rfalconcam - FalconWatch


Eyes to the Skies

Archive for August, 2012

Falcon Watch (4-8:30 pm) – Orion Bops a Young Red-tailed Hawk and Chases the River Ducks! – 8/31/12

Friday, August 31st, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Oh, I am so looking forward to having three days off and being able to head downtown for some early morning Falcon Watches.  But in the meantime, I am very satisfied with tonight’s watch.  Orion was back home, after being a no show last night.  It was great to see the little guy.  He was so active, flying here and there and everywhere.  Bopping a young Red-tail Hawk (just once) and chasing the river ducks after dark.  This kind of stuff makes for an exciting watch.

The Watchers gathered this evening were Kathy O, Debbie H, Pat, Joyce, Jeanne, Larry O, Joe, Katie & Laura.  We had a lot of fun while watching Orion tonight.

I arrived downtown at 4:00 pm.  As I drove onto Broad St, in front of the Blue Cross Arena, I heard the very loud vocalization of a very young tiercel, from the top of the Times Square Bldg (TSB) at the base of the NE wing.  I immediately pulled my car over and parked in front of the arena.   A quick look at the TSB showed me that Beauty was sitting on the perch in front of the nest box. Now I knew to whom he was speaking.  Beauty kept looking up at her son sitting on the building above her.   Kathy O joined me.

At 4:10 pm, Beauty took off and took a long leisurely stoop over the river in front of the library, where we lost sight of her.  As soon as she left, Orion went silent.  Ten minutes later, Orion took off and followed in the same direction that Beauty had taken.  We watch him fly over the library and circle, as if he were looking for her.  He then continued to circle and flew higher and higher.  Orion ended up on the very top of the elevator shaft of the OCSR.

It wasn’t long after this that the 100’s of gulls on the river rose as one.  They were everywhere, screeching & swirling like white snow flakes on a blizzard’s wind.  Kathy and I had moved out to the Broad St Bridge (BSB) for a better view of the area.  In a way this movement of snow white birds, rising from the river on such a warm day was quite beautiful.  But, we knew there had to be a reason.  It wasn’t Orion, who remained on the OCSR bldg.  After searching the area, we had our answer.  A juvie Red-tailed Hawk was cruising the river and downtown area and the gulls didn’t like it.  Orion just watched, fascinated by the spectacle before him.  His eyes followed the flight of the young RTH as it flew over the B&L bldg and then headed south down the river.  Then he was off!

Oh, it was too much for a young tiercel to ignore!  We watched in amusement as Orion caught up to the soaring RTH quite easily, and gave him a little thump on his back.  That was it.  Nothing more.  The young hawk continued it’s flight and the young falcon flew back towards the downtown area.  We lost sight of Orion behind the Xerox Bldg.  I couldn’t help but be curious about his behavior towards the hawk.  Had he seen mom and dad attack the raptors passing through?  We know he joined in on Beauty’s attack of the 3rd falcon a couple weeks ago.  It was just interesting that he made contact only once and then broke it off.  I’m sure the RTH was very happy about this.  🙂

Debbie H joined us for awhile and Pat walked through on her way to her car.  These two ladies help to keep an eye on the falcons during the day when no Watchers are around, since they worked downtown.  Many thanks to them.

Joyce, Jeanne & Larry O joined Kathy and I.  It was 5:20 pm when two falcons came flying in from the downtown area.  We assumed that it was Orion and Beauty.  They both stooped, chasing each other, behind the OCSR.  Beauty ended up at the base of the SE wing on the TSB and Orion was on the 2nd IBeam down on the south side of OCSR, close to the elevator shaft.

Orion came off of the OCSR IBeam at 6:00 pm and approached the TSB, screaming.  He flew up to Beauty and knocked her off.  Orion then chased Beauty towards the downtown area, still screaming.  lol

Was Beauty starting to provide less food to Orion?  This might explain what we were seeing.  It was probably time for him to start learning to hunt on his own, which I personally believe he is very close to doing successfully.

During the next couple hours, the falcon activity slowed down.  Both Beauty and Orion were somewhere downtown, possibly on the Xerox bldg.  We could seen no flying or movement from them during this time.  Larry O decided to leave at 7:50 pm.  That is, of course, when Orion decided to make an appearance.  He came off of the east side of the Xerox building and flew towards us and over us, heading towards the OCSR.  He flew to the other side of the building and then back over us to the library.  For awhile, we watched him fly here and there, honing his flight skills.  As I and the other Watchers have said many times, he is an awesome flyer.  A joy to watch.  Again we lost sight of him.  It was starting to get dark and most of us had not eaten dinner yet, so at a little bit before 8:00 pm we decided to call it a night, with promises of returning early tomorrow morning. Joyce left and while Kathy O, Jeanne and I were packing our cars, our new Watcher friends Joe, Katie and Laura arrived.

