Rochester's Falcon History
New York State and Rochester played an important role in the reintroduction of Peregrine Falcons to eastern North America after the species was nearly wiped out in the 1970s from the use of DDT.
In 1994 Dennis Money, founder of the Rochester Peregrine Falcon Project, asked Kodak for permission to place a nest box on top of the Kodak Office Tower. Kodak eagerly agreed, and in 1995 the nest box was installed in a location described as a perfect nesting place that simulated their natural cliff habitat. It remained on the tower until 2008, when it was removed to allow the building's crumbling stone exterior to be repaired and restored. A female Peregrine Falcon, Mariah, with two mates, first Cabot-Sirocco and then Kaver, raised 43 young during that time. A few of these young have gone on to raise families of their own in other cities, including Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
A new nest box was installed on the Time Square building in 2008, and a new pair, Archer and Beauty, claimed it. They raised two young eyases in 2010, both of which fledged successfully. Archer is also the grandson of Mariah and Kaver, thus ensuring the continuation of their legacy in Rochester.
- 1995 - A nest box is placed on top of the Kodak Office Tower.
- 1998 - The first Peregrine Falcons, Mariah (female) and Cabot-Sirocco (male), use the nest and continue to successfully nest through 2001.
- 2002 - Kaver replaces Cabot-Sirocco as Mariah's mate and they successfully raise 2 hatchlings.
- 2003 - Kaver and Mariah lay 5 eggs; all hatch successfully.
- 2004 - Kaver and Mariah lay 5 eggs; all hatch successfully. Hafoc, one of the juvenile peregrines, is fitted with a satellite transmitter.
> Total offspring from the Kodak Office Tower nest: 26
- 2005 - Once again, Kaver and Mariah lay 5 eggs and all hatch successfully. Skye, one of the juvenile peregrines, is fitted with a satellite transmitter.
> Total offspring from the Kodak Office Tower nest: 31
- 2006 - Mariah lays 6 eggs, 5 of which hatch. Three eyases survive to fledge in mid-June.
> Total offspring from the Kodak Office Tower Nest: 34
- 2007 - Mariah lays 5 eggs. One disappears & 4 hatch. All fledge in mid-June.
> Total offspring from the Kodak Office Tower nest: 38
- 2008 - Mariah lays 5 eggs and raises five fledglings. Quest is fitted with a satellite transmitter. The nest box is relocated to the Powers Building in August to allow a 3-year repair program for the Kodak tower. A second nest box is placed at the Times Square Building.
> Total offspring from the Kodak Office Tower nest:
That's an amazing accomplishment, and it might even be a record in the US!
- 2009 - Kaver fails to return from winter migration. Mariah attracts a
total of 3 mates in spring but none stay with her. A new female and
male arrive in town, team up and challenge Mariah for control of her
territory. Mariah is injured in a territory battle, rescued by watchers
and eventually recovers. She returns to Rochester in late May and spends
the summer at the Kodak tower and High Falls gorge. The new territorial
pair Beauty (h. 2007 at Pittsburgh Cathederal of Learning,
Pennsylvania USA) and Archer (h. 2006, ADM plant in Port Colbourne,
Ontario Canada) are observed mating and possibly incubating eggs on the
Midtown Plaza tower, but no hatching occurs. Archer ID'ed as the son of
Freedom and Purity, is Mariah's grandson! Archer and Beauty abandon the
Midtown Plaza tower site and move to Times Square. Courtship is observed on
cameras but no mating or egg laying. Mariah moves to the northern part
of the city and the suburb of Irondequoit. She is last sighted in October
although a falcon with her characteristic split wing tip is sighted twice
in late November. Archer leaves Rochester in the fall.
- 2010 - Beauty remains in Rochester for the winter. An unbanded adult
male courts her in late February but disappers a few weeks later. Archer
returns in late March. Beauty lays 4 eggs. Two hatch and fledge in late-June.
> Total offspring from the Times Square nest: 2 From Rochester: 45
- 2011 - Beauty remains in Rochester for the winter. An unbanded adult
male arrives in December 2010 and stays until Archer
returns in mid March. Another female Peregrine named Unity takes up residence
on a power plant in Eastman Business Park. She is from Toledo, Ohio and just
happens to be Beauty's niece. Archer courts both females. Beauty lays 3 eggs,
but none hatch. Unity lays at least 2 eggs, neither of which hatch.
- 2012 - Beauty remains in downtown Rochester for the winter. Unity remains at Eastman Business park. An unidentified adult
male arrives downtown. Unity moves to downtown in February and injures Beauty in a territorial battle. Beauty is rescued and placed in rehab. The male stays with Unity until Archer returns in March. Unity lays one egg. Archer injures his legs and cannot stand. After a week he shows signs of recovery but is chased away in early April by a new male named Dot.ca, hatched in 2010 in Etobicoke. Meanwhile, Beauty is fully recovered and released at Montezuma Wetlands Complex. Days later, Unity is struck and killed by a car while chasing a pigeon. Beauty arrives in downtown Rochester that evening. Over the next few weeks, Dot.ca and Beauty bond and eventualy produce two eggs. Dot.ca also courts a sub-adult female at the Brighton site. The female is Pigott, a 2011 hatch from Hamilton, Ontario. One of Beauty's eggs hatches on June 20. On July 13, the eyas is banded an determined to be male. He is given the name Orion. Orion fledges on August 2 and leaves Rochester on Spetember 8. Dot.ca migrates in October, and an unbanded male begins frequenting the Brighton site with Pigott. Beauty reamins in downtown Rochester.
> Total offspring from the Times Square nest: 3 From Rochester: 46
- 2013 - Beauty remains in downtown Rochester for the winter. Pigott and an unbanded male share the Brighton site. The unbanded male leaves in mid February. Another unidentified adult male arrives downtown in late February and begins courting Beauty. Dot.ca returns in mid March to a less than welcoming reception by Beauty. He stays with Pigott at the Brighton site and acts aggressively toward Beauty. However, by April, he and Beauty are bonding and 4 eggs are laid late in the month. Three eggs hatch in late May, and the eyases are banded in June. They are given the names Baron (m), Rosetta (f), and Voyager (f). All 3 fledge in early July and leave Rochester in mid August. Baron is spotted at Montezuma NWR in early September. Several migrating falcons make brief stops in the Rochester area throughout the fall. Dot.ca does not migrate before year's end.
> Total offspring from the Times Square nest: 6 From Rochester: 49