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Eyes to the Skies

Archive for November, 2011

Morning watch 11-28-11

Monday, November 28th, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

Well kids this was the last day with access to a vehicle for a morning watch so I was hoping and praying  Beauty wouldn’t play hide and seek with me. As luck would have it I found her right off the bat on her favorite(and mine too) perch atop the money bag hand of Mercury!


She IS the top dog of her territory and she so looks it when she’s parked up there! Anyway, Beauty soon flew off to the southwest and out of sight. I went on a little jaunt to find her and ended up right back on the Broad St. bridge as she had caught breakfast and was now on the base of Mercury. She rested for a bit before she started tearing into her catch.

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It had rained much of the overnight and things were wet so when the Beautyful one started plucking feathers they were sticking to everything!

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As Beauty ate,  a crowd was gathering above her. Crazy birds don’t you know to stay away from a bird of prey! lol

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Beauty decided to turn around so I drove down to Aqueduct St. When I got there she was just sitting there taking a breather. I thought she was done eating because her crop looked pretty full. Wrong…she started picking at the remains again.

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Just check out that crop!!! She couldn’t fit more in without having it stick out of her beak for crying out loud! lol When she was through with her meal and a half she went up onto the foot to stash it.

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Beauty kinda ducked behind where I couldn’t see her and snuck out the back door. I drove back up to the bridge to see but she was gone.  I took a quick drive around downtown without finding her so I left to check for Unity at KP. She was no where to be seen so I ended my watch and went home. I made 3 videos and an album of the Beautyful one today. Thought I’d make my last morning watch for awhile go out with a bang. As always they will be at the end of this report. It was really great to share space with our downtown diva, Beauty for 2 hours today. Already I can’t wait til next time but in the meantime I’ll keep smiling and you do the same!  🙂

Morning watch
View Album

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Morning watch 11-27-11

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

It’s been a busy weekend for me and I’m pretty much out of gas but I loved every minute of having a vehicle again. I took full advantage today by checking everywhere except the old psyche center. Starting DT Beauty eluded me for the most part and the lil birdies on Mercury pretty much tell the story!


More than an hour into my watch I finally spotted the Beautyful one soaring above the Xerox tower. She quickly disappeared behind buildings to the north but a minute later she appeared flying to the south until I could no longer see her. Not finding her again I went to KP and didn’t see Unity anywhere but I saw a white tailed buck again like the other day only this time I got pics.

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Next stop was Charlotte to see if that female Snowy Owl was around. No such luck but there’s always ducks and gulls to entertain.

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On my way once again I stopped at Russel Station and found some ducks.


On Round pond looking from Dewey Ave. I spotted a whole lot of Tundra Swans.

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Moving along from there I went to Braddocks Bay and oh no found the restroom locked up for the year! And the only bird I saw other than some crows was a carved Eagle.


Well, I was getting a little perplexed by this time and decided to check out Shumway Marine for the Snowy Owl on my way to Seabreeze. The only sighting there was a blocked off road and a fake owl on a dock! lol


I whipped down to Summerville to check quick and found this gull by the river.

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Arriving at Seabreeze the only wildlife out of the norm was 2 geese on the north shore of  Irondequoit Bay of which I couldn’t identify. Very pretty birds.

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I thought for sure I would find our newest pefa pair in Irondequoit at the Medley Centre.  Sadly I came up short again. I had to get home soon to take a pill and make a pitstop but I was drawn to downtown first. Bingo…from the Broad St. bridge I spotted a bump on the northeast corner of the launchpad on the Kodak Tower. I whipped over there and could see she had prey and a full crop!

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I took a short video of her eating which will be at the end of my report.

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Though it wasn’t quite the exciting watch I had yesterday I certainly enjoyed myself  by just getting out and driving around. We folks in Rochester don’t normally get 60 degree weather at the end of November so it was mandatory to get out and hang with nature!  I don’t know about you but that always makes me smile!  🙂

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Falcons & Snowy’s & Crows! Oh, My! – 11/26/11

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

From Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It doesn’t get much better that today’s outing. It was a cloudy day, but still mild compared to what it could be on a late November day. I’ll take it!