We joined them and chatted for awhile as we watched the many river ducks fly up and over the Broad St Bridge.  This is something that happens after dark and it’s a lot of fun to watch.  Little did we know that this nightly show was going to be disrupted tonight.  We noticed a group of about five ducks head towards us and then veer off over the Blue Cross Arena.  That was different.  They were in panicked flight and we soon knew why.  Orion was right behind them, giving chase.  The ducks continued south and Orion broke off the chase and flew directly over us, very low.  Joe even asked if he was checking us out.  🙂  Orion flew up to Mercury and landed on the base of the statue.  We could barely see him there in the dark.

Twenty minutes later at 8:20 pm, Orion took off again and chased another group of ducks, this time heading north down the river.  He again ended the chase and flew towards the OCSR where we lost sight of him.  Well that was a very interesting end to our evening Falcon Watch!  It was too dark to see much of anything and we hoped that Orion had settled down for the night on the OCSR.  It was time to leave.

I and the other Watchers plan on getting out early tomorrow morning to watch the continuation of young Orion’s Pefa lessons.  Night everyone and remember to keep you eyes to the sky on this Labor Day Weekend!

Oh, and here is a link to an Shutterfly album of pics from tonight if you’re interested.  No sign on needed.  Enjoy!


Beauty at the Nest Box - 8/31/12Orion at the base of the NE wing of the TSB - 8/31/12A Very Busy Orion Tonite - 8/31/12

Falcon Watch (7:00 – 9:00 pm) – Beauty at the Nest Box; Orion and Dot.ca a No Show – 8/30/12

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Tonight I was joined on the Broad St Bridge by Dan S, Larry O, Jeanne and Joyce.  We did have one falcon to watch, Beauty.  There were no appearances by Orion and Dot.ca.  Beauty remained on the nest box perch, then moved to the top of Camera #4.  At the end of the evening, as it got dark, Beauty took off and ended up on her favorite nightly roosting spot on the south side of  Xerox, 5th column in from the SE corner (verified by Joyce).

It seems that Beauty and Dot.ca are taking turns spending time with Orion, tonight it was Dot.ca’s turn.  Where they were, we have no clue.  This gave Beauty a well deserved evening off from the attentions of her young son.

So, not much to report, but I did take a bunch of pictures, as we lost light.  Evening Rochester is a beautiful place that I love sharing with my falcon watching friends and you.  Oh, and tonight it is the night before a Blue Moon!  A 2nd full moon in the month of August on the 31st.  When a haze developed around it, my pictures became very interesting.

If you’d like to take a look, just click on the link below to my Shutterfly album.  No sign on needed.  Enjoy!


Tomorrow it will be a very warm day, with temps near 90 degrees!  I’m sure this will not stop the Rochester Falcon Watchers from being out and about with their eyes to the sky.  I hope to see Orion and Beauty and Dot.ca enjoying the warm evening weather.  Then a long three day weekend.  Woohoo!  Hope you all enjoy the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

Beauty on the Nest Box Perch - 8/30/12Beauty on Camera #4 at the Nest Box - 8/30/12Blue Moon Over Rochester - 8/30/12Watcher's View looking west down Broad St - 8/30/12

Morning WOW watch 8-30-12

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

I met Dan on the Broad St. Bridge(BSB) and he told me that Orion had left his night time roost near the elevator shaft on the 2nd ibeam of OCSR at 6:10am. Falcon watcher friend Lynda joined us just before 7:ooam and Dot.Ca(DC) whom I haven’t seen but once or twice in the last 2 weeks also joined us. He was on the top ibeam of OCSR southeast side.


Some 30 minutes later I heard Orion and looked up to see him chasing Beauty all over the river area. After they were done Beauty landed under the northeast wing and Orion landed on the southeast ledge above where he fledged.


15 minutes later Orion flew off circled Mercury and attempted landing next to mom. Not having enough altitude to land he circled around and made it on his 2nd try and then he ran to the back of the ledge and vanished. I think there was cached food there. Beauty flew off a few minutes later going over to OCSR knocking DC off his ibeam and chased him to the east out of view. A couple minutes later DC flew to the Times Square building(TSB) and joined Orion at the back of the northeast wing out of sight. DebbieH came by at this time. Orion would shoot out from under the wing and land  on the base of Mercury where he was eating a small piece of food. Dan and Deb had to go and it’s too bad cuz they would miss some really good flying by Orion a few minutes later.


