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Eyes to the Skies

Archive for February, 2016

Morning Falcon Watch/winter arrives 2-11-16

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was snowing and blowing throughout my watch except in Brighton the sun was shining. Typical lake snow event. When I started the temperature was 13 (F) -11 (C) and when I ended it was 10 (F) Winter has arrived in Rochester,NY

It was no surprise to me that I didn’t see Billie or Seth at Seneca Towers-I’m sure they were hunkered down wherever they go when the weather is not very nice.

I figured at least Dot.ca (DC) would be up in the OCSR elevator shaft as he always goes up there in bad weather. Well, I found two falcons up there-one on each side but I could not tell who was who as my camera had trouble focusing through the blowing snow. I could see them with my binoculars much better and if you watch my snippet video you can see them clearer yet.


I stopped on the Broad St. bridge to take a pic of the large pigeon population that was huddled and piled on each other along the east (river) side of Thomson Reuters to keep warm.


I decided to go check the Brighton site and when I got there the sun was shining bright with blue skies. The male was there on the top window where the east and southeast extensions meet-same place he was yesterday when Kathy and I saw him. He’s a real cutie!


This tiercel was closing one eyelid at a time-not sure if he was half a sleep or just protecting his eye from the cold wind that was blowing as the wind chill was below zero this morning. Larry pulled in for a minuteto check things out on his way to work then left. I headed to Medley Centre and about a mile from the BS location I lake effect snow again and it only came down harder the farther north I went.

There was no birds of any kind at the mall and the snow was falling moderately.


When I got home at 9:44am I didn’t see any falcons on Seneca Towers. Keep smiling everyone! 🙂

Click on the link below to see today’s short snippet video


Morning Falcon Watch/ we have a pair in Brighton 2-10-16

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was overcast, breezy and light snow fell throughout the entire watch with a temperature of  29 (F)  -2 (C)

Fellow watcher and friend KathyO decided to go on watch with me today so she picked me up and we started at Seneca Towers. We waited on East Ridge Rd. hoping Billie and/or Seth would show up but they didn’t so we left for downtown. We found Beauty and Dot.ca (DC) on the top I-beam southeast side of OCSR near the south corner from the Broad St. bridge. They were facing each other with 2 windows separating them.


We elected to get closer by going down to Aqueduct St.in the hole but didn’t like the angle there so we then went over to the Radisson Hotel by Main St.

img_0005-from-the-hole img_0011-from-radisson-hotel<Click>img_0014-bdc

They were taking turns preening and seemed quite settled so we left to check the Brighton site (BS). We found two PEFA’s there in the corner where the east extension meets the southeast extension. The smaller male was on the top window on the east extension and the female was directly below him on the 4th window down. Larry stopped by for a quick check right after we got there.



We wanted to confirm that the Beautyful one and DC were still on OCSR to rule out either one of them being at BS. The pair were both snoozing on and off so it was apparent that they were probably hunkered down for a while so when we didn’t hear any reports of Beauty and DC still on OCSR we left to return to downtown. Enroute, Donna and Pat tweeted that they were indeed still there. Thanks for your help ladies! We didn’t see if either bird had leg bands because they were crouched down the whole time so I’m assuming it was the unbanded female that has been seen there all winter with a possible mate.

On our way to the Medley Centre (MC) we stopped to check on our downtown pair.  Big Frankie was not seen at MC- she has been seen with a male there a few times so we assume she has a mate and that would make 4 pairs of Peregrine Falcons in Rochester. Holy growing PEFA population!!

Kathy and I ended our watch at Seneca Towers where we spotted Seth on the northwest corner below the railing with his back to us from East Ridge Rd. We went around to Seth Green Dr. to see if we could see him from the front but only his head was peeking up.


Kathy dropped me off, thus ending our watch at 11am after sharing many laughs, so I had more than our beloved falcons to make me smile today! 🙂

P.S. Thanks a whole big bunch for a fun watch Kathy!

Click on the link below to see today’s snippets


Morning Falcon Watch 2-9-16

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

A duplicate of yesterday-an overcast morning with a temperature of 37 (F) 3 (C)

I didn’t find Billie and Seth at Seneca Towers this morning but as I was on my way down St. Paul St. to downtown I spotted Seth on the Kodak Hawkeye plant. He was on the ring railing right behind the disheveled nest box-the roof is gone and the rest of it doesn’t look very stable.


A couple minutes later Billie flew in from the north and landed near Seth-he had his back to me but Buffalo Billie was facing me.


They both scratched their head and then as Billie and I watched, Seth pooped and flew out to the north. He came right back- landing on the top of the ladder then off again to the south out of view.



