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Archive for February, 2012

Falcon watch 2-28-12

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

My dear friend of 40 years (we met freshman year of high school) Tesa (short for Teresa) took me to a doctor appointment today. We had lunch afterward and she asked if I wanted to go falcon watching with one stipulation -I had to drive as she doesn’t like driving much. Of course I said YES and for the first time since before my last knee replacement I was behind the wheel again. Ah freedom is a beautiful thing! As we drove east bound through the intersection of Broad St. and Plymouth Ave. I spotted the wing flap of a Peregrine falcon flying above the Times Square building and disappearing behind buildings. We stopped up on the Broad St. bridge and I noticed a white bump on the top ibeam southeast side of OCSR. I took a few pics and then drove down to Aqueduct St. for closer inspection. After zooming a pic on my cameras’ LCD screen I decided it was the male who I’m simply calling  Mr.

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Out of nowhere appeared another falcon flying above the OCSR building and vanishing behind it to the north. I assumed it was Unity. I drove us back up to the bridge for a better view of the area. I grabbed my binocs and started looking down river toward the lake when Tesa said what’s up there on Mercury. Lo and behold Unity was up on the money bag hand!

Not sure if I can post any more pics as I’m having issues with my computer but I have made an album of which I will post the link for at the end of my report.

Since Unity had her back to us we returned to Aqueduct St. for closer viewing. I took a walk to Main St. and got some shots of Mr. and then I walked down to the parking lot of Thomson Reuters directly below Mercury and took a couple of what I think are cool pics. I rejoined Tesa and drove us up to the bridge once again where we could keep track of both our feathered friends. You could clearly see that Unity had quite the full crop! It seemed that they were hunkered down for a while and so we called it a watch. I think Mr. is very cute and he makes me smile! 🙂

This album is minus about 10 pics but after spending about 5 hours you have my report and some pics to enjoy. PHEW!


Falcon watch 2-26-12

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

Well, what a difference a day makes! Yesterday was poor weather and poor falcon watching having only seen Unity for a brief time. Today sunshine and lots of falcon action prevailed! Joyce picked me up and when we arrived downtown Dana was down on Aqueduct St. and CarolP was parked by falcon central. A police helicopter appeared right in front of us very low flying over the broad St. bridge and headed slowly down river to the north.

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We made a u turn and joined Carol. Unity was in the nest box and a male falcon was on the gridwork of the Times Square building east side(nest side).

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Both falcons left heading east diving on a Red-tail Hawk and then landing on Xerox. Unity on SW corner and male on NW corner. Make sure to click on pics for full version.

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They weren’t there long when both flew to the nest box.

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The male left and went over to the 3rd ibeam southeast side of OCSR.

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Meanwhile Unity flew from the top of cam 4 to the top of the main cam.

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Unity flew to Mercury landing on the money bag hand while the male went to the nest box.

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Suddenly the male flew over to Mercury and landed on the feather of the cap. Unity hacked up a couple pellets while up there of which I have video that I will put the link to at the end of my report. It looked to me like she was not happy with him following her and she took off .

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She flew to the southwest corner of the Hyatt on the lower roof while the male stayed on Mercury. Unity brought up another pellet there. Joyce and I decided to go to the top level of the South Ave. garage for a closer look.

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The male then joined Unity on the Hyatt landing just a couple feet away from her. And it seemed like she was trying to give him the slip for she flew up to the top roof southwest corner of the Hyatt hotel.

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I took this opportunity to take a couple pics from this location to give everyone a lay of the land so to speak.

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Unity left followed by the male. We lost them and then we saw 1 flying near Xerox. We believe the male landed on the southwest corner of the Chase building. On the ledge of the garage some brave pigeons had gathered.

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Unity had flown to the money bag hand of Mercury and the male to the ring of the southwest wing on the Times Square building.

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Both falcons flew off and with daylight fading we decided we would fly too! It was a busy watch and it is this watchers opinion that Unity doesn’t seem too interested in this male. I reckon she’s waiting for Archer to return. Let’s hope when that day comes we can all smile! 🙂

Videos and a photo album are below. Enjoy!




A Wonderful Sunday Falcon Watch – 2/26/12

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.


Unity on the right, Mystery Tiercel on the left. 2/26/12

In my book, there is no better way to spend a few hours on a Sunday, with good friends and watching beautiful birds.  🙂

Watchers included: Dana, Joyce, MAK, Dan S and Carol P.

It was a very cold day, but when the Sun came out, boy did it feel good!

There was a whole lot of activity by Unity and the mystery Tiercel.  As we wait for the possible return of Beauty and Archer, all we can do is keep an eye on what is happening in downtown Rochester.