Orion stooped straight down into the river chasing a pigeon at the surface of the river and just missed it as it dove into the water to avoid being caught by this upstart young falcon. He then turned his attention on another pigeon with the same ferocity chasing it up out of the river. The speedy Orion wasn’t done yet as he chased everything  in sight at the waters edge. Ducks,pigeons,starlings and he even took a shot at a Great Blue Heron who simply ducked and flew away. The action was so fast and furious I had absolutely no chance to take pics or video unfortunately, but it is etched in my memory bank forever! Beauty had come in just before the show and landed on the top ibeam of OCSR. After he was done Orion flew to the base of Mercury briefly then over to join mom on OCSR. A few minutes later they both flew off  with Beauty going to the nest box next to the main cam and Orion going to the base of Mercury singing to his dad, DC who was on the heel  above him.

img_0433-b img_0430-dc img_0436-orion

DC and Orion took off flying together a few minutes later with Orion landing on the southeast ledge above where he fledged once again and then he took off. Beauty remained by the main cam and Orion landed on the 2nd ibeam of OCSR where he ran back and forth a few times entertaining Lynda and I. He is a one man show I tell ya! lol He wasn’t there for long either as he flew back to the base of Mercury for about 15 minutes and then joined Beauty at the nest box giving those at home on their computers watching the live stream a  treat!

img_0447-poop img_0458-orion

Beauty flew off to the north and a few minutes later Orion followed suit.


I told Lynda they probably went to the Frontier Communications Tower(FCT) so we went over to City Hall to check. As we drove up Orion flew in and landed on the middle beam in the lower red section of the structure on the south side. As I tweeted it out he left and after a thorough search of FCT with no pefa sightings we went back to the BSB.Orion was now on the 2nd ibeam of OCSR west side and Beauty was tucked back under the southeast wing on the TSB. They seemed to be ready for a nap as were Lynda and I after the busy watch we had this morning. We both had to get going so we ended the watch with great big smiles on our faces for what we had witnessed! 🙂

My links are below, just click on them to see pics and videos



Falcon Watch (6-8:30 pm) – All Three Accounted For; Orion, Beauty and Dot.ca – 8/29/12

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

After spending my Watch with Beauty yesterday, it was time for the whole family to make an appearance.  At 6:00 pm, I joined Joyce and Brian on the Broad St Bridge (BSB).  The sun was full in our face, but it felt wonderful.   So I brought out my chair and joined them for the evening Falcon Watch.  Brian pointed out the Green Heron fishing on the north side of the bridge on the river below.  There were also a couple of Kingfishers flying up and down the river chittering to each other.  A couple of Great Blue Herons were out also.  The most patient of our fisher birds.

Oh, you were wondering about our falcons?  Well, of course there were falcons, two to be exact.  Both were on the south side of the OCSR, Dot.ca on the top IBeam and Orion on the 2nd IBeam down.  At 6:40 pm Orion left the OCSR and landed on the Times Square Bldg (TSB) on a ledge below the wings on the south side.  Jeanne & Dan joined us and we all sat back and enjoyed watching Orion jump, skip and hop his way back and forth on the ledge.  At one point it did look like he found a very small scrap of food that he ate.  The young tiercel was hungry.

It wasn’t long before we heard a cry from above.  We looked up just in time to see Orion chasing Beauty, passing over us heading for the Xerox building.  Beauty went behind the building and we were sure that she probably landed, but Orion swung around the building and landed on the NW corner.  He didn’t stay long, flying around to the back of the building and not coming back into sight.  Was he with Beauty?  We waited to see if they would fly again, but they didn’t. We went back to watching the critters on the river.

At 7:3o pm, Dot.ca moved down to the 3rd IBeam down and by 7:40 pm, while we were watching the juvie Black Crown Night Heron fish, Dot.ca was gone.

I decided to call it a night and said my goodbyes, but first I was going to take a trip around the downtown area, hoping to spot our falcons.  I did!  Orion was on top of the shell of what remained of the old Midtown Plaza.  He was eating at the SW corner.  I quickly let the other Watchers know.  I parked in front of the Xerox Bldg where I had a better view of Orion.  But time had run out for any kind of decent pictures.  It was getting dark and the almost full moon was behind me.  I watched until Orion finished his meal and started to hop, skip and jump around the roof of the building he was on.  He really does make me laugh!