When Billie didn’t follow I drove around to the south side where I could see the front of her although it was from a much farther distance.


It was time to get downtown-I found Beauty on one of the northeast corners of Legacy Tower. She had her back to me and she didn’t stay long either.


At 8:05am the Beautyful one pooped, stretched her wings then turned around and flew northwest.


I set out to look for Dotca (DC) but didn’t find him. I ended up spotting Beauty on the top I-beam west corner of OCSR at which point I drove down to Aqueduct St. in the hole.


Beauty stepped around the corner out of my view when I wasn’t looking-I thought she left the building. I took a one more trip around searching for DC but it wasn’t meant to be today. While on the Andrews St. bridge I could see Beauty near the west corner on the northwest side of OCSR. I went down to State St. to share a few moments with her.


As I made my way down route 104 west I spotted a Red-tailed Hawk in a tree behind the Hampton Inn. I drove on to check the Medley Centre and after having no luck finding a falcon there I went back to see if the hawk was still there. It was, so I stopped to take some pics. The hawk was turning around when I first pulled up and then it flew out to another branch. It flew off to the southwest as I was taping it.



I ended my watch at 9am smiling from seeing the gorgeous hawk as an added bonus! 🙂

Click on the links below to watch today’s videos



Morning Falcon Watch 2-8-16

Monday, February 8th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

The temperature was 37 (F)  3 (C) with overcast skies

As I made the U-turn on Seth Green Dr. to check the west and south sides of Seneca Towers I saw Billie perched on the west side railing.


I left her to go over to East Ridge Rd. and check the north and east sides-as usual, Seth was in his spot on the north window ledge.


Onward to downtown after a couple minutes with Seth. As I drove toward Broad St. on Exchange Blvd. I looked over at the north side of the Times Square building (TSB) and just barely spotted Beauty’s head on the northwest corner. I drove around to Basin St. in the hole to check her out-once there I noticed Dot.ca (DC) over on the north side railing of Widows Walk (WW).


I wasn’t there for long as I watched DC fly off at 8:03am heading northwest and when I looked, Beauty was gone as well.


I didn’t see anything at the Medley Centre when I checked. Watcher Dick,reported seeing Big Frank(ie) on the glass peak around 10:45am. That’s all she wrote-I ended my watch at 8:45am smiling after seeing Beauty, DC, Billie and Seth! 🙂

Click on the link below to see a very short snippet video of today’s short watch


Late A.M./Early P.M. Falcon Watch – 2/7/16

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It was a super Sunday with temps in the 40’s, bright sunshine and a beautiful blue sky.

I found no falcons at the Brighton Site (BS).  I am starting to think that the unbanded female we have been seeing there, might have started her migration back to her own nest location.  Of course, now that I’ve said that, someone will probably see her again.  lol

No Falcons at Brighton Site 2/7/16

Downtown, I found Dot.ca on the Frontier Communication Tower.  From the Andrews St Bridge, I saw him fly from the platform to the top of the large white drum connected to the tower.  From the Hochstein parking lot I was just able to see the top of his head bobbing up and down.  He was eating leftovers up there.  After about 30 minutes, he stood up so that I could see his black band.

DC on FCT White Drum Eating -2-7-16DC on FCT White Drum Eating -2-7-16DC on FCT White Drum Eating -2-7-16

After finishing his small meal, he flew over to the northeast box, just below the platform.

DC on FCT NE Box -2-7-16DC on FCT NE Box -2-7-16DC on FCT NE Box -2-7-16

Dot.ca took off heading southeast.  When he didn’t return, I tried to find him.  After checking around downtown, I returned to the Andrews St Bridge.  From there I could see that DC had returned to the NE box on the Frontier Communication Tower.  I was happy to see that Beauty was now on the north side of the OCSR on the top IBeam.  All was peaceful and quiet downtown, so I continued my watch.

Beauty on OCSR from ASB -2-7-16DC on FCT NE Box -2-7-16

Both Billie and Seth were at Seneca Towers on the north end window ledge.  They both did some flying before settling.

Billie and Seth at ST -2-7-16

I ended my watch after finding no falcons at Medley Ctr or Russell Station.  I was happy to have found 4 of our Rochester Falcons, all doing well.

Morning Falcon Watch 2-7-16

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was a brisk 27 (f) -3 (C) degrees with blue skies and sunshine

Today’s watch was all about our downtown pair Beauty and Dot.ca (DC) as I didn’t see any other Peregrine Falcons at either Seneca Towers or the Medley Centre.  Once I got downtown on the Andrews St. bridge (ASB) I spotted DC on the northeast corner of the Crossroads building. I drove to Graves St. where it meets Main St. right across the street from OCSR.


