can hope Mariah could adapt to a new nest, can also hope a new tiercel should come and be accepted.
    It’s doubtful she is pregnant (hope no!), as far as I know they need to mate many times (we obviusly ignore how many she did with TC) and go on “working on eggs” :) (mating) after the first, second, third egg etc. has been laid.
    If a falcon produces eggs and the tiercel is absent, just can suppose she would destroy or abandon them as it was seen on several sites . Too hard to brood and hunt to survive and then feed the chicks keeping them warm as needed for about a week. Quite impossible.
    Also recall M&K allowed 2 chiks starving in 2006 when a mom’s talon was injured and Kaver provided food for the 3 remaining chicks (Sabrina, Rhea Mae and Aura) and for his mate (unable to hunt) as well.
    Don’t forget every PF is unique as his way and behavior.

    I’m glad to hear Mariah is “Rochester’s most prominent citizen”.
    Will stay tuned as usual.

  8. Birdlover says:

    “Birdlover, it’s too bad you feel that way. There are some challenges here, but where’s the tragedy? Tybropa-Cree’s death is unfortunate”

    Yeah Jim, it’s too bad I feel that way. Let’s see if you feel the same if the mating was successful. This entire season has been a tragedy in my eyes.

    Let’s just say I’m sorry you feel that way…I do understand natural selection and I am completely capable of dealing with the on going events in nature. This was a banded (by man) falcon, and Mariah has been the focus on Kodak Tower for many years. I’m waiting for a positive to occur, but until then…

    It’s tragic and sad. And I know I’m not the only one that feels this way.

  9. Kim in Italy says:

    No, you arn’t the only one, Birdlover!

    @ bluhawkk : forgot to tell falcons can produce infertile eggs they abandon or eat as well.

  10. Kathy G says:

    Yikes, stress creates tension! half empty? half full? I am going with half full since we still have Mariah and a chance.
    I check in here frequently and am always happy when I find updates. Thanks for doing all the work you do for us but more importantly for them.

  11. Tim says:

    Jess, thank you so much for your update. I, ( as most ) am hoping for the best. I do understand the amount of time and effort that you put into this program. Believe me….. It is HIGHLY APPRECIATED.

  12. CJ says:

    Thanks for this update — it was well-written and much appreciated.

  13. Larry O says:

    Jess,
    A timely, long but necessary report with a lot to absorb.
    It must have been intensive to write.
    Thanks for the update.
    Larry O

  14. joe says:

    In hindsight, it seems a transfer to a new box using the offspring as bait could have been successful if the object is to film daily activities of the falcons.

  15. June Kogut says:

    Jess, Thanks for the updates and detailed explanations. We certainly grieve the loss of TC. Though we realize he was not Mariah’s “only hope” he was a beautiful tiercel. However Mariah is one beautiful and tough old girl. We have every reason to believe she will have another successful season.
    Thanks Jim for your letter about the significant contributions of the people at the Kodak tower. You made it possible for all of us who are so bird happy to have had many wonderful second hand experiences in your city…

  16. Kathy V says:

    Thank you so very much Tom, Carol and Jess, and all who are ivolved in this spectacular venture. It was very sad to hear of Tybropa-cree, it hurts. I hope Mariah will find another mate, maybe even Kaver, he may still come back. Don’t you think? They are a strong species and a beautiful sight to behold. I will be keeping in touch and hoping for another year of offsprings. Thank you so much for the detailed report. Nice work.

  17. Kathy V says:

    I don’t think anyone is dwelling on the negative, it is just sad of his death, as it would be of any other . Just one more obstacle to get over, and move on, that is all.

  18. mary says:

    Dear Imprints
    Thank you for all your thoughtful words and heartfelt efforts. Life is tough, and Mariah is a glorious match for all that life offers. I’ve felt a sense of privilege and a lotta joy in watching her, her mates, and all her eyas-offspring over the years. Not may people have these experiences. I thank Kodak and all the folks who participate in making the “watching” happen.
    I wonder if Mariah’s family, too, has experienced its remarkable successes, at least in part because of the efforts of all who contribute to the nesting site at Kodak, and now the other sites as well. May they continue to flourish! Again, thank you for sharing the privilege of watching!