Around 8:10 pm Orion took off and I ran down to the corner just in time to see him knock Beauty off of an antenna on a building on the east side of Midtown.  He chased her around a bit and then split off from her.  I saw Beauty fly up to the top of the Xerox bldg, south side, and land on her favorite night roosting spot.  I headed back to the BSB and found Jeanne and Dan still there.  Brian and Joyce had left.  I told them what had happened.  By this time, it was dark.  I looked over at the OCSR and carefully checked the IBeams.  Yep!  There he was!  We could just barely make out Orion on the 2nd IBeam down, tucked into the elevator shaft.  It was night time for Orion and me too!

Time to head home.  On the way home, I did stop at KP, I always do.  I could not find KPT in his normal spots.  Joyce reported that she stopped at the BS location and saw a falcon there that she thought was light in color, so she thought that maybe it was Dot.ca.

It was another beautiful day to spend Falcon Watching with my fellow Falcon Watchers and seeing all three of our downtown falcons was a wonderful thing.  Tomorrow I will definitely be out and about with my eyes to the sky!  Goodnight everyone!

Here is the link to my Shutterfly picture album with some pics from today.  No sign on needed.  Enjoy!


In the last picture of the sun between the wings on the TSB, check out the little bump on the lower ledge on the left side.  That would be Orion. lol

Orion on the Times Square Bldg looking for Scraps - 8/29/12Orion chasing Beauty towards the Xerox Bldg - 8/29/12Orion Eating on the old Midtown Plaza - 8/29/12Sun Wings (TSB) - 8/29/12

Morning watch 8-29-12

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

As I started walking up the Broad St. Bridge(BSB) and got Dan in my sights I noticed the familiar flap of a Peregrine Falcon flying overhead from the east. I yelled to Dan and he grabbed his binocs as did I to watch the Beautyful one fly to the Times Square building(TSB). She came to rest on the southeast column that is one level above where Callidora and Orion took their first flights.


Larry drove up right after and found a falcon on the Frontier Communications Tower(FCT). It was most likely Orion on FCT. Larry O’Heron sure likes finding  herons of any kind  down in the river and every day he looks for them. It may have something to do with his last name! lol This year we have Great Blues,Black-Crowned Night herons and little Green Herons. They are great entertainment during the quiet times of our morning watches together as they hunt and fly in the river below.This pic is for you Larry!


Around 7:00am Beauty flew to the base of Mercury, touched down briefly and flew off to the east where we lost her behind Xerox. Dan and Larry had to leave so I decided to walk east to HSBC to see if Beauty was there. She has always liked hunting off HSBC first thing in the morning and Archer used to join her too. Miss that little guy with his white feather! <3  I ran into DebbieH as she was walking to work from the South Ave. garage where she parks. As soon as HSBC came into view I could see Beauty up on the southwest corner. A Beautyful sight for sure with the sun coming up behind her.

img_0345-beauty-with-the-sun-at-her-back img_0358-b img_0363-beautyful

She didn’t stay too much longer before she flew off headed west. In turn I headed back to the BSB to find where she went. I didn’t see any when I got there so I went up to the top of the South Ave. garage. I could see pretty much every tower and building that the falcons perch on from up there. 10 minutes after I perched myself on the 8th floor of the ramp garage Beauty came in and perched herself on the heel of Mercury.


She then went over to the calf,then back to the heel,back to the calf and finally back to the heel where she stayed put until she left Mercury.


Around 9:30am the Beautyful one took off flying west out of view. A few minutes later I got a text from Donna saying Patsy(Pat who works in Thomson Reuters) could see a falcon on OCSR so I departed the garage to go have a look see. I couldn’t see the west corner from up there so I would need to go down to the BSB. I saw the falcon on the 2nd ibeam west corner and so I went down to the hole for a closer look to ID tho I was pretty sure it was Beauty cuz that’s one of her perching spots. As I started down to Aqueduct St. I spotted something on the southwest column of the TSB. It looked like a pigeon wing sticking up with a possible falcon behind it. I saw a few feathers floating above it as well. I thought perhaps Orion was eating up there but never did get a positive clear pic to prove it no matter where I walked to for different angles.


