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Eyes to the Skies

Archive for January, 2011

All day watch 1-30-11

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

I got a late start this morning but I didn’t miss much. When I arrived downtown on the Andrews St Bridge CarolP and KathyO were there watching Beauty and Mr. t. They were on the second Ibeam of the OCSR building northeast side about 10-12 feet away from each other. The only action was when Mr. t flew a bit farther away from Beauty and then walked the rest of the way to the elevator shaft. We assumed they had already had their breakfast and would be sitting there for hours so we decided to go to Charlotte.

I went to the Shumway Marina first and found CharBay(Charlotte/Irondequoit Bay) CB as Joyce has named her. CB was on the northeast corner of the old railroad trestle bridge. I was distracted for a second and missed where she flew to next. I got a tweet some minutes later saying she was on the north side. I couldn’t see her from my location so I drove over to the Charlotte boat launch  where I found CarolP and KathyO.


Soon after Dana arrived and joined the watch. While CB just hung out we fed the many ducks,Canadian geese and swans. A gull came flying in wearing a transmitter just like our girl Quest wears!


Notice the antenna coming off the gulls back

Notice the antenna coming off the gulls back

I left to get gas in the truck and while I was gone Carol and Dana told me that CB had chased a crow away and flew to the north end of the trestle to start munching on cached food.morning-watch-1-30-11-042a


CB left the area so Carol and Dana said they were going home. I went back to Shumway Marina on the other side of the river but saw nothing.

I went to Kodak Park and met up with Joycie. Lady Pefa was nowhere to be found so we decided to go to the Irondequoit Bay Bridge and see if CB was there. We didn’t find her at first but Joyce luckily witnessed her going after a Red -tail Hawk. She flew up to the bridge and landed on a lamp post.


We watched until dark when CB flew off and down on the north side of the bridge. We were watching from the south side so we couldn’t see if she went under the bridge to roost for the night. Another fun filled day with my fellow falcon watchers was over. 🙂

My best ever morning watch 1/29/11

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

Let me just start by saying what a fantabulous watch I had this morning! It began with Beauty on the outstretched money bag hand of Mercury. She flew off and joined Mr.t over on the Frontier Communications Tower. I raced over there but when I arrived they had already flown back to the Broad St. bridge area. As I parked the truck I saw Beauty flying with a pigeon and Mr.t was following her up and down the river between the OCSR building and the Radisson Hotel until they came to rest on the northwest corner of the Rundell Library.


Mr. t watching and waiting for Beautys leftovers

Mr. t watching and waiting for Beautys leftovers

At this point he was getting frustrated. He made several attempts on the pigeons without success and went up to Mercury briefly watching the Beautyful one over on the library eating her breakfast. I was starting to feel sorry for him. Again he stooped hitting one of the pigeons stunning it but it managed to fly away. Back to Mercury once again to look over at Beauty. And more stooping no wonder he has been hanging out with Beauty for food cuz he’s not too great a hunter.  Still more stooping unsuccessfully and returning to the library where he landed about 2 feet away from her whining and begging for food. It was pitiful!


After a few minutes of begging they both took off up river with Mr. t twice trying to steal what was left of Beautys breakfast out of her talons before they landed on the base of Mercury.

Mr. t finally eating on the base of Mercury while Beauty watches from above on the money bag hand.

Mr. t finally eating on the base of Mercury while Beauty watches from above on the money bag hand.

Watcher Dana arrived on the Broad St. bridge at this point where there was no good parking spots left due to a cheerleading competition at the Blue Cross Arena.  We both drove down to Aqueduct St. where I finished an extraordinary watch. I will finish my report with a pic of  Mr. t finishing up Beautys leftovers and the Beautyful one up on her favorite perch. Have a great day everyone! 🙂


PS  Here are 3 videos of Beauty and her unbanded male friend I refer to as Mr.t (t for tiercel)




Morning watch 1-28-11

Friday, January 28th, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

I came upon Beauty this morning about 7:10am eating prey on the base of Mercury.  CarolP joined me on the Broad St. Bridge shortly before Mr. t arrived on Mercury around 7:55am. He landed on the feather that sticks out of Mercurys head. Carol and I just laughed to see him sneak in for we thought he had left the area. Joyce was the last person to see him this past Sunday.