  19. Froona says:

    This Rochester 2009 season sure had a turbulant start. TC seemed such a suitable mate for beautiful Mariah, but it was not ment to be. It saddens me to hear of his death, it really does. Such a grand bird of prey killed in trafic is awful.
    This year has so many questionmarks. Kaver not returning, but perhaps he will in the upcoming days, I hope he will. The new nestboxlocation alone makes it a very exciting season already. Will she or will she not. She is a smart peregrine falcon, I do think she will adapt. Perhaps a new mate makes the transition even more possible.
    Of course we all will watch and stay tuned with happenings in Rochester. Mariah is an icon, a living legend, we all admire this wonderful Falcon and we all want to know how and what she is doing. It is still early in the season: so many possibilities lay before her. I”m sure it will be alright.
    Thanks all for the very hard work!
    Froona

  20. Kathy says:

    I haven’t given up on Kaver yet either Froona, it’s been a cold winter here and migration is being affected from what I’ve read so you never know!

    I just read on another site that a falcon they thought was lost last year(Stelco in Lansing, Michigan) has come home in the past few days – so you never know…Kaver may just surprise us yet.

  21. Jim P says:

    Birdlover, assuming the mating was successful (It’s unlikely so early in their relationship but anything could happen), any eggs that Mariah laid from it would almost certainly fail, and she will most assuredly not begin brooding without a male to provide food for her and the eyases. If you want to see this year as some kind of tragedy you’re entitled to. I just don’t understand why you’d ignore all the hopeful information that was in the Imprints update.

    Kathy V, have you been over to the Yahoo board? It’s all ’sad’ this and ‘upset’ that, with a heaping of ill-informed Kodak-bashing thrown in for good measure. If that’s not dwelling on the negative I don’t know what is. I just wish that everyone who feels tragic, upset or sad would also find something to feel good about. There was plenty of hopeful information in this Imprints update if anyone cares to look beyond their own pathos.

  22. Maureen in MA says:

    @ Kathy V – I couldn’t have said it better myself. I too believe that no one is dwelling on the negative. It is sad of TC’s death, as it would be of any other, like you said… especially because there was human interference. However, as you said, just one more obstacle to get over, and move on. I have faith in Mariah’s strength, and believe too that Kaver may surprise us. In the end, whatever is meant to be will be.

    Thank you Jess for your very thoughtful, thought-provoking, and well-written post; thank you to Carol for her reports, Tom for his Kodak insight, and thank you to all GVAS contributors. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. Nothing but positive thoughts for Mariah as we remember TC….

  23. Donna says:

    Wow Jess, thanks for the informative post. That was a long one! I’m going to keep my eyes to the sky for Kaver.

  24. Joan McC says:

    Sad news, indeed – no Kaver, no TC, maybe no eggs this year. One reason we get upset hearing all this is because, basically, most people don’t like change, especially when it involves something as close to their hearts as beautiful Mariah and her motherhood. We’ve watched her year after year, and just expected it to continue. But change is part of life, I guess, whether we are ready for it or not. I’m just so thankful we have people like our falcon watchers to keep us informed. Good job, guys…

  25. chrissy says:

    Jim, as the poet says, there are thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird.

  26. Jina in Westchester, NY says:

    If Mariah finds a nest, I’ll be happy even if it’s one I can’t see. Thanks to all for the updates.

  27. bev. says:

    I am glad I came here today and read this.
    I was apprehensive about the Kodak towers decision but Now I fully understand and I thank Kodak and all the people involved in trying to make this yet another successful season.
    Being from Canada I am very sad at the death of the young male. I was hopeful ,even though I loved Kyver.

    Let us hope one of our migrating falcons takes an interest in Mariah and we have another successful season. i will be following

    thanks and let us keep our eyes to the skies(well mine will be through your eyes.)
    Bev.