An hour passed when Beauty disappeared from her spot on OCSR. I didn’t know if she flew off or just went around the corner to the  shaded north side. I ended my watch at this point and walked to my bus stop smiling on the way for having spent the morning with my favorite falcon Beauty! 🙂

Links for my photo album and videos are below-you know what to do







Falcon Watch (4-7 pm) – It Was A Beautiful Evening For a Beauty Watch! – 8/28/12

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

My work day ended and my Falcon Watch began!  Woohoo!  I arrived downtown a little before 4:00 pm.  Took my normal route, which took me by Kodak Office (KO) and the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT) first.  Nothing at either.  I decided to head directly to the Broad St Bridge (BSB) after that.  After parking and facing directly into the sun (facing west), I first spotted a falcon on the top IBeam of the south side of the OCSR.  This falcon had his back to me, so I wasn’t sure who it was.  I next searched the Times Square Bldg (TSB).  Hard to see, but finally I saw that there was a falcon at the base of the NE wing and this was definitely Beauty.  I looked back at the OCSR and saw that this falcon was gone.  Well, darn.  I am really not sure if this was Orion or Dot.ca.  I would see neither during the remainder of my Watch.  This evening, it was all about Beauty.

Beauty remained on the TSB, while I checked out the FCT again and the downtown area.  I was not able to find another falcon.  So, back to the TSB and the continuation of my Beauty Watch.

I decided to park down on Aqueduct St and to walk around the area.  I was over at Falcon Central (the bottom of the stairs from Broad St), when at 6:00 pm, Beauty decided that it was time to stretch and she threw her wings into the air and she was off!  Beauty stooped over the Thompson Reuters bldg and over the river (heading east).  I lost sight of her when she passed over the bldg.  I walked up to the Broad St Bridge, but was too late to see where she ended up.  Back to my car.

It was time for me to check out the downtown area again.  I met up with my Watcher friend Kathy O over at the Geva Theater parking lot and we found Beauty up at the top of the Xerox Bldg on the south side, 5th column in from the NE corner.  This was a favorite spot for her.  A nightly roosting spot in the off-season.  Kathy and I chatted while we kept watch on Beauty, that is until she decided to take off yet again.

At 6:45 pm, Beauty took off, flew around the downtown area for a bit and then headed west, back towards the TSB.  We headed that way too.  The game was afoot!  lol

From the Broad St Bridge, we could see Beauty in Archer’s Nook.  You ask, where is Archer’s Nook and why do I call it that?  That particular spot was a favorite of our dear Archer.  He sat there many times while Jemison and Callidora were readying to fledge, just out of sight of his young ones.  After they left, he would still go there.  Now Beauty has taken to going to Archer’s Nook.  I love seeing her there.  It brings back good memories of Archer.  🙂

So, it was 7:00 pm, and it was time for me to go.  Larry O had arrived and took over the evening watch.  I went home happy that I had spent time with Beauty.  I wondered if Dot.ca had taken Orion out for a lesson, giving Beauty a little bit of time off from her young son.  He is quite the “talon-full”!  Tomorrow, I will return downtown and I will keep my eyes to the sky as always with my fellow Watcher friends, in hope of catching a glimpse of Orion’s continued lessons.

Here is my Shutterfly Album with a few pictures from tonite.  No sign on needed.  Enjoy!


Beauty on the TSB - Wings Up! - 8/28/12Beauty on the TSB - Wings Up! - 8/25/12Beauty in Archer's Nook - 8/28/12Where is Archer's Nook? 8/28/12

Morning watch 8-28-12

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon watcher MAK

Having a vehicle at my disposal for todays watch I had high hopes of finding Pigott over at the Brighton site(BS) so I could get some pics and video to share. It wouldn’t happen for after checking BS twice I had absolutely no sightings of her or Dot.Ca(DC). I was however able to join Dan on the Broad Street Bridge(BSB) at daybreak like I used to do every morning. At about 6:35am Orion provided us with the first view of a Peregrine Falcon by flying in from the east. He mini stooped on a gull as he made his way across the mighty Genesee River and then flew to the Times Square building(TSB) landing on the southeast column above where he took his first flight.


Larry arrived and half hour later Orion took off from the TSB to meet Beauty who was flying in from the east. They flew down river to the north and vanished behind the Radisson and reappeared a minute later. Beauty had a prey item in her talons and Orion on her tail feathers singing for breakfast. Like yesterday morning they both landed on the base of Mercury where Orion tried to be patient waiting for her to dress down her package.


After Dan and Larry left I moved down to the hole where the sun made everything look silhouetted. Orion was having a word with mom obviously saying he was HUNGRY!