Kathy O, Dana & I met Joyce & Brian down at the Charlotte Pier in hopes of seeing the Snowy. I had to work yesterday, so I missed all the fun. We checked both side of the river with no Snowy sightings. Darn. We decided to check out the Irondequoit Bay Outlet, where someone said they had seen a Snowy, so off we went.

Our bad luck continued. We couldn’t find any Snowy’s there either. Lots of fisherman were out and lots of gulls & ducks and pigeons. We spotted one little one that didn’t look well. It was a juvenile Glacous gull with a broken wing. He was walking around, dragging his wing on the ground and looking for food. We watched him for awhile after giving him so scraps from my breakfast that he gobble down quickly. A decision was made. This little guy was not going to survive without a little help. With Brian’s help, Dana and I were able to catch the gull and put him in my rescue box. We took the bird to a Vet where we knew he would be given good care. I really hope that he is rehabbed and able to be released.

After leaving the Vet, we decided to head downtown, but fate would put a stop to these plans. Brian and Joyce called to say there was not one but two Peregrine Falcons at the Irondequoit Mall. We quickly turned around and headed back towards Irondequoit. For the next few hours, we watched this pair tandem hunt chasing pigeons and finally catching one. The male hit the pigeon and the female caught it in her talons, dispatching it quickly. She carried it back to the mall, landing on the glass roof.

The male was not too patient and kept trying to get his share. The female would have none of that. She took off and we found them on the SE side of the mall on a lamp post. After watching her pluck and eat for awhile, two walkers came a little too close and she took off carrying the prey off to the east with the male in hot pursuit. We could not find where they went

We headed back to join the rest of the Watchers, which now included, Kathy O, Dana, Joyce, Brian, MAK, Dan, Lisa McK, Jeanne and I. It was a blast seeing everyone and being able to watch this pair successfully tandem hunt. It was time for lunch, so we all headed over to Schaellers. Everyone except Lisa, MAK and Dan.

We got a text during lunch from Lisa. There was a Snowy on the back of the Coast Guard garage. So all but Jeanne and headed over to the Summerville where we had a nice visit with the juvie Snowy Owl that had been reported. We spent about an hour watching this beautiful creature look around, just taking everything in. You had to wonder what he thought of his surroundings, so different from his birth place.

We were starting to lose light, so we headed downtown. We didn’t see Beauty, but Brian suggestd that we park in an area where he said the Crows would fly over on their way into the city for their evening roosting spots. Brian did not steer us wrong. As the skies darkened, the Crows starting streaming in a long line overhead. I had never seen anything like it. 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of Crows flew over us heading into the city. It was incredible to see. They were uncountable! Most were silent, but a few cawed and rattled and chased each other as they passed overhead. We all just kind of watched in awe for about 25 mins, when finally the last stragglers came through. What a way to end such a fun and exciting day with good friends and good birds. 🙂

Here’s a link to my Kodak Gallery Album of pics from today and a YouTube video of our pair of Peregrines at the Irondequoit Mall.




Take a look if you’d like. No sign on needed.

Carol P.

Falcon watch 11-26-11

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

My morning watch started with a 45 minute search to find Beauty. From the Broad St. bridge I spotted her on the jail tower tucked into the middle of the structure.


I drove over to Troop St. to be closer to the Beautyful one and soon after I arrived she moved to the 3rd arm on the north side.

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As I was taking my morning meds she flew off and I missed it so I had no idea which direction she flew. So I went into search mode again. After half hour or so I decided to go to KP and look for Unity. I spent an hour there with no sign of her. I got a call from KathyO that they had 2 Falcons at the Medley Center in Irondequoit so I went there and joined Kathy,Carol,Dana,Joyce and Brian.  What fun we had watching these 2 unbanded pefas fly and hunt together.

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Lisa and Dan came to join us just in time to see an awesome tandem hunt. The female flew off first followed by the male soon after. She chased down a pigeon and changed the direction to go right into the path of the male.  He stooped down and whacked it and she flew underneath and snagged it in her talons! It was just breath taking to see. I’ve seen plenty of stoops but never the actual successful ending. Needless to say we were all pretty pumped after that,high fiving and fist bumping each other. The pair of falcons flew back to the glass peak of the Medley Center to catch their breath before disappearing to the other side of the mall to eat their catch.

