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Archive for November, 2012

An Evening Falcon Watch (3:45 – 5 pm) 11/9/12 – Beauty & Dot.ca

Friday, November 9th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Still no KPF at KP.  The Watchers will be keeping an eye out for her.  Maybe she has migrated.

I only stayed downtown for about an hour tonight.  It was very cloudy and by 5:00 pm, it was already getting dark.  My first stop was the Andrews St Bridge.  From there, I could see a falcon on Mercury’s money bag hand.  That was 3 nights in a row.  I thought it might be Beauty again, but after checking out the area, I found a 2nd falcon on the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT) underneath the platform on the SE corner box.  I took a quick pic of this falcon and then went to take a picture of the one on Mercury.  Of course that falcon was gone.

I am fairly certain that the falcon I saw on Mercury was Dot.ca and the falcon on the FCT was Beauty.

First I drove all over the downtown area and could not find where Dot.ca went and since I didn’t see him take off, I don’t know what direction he headed in.  Having no luck finding Dot.ca, I drove over to City Hall for a closer look at Beauty on FCT.

At a little after 4:00 pm Joyce had texted that she was over at the BS location and reported the following “At BS again.  No falcons here, but trees filling up with Crows before they continue to their roost.”

Crows were streaming into the downtown area, but they seemed to be staying west of the FCT.  There were 1,000s of them.  None came in to investigate Beauty while I was there.

She remained in the same spot until about 5 pm, when I was getting ready to leave.  Of course.  lol  Beauty took off, stooping to the west.  I lost sight of her pretty quickly, but she returned to the FCT and landed on the SE corner of the platform.  Again she settled down, so I decided to head home.

Here are some pictures from my evening watch.  Remember to click on the picture if you’d like to see a larger version.

Beauty on Frontier Communication TowerBeauty on Frontier Communication TowerBeauty on Frontier Communication TowerMercury After Falcon Left

An Evening Falcon Watch (3:45 – 5:20 pm) 11/8/12 – Beauty on Mercury

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

For the 2nd evening in a row, Beauty was up on the upthrust money bag hand of the Mercury statue.  I spotted her from the Andrew St Bridge.  Next stop Aqueduct St. aka the hole.  That vantage point would give me a good view with what was left of the sun behind me.  I parked in the same spot I parked in last night.  While I was taking pictures, I heard a familiar voice yelling my name.  Joyce had joined me.  We chatted for a little while, before Joyce decided to check out the BS location, while I remained downtown with Beauty.  We didn’t have long before dark and this way we could cover both locations.  I had checked Kodak Park a couple times today with no luck finding KPF.

After awhile, Joyce texted that she had spotted Pigott, but not Dot.ca.  Wonder where he was tonight.  Probably somewhere nearby.  We were just missing seeing him.

There was one thing missing this evening, well 1,000’s actually.  Not one Crow passed overhead while I was there.  Joyce reported that there were lots of Crows out at the BS location heading towards downtown from the south.  Where were the Crows I saw last night that came in from the West.  Maybe they were late and I missed seeing them.  Interesting.

There isn’t much more to report.  The whole time I was there, Beauty remained on the Mercury statue, preening, stretching and pooping.  Doing what Peregrines do.  🙂

I wanted to see where she went after dark and I wasn’t disappointed.  It was already dark at 5:2o pm.  That’s when she took off heading north.  I watched her as she flew towards the OCSR and directly up into the elevator shaft on the east side of the building.  I had wondered if that was where she went last night too.  I’m not sure if she is staying in there overnight or if she’s caching food up there like Mariah and Kaver used to do.  This was the 3rd time I’ve seen Beauty go up there in the past week.  Note to Watchers:  If you can’t find Beauty, check the elevator shaft.

Here area a few pictures from this evening.  Remember to click on the picture if you’d like to see it in a larger format.


An Evening Falcon Watch (3:45 – 5:15 pm) Beauty & the Crows – 11/7/12

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Now that Daylight Savings Time has ended, it’s lighter earlier in the morning, but gets dark muck quicker at night.  I used to have until between 6 and 6:30pm before it got dark.  Now it’s getting dark between 5 and 5:30 pm.  Oh, well, I have to make due with the time I have.  I first checked out Kodak Park to see if I could find KPF.  I looked at both sides of the building and could not find her anywhere.  I had checked early this morning and during the afternoon and did not see any falcons.  Just a Red-tail Hawk and a bunch of panicky pigeons.  I decided to check on Beauty and the downtown area next.

