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Archive for February, 2016

Wednesday Afternoon Watch – Spring is in the air… 2/3/16

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Spring is in the air… at least for one day here in Rochester, NY.  Temps made it up to a balmy 59 degrees (F).  While I was downtown on my watch, the street temperature said 56 degrees (F).  The sun was shining and love was in the air for our downtown pair.  Well kind of.  lol

I love this time of year.  February is usually the time we’ll start seeing courtship behavior between our falcons.  When Mariah and Kaver were our downtown pair, February 14th was usually the day that Kaver would return from his migration.  The watchers would gather downtown, hoping for a glimpse of his return.  I remember being there to see his return to the Kodak Tower one year.  Mariah was waiting, and when they were reunited it was awesome to see.  Loud greetings filled the air as they soared together in bonded flight.  It wasn’t long before they renewed their bonds on top of the High Falls stack.  OK, enough reminiscing.  🙂

I headed downtown after finding no falcons at the the Brighton Site.  From the Broad St Bridge (BSB), I found Dot.ca on top of the Times Square Bldg (TSB) below the northeast wing.  He was directly above the TSB nest box.

Dot.ca on the Times Sq Bldg -2-3-16

He took off while I was checking out the river, so I didn’t see which direction he took.  From in front of the Radisson, I spotted both Beauty and Dot.ca on the Ellwanger & Barry Bldg (E&B).  Beauty was on the right side ledge with leftovers and Dot.ca was on the left side, keeping an eye on her.

B&DC on E&B Bldg -2-3-16

I found a parking spot across the street from the E&B bldg.  It was very windy there.

Ellwanger & Barry Bldg -2-3-16B&DC on E&B Bldg -2-3-16

DC on E&B Bldg -2-3-16Beauty on E&B Bldg - 2-3-16

A passerby asked me if I was looking at birds and I was happy to explain that he was seeing our resident Peregrine Falcons. I focused on Beauty while she filled her crop with pigeon leftovers.

Beauty on E&B Bldg -2-3-16Beauty on E&B Bldg -2-3-16

Beauty on E&B Bldg -2-3-16Beauty on E&B Bldg -2-3-16

Beauty finished her meal and stepped forward.  That’s when Dot.ca saw his chance to get his share.  He flew over and landed behind her.  After a couple minutes, Beauty took off and Dot.ca followed, carrying a small piece of prey.  Dot.ca took the prey to the northeast box on the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT) and Beauty landed next to him.

Beauty Took Off First -2-3-16B&DC on FCT -2-3-16B&DC on FCT -2-3-16

I got a closer look from the City Hall parking lot.

B&DC on FCT -2-3-16

Dot.ca quickly finished his snack and both he and Beauty took off.  From the Andrews St Bridge (ASB), I found that they had both returned to the Ellwanger and Barry Bldg.  This time Dot.ca was on the right side ledge, looking for leftovers and Beauty was above him on the northeast corner.

Beauty and Dot.ca on the E&B Bldg -2-3-16

This next picture shows the location of the E&B bldg, which is just north of the Powers Bldg.

Powers Bldg Nest Box & E&B Bldg -2-3-16

I found that my parking spot across from E&B was still open.

B&DC on E&B Bldg -2-3-16DC on E&B Bldg -2-3-16B on E&B Bldg -2-3-16

This time I focused on Dot.ca who seemed to come up empty on finding any more leftovers.

DC on E&B Bldg -2-3-16DC on E&B Bldg -2-3-16DC on E&B Bldg -2-3-16

DC on E&B Bldg -2-3-16Beauty on E&B Bldg -2-3-16

Dot.ca took off and flew directly over me.  He turned and headed for Beauty.  She raised her tail as he approached and I witnessed a near miss copulation.  Yes indeed, spring was in the air.  lol

Near Miss Copulation on E&B Bldg 2-3-16

They both took off, and it was time for me to end my downtown falcon watch.

So who are Ellwanger and Barry.  I was curious, so I googled it.  “George Ellwanger and Patrick Barry were owners of one of the largest nurseries in The Flower City. Ellwanger began the business in 1839 with Thomas Rogers but by 1840 he had bought Rogers out and partnered with Barry who was more knowledgeable than Rogers.”  You can read more about them at RocWiki:


I checked Seneca Towers next and found both Billie and Seth on the north side window ledge.  Sorry for the poor picture.  I was facing the sun at quite a distance.

