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Eyes to the Skies

A Banded Tiercel Visits the Powers Bldg – 2/25/09

It was a gorgeous day yesterday.  By the time I arrived downtown at 11 am, Dana had already seen the Tiercel on the Powers Bldg.  We called Lisa McK to take a look at the cameras to see if they had caught him.  She had also seen them both sitting on the communication tower.

When I arrived, Mariah was up inside the elevator shaft and the Tiercel was on the top I-Beam of old Changing Scene’s Restaurant (OCSR).  They both took off and we were unable to find them.  So, we joined Dan S, Lisa McK, and Jim P on the pedestrian bridge.

Around 12:30 pm, Mariah flew in with food and landed on the north end of the Cross Rds Bldg.  Dana, Lisa and I drove over to the Andrews St. Bridge for a closer look.  Dana and I walked up to the building, while Lisa remained in her car.  She couldn’t stay for too long.

While Dana and I were photographing the fair Mariah, I heard the whinny call of the Tiercel as he flew in from the downtown area.  This little guy is very loud and well, whinny.  🙂

He attempted to land next to Mariah, but she wouldn’t let him, ee-chupping at him.  The Tiercel flew back to the OCSR and landed on top of the building above the elevator shaft.  He continued to cry while watching Mariah.  I have no idea if he is truly begging or if this is just his way of vocalizing.  Very different from Kaver.

After about a 1/2 hour, the Tiercel stooped off of the OCSR and chased a Coopers Hawk off to the west.  Mariah just watched for a moment and then continued to eat.  The Tiercel did not return.

When she was finished eating, Mariah took off heading towards the Kodak Tower.  She landed on the SE corner of the launchpad.  She then flew back to the communication tower.

Dana and I moved up to the Sisters City Garage.  Mariah flew off of the communication tower ee-chupping as she passed over heading towards the Cross Rds Bldg, where I believe the Tiercel was trying to sneak a bite of her leftovers.

She chased him off and he landed on the top I-Beam of OCSR, while she settled on the Cross Rds Bldg. and continued her meal.  I do believe that it was Mariah that reclaimed her meal, but without a scope, I can’t be 100% sure.

This is where I left them at 2:30 pm.  Dana remained for a little longer.

Kaver is due in next week.

Carol P.


36 Responses to “A Banded Tiercel Visits the Powers Bldg – 2/25/09”

  1. Kathy V Says:

    Wow..that was quite a account of Mariah’s day. Sure wish I was able to see these happenings. I am praying that Kaver returns, and they pick one of the houses for their new family. Thanks for the news

  2. Alison in Austria Says:

    For a while there yesterday I thought that some bird had been in the scrape on the Powers Building, the gravel looked disturbed as if depressions were being made. But a review of the hours before on Shaky’s site showed that it was an optical illusion, probably caused by rainy patches in the box. Darn.

  3. Maureen in MA Says:

    Hopefully we see Kaver soon!

  4. chrissy Says:

    Sure hope someone gets a closer look at the visitor’s bands before Kaver returns and reads him the riot act. It would be great news if it’s one of Mariah’s grown kids. (fhttp://shakymon.com/bandtable.html)

  5. Kathy V Says:

    that would be great…Chrissy

  6. Rose in Colorado Says:

    Thank you for the report! It’s greatly appreciated and helps fill us in on what’s going on.

  7. Darby Says:

    How come no recent reports? I am eager to hear the first signs of Kavar! Does it look like Mariah my adjust to the new nest box location? Has she found it?

  8. Alison in Austria Says:

    Well, “next week” has come and there is still no word about Kaver. And not a sign of a bird around the Powers scrape. What about that other scrape that was put up?

  9. Kathy V Says:

    I only hope this moving of the original scrape, hasn’t messed it all up..maybe its still too early to tell???? Sure hope M&K get together and again we can tune in each day for a up-close and personal view of their courtship.I so look forward to each spring, and the excitment of their coming and going. Keep our fingers crossed.

  10. chrissy Says:

    Apparently no birds at all have gone near the nestbox. Not even a sparrow. Can Mariah be keeping an eye on it from where she perches?

    . . . . . Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

  11. Maureen in MA Says:

    How long do you think Mariah will wait for Kaver before seeking a new mate for the season?

  12. Alison in Austria Says:

    Not very long. The real question is where will she choose to make her scrape. No one is pumping for Powers except the human rfalconcam crew and the watchers 🙂

  13. Birdlover Says:

    Really sad chapter.

  14. Kim in Italy Says:

    Too hard to think Kaver could not come back.
    Anyway know Mariah needs a mate and it is time. At this point am even indifferent where the scrape will be. Just prey she would find her place in the city.. But a tiercel is first needed, then she will mind the scrape.