Nothing at Kodak Office or the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT) or the OCSR or Times Square Bldg (TSB) or Jail Comm Tower.  Where could the falcons be.  Just I settled on the Broad St Bridge (BSB), I saw a falcon fly out from behind the TSB, heading very quickly towards the Cornhill area, south of the TSB.  I lost sight of that falcon and started looking around the area.  A falcon flew towards the FCT and looked like it was going to land on the OCSR.  At the last second the falcon veered off and headed towards the Mercury statue, landing on the money bag hand of the outstretched arm.  I quickly texted that out just in case other Watchers were out and about.

Beauty on Mercury

I wasn’t at the best angle, so I drove down to Aqueduct St (aka the hole) and parked my car where I had a decent view of Beauty and the Mercury statue.  She had her back to me, but this would have to do.  I was already losing light and it was very, very cold.  I wasn’t dressed properly for the conditions, having come straight from work.  I took turns getting out of my car for a few moments of picture taking and then jumping back in to warm up.  For the hour or so I was there, Beauty remained on Mercury, until I left at 5:15 pm.

During that time, 1,000’s of Crows were streaming into the downtown area from the west.  They passed over the TSB and Beauty and I.  Cawing loudly to announce their arrival, as Crows do.  They are not shy.  Interestingly, I noticed that about a half dozen of them broke ranks and bee-lined for a closer look at Beauty who just watched them from her perch.  They didn’t come too close (smart Crows), just a bit of a look see.  Now if Beauty had been a Red-tail Hawk, they would have probably swarmed her.

I have rarely seen Crows outright attack an adult Peregrine Falcon.  Once when I was watching Mariah, who was up on the Kodak Tower, about 6 Crows decided it would be fun to mouth off to her.  They landed on the catwalk of the north stack and looked up at her.  CAW CAW CAW!  Mariah would just give them her trade mark fierce look.  They would look a bit nervous and then start CAWING at her again.  This went on for about 5-10 minutes before Mariah had enough.  She took off from the top of the tower and stooped directly at the Crows who all took off in different directions.  She chased them out of the area and then resumed her spot on her tower where it was now quiet.  I had a good chuckle after witnessing that.  🙂

I have also witnessed them going after a young, newly fledged Peregrine and watched the adults chase the Crows away.

Crows Streaming into Downtown from the West

Crows Streaming into Downtown from the West

So, was it curiosity on the part of the Crows that they checked Beauty out?  Realizing that she was a Peregrine, did they decide it was better to just leave her alone?  More interesting behavior to consider.

Beauty on the Mercury Statue

Beauty on the Mercury StatueBeauty on the Mercury StatueBeauty on the Mercury Statue

For the remainder of the hour, as it got darker, Beauty remained on the Mercury statue.  I decided to leave at 5:15 pm and just as I was pulling out of the parking lot, Beauty took off and flew towards OCSR.  I looked on the south side and could not find her.  It almost looked like she either flew over to the south side or up into the elevator shaft.  I am starting to think that she might be spending more time up there.  It is a very sheltered spot that has been used by most of the Rochester Falcons over the years.

This was my view tonight.  Please click on the pictures if you would like to see a larger version.

My View of Beauty on the Mercury Statue

A Sunday Afternoon Falcon Watch (12:45 – 4:15 pm) – 11/4/11

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It actually snowed in Rochester this morning!  It was cold, windy and snowing on and off, with just a little bit of sunshine mixed in.  I arrived at KP at 12:45 pm.  After searching the area, I couldn’t find any falcons.  It has been awhile since anyone has seen KPF and I’m starting to wonder if she might have migrated.  Only time will tell.  It’s hit or miss seeing her anyway, so my timing might just be off.  I’ll keep looking.  I was greeted by two Crows, a Kestrel, a Red-tail Hawk and a beautiful, Mockingbird.  He was in one of the trees near the parking lot we are allowed to use while checking out the KP area.  I do love Mockingbirds.  🙂  It was snowing and sleeting like crazy, when I first arrived, but finally stopped by the time left.

Mockingbird at KP

This morning I read Larry O’s texts that between 8:40 – 9:10 am he had both Beauty and Dot.ca downtown.  My next stop was downtown Rochester to look for our resident Pefas (Peregrine Falcons) Beauty and Dot.ca.  I checked all over the downtown area, but was unable to find any falcons.  At 2:00 pm, I decided to head over to the BS location to see if I could find Pigott.

