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Eyes to the Skies

Archive for March, 2012

Almost Full Moon Rises Over an Evening Falcon Watch 3/5/12

Monday, March 5th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

I was oh, so sick of being sick!  Leave it to me to get a flu bug that wasn’t covered by the flu shot we all received.  I needed some fresh air and I needed to see a falcon!

I arrived downtown around 5:30 pm, knowing I didn’t have a whole lot of time before it got dark.  The moon was already large in the sky, and the bright sun was dipping lower and lower.

As I drove up to the Broad St Bridge, I was greeted by the unknown Tiercel flying towards me with a nice bloody tidbit grasped in his big yellow talons.  He flew over and up towards the Times Square Bldg. (TSB)  I quickly turned my car around and had the full force of the sun directly in my eyes.  I found a spot closer to the TSB where I had a little protection from the sun and saw that the Tiercel had landed on the same level as the nest box, but on the south side of the building.  This is where Jemison had made his first little jump, hop, flight.

To get a better view, I drove down onto Aqueduct St.  Unity flew in and landed on the same ledge as the Tiercel.  I couldn’t see if she actually took the offering of prey from the Tiercel, but I’m pretty sure that she did, and now she was out of sight.

After awhile, she flew off the TSB and landed on Mercury’s outstretched hand/money bag.  The almost full moon was behind the statue and I moved around until…..

Unity and the Moon - 3/5/12

Unity and the Moon - 3/5/12

I just love taking, as my good friend Lou would say, Artsy-Fartsy shots.  🙂

Unity and the Moon - 3/5/12

Unity and the Moon - 3/5/12

Unity and the Moon - 3/5/12

Unity and the Moon - 3/5/12

 The Tiercel flew off of the TSB and did all kinds of fancy flying over the river, back to TSB, zipped by her and flew towards the buildings on the east side of the river and zipped back.  He was putting on quite a nice show for her.

The Tiercel flew back to the TSB and landed under the SE wing.  Unity came off of the Mercury statue and flew towards the TSB, landing on the platform in front of the nest box.  She disappeared from view, ducking into the nest box and for the next 5-10 mins, she ee-chupped from inside the nest box, while the Tiercel again started his fancy flying.  He flew out from the building, over the river and zoomed by the front of the nest box.  You’ve got to give this guy an “A for Effort!”.

Unity and the Moon - 3/5/12

Unity and the Moon - 3/5/12

As the light faded, one of the falcons (I’m not sure which one) kept making short flights around the TSB and landing at different spots all along the back section.  Off and on, off and on.  Something I haven’t seen before.  I was joined by Kathy O. after it quieted down.

Before it got too dark, I did see a falcon fly in from the north, land for a very short time on the north end of the well wall (at the nest box) and then fly over to the north side of the back section of the TSB.  S/he landed on top of one of the last columns at the west end.  Very hard to explain.  I’ll have to take a picture the next time I’m there in the daylight and point it out.  Was this one of their night time roosting spots.

Stay tuned!

Falcon watch 3-4-12

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

It’s been great having wheels the last 4 days to get out and about. My main activity was you guessed it FALCON WATCHING! They are my passion and I love them like nothing else in my life! Yesterday was filled with wind and today snow but I  enjoyed being out in it and thankfully so did Unity. My first sighting of her was on Beautys’ favorite morning perch – the money bag hand of Mercury.

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Oh and did I mention she was whining!  This girl is a whiner for sure! I thought maybe the Mr was near hence the vocalizing but on this day he was absent. It was all Unity all day! I was watching her from the hole(Aqueduct St.) when she started whining just before taking off  in the direction of Xerox. I quickly lost sight of her as the Thomson Reuters building was in the way. A common problem when you’re in the hole. I took some pics so you can see what I mean about being surrounded by buildings when you’re watching from Aqueduct St. They are in an album at the end of my report. With a lull in the action I decided to get breakfast and as I came back to the van I ran into Larry and Cleo at Aqueduct park. As I drove away I saw Cleo on her back rolling in the snow. lol I parked on the Broad St. bridge and Larry came by saying he would check over on the east side near Xerox for Unity on his way home. It started to snow with sleet mixed in. As I looked at the Times Square building I noticed a bump on the ledge one level below the nest box. I thought it was Mr until I went to the parking lot between the Wilder building and the Phillipone building off Aqueduct St. and got closer pics. After zooming and closer inspection I determined that it was Unity. The snow and dark conditions sure do try ones patience.