  28. bev. says:

    By the way, this is a positive note. I am saddened by some events but those that know me know that I am an eternal optimist. I believe there is always a reason. we just do not know it yet.

    Thanks to the ground crew who keep us so informed. thios is a hppy face LOL
    BEv.

  29. Darlene Kelly says:

    I live in Rochester and have been a fan for years. It is the only site I visit faithfully daily for an update. The last few years I even celebrated my birthday with the falcons! We would go down to High Falls (across from Kodak) and hang around for hours watching the “show”. The last few weeks as I walked outside my office building in downtown Rochester my eyes would immediately look to the sky hoping for a glimpse of one of Rochester’s true treasures! I too feel sad whenever we experience a tragedy – and we have had a few over the years. However, that does not detract from the joy. It is amazing we now have data of the offspring’s activities – and oh yes – GO QUEST! We will hope for the best this year. A sincere heartfelt thank you to Carol, Jim, Jess and all the others who use this forum to keep us informed. I, for one, appreciate all you do and look forward to any information you can give us.

  30. Karyn aka Rickabob says:

    Jess thank you for the explanation of what all is going on. We can now understand what, why, when of events.

  31. Helen says:

    I’ve watched from North Carolina for a couple of years. Although I’ve enjoyed feeling a part of the family there in Rochester, I never taken time to say how much I appreciate all the effort of the people in Rochester. Many thanks and I hope this year turns out well.

  32. Alison in Austria says:

    We may be feeling deprived, but it was not so many years ago, when Mariah was laying “too many” eggs, that there was a short discussion about the benefits of her taking a season off. It was not intended that way, she is certainly not doing it on purpose, but it may not be all that bad for her if she lays off a season, finds a new mate, chooses a nest site with him and is relatively rested in 2010. I would hate it, because I am planning to come see falcons in the spring (along with a very necessary family visit) – but who knows what this situation is good for.

  33. Tracey in WA says:

    As mostly a lurker, I have been keeping up-to-date with all the happenings. THANK YOU to all who are so diligent in keeping us current with everything, a big job this season. As Joan Mc. stated, we humans don’t like change much, but change is inevitable in this life, so like the PF’s we have to learn to adapt. I do admit to being upset that Kaver hasn’t returned and TC met with an untimely death, but I have to believe that Mariah hasn’t lived this long and proved to be such a successful mother without being resilient. And as a christian who believes that God “numbers the very hairs on our head” and “knows when one sparrow falls”, I am sure that even here there has to be a reason for all of this. All we can do is just watch how things unfold and learn more about the ways of the PF.

    Besides, look at Quest, Freedom, Rhea Mae, and other successful offspring that we don’t know about; they are living proof that Mariah has passed on her strong genes to the next generation.

    Thank you again for everyone who works so hard to bring us accurate and current info, MY HATS OFF TO YOU!!!

  34. monica says:

    THANKS FOR ALL THE UPDATES. I TOO FEEL BAD ABOUT TC AND STILL HOPE THAT KAVER MAKES HIS APPEARANCE. I’VE ENJOYED WATCHING THEM FOR MANY YEARS AND WILL MISS, IF NOTHING DOES HAPPEN. I JUST WONDER WHAT MARIAH IS THINKING. SHE CERTAINLY IS THE QUEEN OF OUR SKY HERE IN ROCHESTER, AS KAVER IS KING.

  35. chrissy says:

    Glancing over the GeneseeBirds listing I noticed this quick report from Dial-a-Bird posted thursday (3/19) of “Two PEREGRINE FALCONS near the new nest box on the Winspear Avenue chimney on the UB Main Street campus” Can’t be the Statler falcons. Is this a new pair?

  36. Kathy G says:

    woo hoo!!!!!!! Falcon Watch has big news! Carol reported that on Sat. she watched Mariah flying with PF. They were by Kodak and many others saw them as well.

  37. Jess says:

    After all the questions about Mariah mating with T-C and whether she could lay eggs based on their copulation activity we asked the DEC.