I did find Pigott pretty quickly.  She was on the vent on the south side of the building and her crop was huge, evidence of a recent meal.  After about 1o minutes, I heard kakking and it wasn’t coming from Pigott.  Suddenly, Dot.ca arrived, landing on the SE corner of the building.  Kak kak kak kak!  Caw caw caw caw!  Crows were everywhere and they weren’t happy with Dot.ca.  We all know that DC does not like Crows, well evidently they do not like him either.  Have you ever heard the ratchety call a crow makes?  Not the normal CAW!  Well, I was hearing a lot of that as they flew over DC’s position.  Larry O joined me for awhile and then he left to check out the downtown area.

Pigott at BS

Dot.ca at BSPigott at BS

The woods to the south of  the building were filled with Crows and they made sure that everyone withing a 50 mile radius knew they were there.  Ok, maybe not 50 miles, but they sure were loud.  🙂

There are two apple trees just south of where I had parked my car, with a few apples left on them.  One tree had red apples and one had yellow apples.  The Crows decided that these remaining apples would make a nice late afternoon treat.  Several dozen Crows flew into the trees and started jumping on the branches, shaking them until quite a few of the apples dropped to the ground.  Other Crows had landed under the trees and looked up expectantly.  When an apple fell to the ground, 2 or 3 Crows would share it, taking turns taking bites of apple and swallowing it.  If the apple wouldn’t drop, the Crows in the tree would stand either on it or under it and eat the apple right there.  It was quite amazing to watch.

Crow eating apples in a tree at BS

After awhile, the Crows got louder (if that was possible) and started to fly back towards the wooded area.  It was like something scared them.  I looked up at the building to see if either Pigott or Dot.ca had taken off, but they were still there, watching the activity below them.  Then I finally saw what was causing the mass exodus.  An absolutely gorgeous deer came strutting out of the woods towards the apple trees.  His antlered head held high, watching the 100’s of large black birds flying around him.  He made his way over to the dropped apples and one by one picked them up and chewed until he was able to swallow them.  I watched him eat about 5 or 6 apples before he turned around and went back into the woods.  Wow!  this was all new behavior to me.  I loved seeing this.

Apple eating deer at BS

While I was watching the Crows and the deer, Pigott had taken off, flew past Dot.ca and back to the opposite end of the vent.  That was the only flying I got to see today.  It was then that I noticed that her whole lower front was covered in blood, more evidence of her recent meal.  Don’t worry, it was the prey’s blood, not hers.  She was fine.  I’ve seen my share of this kind of thing.  Bibs would be good.  🙂  At 3:2o pm, Larry texted that he had Beauty on the Mercury statue downtown.  Well, I really wanted to see Beauty, so I decided to leave Pigott & Dot.ca to check on her.

Pigott on the west side of the vent at BSPigott on the east side of the vent at BS

So off to downtown I went.  My first stop was the Broad St Bridge to see if Beauty was still on the Mercury statue.  Well there were birds on the statue, but they weren’t Peregrine Falcons.  Mercury was covered by a dozen Starlings!  Could Larry have mistaken them for Beauty?  Hmmmm! (This is meant to be humorous.)

Starlings on Mercury Downtown Rochester

I drove further out onto the bridge and turned my car around so I was facing the Times Square Bldg.  There she was!  Up on the base of the SE wing with her back to me.  I went down to Aqueduct St where I would have a better view.  Beauty was all poofed out against the very cold air and her head was tucked under her wing.  She was dozing up there.

Beauty on the TSB on the base of the SE WingTSB Beauty & Nest Box Location

I stayed for a little while, watching the sleeping Beauty.  All was peaceful here, so I decided to call it a day.

On my way home, I drove through KP one last time and again had no luck finding any falcons.

It was time to go home and warm up!


Evening Falcon Watch in the Rain (4-6pm) – 11/2/12

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

After a long day at work, it was time to go out and check on the falcons.  I checked out the KP area a little before 4 pm.  I had no luck finding KPF.  It was very cold and it was starting to rain, so I decided to head downtown.

I first checked the Kodak Tower and then the Frontier Communication Tower, no falcons seen.  My next stop was the Andrew St Bridge (ASB) to get a look at the north side of the buildings.  After parking my car, I noticed two falcons flying around the OCSR.  It was Beauty and Dot.ca and they were flying together back and forth.  Passing each other and then coming apart again.  Beauty flew up into the elevator shaft and Dot.ca flew around to the north side of the building and landed on the top IBeam at the north corner.  Beauty flew out of the elevator shaft, past Dot.ca and then around to the south side.  I waited to see if she would come back around, but she didn’t.