  15. Alison in Austria Says:

    As I recall, it is the duty of the tiercel to select scrape options for the falcon to choose from. So tiercel first – and we know there is one hanging around …

  16. kathy Says:

    I think Mariah will still wait a bit more for Kaver. In long time pairings I’ve sen the female hold off a few weeks if her mate is late. She won’t entirely rebuff the new guy just in case she has to take him but she won’t just abandon her old mate that fast. It’s still early and the weather is unstable so we have time!

    Remember the winter has also been fierce this year and this week the enitre east coast was hit with storms so it’s possible Kaver is on his way but has had to stop for shelter along the way or he delayed his trip. I wouldn’t give up hope on him yet, if he survived the winter he will come home.

    Falcons have strong instincts and once they choose a nest site and successfully mate there, they will keep coming home. There is nest site out West here in Canada where the female lost her nest site after she had been there for several years and every year she still comes back and tries to claim it – she’s lost the battle the last 4 years but even then she makes her home just outside the area and keeps an eye on the site all summer. It’s really quite sad as we all wish she could find a new site and mate but her instincts are so strong and so tied to that site that she doesn’t seem to want to give up on it.

  17. Maureen in MA Says:

    It is a really sad chapter with a possible new mate and a possible new yet unknown scrape. Positive thoughts!!

  18. Kim in Italy Says:

    Yes, it is sad. A possible scenario could also be Kaver coming back too late and a following territorial fight with the new mate. Obviously am remembering Zenith and SW at the Terminal Tower in Cleveland (2002, March 28), not the only exemple, but very impressive to me.
    I feel bad but know we have to think of Mariah *and* a tiercel and try not to mind if a new one..
    We’ll depend from the news given by Rochester falcon folk if the scrape offered and accepted will be not on the Powers nest box. But I think that’s not a problem!

  19. Joan McC Says:

    Has Mariah shown any interest at all in her nest box in it’s new location? I sure hope we didn’t upset everything with the move. Is it possible something happened to Kaver to account for his not being here yet?

  20. Birdlover Says:

    I think the powers that be are perhaps scratching their heads too? Maybe someone could give us an update as to what is going on, and what, in their professional opinions is suspected. Have there been NO sightings of Kaver? What additional sightings of Mariah have their been? The new tiercel? Is he still around? Why, as stated above isn’t even a sparrow looking at the box on the Powers building? Is Mariah still returning to Kodak on a regular basis? Larry O? I know you said you worked there…anything? Something would be better than nothing. We’re all adults. We can take the good with the bad, but the silence is the problem. Please provide an update.

  21. Debbie Says:

    Why did they move the nesting box ? What is going on ?

  22. Kim in Italy Says:

    Just checked the forum at
    “March 7 – Mariah mates with a strange banded male on the B&L building, see picture made by Dana” You can see the pic there.
    Then read some post.
    Time to say farewell to Kaver…
    Can’t feel really adult now, I need time.

  23. Jim Says:

    It might be satisfying to speculate about everything that’s going on– Kaver’s absence, status of the nest boxes, and so on, but ultimately it doesn’t get us anywhere. The Powers That Be and the “experts” are keeping quiet because we’re in uncharted territory, at least as far as our local pair are concerned. The biologists tell us that nest box relocations such as the one we’ve performed are often successful. Often doesn’t mean 100%. But even so, that die has been cast; we can’t undo the nest box move.

    Whether Mariah will choose to use one of the downtown boxes remains to be seen. She is spending a lot of time at the Kodak tower and even without a nest box there are plenty of places where she could lay eggs. If she does so, it will be the province of the DEC to decide what action to take.

    The new tiercel has visited the Powers Building box, and Mariah most certainly knows where both boxes are. Having “new blood” in town may serve to draw her away from Kodak but again, we don’t know. If Kaver does come back (he’s late compared to recent years, but earlier in the decade he showed up as late as mid-month) and drives off the new guy, then we’ll need to see how he reacts. Both he and Mariah have a demonstrated affinity for the Kodak tower, but that doesn’t make a nesting attempt there inevitable.

    In the end we must all be patient and wait for the falcons to show us what they will do, our own desire for surety notwitstanding.

  24. Birdlover Says:

    Whether Mariah will choose to use one of the downtown boxes remains to be seen. She is spending a lot of time at the Kodak tower and even without a nest box there are plenty of places where she could lay eggs. If she does so, it will be the province of the DEC to decide what action to take.

    There is no plan in place if she decides to nest on Kodak??? I would think that this would have been put in place PRIOR to relocation?