Mystery Tiercel Takes Off! 2/26/12

Mystery Tiercel Takes Off! 2/26/12

 I’ve put together a KGallery Album with lots of pictures from today and my report.


Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions.

Carol P.

Falcon watch 2-25-12

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

When I went to bed last night it was very windy and raining. As I looked out the window after waking up this morning it was still windy but there was now blowing snow and a couple inches of snow on the ground.  I thought what fun it will be to find a falcon in this stuff! I waited until about noon for Joyce to pick me up for a watch and then off we went to the snowy city of Rochester. We drove around looking for 45 minutes with no sighting and then picked up Brian. We returned to downtown and still had no luck finding a falcon. No doubt with the inclement weather Unity was hunkered down somewhere that we couldn’t find her. Probably saying to herself stupid humans! lol

We decided to check Charlotte for the Snowy Owl and struck out there too. Continuing on to Irondequoit and Seabreeze where we found a guy I referred to as surfer boy getting into the water at the bay outlet with yes you guessed a surf board and a paddle!

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We then drove over to the other end of the Irondequoit Bay to look for the Bald Eagles that nest there. Again we didn’t see anything. At this point we wondering if the whole day would be a bust. We headed back to the city and checked all around-nothing! We dropped Brian off at his house and went back downtown for one more shot at it. We watchers just hate to get skunked! Joyce and I looked pretty much every where. We parked for quite a while on the Broad St. bridge when Joyce asked me where we should go next and I said lets try the Court St. bridge for a different angle on the east side buildings. Turns out that was a good decision for almost as soon as we stopped the car Joyce spotted Unity on the lower roof of Bausch and Lomb northeast corner which you can’t see from the Broad St. bridge.

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I was only able to get the 3 photos before she was off and flying to the east behind the Xerox tower and out of view. We drove down to the east side of the HSBC building to see Unity flying above and disappearing headed north. That was the last time we saw this big girl. As we searched for her to no avail,we then went over to the Andrews St. bridge where Joyce spotted something on  a building ledge across  St. Paul St. on Andrews St. As we got closer we could see that it was a Red-tail Hawk and it flew off as we approached landing on a stockade fence across the street.

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Just look at that red tail! He quickly flew down on the other side of the fence and came back up with a mouse or other rodent and flew out of sight with it in his talons.The sun was going down so we took one more look around downtown and called it quits.

May I just say how extremely happy I am to hear the good report on Beauty! It makes me smile as it should everyone! 🙂

Falcon watch 2-23-12

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

My good friend and fellow watcher Lynda picked me up about 9:00am for a falcon watch. She brought muffins and I made coffee for us to take downtown. We first parked on the Broad St. bridge and waited to see if Unity or the unbanded male Mr.W as named by Brian would show up. We ate our muffins as we sat and watched. After a while we decided to take a ride around stopping on the Andrews St. bridge facing east I spotted Unity on the railing of a building on the east side of the river between the Chase building to the right and the apartment complex to the left.

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We decided we had to find this building so we could put a name on it. As we were driving over in that direction we spotted Unity stooping and then we lost her. We got a little confused as to the location of this building and ended up at Liberty Pole Way naming it the Temple building. After driving around in every direction we were sure this was NOT the correct building. We then drove back toward Andrews St. and St. Paul. We found it at the intersection of Mortimer St. and St. Paul. I don’t know if it’s considered the Cox building which is red brick in front of it(they are connected) but here are a couple pics to show what I mean.


We drove around some more looking for her with no luck so we went on a bathroom break finding a nice little restaurant on Mill St. at High Falls named Fina’s. We decided it was close enough to lunch time and had a sandwich there. We gave it a good review and off we went back to the streets of Rachacha! After a trip around downtown we parked on the Broad St. bridge facing the Times Square building. Pigeons were on the move so we were looking for a falcon amongst them when Lynda spotted Unity flying through from north to south (TS toward D&C building) and behind the Blue Cross Arena out of sight. We went down and parked by the stairs where we call Falcon central  at this point. A minute or so later we saw her flying back from that direction with prey in her talons landing on the northeast corner of the Phillips building(across Exchange street from TS).

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I think this was a resting spot for she was looking all around and not letting go of her prey like she was deciding where to take it next. Sure enough she turned around and flew off with it heading south over the Democrat and Chronicle building and along the north side of the jail roof  where we lost sight of her.

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I told Lynda we should drive down Broad St. to Plymouth Ave. so we could check the jail roof and surrounding area. Lynda found her on the southeast corner of a building next to the new crime lab. As we did a u-turn to look at Unity she flew up to a railing on the same building.