I returned to the bridge as Unity was staying put and Dana showed up to watch with me. We chatted on the sidewalk until the snow intensified driving us into our vehicles. About 45 minutes later Joyce and Brian stopped for a few minutes on their way to look for the Irondequoit eagles and owls at Braddocks Bay State Park. As they arrived Unity flew off toward Midtown. They left and Dana said she’d go check Midtown while I remained on the bridge. Dana tweeted that she had Unity on the south side of Midtown and so I beat feet over there. I’ve never seen a falcon on Midtown before so I was anxious to see her.


Unity left heading east and Dana found her under the southeast wing of Times Square.  She left there and flew to Mercury after quite a while.

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I got the approach,landing and the take off!

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Again she went east somewhere that neither Dana or I could find her and after driving around looking and looking for Unity or Mr I found an empty spot on the Broad St. bridge and parked it. Dana didn’t have the same luck as she drove by 2 times and eventually called it quits for the day. Joyce and Brian stopped by on their way back from their little jaunt for a few more minutes. They were successful in finding the eagle pair but not the owls although they did see some ducks to add to the 2012 bird list. We all ended up down in the parking lot by Aqueduct street when Unity came in and landed on the main cam. They left and Unity walked down the cam and hopped off. That was the last I saw of her as I had to get the van back to my friend Tesa thus ending my watch. It surely was great having my freedom again by having a vehicle at my disposal. I’ve missed going downtown in the early morning hours before it gets too busy. In the last few days I have done a whole lot of smiling thanks to good friends! 🙂

Check out my album for many more pics of the day.


Falcon watch 3-3-12

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

When I first arrived downtown somewhere between 6:30 and 7:00am I received a text from Donna that Unity had visited the nest box around 6:10am. So she had snuck in before ol’ MAK got there! Must have been the strong winds that blew her in! lol About an hour into my watch LarryO and his faithful canine Cleo joined me on the Broad St. bridge. He spotted a falcon flying in from the east and right to the nest box. It was at this time Donna reported that both Unity and the Mr were at the nest box and possibly bowing was involved. Larry and I looked at each other like huh we only saw one go up there. Oh well you can’t win them all! Larry saw one leave and disappear behind the Times Square building so he left to go find it while I remained. Unity showed herself next to the main cam.


Larry returned and stood by me as I was in the van and we both managed to miss Unity leave. She probably caught a tail wind and poof she was gone! The wind kept trying to blow Larry down the street, I think he actually grabbed hold of my door a couple times. He finally had enough and decided to go. I can’t remember the last time I saw him but he’s looking healthy. As i was waiting for a falcon or two to show up I took pics of first some crows and then some pigeons on the roof of the Blue Cross Arena. You’ll find them in my album at the end of this report. KathyO came along a little over an hour later.  We took a ride to see what we could see and when we returned there was nowhere to park so we went up on the roof of the South Ave. garage. Nearly 3 hours since Unity had left the nest box area she returned to it landing on the main cam.


Kathy wanted to get going so I dropped her off at her car took a quick run around the city stopping at high falls before going home to get something to eat. As I was just getting ready to go back downtown I got a text from Donna that a falcon was on the nest ledge but when I got there it was gone. With nowhere to park because of high school basketball taking place at the Blue Cross Arena I was forced to go down in the hole (my name for Aqueduct St.) because you’re surrounded by buildings. Your view is very limited there but at this particular time it worked out well for I spotted Unity up on the southeast corner of the Wilder building and she had prey. Feathers were flying but they weren’t coming down rather they were wind blown up and out probably landing in the next county or maybe even Emerald City along with Toto too! lol

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She was having some difficulty holding on to the prey without getting blown off that corner so I shot a video to show her struggle. Every once in a while she would whine and I thought that perhaps Mr was near by where I couldn’t see him. This gorgeous girl eventually quit eating and flew off with her stash. After she cached it somewhere she  showed up at the nest box as reported by Donna.


Suddenly I saw a falcon flying above the Times Square building and then it was joined by another and so I assumed it was Unity and the Mr. Donna texted me that Unity was still in the nest area. My first thought was Archer has returned and when I lost sight of them behind buildings I panicked not knowing if I was going to find them fighting when I surfaced from the hole. As I was walking around down there looking for them I decided that was it I had to get out to where I could see more. With no where to park I decided to return to the South Ave. garage where I had a good view of the downtown sky and tops of buildings. Having arrived on top I got a text from Donna saying that she thought the timing of the still cam and my tweet that I saw 2 flying was off a bit and that it was probably Unity flying with him after all. By this time I was shaking and wanting to be sure there wasn’t a 3rd pefa. I soon spotted Mr on the 2nd ibeam of OCSR southeast side. And then I noticed a falcon flying up to the nest box. It turned out to be Unity and I wasn’t seeing any other falcons. Phew the crisis was over!