Orion flew off toward the river so I went up the stairs at Falcon Watcher Central to the  BSB in time to see him scaring up shore birds in the river and then he returned to Mercury.  DebbieH stopped by on her way to work and right after she left so did Beauty leaving what was left of her meal for Orion. Just as his mom had done, he began pulling feathers before starting to finish it up devouring this tasty treat!

img_0292-beauty Beauty img_0309-o-with-a-mouthful Orion

When Orion was finished he took off to the east out of sight. I checked around the usual places and couldn’t find anyone and that’s when I went to BS for the first time without finding Pigott or DC. I had to go take care of some business but I returned some 3 hours later and still could find no pefas at BS. I then drove downtown and finally found Beauty on OCSR top ibeam on the northeast side in the shade. I stayed about half hour and then it was time to return the vehicle I was driving. Having ended my watch with Beauty in my sights was a good reason to leave smiling! 🙂

Click the links below for a small photo album but lots of videos











Falcon watch 8-27-12

Monday, August 27th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

As I walked from the bus and got past the buildings to bring the statue of Mercury in view I saw the Beautyful one on the base. A great way to start my watch! I then went up on the Broad Street bridge(BSB) with Dan and Larry.  Dan informed me that Beauty had been on the base since 6:17am and that Orion came in with her and flew behind the Thomson Reuters building out of view. 10 minutes passed when Orion came flying in from the east singing like only he can knocking Beauty off the base and they both flew off and returned to the base of Mercury. Beauty either caught breakfast or had it cashed somewhere for we could see feathers flying on the other side where we couldn’t see her. Orion meanwhile was watching her very intently from our side of Mercury.

img_0218-b-first-thing-this-morning img_0221-orion-singing-for-us

Our youngster got bored or impatient and flew off a couple times and came back. Dan and Larry had to leave so I went down to the hole so I could see both of our fine feathered falcons.

img_0227-o-taking-off-on-his-second-short-fly-around img_0234-landing-gear-down img_0237-nope-im-not-looking-at-her

After about 20 minutes I walked down to Aqueduct Park for a different perspective. I could watch Orion all day, he is so entertaining! He would look away and act like he wasn’t interested and then he would turn his head Exorcist style to watch the feathers making me crack up. Then his attention turned to some gulls that were passing overhead as you will see in one of my videos.


Then the battery in my camera expired!  And as I sometimes forget to charge my extra battery the replacement was also low when I put it in my camera. So a few more pics and I was done clicking for the day. They both flew off toward FCT and I followed behind finding Beauty on the tower. Orion came by for a few minutes landing on the platform railing and then he left. I ended my watch and left downtown smiling for having seen ad spent time with my 2 favorite falcons.  🙂

Click the links below for my small photo album and videos







Falcon Watch – Orion, Beauty, DC, Herons, Watchers and a Wink at the Moon for Neil Armstrong – 8/26/12

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

I arrived downtown early this morning (6:30 am), and was joined by Dan S, Dana and Jeanne on the Broad St Bridge (BSB).  There weren’t many falcons to be seen, but the Herons were out on the river in all their colors, Green, Blue, and Black!  During the morning hours, we had a couple flyovers by Beauty and Orion.  We could hear Orion’s cry before we saw them.  He as a great pair of lungs and loves to announce his arrival to all.  lol

The majority of our morning was spent watching two Green Herons, a juvie Black Crowned Night Heron (BCNH) and multiple Great Blue Herons (GBH) and they were all hunting, or fishing in this case.  It was great fun watching the BCNH juvie pluck small silver fish out of the water and lay them, still flipping about, next to him on the concrete barrier.  It was very interesting to watch and we wondered if, unlike the GBH that swallows his fish whole soon after catching it, the BCNH would rather his food be less lively?  Even when there is not a lot of Peregrine activity, we are never bored.  There is always something to watch on the river below us and the sky above.

Dan and Jeanne had to leave and Dana and I were joined by Judy, who saw her first Peregrine last weekend.  Her first TWO Peregrines, Beauty and Orion.  Not a bad start.  🙂  We decided to drive over to the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT) where we found Orion on the top arm and Beauty within the framework below the platform.  It was getting very warm, so I decided to say my goodbyes.

Later during the afternoon, I returned for a quick afternoon Watch and found Beauty on the FCT, below the platform.  I could not find Orion or Dot.ca, so I decided to drive out to the BS location to see if I could find Pigott.  No luck finding her.  After circling the building slowly, twice, I could not see or hear any falcons.  Due to the heat of the day and the lack of falcons to be seen, I went home for a couple hours with plans to come back this evening.

At 7:00 pm, I arrived on the BSB for my evening Watch.  I was soon joined by Dan S, Dana, Lou, Jeanne & Larry O.  Beauty was at the nest box sitting on Cam 4.  She had been there for quite awhile and earlier Dot.ca had joined her for a bit of bowing and ee-chupping in the nest box.  A little bonding between them.  At first it was very quiet, but that was going to change and quickly.

When Jeanne arrived at 7:2o pm, Lou and Dana both spotted a 2nd falcon on the top arm of the jail communication tower, south of the Times Square Bldg (TSB).  So, now we had two falcons to watch!