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She had cached her tasty treat here and soon flew off to the north and out of our field of view.

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We drove by the front of the building Unity was on and it said the Terminal building but it was brick and she was on a concrete building right behind it. This was the last we saw of this big girl before calling it a watch. Lynda had to get going. After I got home I called another watcher and good friend Debbie Harrington hoping she could tell me the name of the building Unity was last seen on cuz I knew she worked in one the buildings near there. As it turns out it was the very building she works in and it’s called the Ebernezer Watts building. I had to do more investigating for this report than any other that comes to mind. We do have to get the facts straight! Thank you to Lynda and Debbie, you both had a hand in making this watcher smile today! 🙂

Falcon watch 2-20-12

Monday, February 20th, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

KathyO picked me up just before 9:00 am for a falcon watch. When we arrived on the Broad St. bridge she spotted a falcon on the top ibeam southwest side of the OCSR building. We went to the parking lot by Aqueduct street for a closer look. Soon there after it flew off heading straight toward Mercury

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Soon there after it flew off heading straight toward Mercury behind the Thompson Reuters building where we couldn’t see if it landed there or not. I told Kathy I just know it’s on that statue and sure enough when we got back up on the bridge I saw it on the money bag hand !!! This was the Beautyful ones’ spot and needless to say I was not happy to see this. After spitting and sputtering about it I took some pics and was able to see the purple band on the right leg telling me that it was Unity.

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It seemed like she looked right straight at me to say this is my territory now. And I looked back at her and said a few things myself. I like Unity,I think she’s a gorgeous pefa but Mercury is Beautys’ spot and this has all happened a little too fast for me. I accept what nature has to offer but it doesn’t mean I like it. Life in the natural world and in ours can be so cruel sometimes but we must all move forward and so a lesson is learned from our feathered friends. A hard one!

So onward we go to about 20 minutes later Unity flew off Mercury heading west behind buildings and out of sight. We left to go find her and ran across Brian near the Library. He told us to go look and he would stay on the bridge waiting for a falcon to show up. Having no luck we returned to the bridge where Dana had joined Brian. Half hour later a falcon flew over and landed on the southwest corner of the Hyatt Hotel.

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Brian was 99% sure this was the male and it appeared to have a full crop! Dan joined us just before noon and 15 minutes later the tiercel flew off to the west and landed on the east side of the jail roof briefly and left. It would be an hour and a half before we saw another falcon and that falcon would be Unity under the northeast wing. Joyce joined the watch at this point. Unity was walking and bowing and chupping when Kathy spotted the tiercel on the ring of the southwest wing of the Times Square building.

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Dana rejoined us as Unity flew over to Widows Walk and the male turned to look at her there. Kathy and I next saw Unity fly up to the ledge between the northeast and southeast wings one level above the nest box as shown on the next pic.


She flew off soon after going north and the tiercel went right after her. Kathy and I went searching as did Joyce while Dana left to go home. We found Unity on the Xerox roof southwest corner and the male was also on the roof directly above the 5th column south side where, you guessed it, Beauty liked to roost!

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After only a few minutes they both flew back toward the river and Times Square. When we returned to the Broad St. bridge Unity was on the main cam and Donna reported the male was on camera 4 after she went into the nest box. Kathy and I saw Unity fly from there over to the southwest corner of the Hyatt hotel. They both ended up flying northwest out of view and we were unable to find them again before calling it a watch. It was quite a long day for my knee and it was ready for some ice and elevation. Below is the link for a Kodak album for more pics of the day. I bid you a good nite and keep smiling! 🙂


An afternoon spent with CPF birds of prey

Monday, February 20th, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

A bunch of us watchers were invited to go to the Canadian Peregrine Foundations(CPF) barn for a special visit on Saturday afternoon. The weather was a bit dicey when we left Rochester with slippery roads and multiple accidents but once we got to the thruway in Leroy it was smooth sailing. CPF member Tracy Simpson had sent me a message that she had to do some snow plowing but that Big Frank would be at the barn to meet us until she got there.  While we waited I took some pics of the classroom,flight room and  some eggs they had in a refrigerator. The small ones are Kestrel eggs and the large are Great-horned Owl eggs which seemed larger than chicken eggs.

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When Tracy arrived a couple hours after we got there she brought in a young female Peregrine Falcon named Cheyenne. What a beauty and all 7 of us watchers got to hold her! FYI- Lisa was very sick and did not want her picture taken so when she was holding Cheyenne I took only the birds pic. Just so you know!