Billie and Seth at ST -2-3-16

At Medley Center, I found no falcons.  But, there were two adult Red-tailed Hawks flying above the old mall.  I loved watching their aerial ballet.  They both landed in a tree on the other side of Rte 104 and then both left the area heading west.

Red-tailed Hawks at Medley Center -2-3-16Red-tailed Hawks at Medley Center -2-3-16Red-tailed Hawks at Medley Center -2-3-16

It was such a nice day, I decided to check out the Irondequoit Bay.  There were a lot of Ring-billed Gulls floating on what was left of a very large ice flow, which was slowly making its way north, towards the lake (Lake Ontario).  Mixed in were a few Black-backed Gulls.  I saw some Canada Geese and one Cormorant.  No birds of prey were in view.

Ice Flow on IBay -2-3-16Ice Flow on IBay -2-3-16

My watch ended with a quick check at Russell Station, where I found no falcons.  I ended my watch, happy to have seen some courtship behavior by our downtown pair on a mid-winter, spring day.  🙂

Morning Falcon Watch 2-3-16

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

The strong winds were blowing the rain that was falling sideways making for a soggy watch with a warm temperature of 44 (F) 6 (C)

My watch started with Seth on the north window ledge of Seneca Towers. He was facing me and the wind was ruffling his feathers pretty good.


I didn’t stay with him for long as the rain was blowing right at my camera. When I got downtown I made one trip around and as I was about to check the east side again I spotted Beauty flying above Xerox from the Broad St. bridge around 8am.


I wanted to get closer so I drove over to Court St. by the parking garage to observe her. She spent most of the time hovering and riding the strong wind currents. She stooped to the south toward the Cornhill area quickly leaving my field of vision. I went over to the Court St. bridge where I had a more open view and then she showed up over Xerox again. This time I parked on Chestnut St. by the Martin Luther King Jr. park. More hovering with some wing flicks mixed in to give her a fast change of direction and speed.


After about a half hour of flying Beauty eventually went into another stoop on the north side of Xerox where I lost sight of her and she didn’t resurface so I went in search of her. From Bragdon Place next to the north end of the Radisson Hotel I spotted the Beautyful one on the top I-beam northeast side of OCSR and I also could see Dot.ca (DC) up in the elevator shaft on the south ledge.


I hung out with them until about 9am and then left to check the Medley Centre (MC).


As I was crossing the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge I could see Billie up on the north end of the roof eating and Seth below her on the north window ledge of Seneca Towers so I pulled off to check them out before going over to MC.


Feathers were flying fast from the strong wind as Billie plucked them from her prey-I left them after a few minutes and went over to the mall. No falcons seen there so I ended my watch at 9:14 smiling after seeing 4 of my favorite falcons doing just fine in the rainy, wind driven weather! 🙂

Click on the links below to check out some high flying by Beauty




Tuesday Afternoon Falcon Watch – 2/2/16

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Another nice, sunny day!

When I arrived at the Brighton Site (BS) location, I found a falcon on the east end of the building.  I quickly parked my car and grabbed for my camera.  While I was waiting for it to turn on, the falcon took off.  I quickly checked around the building, but could not find the falcon.  Larry O had seen it earlier and thought it might have been a female based on size.

My next stop was downtown Rochester.  After circling downtown twice (yes, Rochester is pretty small – lol) I could not find any falcons.  I decided to check the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT) from all sides.  That’s where I found a falcon on the southwest corner of the platform.  Again, I grabbed for my old, slow camera and attempted to get a picture.  Again, the falcon took off, but this time I captured a partial picture.  Pretty sure it was Dot.ca.

Dot.ca Off FCT -2-2-163

Beauty was no where to be found.  Starlings had taken her place on the Mercury statue.

Starlings on Mercury -2-2-16

I found no falcons at Medley Center.  At Seneca Towers I found one falcon home on the north end window ledge.