At 7:40 pm, Dot.ca flew from the jail communication tower and landed on the SW corner of the Xerox Bldg.  Orion then flew in from the SE.  He flew over the library and the river and headed towards the FCT, where he landed on the platform.  Just as I was verifying he was there, DC took off from Xerox and headed south.  When he got past the Frederick Douglas/Susan B Anthony Bridge, he went into, what seemed like an endless stoop!  He folded his wings in against his body and then he dove towards the ground like a rocket!  We all watched breathlessly as he hurtled down, down, down and then pulled out and leveled his flight over the distant treeline, still heading south.  I watched him for a very long time until I could no longer see him.  I do have to wonder if he was heading to the BS location for a visit with Pigott.  He did not return this evening as far as we know.

At 7:50 pm, the Crows started to stream into the city.  Dana and I were just saying that we were surprised that Orion wasn’t chasing the Crows.  That’s when we notice that, in the midst of the Crows was a small, streamlined little Falcon coming in fast!  Yep, you guessed it.  It was Orion and he was ready and willing to play a little bit of tag with his friends the Crows.  We watched him chase one Crow up to the OCSR and both went into a cork screw dive, Orion hot on the Crows tail.  The Crow pulled up just above river and so did Orion, who was off, looking for another victim, I mean playmate! lol  After mixing it up a bit, Orion returned to the TSB and flew behind it.  We did not see him come back around, so we assume he probably landed back behind the TSB somewhere.

During all of this, Beauty watched from the nest box, Cam 4.  At 8:00 pm, she took off and flew over the river, heading east.  We saw her go up behind the Xerox building and we assumed that she may have gone up to the top south side where she like to roost for the night.  She was definitely in no hurry, so we didn’t think she was on a hunt.  Right after she left, more Crows flew through on the south side of the TSB and Orion came back out to play.  He is so tireless in his youth and such a joy to watch.  🙂

We were losing light at 8:20 pm, when we saw Orion fly up to the OCSR.  For about 5 mins, we watched him fly up to windows and Ibeams and veer off at the last minute.  He did this quite a few times before settling on the 3rd Ibeam down on the south side.  I believe he was dragging his feet, or in this case talons, so he didn’t have to go to bed.  Hahaha!  I’ve been seeing him go up to the top Ibeam, but Jeanne told us that he had gone to the 3rd Ibeam a couple evenings ago.  It was hard to see him up there in the dark, but we were able to see him sprint down the length of the Ibeam and finally end up tucked into the elevator shaft.  After waiting a few moments, we believed he was settled in for the night, so we said our good nights to each other.  It was time to head home after another beautiful weekend of Falcon Watching.  This was a weekend of keeping your eyes to the sky, but also down on river below, where so much was going on this weekend.

and just before I left, I looked up at the beautiful moon above us and gave a wink to a lost hero, Neil Armstrong.

Here is a link to some pictures from this weekend.  No sign on needed.


Beauty on Cam 4 at the Nest Box - 8/26/12Dot.ca on the SW Corner of Xerox - 8/26/12Orion on the platfrom on the FCT; evening watch - 8/26/12A Wink to the Moon for the Loss of Neil Armstrong - 8/26/12

Falcon Watch – Orion is Learning His Lessons Well! – 8/25/12

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

I arrived downtown around 7:30 am this morning to join Dana, Dan and Larry O on the Broad St Bridge (BSB).  I was greeted by a “WE HAVE ALL THREE!” by Larry.  Well that was a nice greeting, one I love to hear.  🙂

Beauty was at the nestbox, DC was on the top IBeam of the OCSR and Orion was on the base of the Mercury statue.  The whole little Rochester Falcon family was together this fine Saturday morning.  For about 40 minutes Orion remained on there before he decided it was time to play.  This time it was Dot.ca’s turn.  O took off and flew up to DC, knocking him off of the IBeam.  First they headed north and out of view.  We thought maybe they headed for the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT).  Beauty remained at the nest box on the Times Square Bldg (TSB).  Dan and Larry O said their goodbyes, leaving Dana and I on the BSB.

It wasn’t long before we saw both DC and O flying over the downtown area.  Orion was chasing DC and we were entertained by their mock aerial battles.  Dot.ca was giving his son flying lessons and we were happy to watch.

They again flew out of view and we saw that Beauty had flown out of the nest box (thanks Ei!) and she was now on the 2nd IBeam down.