Suddenly Mr.t flew off toward the Blue Cross Arena where all the pigeons were lined up as they are every day along the roofs edge. They began scattering and he went into a stoop missing and flying back to Mercury. Meanwhile,Beauty was still on the base of Mercury eating away and not phased in the least by him. Again he took off down river toward the Susan B.Anthony Bridge this time after something smaller. I missed the end of it but I saw him reappear briefly and it seemed like he was struggling a bit to fly before he completely went out of view. Carol and I assumed he caught his breakfast and went somewhere in that general area to eat it.

I had to leave at this point. Beauty was still on the base of Mercury eating what was left of her meal. So I will end my report with a couple  pics of her.  🙂


Morning watch 1-26-11

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

After being home sick for a couple days it felt good to go downtown to see  Beauty this morning.  I must say I thought I was going to have to go home before she showed herself. Watcher DebbieH stopped by on her way to work and first spotted Beauty flying over the river. I think she was checking the pigeons out that roost on the Blue Cross Arena. From there she flew over Mercury across the river and landed on the northwest corner of the Baucsh and Lomb building. This was my first sighting ever of a falcon on B&L. She had a small morsel of what I assumed was cached food. Debbie left and I took pics but they were all out of focus. This is the best out of the bunch.


Beauty took off from there and flew to Mercury landing on the base to finish her snack. She then flew out and around the area coming to land on her favorite perch Mercurys money bag hand. A few quick pics since it was past time for me to head home and end my watch. I so love starting my day with the Beautyful one!  🙂


My 10 hour falcon watch

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

I started my watch at about 7:00am. My first falcon sighting was of the Beautyful one on Mercury perched on the money bag hand.  Beauty flew over to the top ibeam of the OCSR on the south side facing the river. About a half hour passed before the unbanded male flew in and landed a few feet to the left of her. Shortly thereafter, Beauty started eating cached food. The tiercel flew over to the right of her kind of begging at which point Beauty flew to the base of Mercury with her cached food and the male took off somewhere. Half hour later she flew back to OCSR and Joyce arrived to join me on watch.


Pic of tiercel on right begging Beauty for food!

Meanwhile, watcher Joyce was reporting 2 unbanded falcons in Brighton. So we definitely have a pair in Brighton a male hanging out with Beauty downtown and Lady Pefa at Kodak Park.

Joyce soon joined me on Broad St. bridge and I jumped in her Rav 4 to get out of the cold and I never got back to the truck until 5:00pm tonight! We left downtown for Kodak Park. CarolP joined us there where we had no pefa sighting and so after an hour or so we headed back downtown. We met up with CarolP on the Andrews St. bridge where Beauty and her handsome male friend were very close to each other on the north side of the OCSR top ibeam. We left to go pick up Brian and ended up running across Dana who told us that Beauty and I’m gonna call him Mr.T (unbanded tiercel) wre up in the elevator shaft of OCSR. We checked them out and then left to pick up Brian. The 3 of us rode over to Brighton where we found the unbanded male and female. After a short time both falcons flew away. Joyce then drove Brian and I to Jeannes house. We convinced her to join us and she jumped in the car!

Off we went with a report from watcher Dana that she was watching yet another unbanded female down in Charlotte near Shumway Marina. This female is very big! She left the old railroad tressle and flew due east toward Irondequoit. We managed to find her in Seabreeze on a lamp post by the Meyers Marina. After maybe 5 minutes she flew across the bay and out of view thus ending our falcon watch. We weren’t done yet! We decided to go look for eagles behind Basils restaurant but first we stopped to see watcher Susan Conway since we were “in the neighborhood”. By the time we got there it was too dark to see any eagles but I did see an eagle nest!