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Jeanne showed up less than 5 minutes later and missed the whole thing. She,Brian and Dan stayed while the rest of us went over to look for them. They were on a double light pole with the female preparing and eating their catch.

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They flew to another light pole where she finished eating what she wanted while he flew off and chased a Coppers Hawk away. She then grabbed what little was left and flew to the east followed by him until we could no longer see them. What a great show this pair put on for us. Obviously they have been together for awhile judging on how they worked together. Check out my album and video link below for more from todays watch. I’m sure they will make you smile! 🙂

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Falcon watch 11-26-11
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Morning and afternoon watch 11-25-11

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

Joyce picked me up this morning a little after 7:00am and then we got Brian and went to the Summerville Pier where the Genesee River and Lake Ontario meet. Other watchers that met us there were Lynda, Tim,Jeanne and LarryO. Our mission was to find Snowy Owls and the taste of sweet success was ours. After 3 weekends in a row for Joyce, Brian and I we  had a young male at the end of the pier. 5 weeks out from my knee replacement surgery I wasn’t sure if I could walk that far but I sure was willing to try for this was my first time seeing a Snowy in the wild!

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On the walk out we came upon this little guy that didn’t seem to be afraid of us at all.


The closer we got to the Snowy Owl, a very large bird of prey the more excited I got.

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Don’t forget to click on pics for full version! Naturally MAK the gimp was last to arrive and being quite the emotional gal that I am the tears started to fall as I know I would never do something like this if it weren’t for my falcon family! Once I straightened up I began to click,click,click away!

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I turned around and took some shots of the surrounding area.

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Oh yeah we have a juvenile male Snowy Owl to look at don’t we? And peeps too!

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Joyce likes to get down and dirty! Ask her what she sat on with those white sweats!? Let’s just say that big black splotch on her backside wasn’t a mole!

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On the way back to shore we passed some ducks. There was a very high step I had to navigate and I was really running out of steam so Tim took my hand from on top to pull and Lynda pushed my behind  on the count of 3 and everybody got a big laugh out of that!

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A good time spent with good people on a good morning!

On to my afternoon watch with Beauty. I spotted her on the FCT as I was driving down Church St, When I arrived at the city hall parking lot Brian and Joyce were there. We watched her move around on her favorite spot under the platform.

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Brian and Joyce left to check out the RPC but before they did Brian gave me the remains of one of Beautys’ meals.

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I stayed with the Beautyful one as she preened in the sunshine until it faded into dusk.

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I had to leave to meet with a doctor about my knee as it looks like it is infected but Beauty and I have a parting gift for you that I think will make you smile! 🙂

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Links below to a video of Beauty and an album from the day. Enjoy!


What a fun day with birds of prey
View Album

Thanksgiving morning watch 11-24-11

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

I started the morning by scraping ice off the windshield and as I looked at the city from route 490 I could see a haze that almost looked like frost surrounding the buildings. A cool sight as I made my way downtown. As I came upon Washington Square Park there were a few crows left in the trees that hadn’t left for their daily ventures.


I found Beauty on the east side of  HSBC but she took off before I could stop. As I checked the Kodak office tower I passed by the pedestrian bridge at High Falls and found it to be frost covered as all the bridges and overpasses were this morning.


I spent the next half hour looking for her to no avail so I decided to try my luck at KP. It was a very bright and sunny start to the morning perfect for taking pics but Unity was no where to be seen. I waited for this gorgeous gal to show up about 20 minutes and then headed back downtown. I drove around quite a bit looking for the Beautyful one and finally found her on the platform railing of the FCT on the east side.

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After a few minutes she moved up to the bottom arm north side on the FCT.

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Beauty seemed to be watching something below in between scratching herself with her big yellow feet! All of a sudden she lifted her tail feathers and plop out came a white stream of poop! LOL

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She soon flew off to the north and I had to leave also.  I’m very thankful for my feathered falcon friends,my family and all my friends both near and far! All of you keep me smiling! 🙂

Afternoon watch 11-23-11

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

On a very dark and dreary afternoon in Rochester I set out to find falcons after I dropped Sue off at work. I am very happy to say that I will have the truck for the entire weekend and that means sharing space with our Rochester falcons. I left without my camera so when I found Unity over at KP I couldn’t take a pic. She was on the black stripe of the blue building and she had her back to me. I didn’t hang out with her too long because what little light there was would be fading soon and I didn’t know how long I’d have to search for the Beautyful one.