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She actually hacked up a pellet while I was holding her and I caught it smack dab in the center of my palm! It was very warm and smelly but I was lovin’ it!


Next up Tracy brought in Oscar the 11 year old male Peregrine Falcon. And what a handsome lad he is with his light gray wings. You could definitely see the size difference between he and Cheyenne.

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Last but not least the Great-horned Owl Alex was presented to us. She was a bit in the mood for some love and did a lot of vocalizing and struttin’ her stuff so to speak! Again Tracy let each and every one of us hold her. Just look at the size of those powerful feet! I could not believe the grip this magnificent bird of prey had on my gloved hand. I certainly would not want to mess with one of these guys. They are the arch enemy of the Peregrine.

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Also at the barn we saw a Bald Eagle,Harris Hawk and a very vocal Gyrfalcon named Remington. Mark Nash came by and when we were all done the bunch of us went out to dinner. It was great fun and an experience I will NEVER forget thanks to our good friends at CPF.

Sunday we had planned to do some falcon watching before returning to the states but it wasn’t in the cards for Susan, Joyce and I. We had some issues and were only able to get to the Harlequin site where Quest and Kendal were nowhere to be found. Lisa,Carol,Dana and Kathy joined us after they had seen Linn and Reuben and O’Connor and Hurricane at their respective sites. The 4 of them also saw 1 falcon at the Burlington bridge. We did get to enjoy a pair of Red-tail Hawks that were flying above the Harlequin building and surrounding area. Mark Nash met us there briefly and gave each of us a hand painted porcelain Peregrine Falcon with a hole drilled through the middle so we could put it on a necklace. Very cool stuff! I can’t wait to go back to Canada and see our CPF friends and their falcons! Thank you so much for your kindness and for the opportunity of a lifetime! Below I have links to an album from our visit and a couple videos.  Enjoy and I know they will make you smile as they did me! 🙂



An After Work Falcon Watch – 2/15/12

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

The Falcon Watchers have been thinking this Falcon was Unity ever since watching her eat on the roof in the snow storm over the weekend when I saw the Black over Red band through the scope.  But without a positive ID, we have to be careful about saying for certain it was her. We’ve been wrong before.   Joyce’s pics of the black over red band and the “H” definitely make it more certain that Unity is the Falcon that is currently downtown.  Thanks Joyce!

I decided to go downtown right after work.  We have so little daylight to work with at the end of the day.  I arrived downtown at approximately 4:00 pm and drove around trying to find her.  I ended up back at the Broad St Bridge and turned off my engine and listened.  KAK KAK KAK!  clearly sounded from above.  I looked up and saw a Falcon coming in full speed towards the Times Square Bldg.  She was carrying prey and a big RTH was following her.  She was NOT happy.  She circled back, still KAKKING! and chased the RTH back over the river.  She then flew to the B&L bldg and landed on the SW corner, where she starting eating her dinner.

Unity on B&L

Unity on B&L

You can read the rest of what happened on my evening watch by checking out this KGallery Album, which includes pictures from tonite.  No sign on needed.



Carol P.

Pictures of Pefa from Monday Evening 2-13-2012

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Joyce

See attached album on Picasa for some shots of the female peregrine on Times Square Monday approximately 4:40 pm.


I didn’t see any disheveled feathers. This female looks quite content. It is obvious that this bird has a black over red band. She didn’t show me her other leg, but I’m convinced this looks like Unity. See if you can read the letter on the red part of the band…


An Evening Falcon Watch – 2/14/12

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It was cloudy and it was drizzling.  Kind of icy, kind of snowy, a little of both.  After work daylight is still at a premium.  I arrived on the Broad St Bridge at 5:30 pm, knowing it would be dark in a 1/2 hr.  There was a Falcon on the Times Square Bldg, at the NE wing.  This is directly above the nest box.  Too bad the cameras don’t go that high.

The Falcon kept looking back towards the north east.  Something definitely had her attention.  Kathy O joined me just before the Falcon took off heading, yep you guessed it, north east.

I kept my binoculars trained on her as she flew past the old Changing Scenes Restaurant and over the Andrews St Bridge.  That’s when the attack began.  But it was no regular target.  This bird was big and dark and non-moving.  This was not a bird at all, but a big plastic Great Horned Owl sitting on top of a building on the north side of the Andrews St. Bridge.  The Watchers are very familiar with it.

As I watched, she stooped 5 or 6 times on the unmoving figure and then gave up and flew east. 

By this time it was dark.  Kathy and I did a quick search and then we both headed home.

No pictures tonite due to the weather and darkness.

The Watchers will continue to attempt to get a positive ID on this Falcon.

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