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Mr flew over and joined Unity landing next to cam 4 I was told there was echupping and then he left never to be seen again. I remained on top of the garage until just before dusk watching Unity sitting on the nest box ledge looking quite dominant having taken over this place where Beauty and Archer had brought up Callidora and Jemison. I couldn’t help but wonder what the near future holds for our Rochester falcons as Unity flew off to the northeast and out of sight. This would end my watch for today. I pray for a happy outcome that we can all smile about! 🙂

Please click on the links below for video and more pics from the days events.



Falcon watch 3-2-12

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

I arrived downtown about 6:30am today and I left about 6:10 pm. I wanted to make sure if there was any trouble someone was around to help since Archer is due back soon. The day started dark and dreary but the sun eventually shone. Half  hour  into my watch I spotted a falcon up on the roof of Xerox west side. I grabbed my camera and as I clicked the falcon flew off.


Another 30 minutes passed before I saw Unity on the money bag hand of Mercury. DebbieH had joined me on her way to work and was thrilled to see a falcon.

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I had an appointment in the Sibley building which took longer than expected so when I was done I grabbed some lunch. On my way down Lake Ave. I saw pigeons scattering in every direction so I pulled onto White street and sure enough I spotted a falcon flying above the frenzied Rock Doves. It never stooped on them but you’d never know from the way they were carrying on. I lost sight of it and continued on to the downtown area. On Broad St. bridge I noticed Mr on top of the nest box for a brief moment and then he was gone. I then saw Unity on the money bag hand of Mercury again.

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The pic above of Unity is her watching Mr approach and then he flew by her with blazing speed almost touching her. She flew to the nestbox and he landed on the money bag hand. A first for him that I know of.

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DebbieH walked over for her lunch break to see both falcons before Mr flew to the east in a big hurry. Unity left the nest box and followed him. I think they may have been chasing a hawk out of the territory for when I drove over to the area where they were headed I found a hawk flying after some pigeons and landing on the roof of a building.


When I returned to the bridge  I saw a falcon next to the main cam which Donna told me was the Mr and then he vanished.


It would be 2 hours before I had another sighting when I spotted Unity flying above and around the OCSR building 2 or 3 times before landing under the northeast wing of the Times Square building. She left very soon after and I sat another hour and a half with no pefa to share space with until Unity showed up at the nest box for the last visit of the day there.

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I put my camera away for the daylight was fading fast. Unity flew out and joined Mr above Xerox where they flew above and around it several times landing on the roof near the southwest corner. I walked down by the library to see them better and then one of them flew off circling several more times before landing on the northwest corner. This falcon flew off across the river and circled above the OCSR building going higher and higher until I lost sight of it. The time was 5:30pm and it would be my last look. I was about to call it a watch when KathyO showed up. We sat in the van and chatted for a while and then we went our separate ways. Ya know what makes me smile? A whole day of falcon watching!!! 🙂

To see more pics of the day click on the link below and enjoy!


Falcon watch 3-1-12

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

By Rochester falcon watcher MAK

Well folks looks like I’ll be out falcon watching through Sunday for my friend Tesa has given me use of her minivan until then. Yeeha! Bright and early this morning as I parked on the Broad St. bridge facing the Times Square building I thought I saw a falcon fly near the nest box. 10 minutes later after a quick ride around the block and back I could see Unity on top of cam 1. Donna informed me that she was on top of the main cam and then hopped over to cam 1.

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I managed to barely see the tail feathers of Mr. hanging off the ledge of the northeast wing on the Times Square building. Donna texted me and said she could hear him whining on the live stream. I then drove down to Aqueduct St. to see him better but he had left while I was in transit. Next thing I knew Unity was flying above OCSR circling around the back  and ending up under the northeast wing on Times Square.

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She flew off while I wasn’t looking and after searching for 45 minutes without finding her I left to take care of some business.

Ok I’m back and it’s 4:15.  Unity was at the nest box and Mr. was on the ledge one level up from the nest box.

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Mr. flew down to a ledge one level below nest box for only about 30 seconds and then he was off to the OCSR building top ibeam southeast side. And Unity remained in the nest box.

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Apparently as told to me by camera watcher Donna ,when I wasn’t paying attention Mr. joined Unity over near the nest box for less than a minute then took off with Unity right after him. She also informed me at the time that birdgirl814 who works in the OCSR building southwest side on the 11 th floor wanted to meet me. So Donna arranged for us to meet on the bridge. Her real name is Katie and she’s been lurking since 2001 when Mariah and Kaver had their nest box at Kodak. It was a pleasure talking to her and I look forward to seeing her posting on the forum and joining us watchers on the street. It will make her smile I guarantee it! 🙂

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