    Their answer is that all the evidence points to Peregrine females being able to store usable sperm for only a couple of days. Under controlled laboratory conditions some artificial insemination efforts have produced 2 or 3 eggs from a single insemination, but the timing has to be very precise. In the wild that’s not likely to happen.

    Since it takes about two days for the egg to form and be laid, Mariah needs to have a pretty steady supply of sperm while she’s in her egg-laying phase in order to produce viable eggs. That’s one reason why we continue to see copulation behavior throughout the egg-laying cycle.

    So it doesn’t look like any of the mating activity between Mariah and T-C would have resulted in laying fertilized eggs.

  38. Angela says:

    Did anyone watch 13 WHAM news tonight? I did, it had a story about Mariah and how she keeps going back to the tower and all.

  39. Carol P. says:

    Angela – Since the new Tiercel has shown up, we rarely see them over at the Kodak Tower. They’ve mostly been hanging out at Midtown Plaza. Crossing my fingers that they will choose a different nestsite this year.

  40. Donna says:

    I did watch the story on 13 news and I just read the story online as well. In the story, Dan Stiehler was mentioned as a falcon watcher. He said that “She’s (Mariah) just about to lay eggs”. Is this true? How does he know this?

    I hate seeing Mariah pecking at the net at Kodak tower. It’s sad because we have bonded with her and it’s painful to see her struggling. Is there a chance that she could get stuck in the net?

    June Summers stated that we should stay “detached from them, because they’re not our birds! We can’t assign human characteristics to them.”

    Then why do we name them? I know this is nature, and we can’t change it, but we also can not change our feelings. We love these birds and we can’t help but care what happens to them.

  41. jeanne says:

    I think Dan said it is near time for her to lay eggs because she typically does that soon- a few weeks. It is sad that Kaver has not returned and poor little TC got hit by a car. The happy thing is Mariah returned — she had not been around for some of winter and that she and this new terciel are echupping and flying around with each other. Hopefully, they will continue to hang out at Midtown or a place other than the tower.

    I think attachment is a good thing. It allows us to appreciate the magnificence of peregrines and other animals. It leads us to want them to flourish.

    Jeanne

    “The greatness of a nation

    and its moral progress can be judged

    by the way its animals are treated”

    Mohandas Gandhi

  42. Alison in Indiana says:

    “June Summers stated that we should stay “detached from them, because they’re not our birds! We can’t assign human characteristics to them.”

    Then why do we name them? ”
    WE name them because we feel a need to, because we want to “own” them by the process of naming them (there is a nice reference to this in the old testament – Genesis.
    Some agencies refuse to allow names, for example in Pennsylvania. This is very upsetting to the watchers and they refuse to use the (seemingly cold) terms female and male or falcon and tiercel for the birds they watch, rather calling them Mom and (little) Dad – little being the differentiation between the male first observed for several seasons, who then wound up in a rehab station after injuries and now is an education bird, and the current male.
    But June is right, we are only observing the falcons and, in some cases, helping where necessary and possible, but trying not to behave as if we own them as pets. We love Mariah and her mates, but they do not love us back. It is purely platonic, an “amour de loin”. Thus, we should not to invest too much emotional energy in them. There are so many places where such an investment would be appropriate: literacy programs, feeding the hungry of the world, curing the sick, caring for abandoned or abused pets, environmental protection programs in general but not one specific individual (another example of this is the polar bear Kurt in Berlin, who was supposed to be the symbol of the endangered species and the melting of the arctic ice, but instead has been the focus of cult-like attention).

  43. Alison in Indiana says:

    Whoops, the bear in Berlin is Knut, our friend in Linz is Kurt :-p

  44. Alison in Indiana says:

    I notice on the Multi-Camera view that a bit of bird bait has been laid out for our favorite falcons. May they take the bait, take notice and take over the scrape!

  45. Gian says:

    I am in the 6th grade and me and my mom always watch the birdcam and we want to know where kaver is. Did he leave Mariah or is he just not here?