At 9:15 am, we saw Orion fly in from the east without DC.  He flew over the river, low and down he went!  Splash!  A gull dove into the water, totally submersing itself.  Orion flew on, skimming the river and chasing another gull!  Dana and I watched in amazement as Orion would fly up from the river and stoop. Up and down, up and down.  He would land on the nearby Convention Center Roof for a second, slide down the metal roof and then down to the river again to chase anything that moved down there.  Nothing was safe!  This little tiercel is an incredible flyer.  Has been from day one.  His high speed chases take your breath away.  Impossible to follow with your camera.  For most of it, I would just put the camera down and enjoy watching him.  I truly wish there was a way for you all to view what we saw with our eyes.  It’s impossible to explain it accurately.

When Orion finished, he again took off, heading north towards the FCT.  Kathy O joined us for a short time and told us that Beauty was still on the OCSR, she had just moved around to the other side.  We think it was DC who then flew in and landed on the base of the NE wing of the TSB and then to the jail tower.

Twenty minutes later, Orion returned.  He started to dive towards the river when a Pigeon caught his attention!  The Pigeon skimmed over the top of the BSB with Orion coming in supersonic from behind.  Orion easily caught up to the Pigeon and knocked it down from above, actually hit it.  Orion followed it down, just in front of the Blue Cross Arena.  It was the Pigeon’s lucky day.  I saw it go down towards the river and fly back under the bridge.  Orion continued down the river and pulled up, just before the Court St Bridge.  He circled back, but the Pigeon had made its escape.  Orion headed towards the OCSR and landed on the windows on the disk above.  He then started to run around the perimeter of the disk.

Orion then took off and landed at the base of the SE wing on the TSB.  He ran (he is always running!  lol) to the base of the wing and pulled out a tidbit of food that he ate up there.  Jeanne joined us.  It must have been pretty substantial, because it took him awhile to finish his meal.  When he was done, Orion took off heading north.  We drove over to the FCT, but we could not find him.  We decided it was a good time to head home for lunch, with a promise to return later.  The heat was getting to everyone on this late August day.

When I was getting ready to go, Kathy joined me and we decided to head down to the pedestrian bridge and High Falls, just to make sure Orion had not headed over there.  We didn’t find any Peregrines, but we did get to watch a juvie Red-tailed Hawk and his mom flying over the gorge.  We even saw the young hawk land in the falcon sucking tree (guess it sucks in hawks too!), the bowed tree and the Genesee Brewery Bldg.  So much fun to watch!  Then a Kestrel flew in and I saw him chase a butterfly, catch it for a few seconds and then release it!  Wow!  Never saw that before.  The young RTH took off and flew over the bridge towards the High Falls and the Kestrel followed, stooping on the much larger bird, doing no harm.  Finally the RTH left and so did the Kestrel.  It was hot out there and no place to get any kind of shade, so we didn’t stay any longer, but it was great fun watching from there.

Later, I arrived downtown to join Kathy O on the Broad St Bridge around 5:00 pm.  There were no falcons in sight at first.  Finally we saw Orion and DC flying above Xerox.  We saw one of them head towards the FCT but lost the other one.  So, we headed over to the FCT, where we were joined by Dana and Lou.  DC was on the top arm of FCT, Beauty was below the platform and I could hear, but not see O, somewhere hidden in the framework.  We received a text from Jeanne that she, Dan, Carrie and Shaky were on the BSB.

I had to leave at 8:00 pm, and I was happy to get Jeanne’s text that at 8:20 pm, Orion was back up on the top IBeam of the OCSR, next to the elevator shaft, his nighttime roosting spot.

What an incredible day for watching our Falcons fly high and low over the downtown area.  Orion is continuing to learn from his parents how to learn to survive when it’s his turn to leave Rochester and hopefully find a mate of his own and raise young.  I truly hope that we hear about this feisty little tiercel in the future.  In the meantime, I know that I will keep my eyes to the sky in hopes of seeing Orion continue to master the skies above Rochester.

Oh, and before I forget.  I received a phone call from our friend Ginha this afternoon.  She and Dave had made their way downtown for a short visit.  They didn’t find any falcons, but they were very happy to check out the area.  She said to say hi to everyone!

Remember to click on a picture twice, if you would like to see it in a larger format.

Orion on base of Mercury Statue - 8/25/12Orion on base of Mercury Statue - 8/25/12Orion Stretches! - 8/25/12Orion Poops!  :-) - 8/25/12

Orion Flying above OCSR - 8/25/12Orion flying over Convention Ctr after dunking gull - 8/25/12Orion flying over river - 8/25/12Beauty on the FCT - 8/25/12Dot.ca on the FCT - 8/25/12

Sponsored By

Times Square
powered by Shakymon