A few minutes later, Dot.ca took off.  He flew over me heading north towards the brewery where I lost him.  He was in a hurry, wings beating quickly.  Again I waited to see if he would return and he didn’t.  It was time to check on Beauty.  I drove over to the Broad St Bridge and found her up on the top IBeam on OCSR on the south corner.  It was really hard to see her in the rain, especially since she was facing the building most of the time I was there.

Dot.ca on OCSR North Side

Beauty on OCSR South Side

I decided it was time to check on Pigott at the BS location.  I quickly found her on the south side of the building and guess who was there with her?  You guessed right!  Dot.ca had joined her.  He sure does get around!

Pigott took off and flew back and forth in front of Dot.ca.  She then came back to the building and landed on the east end of the vent.  Dot.ca took off and they both flew around to the north side of the building and quickly returned to the south side.  Pigott landed on the west end of the vent and Dot.ca landed on the roof above the east end of the vent.  Pigott then ran across the top of the vent so that she was right below him.

Pigott at the BS Location South Side

Dot.ca at BS Location South SidePigott Landing on the Vent at BSDot.ca Taking Off to Join Pigott at BSPigott on Vent & Dot.ca on Roof at BSPigott on Vent & Dot.ca on Roof at BS

At 6:00 pm, it was dark, cold and rainy, so I decided to leave.  But, on the way home, I checked KP one more time.  I saw no falcons, but I did see the beautiful red fox that lives there.

Tomorrow is supposed to be more rain on and off, but sun is being forecast for Sunday.  I can hardly wait.  Oh, and remember that Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday.  Always nice to gain an hour.  🙂

One last picture.  I took this one last weekend.  Here are the new residents of the Kodak Tower.  REMEMBER TO CLICK ON THE PICTURES IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE A LARGER VERSION.

The New Residents at the Kodak Tower

Morning watch 11-1-12

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

Well on this first day of November which is usually the dreariest month of the year around here, it certainly lived up to that statement as dark,dismal and rainy conditions were the story this morning. Add to that the fact that I never found Beauty until the 4th hour of my watch and you have the makings of a dark,dismal mood for this watcher! I gave up on finding our Beautyful girl after searching for an hour thus trying my luck over at the Brighton site. It turned out to work in my favor as I found Dot.Ca on the west end of the vent in the back of the building.


He spent a lot of the time I observed him looking up. I don’t know if he was scanning the sky for Pigott or prey for I didn’t see anything above him with my mere human eyes! Less than 5 minutes after I found him Dot.Ca dove off the vent and in a flash flew as fast as I’ve ever seen a falcon fly to the south and quickly left my field of vision. I had gotten a take off shot but he was so amazingly fast that it was nothing but a blur and impossible to determine that it was a falcon! 5 minutes later he returned and came to rest on a south east corner.

img_1604-dc img_1610-dc img_1611-dc

He was  looking up from this perch as well! He graced me with his presence for about 20 minutes and then he left again. I waited for a few minutes to see if he would come back but he did not, so I returned to downtown to try and find Beauty. She sure was messing with old MAK today as I drove around the city many times searching for her. After an hour I went over to the Pont de Rennes pedestrian bridge at high falls to check out the falls and see if  by chance Beauty was hunting in the gorge. No pefa but I found the high falls to be rushing down with more force than I have ever seen there. The island was completely under water and the stack at Beebee Station had a lot of the plastic put on it by demolition crews torn away by the winds of super storm Sandy.

img_1612-island-at-high-falls-under-water img_1614-plastic-torn-by-sandy-on-beebee-station-stack

I checked downtown again with no luck and drove myself over to KP where I was no more successful at finding a falcon there as I was in our fair city. This of course meant more trips around the streets of Rochester looking for the elusive bird of prey we call Beauty. Finally while stopped on the Broad St. bridge just shy of 4 hours after I began my watch I spotted her on the top ibeam near the south corner of OCSR. Yahooooo!! I went to the hole on Aqueduct St. for a closer look.

img_1619-beauty img_1626-beauty-in-the-rain

It started to rain as she sat perched up there with her back to me and she kept looking over her shoulder. Hmmm, looking for Dot.Ca or prey. Maybe, just maybe she was looking for MAK because as I got ready to end my watch the last pic shows her head cranked all the way over to my direction. Stay safe my feathered friends for I won’t see you for a while.  Keep smiling everybody!  🙂

Click the links below for a couple videos from my watch


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