  25. Alison in Austria Says:

    Debbie, the nest box had to be removed, because of necessary rennovations on the aging and deteriorating Kodak Tower. After much study, the Powers site was chosen for the old box, because, among other things, it was in the sight line from Kodak.
    It is nice that other fora get information on the activities of Mariah and her friend, but we at the site’s own forum have to wait until someone kindly copies the post for us.

  26. kathy Says:

    Kim: Time to say farewell to Kaver

    heh..not yet. The falcon I mentioned up above also mated with her tiercel those 4 years but was driven out each time by the female that originally unsurped her as she always comes back later. I don’t want to see a fight either but if Kaver is late and does indeed come back – then he will try to reclaim what was his.

  27. Alison in Austria Says:

    “There is no plan in place if she decides to nest on Kodak??? I would think that this would have been put in place PRIOR to relocation?”
    Birdlover, I am confident that the DEC has a number of plans, but which one will actually be put in place would have to be decided at the time she lays her first egg. Suppose she lays it where the nest box used to be. There are a couple of options: try to delay the restoration of that particular part of the building until after fledging or take the eggs and put them somewhere else or just take the eggs (probably not legal). Then, if the eggs are removed and not put anywhere else in the hopes that the falcon will find them (has not been particularly successful in the past), does one discard them (as they would have failed anyway, if brooding was disturbed by construction) or incubate them, give them to a falconer to raise or raise them at a sanctuary and put the chicks in a hack box. If she lays it somewhere where the DEC cannot get to it – then the removal of eggs is not an option. Some things, especially things having to do with wildlife with a will of its own, simply cannot be decided in advance.

  28. chrissy Says:

    Alison, I was curious about that at well since Mariah continues to visit the kodak tower with her new mate. I’m sure any eggs on the kodak tower will be removed. When I checked the DEC site today for information on their policy I noticed they no longer list the Rochester webcam on their bird webcams page. They have limited resources and rely heavily on volunteers so their involvement in the relocation of Mariah’s nestbox is probably indirect and limited at this time.

  29. Birdlover Says:

    Well I for one am not of the mentality that “the thrill is gone” and if I have to go down there myself and bring the media with me, I will.

    I’m going on record now that this endeavor should be treated with the same level of respect that these falcons have always received. Anything less is completely and totally unacceptable.


  30. Kim in Italy Says:

    Thanks, Kathy.
    I’m sure Kaver will claim his own territory if coming back. Also would like better a fight, even lost, rather than ignore when/how/where he could possibly be dead/injured.
    I obviously do know these feelings are way too human and wild creatures often simply desappear. Their life and death aren’t indeed our matter, they are free and our right to get infos about is frail, perhaps inexisting.

  31. chrissy Says:

    Has any work been done on the tower yet? If not, why not return the nestbox to the tower till they’re sure when the repairs will begin?

  32. Alison in Austria Says:

    “till they’re sure when the repairs will begin?”
    I am afraid that would probably not happen, even if repairs are delayed for months, even years, in consideration of the financial state of Kodak. (I bought shares some years ago as a thanks for the camera and website – they were worth 1/10 of the already low purchase price last time I looked).
    If Mariah lays her eggs where the box used to be, then she might be able to brood them, even fledge eyases undisturbed, but there are no cameras there anymore, they are at the Powers site, and we would only hear about it through weekly reports from the faithful watchers.

  33. Birdlover Says:

    The repairs are already in motion. In this area, spring means 2 things: construction projects and road repairs. So this project will probably move into full swing shortly, as spring is moving rapidly into place. So if she does decide to stay at Kodak, and she is as aggressive about protecting her nest as she is in attacking humans on banding day, those workers won’t care who gets hurt, as long as it’s not them. That’s my fear at this point – is if that happens, what system is in place to make certain she (or Kaver, or any of the falcons) are not belted with the side of a construction shovel in self defense? That’s why I asked if there was a plan in place now to control the situation. For the DEC to just take the eggs and relocate them, or hatch them and release the young elsewhere to me is cruel. And that still doesn’t insure protection for Mariah and Kaver.

  34. Alison in Austria Says:

    So what would you suggest, Birdlover?

  35. chrissy Says:

    As I recall, Kenn (aka Fal-Kenn) is an experienced falconer. His experience with falcon behavior and his ability to observe her personally probably makes him the best qualified to decide how to proceed if eggs are found on the kodak tower. We’re all aware of Mariah’s extraordinary parenting skills and that nothing can substitute for the way she teaches her young survival and hunting skills.

    Alison, Mariah’s been mentioned on the financial message board I follow . . and not my myself. I’m not sure kodak understands her reach especially at a time when people are so environmentally aware.

  36. Birdlover Says:

    Thought you might find this interesting Alison:


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