What a day of beautiful falcons and beautiful friends! I’ll close my report with a pic of Beauty on Mercury some 14 hrs. ago!    Good night!    🙂


Morning watch 1-19-11

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

This mornings watch was short but sweet! I arrived earlier than usual so I could walk over to under the elevator shaft of the OCSR building. Yesterdays watch with Joyce included seeing a falcon fly up in there so we wanted to confirm that someone was sleeping there at night. I’m sorry to say I didn’t see anyone up there nor did I see anyone fly out. It was dark out and it could have flown out after I left to park on the Broad St. bridge for when I got there Beauty was on the hand of Mercury. A split second later the tiercel was on the base with Beauty flying above him and then joining him. I could see that she had food so I drove down to Aqueduct St. for a better view.


I had to end my watch at this point and get home. The following pics are from yesterdays watch with Joyce at the Brighton location.  Have a great day everyone! 🙂


Sunday 1-16-11 Brighton Falcons

Monday, January 17th, 2011

From Rochester Falconwatcher Joyce:
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge)

A pair of peregrine falcons are back on the old abandoned medical building in Brighton. I’m convinced these unbanded falcons are the same pair that appeared on the building in Febraury 2010. They disappeared in March 2010, and the watchers thought they were wintering falcons that left to nest elsewhere.

I have compared photos from last year.  The malar stripe (mustache) and auricular patch (area behind the mustache) are a close match on both peregrines.  Included in my album are some photos from last year for comparison.

Click link 1-16 Picasa Album to view Sunday’s watch.  After looking at my weekend photos again, I believe the peregrine in Saturday’s album is the female.

Some have wondered if the unbanded tiercel that has befriended Beauty, is the unbanded Brighton male. They are not one and the same. You can definitely see the difference between their mustache and auricular patch below:

Hmmmm…are the Brighton pefas Rochester wintering falcons, or could they have a nestsite somewhere in the Rochester Metropolitan Area?  Could they be using this building to keep an eye on the downtown falcons?  So-o-o many questions.

If you happen to be driving by the building, the falcons seem to frequent the east side. You may see one on the SE or NE corner, as well as on a top window sill. Sometimes they hide out of view from the roof top.

Keep your eyes to the skies.


Morning watch 1-17-11

Monday, January 17th, 2011

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK:

It was a frosty start in downtown Rochester with the temperature at -5 degrees F. I first saw Beauty on The money bag hand of Mercury with breakfast in her talons. After a minute or so she went down to the base of the statue and started preparing it to eat.


While I was tweeting she left. I found her again after about 20 minutes on the NE corner of the launchpad of the Kodak Office tower. She was preening and being her Beautyful self.


Before I ended my watch I took a picture of the high falls. They were rolling along and quite steamy because of the bitter cold air. I didn’t walk over to the railing for an unobstructed view because the snow was deep over there and I was wearing my slip-on sneakers.


Have a great day everyone! 🙂

Saturday 1-15-11 Falcon Watch in Brighton and at Kodak Tower

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

From Rochester Falconwatcher Joyce:
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge)

See attached Picasa Album for watch photos and report of the Brighton Pefa…

plus Beauty and her friend on the Tower of Kodak Office.

For those who are not familiar with the terms the watchers use at Kodak Tower, here is file that Lou made in 2005 to help identify the places where falcons land. (The arches are below the launch pad.)

Tower ID-2


Morning watch 1-16-11

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK
I am still shaking with excitement as I write this report. I just left the Broad St. bridge where I witnessed both Beauty and her male friend stooping on pigeons up and down the river together! They flew over my head several times,one of them was chasing a pigeon right toward the front of the truck and they both veered upwards before they ran into it!!! So EXCITING! There was no time to digiscope them in the air but I did take pics. When they were done without catching anything they flew to the base of Mercury for a couple minutes and then off again flying in tandem up river. I assume they were headed for Kodak Office. I had to leave because I’m going to Buffalo with Carol and Kathy today. If this is any indication of what kind of day it’s going to be I think I better take an extra blood pressure pill!!! lol Good day everyone and keep your eyes to the sky! 🙂morning-watch-1-16-10-003morning-watch-1-16-10-015morning-watch-1-16-10-010

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