Falcon at ST -2-2-16

My route home after falcon watching usually takes me along the lake (Lake Ontario) where I check out Charlotte and Russell Station.  I was very happy to find a falcon at Russell Station on the east side stack lowest catwalk.  I was too far away and looking into the sun to tell if it was an adult or juvie.  After a few moments, the falcon stooped low over the buildings then back up to fly between the two smoke stacks.  I lost sight of it behind the west stack.

RS Falcon -2-2-16RS Falcon -2-2-16

RS Falcon -2-2-16RS Falcon -2-2-16

On my drive along the lake shore, I found a huge raft of Long-tailed Ducks.  There were 1,000’s of them out there!  What a great way to end my watch.

Long-tailed Duck Raft on Lake Ontario -2-2-16Long-tailed Duck Raft on Lake Ontario -2-2-16Long-tailed Duck Raft on Lake Ontario -2-2-16

Morning Falcon Watch/ Dot.ca aka food thief 2-2-16

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

I started my watch with no falcons at Seneca Towers (ST) but things picked up when I got downtown. At first I didn’t find anyone but after a ride around downtown I spotted a falcon on the 2nd arm of the Frontier Communications Tower (FCT) from the Andrews St. bridge (ASB). It looked small to me so I suspected it was Dot.ca (DC).


I drove over to Fitzhugh St. for closer viewing and found that it was indeed DC. At first the sun wasn’t shining on him as he was raising his big yellow feet (BYF) quite a few times.


The sun hit him and then DC flew off to the southeast rather nonchalantly.


I set out to look for him and after a trip around downtown I ended up on the ASB where I spotted 2 falcons on the northeast corner of the Ellwanger & Barry building. Beauty was eating and DC was watching.


I made my way over to the exit driveway of the Holiday Inn on State St. right across the street from them for a nice close place to share space with Rochester’s resident downtown pair of Peregrine Falcons.


DC did his best to look away and lull Beauty into a false sense of security as he always does when he wants her food. He acts like he’s not interested and then he springs into action! Gotta love his tactics!!! Beauty played right into his hands/talons by turning to face him. Now he had a better shot at grabbing the leftovers.


Sure enough, at 8:32am DC moved in-there was a struggle with lots of vocalization, with each of them clutching  the remnants of a pigeon they dropped off the edge a couple feet down the side of the building before breaking apart with DC the clear winner. He flew off to the southeast with his prize and the Beautyful one followed right behind him.

img_0044-dc-making-his-move<Click it

I was not prepared for that and it happened so fast that all I could do was watch, so sorry, no pics of it. I expected them to be on OCSR but when I got up to the Broad St. bridge to look I found Beauty on the Mercury money bag (MMB) and no sign of DC.


She started preening and cleaning her BYF’s as I looked on from the north sidewalk of the bridge. Her crop was half full.


I left her and did a quick run around town to look for DC but never did find him so I continued on to the Medley Centre. I didn’t see any falcons there and when I got home to Seneca Towers at 9:40am I spotted a falcon on the west side railing thru the trees but it was gone when I pulled over to check it out. Today, the biggest reason I ended my watch with a smile was because of DC and his silly food antics! 🙂

Click on the links below to see today’s videos



Monday Afternoon Falcon Watch – 2/1/16

Monday, February 1st, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It was a beautiful, sunny February afternoon with temps in the 40’s (F).

I only had a couple hours, so I headed over to the Brighton Site (BS) location first.  When I drove around to the southeast corner of the building, I could see that there were two falcons up there, just above the tree ledge.  They both had their backs to me, and I never did get a good look at them.  The male was whiter than the female and did show me that he had bands when he stretched. I could not positively ID either of these falcons.

Two Falcons at BS -2-1-16Two Falcons at BS -2-1-16Banded Male at BS -2-1-16

I missed seeing them both take off.  I found them flying together to the west.  They both flew back towards the building and over to the west side.  I heard a little vocalization.

Two Falcons at BS -2-1-16Falcon Returning to the Bldg at BS -2-1-16

The darker female returned to the southeast corner of the building for a short while then flew around to the west side.  I circled the building a few times, but had no luck finding either falcon.  It was time to head downtown.

