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Eyes to the Skies

Pigott/Montezuma Wildlife Refuge watch 8-29-14

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

The weather was perfect yesterday for a road trip and falcon watch-warm, sunny blue skies with just a few clouds and a slight breeze

Make sure to click on my pics to see the full version

Joyce had asked me where I would like to go on a road trip-I said how about the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge since the fall migration has begun. Then I asked if we could go check on Pigott in downtown Syracuse, NY which is not too much farther east. That’s what we did and what a day we had! The refuge was chocked full of juvenile Osprey and Bald Eagles-they clearly outnumbered the adults. Our first sighting was an Osprey in a nest along the road.


Next, we went to Mudlock on River Road where an adult Osprey delivered a fish to a juvie and down the road a bit further we saw a young Bald Eagle.

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Next up was the Montezuma Visitor Center that looks out over the wetlands where we saw Canada Geese, and at least 3 young Bald Eagles.

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We then took the Wildlife Drive along the marsh area where there was plenty of nature and birds to enjoy. Great Blue Herons, shorebirds, Coots, Great Egrets, Cormorants and many species I’m not familiar with, including a young Bald Eagle in a tree by the trails edge that had no problem with sharing close proximity with us and an Osprey in flight.

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We saw a couple Osprey perched in trees near Mays Point, Sandhill Cranes at 2 separate locations and a young Red-tail Hawk on a pole.

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Now that was fun but the next part of our trip was my favorite as we arrived in downtown Syracuse. Joyce spotted Pigott almost immediately on top of a building near the State Tower building (the nest building). I had seen Miss Pigott for a nano second flying with her daughter Barb my last visit so I was very excited to have the opportunity to spend some time with an old friend again.

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We drove around and found a better place to observe Pigott–a nice spot called Clinton Square that had water fountains in a big wading pool and benches to sit on. Pigott did some preening but mostly just looked around taking in her new territory. She had a fascinator under her right eye for a few minutes.

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Pigott flew off and we went looking for her-we didn’t find where she went but as we returned from our little jaunt she was back up on the previous spot. We finished out our watch at Clinton Square with Pigott, the fountains and a couple guys on extreme pogo sticks. Boy they were flying high and so were we! πŸ™‚

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I have provided links below for a photo album with many more pics from the day and some videos







11 Responses to “Pigott/Montezuma Wildlife Refuge watch 8-29-14”

  1. patsy6 Says:

    Every one of these shots is gorgeous, MAK. And it’s so good to see our good friend Pigott again.

  2. MAK Says:

    Thanks Pat-it really was great to see her! πŸ™‚

  3. kathy from toronto Says:

    Pigott: Oh no..they found me…muhaha! How wonderful to see her in all her glory! And she has a beautiful home, much nicer than the old abandoned place. It’s like she won the falcon lottery πŸ™‚

  4. Braveheart2665 Says:

    What a wonderful day MAK, no place like Montezuma for me, hoping to stop over there sometime in Sept. when I am down to see Dad. Pigott looks in fine form and such a proud lady now.

  5. MAK Says:

    Pigott sure did win Kathy! So happy for her new found home.

    Linda, it was a fantastic day for me! πŸ™‚

  6. Donna Krawiec Says:

    Beautiful pictures as always MAK! You and Joyce could have stayed on the Thruway a few more exits to the Verona / Rome exit. Picked me up, then just 10-15 more mins and poof we would of been off in Utica to see Astrid and Ares. That’s Utica’s first ever pair of Peregrine Falcons. Maybe next year as it looks hopeful they are staying the winter. Ares spends a lot of time at the nest box. Even defended it a few days ago.
    Also Pigott will be entertained by the Irish Featival in just a few weeks at Clinton Square.
    Happy you ladies had great weather for your road trip.

  7. MAK Says:

    Well Donna, perhaps we’ll come by and get you one day for a Utica falcon watch! πŸ™‚

  8. Bobbie Ireland Says:

    What a day! Pigott AND Sandhill Cranes!!! (Rats on those cranes!!! They NEVER appear to me there!)

  9. MAK Says:

    Bobbie, I thought of you the second I spotted the cranes! πŸ™‚

  10. Donna Krawiec Says:


  11. Bobbie Ireland Says:

    Haha, MAK! Thanks. (Ya think!)

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