Coming into downtown I checked the FCT first and usually I go to the Broad St. bridge after that but I decided to go to the Andrews St. bridge first to check the north side of OCSR. Not there I scanned my eyes to the statue of Mercury and I thought it looked like a falcon on the money bag hand. I looked in my trusty binocs and sure enough it was Beauty. Being too far for pics I drove to Aqueduct St. and started clicking away.

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For most of the time I spent with our downtown diva she had her head tucked down into her chest but she did crank her neck every now and again looking at something down in the river.

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As it got darker and darker out and my fingers went numb from the cold I wondered if  I would have enough light left to get a takeoff shot worth posting. Well at just about 5:00pm in the dark she took off from Mercury and as I clicked the shutter I saw her go into the stoop position and then vanish behind the Thomson Reuters building. Unfortunately the takeoff was too blurry to do anything but delete it. My watch ended having seen both of our resident female falcons and a smile on my face! 🙂

Falcon Watch 11/20/11 – A Morning with MAK and Beauty & Unity

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

From Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It was a windy, but warm morning. I picked up MAK around 9 am for a morning Falcon Watch, at least I hoped to find some Falcons. We headed downtown ……… you can read the rest of my report and see my pics in this Kodak Gallery Album.


No sign on needed.

Carol P.

Morning/afternoon watch 11-20-11

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

CarolP picked me up around 9:00am and we headed for downtown. We had quite a time trying to find Beauty. While on the Broad St. bridge I checked the river and found one lonely duck floating on the north side and two on the south side and that was it for shore birds.

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We then went to the pedestrian bridge at high falls and surprisingly there was no wildlife of any kind to be found there. We thought it very odd. Anyway, that’s Skyes’ building below on the far right which Genesee Brewery wants to take down.

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Carol wanted to show me a nestbox that was put on top of a school off of St. Paul Blvd, so that’s where we went next. After finding our way around with lots of one way streets and ghetto conditions we found a stone parking lot to get a good view of it. As soon as Carol got out of the car she spotted a falcon gliding above. By the time I got out of the car I was only able to get one pic of it. And then I took pics of the nestbox.

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We assumed it was the Beautyful one as we watched her fly toward downtown. We went to the Broad St. bridge straight away but never found her again. Joyce and Brian pulled up behind us and I made the switch to go with them for an afternoon watch because Carol had to get home. We made our way over to the old Rochester Psyche Center and found a falcon and judging by size a female on the southeast corner by the tree that grows on the roof.

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Suddenly she flew off to the south and went after a pigeon. She missed and came back flying right above us putting on a little display before landing on the roof.

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It was time to go look for Snowy Owls and we started at the Shumway Marina. We found no owls but we saw a bunch of Snow Buntings in the grass. They sure did blend in really well. It was my first sighting of these pretty little birds.

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Next stop was the Summerville pier where Brian checked  for evidence that Snowy Owls have been there. He found a pellet with a bone sticking out of it and many other pellets and a gull head that was ripped off the body.

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We made our way over to the Charlotte pier which is on the opposite side of the Genesee River from the Summerville pier. Joyce,Brian and the dogs went for a walk to the beach and back. I waited in the car cuz I didn’t  think I could walk that distance yet. When they got back I spotted a Coopers Hawk on the ground. It was trying to spook a sparrow out of the bushes for a tasty treat!

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It flew up into a nearby tree and when the sparrow flew out the Coop flew after it and out of view. We ended our watch at KP without seeing her loveliness Unity but CarolP had seen her earlier so all Rochester falcons were safe and sound for today.   I wish to thank Carol and Joyce for including me on their watches today and for sending me home smiling!  🙂

Click to view album:

Morning/afternoon watch
View Album

Falcon Watch – Beauty on the Kodak Tower – 11/19/11

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

From Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

I got a really late start today, arriving at KP to check on Unity (no luck), and then heading downtown. After much searching, I found a falcon on the Kodak Tower. I am fairly certain it was Beauty.

You can check out my pics and report by clicking on this link to my Kodak Gallery album. No sign on needed.





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