From the Broad St Bridge (BSB) I immediately found the dazzling white Dot.ca on the south side of OCSR on the top IBeam.

Dot.ca on OCSR -2-1-16Dot.ca on OCSR -2-1-16

I drove around looking for Beauty.  When I couldn’t find her, I returned to the Broad St Bridge.  There were only Ring-billed Gulls on the river rocks below.  When I looked back up, I saw that the sky was filled with pigeons in panicked flight.  They swirled and dove towards the river, then back up again.  There had to be a bird of prey on the hunt.  Yep!  Flying above me, watching all the pigeons below her was Beauty in hunt mode.

Beauty on the Hunt -2-1-16Beauty on the Hunt -2-1-16Beauty on the Hunt -2-1-16

I just relaxed and enjoyed Beauty’s graceful flight.  She soared higher and higher, until I lost sight of her heading north. Dot.ca was watching her too.  lol

Beauty eventually returned, landing on top of the Mercury statue.

Beauty on Mercury -2-1-16Beauty on Mercury -2-1-16Beauty on Mercury -2-1-16

She was swiveling her head back and forth, constantly watching the gulls and pigeons around her.

Beauty on Mercury -2-1-16Pigeons Lined up on Blue Cross Arena -2-1-16Beauty and Dot.ca Downtown -2-1-16

I ended my watch when Beauty took off.  I did attempt to find her, but couldn’t.  Dot.ca remained on the OCSR.

Soon after I ended my watch, fellow watcher Pat tweeted that both Beauty and Dot.ca were on the top IBeam of OCSR.  Thanks Pat!

All was peaceful and quiet downtown, just how I like it!

Morning Falcon Watch/all 5 resident PEFA’s seen 2-1-16

Monday, February 1st, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

Another overcast morning with a temperature of 41 (F) 5 (C)

I was very happy when I made the u-turn on East Ridge Rd. and saw both Billie and Seth up on the north end of Seneca Towers. She was out on the northwest corner with her back to me and he was in his spot on the north window watching her.


At 7:30am Seth left the building and flew down into the river gorge as Billie watched him. She pooped and I thought she would take off after him but she settled back down, so I left for downtown.


Another nice surprise when I got downtown as I found both Beauty and Dot.ca (DC) on the top I-beam southeast side of OCSR from the Broad St. bridge (BSB). I could see that Beauty was eating and DC was watching her. I opted to go down to the end of Bank Place where it meets Aqueduct St. in the hole to watch and while I was in commute the Beautyful one stopped eating and DC turned his back on us. I snapped off a couple pics of her before heading over to the Radisson Hotel by Main St.


I could clearly see that DC had a full crop and Beauty had very little so I assumed she ate his leftovers. They were both feaking at this point too.


DC shook his tail, stretched and strutted his stuff as he took a walk a few feet further away from Beauty. I just love to watch Peregrine’s walk/run!


Beauty continued to wipe her beak off and did a little preening while the boy wonder stood there looking all white and handsome.


I left them to it around 8:20am and set out for the Medey Centre mall. I was lucky enough to catch Big Frank(ie) on the glass peak from the south side of the mall.


She looked like she was in hunt with a depleted crop and yet she let many gulls fly right past her without even giving them a look. I guess she wasn’t in the mood for gull-perhaps she had her mind set on an eagle or hawk for breakfast. After all, she does like a big breakfast-she has gull on a regular basis and I’ve seen her eating an adult female Mallard Duck as well.


So I left her to get a cup of coffee and when I got back she was still there-I watched a few more minutes then I packed up my equipment and got ready to leave. When I looked up she was gone and to my right I could see her zeroing in on a Red-tail Hawk over the northwest end of the parking lot. The hawk maneuvered upside down with its talons up ready to defend Frankie’s advances. This action was repeated a few more times until the hawk was quickly and efficiently escorted out of the area and then the big girl returned to the peak. There was no contact between them, just some posturing. WOW! I must say that little display got my blood pumping better than the coffee!

Anyway, I would have liked to stay longer but I had to go do a favor for a friend so I ended my watch at 9am after seeing all 5 resident Rochester Peregrine Falcons with a big fat smile on my face! 🙂

Click on the link below to see today’s snippets


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