He did a lot of preening while I watched him up there and at 8:12am he flew off the back off Crossroads toward the Frontier Communications tower (FCT).


I drove over to FCT and found that DC was indeed over there on the large drum eating fast and furious. The fact that he wasn’t plucking feathers told me it was cached food.


At 8:18am Beauty flew in and DC took off with his leftovers. At first they were circling above me in the Hochstein School of Music parking lot then they went their separate ways with DC heading southeast toward OCSR and Beauty  disappearing behind City Place to the south.


I drove to the Times Square area and came upon the Beautyful one on the railing near the northeast corner of Widows Walk (WW). She was preening and picking at her talons so I surmised that she had been eating before she came on the scene. I pulled into the parking lot next to Times Square to observe her.


Beauty flew off after a few minutes and ended up over on the base of Mercury eating. I wish I had seen if the food was left there or if she got it from DC as I was turned the wrong way to see. I didn’t see DC around the immediate area as I crossed Exchange Blvd. to the hole parking lot to watch her.


With the sun behind her it wasn’t very good back lighting so I drove up on the Broad St. bridge where it was great but Beauty had her back to me for the most part. I checked out the river and found gulls from the north side of the bridge on the only rocks that were above the surface of the water for perching. On the south side of the bridge the flat rocks were completely covered and the mighty Genesee River was churning down through the locks and beyond.


Beauty turned to show me her side as she was pulling feathers out of her cache.


I left her at 9am and planned to go straight to the Medley Centre but I had to stop and pull into the parking lot next to Times Square when I almost got blinded by the bright white of DC on the northeast corner of Widows Walk.


I ended my watch when I got home to Seneca Towers at 9:35am. It’s a natural reaction to smile when watching falcons-something I do on a regular basis! 🙂

Click on the link below to see today’s snippets


Saturday Afternoon Falcon Watch – 2/6/16

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It was very cold and lightly snowing when I started my watch.  But the sun finally  broke through making it bearable.  Always good to see the sun!

During my watch I found only two falcons, Beauty and Dot.ca.  They were together on the north side of the OCSR on the top IBeam.  Both were napping, preening and looking around.  Both had full crops.  So, Beauty must have found her leftovers from this morning, or maybe had another successful hunt.  lol

DC and Beauty on North Side OCSR -2-6-16DC and Beauty on North Side OCSR -2-6-16

Dot.ca on OCSR -2-6-16Beauty on OCSR -2-6-16

I checked out all the other Rochester Falcon locations but struck out at the Brighton Site, Seneca Towers, Medley Ctr and Russell Station.

I ran into fellow watcher Dana and we decided to check out the gorge across the river from Seneca Towers.  We hoped to find Billie and Seth there, but had no luck finding them.

We did find this very cool nest in one of the trees.  Any ideas what type of bird would use this nest?  We thought may be a Robin.

Nest near Genesee River -2-6-16

Morning Falcon Watch/ Dot.ca strikes again 2-6-16

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

The temperature was 31 (F) -1 (C) with a brisk cold wind and an occasional snow flake

I got to start my day with Billie and Seth, who were on the north window ledge of Seneca Towers when I arrived on E. Ridge Rd. They were on opposite ends facing each other. Seth still has the yellow tape on his right leg band.


They seemed quite settled so I left for downtown after 20 minutes or so. When I arrived on the Andrews St. bridge (ASB) I spotted the bright white of Dot.ca (DC) on the top I-beam northeast side of OCSR. I drove over to Bragdon Place to get closer to him. He was looking around the area and preening a bit when he suddenly spotted something to the southeast and flew off in a hurry at 8:03am.


It was like Beauty had rung the dinner bell, for when I got to the east side I found Beauty on a northeast corner of Legacy Tower (LT) plucking feathers and DC was on the opposite northeast corner watching her. I went to Elm St. first to observe them.


The Beautyful one had her back to me from there so I whipped over to E. Broad St. and parked right below Midtown. You just knew that DC was going to go over and try to steal food from her.


He bided his time and then flew over right next to Beauty at about 8:23am and a couple minutes later he bagged his first chunk of meat. I was taping at the time so there’s no pics of it.


After DC finished that piece he went back behind where I could only see his tail feathers sticking out over the edge from time to time. He managed to get another little morsel and when he was finished with that he came back out into view and got right in her face. Beauty gave him the stink-eye and after a minute or so he took another chunk.


They were eating together but he was not done -oh no, he wanted the whole pigeon to himself! When he finished eating the tidbit that he had he went over right in front of her and grabbed the prey. She wasn’t letting go and he kind of dragged her right off the edge as he wasn’t letting go either.


