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Eyes to the Skies

Saturday Downtown Falcon Watch – 5/16/15

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

10:15 am to 3:15 pn

Watchers: Carol P, Kathy O and Brian H.

Weather: Overcast, temps in the mid-70’s, no rain.

I was glad it was the weekend and happy to get downtown for a falcon watch.  When I arrived on the Broad St Bridge, I first spotted Beauty on Camera #1 aka Pan Cam.  My next stop was Aqueduct St, aka “the hole”.  From there I could see Dot.ca up on the top IBeam of OCSR at the west corner.

Beauty on Cam #1 - 5-16-15Beauty on Cam #1 - 1-5-16-15DC on OCSR -5-16-15

Dot.ca brought food to the nest box, but Beauty met him and took the offering away to cache it.  She returned to Cam #1 and Dot.ca (DC) remained on the corner of the nest box platform.

Beauty and Dot.ca at the Nest Box with Food -5-16-15Dot.ca on the Nest Box Platform -5-16-15Beauty and Dot.ca -5-16-15

Beauty took off and flew in front of Dot.ca.  She then flew over me, heading east.  Beauty returned and just flew over the area, eventually returning to the top of the Times Square Bldg (TSB), landing below the northeast wing.

Beauty Flies by Dot.ca -5-16-15Beauty Fly Over -5-16-15Beauty on TSB Under NE Wing -5-16-15

Beauty flew down to a lower southeast corner nook to retrieve cached food.  She took it up to the nest box platform where Dot.ca was waiting.  There was a little bit of a tug-o-war and Dot.ca took the food to the green strip on the Wilder bldg.

Beauty Retrieving Cached Food -5-16-15Beauty to Nest Box with Food -5-16-15DC with Food on Wilder Green Strip -5-16-15

Beauty has started to allow Dot.ca to feed the eyases and he takes this duty very seriously, plus he seems to really like feeding his young ones.  🙂  Beauty landed next to Dot.ca on the green strip and he took off heading west.  Beauty took off and flew back to the Times Square bldg, landing on top of the main camera.

DC Takes Off with Food When Beauty Lands Next to Him -5-16-15Beauty Flew to the Times Square Bldg -5-16-15

Beauty to Main Cam -5-16-15Beauty on Main Cam -5-16-15

Dot.ca returned to the Wilder bldg green strip, still clutching a very small piece of prey.  Beauty flew over to Camera #1.

Dot.ca Back on Wilder Bldg -5-16-15Beauty on Cam #1 -5-16-15

Everything was quiet for awhile.  I was actually thinking of ending my watch.  Then Dot.ca took off heading west, fast.  He didn’t vocalize before he left.  I watched him zip behind the buildings on the north side of the Times Square bldg.  He returned into view hot on the tail of a larger Peregrine Falcon that was heading back towards the Times Square bldg.

Dot.ca Chasing 3rd Falcon -5-16-15Dot.ca (left) and 3rd Falcon -5-16-15 <—– Be sure to click on these to see the full version.

When the 3rd falcon, who I believe was a female based on size, passed the Times Square bldg, Beauty took off from Camera #1 and the chase was on!  Beauty took over the chase, while Dot.ca backed off and flew back to the top of the TSB below the northeast wing.  He was in full protection mode of his young eyases.  When they passed over me, I could hear Beauty alarm kaking as she approached the 3rd falcon and it went talons up to fend off Beauty’s attack.  I saw Beauty chase the 3rd falcon towards the north east, where I lost sight of both of them.  I was unable to get a picture of all three falcons.

DC back to TSB -5-16-15Dot.ca on Guard Below the NE TSB Wing -5-16-15
I remained where I was for awhile, hoping that Beauty would return.  Dot.ca was looking towards the north east.  So, I decided to go up to the Broad St Bridge for a better look.  From there, I could see that Beauty was back at the nest box.  I was very happy to see that she was safely back and hoped that the 3rd falcon learned her lesson and continued on her way.  This territory was occupied.

Beauty back at the Nest Box From the BSB -5-16-15

I was joined by fellow watcher Kathy O on the Broad St Bridge.  While we were chatting and checking out the river, Beauty again took off and flew over.  She was up and down the river and all over, definitely in hunt mode.  She made a run at some pigeons on a lower building, but missed catching any of them.  Kathy and I enjoyed watching her gracefully fly overhead.

Beauty in Hunt Mode -5-16-15Beauty Overhead -5-16-15Beauty on the Hunt -5-16-15

While we were watching Beauty hunt, a bird flew down to the river below.  It was the Black-Crowned Night Heron!  It walked into the open area below the old RG&E bldg.  We didn’t see it again after that.

Black-Crowned Night Heron -5-16-15

Just then I looked up in time to see Beauty stoop down and successfully catch a pigeon just above the Broad St Bridge.  She carried it to the base of the Mercury statue and prepped it, feathers flying all around her.

Beauty Flying Overhead with a Pigeon -5-16-15Beauty to Base of Mercury with Pigeon -5-16-15Beauty with Pigeon on Base of Mercury -5-16-15

After she was finished, Beauty took off and carried the pigeon to the nest box to feed her 3 eyases.  Dot.ca watched from the OCSR.

Beauty to the Nest Box with the Pigeon -5-16-15Dot.ca on 3rd IBeam on OCSR -5-16-15

Brian H joined us just as two Cormorants flew over, heading north down the river.

Two Cormorants Heading North Down the River -5-16-15

After feeding the eyases, Beauty took the leftovers out to cache for a later meal.  She returned to the top of Camera #1.

All was quiet and peaceful for the next hour or so, so we called it a watch at 3:15 pm.  It was a beautiful day to watch our downtown pair.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Beauty flying over on her way back to the Times Square bldg after caching her leftovers.

Beauty Flying Overhead -5-16-15

7 Responses to “Saturday Downtown Falcon Watch – 5/16/15”

  1. Patricia Rose Says:

    Got some great shots, Carol! Thanks for the report! 🙂

  2. June Kogut Says:

    What a great report..Chases, a heron, Magnificent cormorants, a successful dinner “snatch”.. Thanks Carol for all of that and for the sweetness of the two parents vying for the pleasure of feeding their offspring. You gotta love Beauty and DC!

  3. Ginny Says:

    Beautiful photos Carol and an exciting and great report!
    Thank you!

  4. Sheila Randel Says:

    A terrific report and wonderful photos, Carol!! I love hearing about Beauty and Dot.ca!!



  5. Carol P. Says:

    Thanks so much for the nice comments Pat, June, Ginny and Sheila!

  6. Annie M Says:

    Exciting watch – appreciate the report.


  7. Carol P. Says:

    Thank you Annie!

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