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Happy 2011! Who is Our Kodak Park Falcon & Are We Any Closer to ID’ing Her?

Rochester Falcon Watcher: Carol P.

January 1, 2011 Falcon Watch

Happy New Year to all the Rochester Falcon fans!  If you’ve been keeping up with the Falcon Watch Reports and Imprints, you know that we have been keeping Watch on a 2nd female Peregrine Falcon northwest of downtown Rochester at Kodak Park (KP).  The Rochester Falcon Watchers have been trying very hard to get a positive ID.  On January 1st, after meeting many of my fellow Watchers downtown for our traditional toast to a successful new Falcon season, I decided to drive over to KP, hoping to see the Peregrine we had temporarily named Lady Pefa.  We already knew that she was banded with a purple USFW band and a Black/Red band.  The purple USFW band told us she had been banded somewhere in the Mid-west.

It was raining when I arrived, so I didn’t expect to stay too long.  From the warmth of my car, I spotted a medium size hawk land on the guard rail at the east end of the parking lot.  It was the size of a Peregrine and I was pretty sure it was a Coopers Hawk.  I was curious, so I gathered my binoculars and camera, which I tucked under my coat to attempt to keep it dry, and walked across the parking lot for a closer look.  The Coop disappeared on the other side of the guard rail.  I approached very slowly and looked down into a large dip in the ground.  The hawk was nowhere in sight, so I started walking back towards my car.  Before I got too far, a large bird flew up to the building behind me and landed on one of the antennas located on the roof.  My first thought was the Coop had returned.  One look through my binocs told me differently.  It was a Peregrine!  WooHoo!

For about 45 minutes I stood in the rain, taking pictures and trying to keep my camera dry at the same time.  I was afraid if I moved, she’d take off!  She was quite comfortable on her small perch, preening and stretching.  Way more comfortable than her soggy human Watcher.   I didn’t have my cell phone, so I couldn’t call anyone.  I didn’t have my scope, given to me as a gift.  I would have to go to my car to get it and I couldn’t leave.  I knew my old Kodak camera wasn’t strong enough to get any detail on her bands, it would take one of my long lens friends.

It finally stopped raining, but it was cold and overcast.  I could see the purple band, which was facing me, but I never got a look at the 2nd band to verify that it was Lady Pefa.  Just as my battery was dying, I noticed a white truck pull in behind my car.  It was Joyce!  I waved my arms to get her attention and she slowly approached, long lens camera in hand.  By the time she got to my position, my camera literally shut down.  The battery was dead.  Perfect timing!

We were at a fair distance away from the Falcon, but with Joyce’s camera, we hoped she might get some detail on bands.  While Joyce took pictures, I returned to my car to retrieve my scope.  I attempted to set-up my scope, but you guessed it, she took off before I could take a look.  Darn!  She flew off heading north, where I lost sight of her.  We checked out the area and spotted a Coopers Hawk on one of the buildings.  We were unable to find the Falcon.

I finally took time to tell Joyce what had happened.  We checked some of her pics and we could see the USFW purple band and a few shots showed the Black/Red band.  We were fairly certain that Lady Pefa was still hanging out at KP.  Now the question is, who is our Kodak Park Falcon and are we any closer to ID’ing her?

I’ve put some of my pics into a KGallery album.  Just click on the link below.  No sign on needed. 


Now to answer this burning question.  A couple of Joyce’s pics shows the Black/Red band.  We shared the pictures with some of the Rochester Watchers to attempt to ID this Falcon.  Joyce will follow this report with a 2nd Falcon Watch report which will include her zoomed in and cropped pics of the band.  We already know that this bird was banded somewhere in the Mid-west, due to the purple USFW band.  The USFW band used by the DEC to band the Rochester Falcons is silver.  We are sure that the red part of the Black/Red band is an “H”.  In the black part of the band there are two numbers, the first we believe is a “7”.  The 2nd number is much harder to read and the consensus is that it’s a “1” or a “3”, but we can’t be 100% sure about this 2nd number.  So, after checking the Mid-west database, we have two tentative possible ID’s and remember these are tentative, so we’ll continue to report her as the KP Falcon or Lady Pefa until we know for sure.

We believe this Falcon  was banded at the nest in 2009.  Strangely enough, both possibilities are from the same county.

71/H – Female banded at the University of Toledo, Lucas County, OH – Name: Unity

73/H – Female banded at the Bayshore Power Plant, Lucas County, OH – Name: Shay

Again, until we get a clearer picture, this is a tentative ID.  We are so excited that we might have a second nestsite here in Rochester in 2011.  We’ll continue to keep an eye on this location and report what we see.

9 Responses to “Happy 2011! Who is Our Kodak Park Falcon & Are We Any Closer to ID’ing Her?”

  1. Lina King Says:

    How exciting !

  2. Karen Lang Says:

    If it’s the female from Univ of Toledo, she’s related to Beauty…the female at the University of Toldeo, Belle, fledged from the Univ of Pittsburgh in 2003. Beauty fledged from here in 2007.

  3. Christiane Says:

    Wow! If it turns out to be Unity, that would be a name that “works” as in Unity Health!

  4. Carol P. Says:

    So if it is Unity from the University of Toledo, Beauty and Belle (Unity’s) mom are sisters? Making Unity Beauty’s niece? Just wanted to make sure I understood correctly. Thanks for the info Karen.

  5. Barb Says:

    Ohio birds woo hoo. If it is Unity that would be cool. Talk about all in the family.

  6. margaret Says:

    It’s a good thing we have that new family tree..wonderful job, Dumpsterkitty!
    And thanks to Carol P and Joyce, maybe we have a new lead on an ID of is our Lady Pefa. You watchers and reporters do an amazing job. I bow to your dedication! Thank you.
    Instead of “As the World Turns”, this is “As the Falcon Flies”. Stay tuned for the next episode.

  7. Karen Lang Says:

    Yes Carol Beauty & Belle are sisters, just different broods…Beauty would be Belle’s younger sister….:)

  8. Carol P. Says:

    Thanks for the verification Karen. What a small world it is with our Peregrines.

  9. Lu Ann Says:

    Def. looks like 71 H to me. Look out Aunt Beauty!

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