There was a lot of vocalization as they went spiraling downward, both of them with talons locked on the prize. It looked like a Peregrine windmill going round and round over Clinton Ave. They were about 3 stories above ground when I lost sight of them behind the Midtown building. WOW!! I was excited and  scared at the same time, hoping they gave up before crashing to the ground. I tweeted it out, then drove straight down Broad St. to the Broad St. bridge as I could see Beauty under the northeast wing of the Times Square building (TSB) from the traffic light at Clinton and Broad. I went straight to the hole where I spotted DC to the back of TSB on the north side with the food.


The sun came out and landed on Beauty but DC was in the shadows. I drove across to the parking lot next to TSB for a closer look at DC but ended up back in the hole where the view was actually better as DC filled his crop and Beauty watched her breakfast disappear one bite at a time.


DC finally had his fill and came out close to the edge-a wing from what was left of the pigeon was sticking up. You could tell he was thinking about where he was going to go and then at 9:24am he flew off with the remains to the northwest.


Beauty remained under the northeast wing so I left to check the Medley Centre. I didn’t see anything there and ended my watch there at 9:50am. While the Rochester Peregrine Falcons always make me smile, DC manages to make me laugh out loud! 🙂

Click on the links below to see the food antics of DC aka food thief and snippets from today’s watch





Morning Falcon Watch 2-5-16

Friday, February 5th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

There were a few snow showers on and off with a strong wind and a temperature of 29 (F) -2 (C)

After not seeing a falcon at Seneca Towers (ST) it wasn’t until an hour into my watch that I finally found a falcon but as I was driving around downtown I came across a Cooper’s Hawk on the east side roof of the Strong Museum of Play. I would have liked to see the front of this hawk but I wanted to find a falcon.


So on my way back from the east side of the Genesee River I spotted Dot.ca (DC) on the Mercury money bag. I drove down to Bank Place where it meets Aqueduct St. in the hole.


After a few minutes, Beauty appeared on the top I-beam southeast side of OCSR. For the most part she had her head tucked back into her wing and seemed to be napping, but she did look up a couple times.


I left the Beautyful one and DC right where I found them to head to the Medley Centre-I found nothing there so I moved on to Seneca Towers. As I pulled over on East Ridge Rd. I spotted Billie on the north end roof and she was eating. The wind was giving her a hard time as she almost got blown off the roof a couple times.


This big girl changed her spot and moved her meal but still the wind was making it difficult for her so she snatched what looked like a pigeon, flew down the east side and around the south end of the building out of view.


When I got over to Seth Green Dr. I first saw Buffalo Billie below the railing on the southwest corner and Seth around the corner from her on the south window ledge.


I then drove to my parking lot for closer viewing-Billie continued to eat and Seth was keeping an eye on a bunch of noisy sparrows that had gathered in a bush across from me. Larry reported seeing a falcon at the Brighton site and it was also reported that Beauty and DC had been at the Powers building nest box around 7:30am.


I watched for a few minutes and then headed in to my apartment, ending my watch at 10:40am. Oh, and I was smiling! 🙂

Click on the links below to see today’s snippets


Morning Falcon Watch 2-4-16

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

The weather was changeable this morning with wind, rain, sleet and snow and a temperature of 39 (F) 4 (C)

I started my day with Billie and Seth at the north end of Seneca Towers. She was on the northwest corner with her back to me and he was on his north window ledge.


It suddenly started to rain and sleet with the wind blowing it right at me and my camera so I started wiping it off and Seth decided to fly off at that time. Billie watched him head down in the gorge and then she too flew off.


I left for downtown where I found Beauty on the top I-beam northeast side-with the wind and rain coming from the southeast she was well protected there. I was on Bragdon St. and could see the south side ledge of the OCSR elevator shaft where our beloved falcons are very well protected-Dot.ca was there with his back to me.



I didn’t stick around for long as I had stuff to do. I checked the Medley Centre but didn’t see a falcon. I ended my watch at 8:34am. Watcher Dick reported seeing Big Frank at the Medley Centre around 11am, Larry reported seeing a falcon at the Brigthon site at 4:30pm and in the afternoon I saw Seth dive bomb a Red-tailed Hawk down in the gorge from my living room window at Seneca Towers. No contact was made like the last time and the hawk landed in a tree on the west side of the gorge. As I was coming home from walking Bella I saw Billie on the southeast corner railing. That’s all there is and there ain’t no more. As usual, our falcons put a smile on my face! 🙂

Click on the link below to view today’s very short snippet video


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