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Eyes to the Skies

Falcon Fledge Watch – DC Hunts Successfully & Orion Continues to Flap (4-8pm) – 7/26/12

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Watchers: Aaron, Dan S, Jeanne, Joyce, Kathy O & Carol P.

I again went straight from work to start my fledge watch at about 4:00 pm. When I first arrived, I parked on the Broad St Bridge (BSB) and quickly found Beauty on the top IBeam, south side of OCSR, Dot.ca on the base of the SE wing at the top of the Times Square Bldg (TSB) and of course young Orion in the nest box. All three seemed settled, so I decided to stay on the BSB since no other Watchers were there at that time. I parked my car where I could see all three falcons, and settled in for my fledge watch.

For close to two hours, there wasn’t much activity. Just a bit of moving around. I was visited by Debbie H when she walked across the BSB to meet her husband. It’s always nice to see Debbie and others that work downtown and love watching the falcons.

It was just before 6:00 pm, when Dot.ca stooped down the front face of the Times Square Bldg. I’ve seen Mariah, Kaver and Archer do this same thing and I never tire of it. It is incredible to see! Because I was on the bridge, I lost him behind the buildings between me and the TSB. But, he soon came out over the river on my right side chasing and then catching a pigeon there. At first I thought, whoa, had Beauty come off the OCSR? Nope she was still there. I watched, amazed as Dot.ca caught the pigeon and carried it back towards the TSB. I quickly started my car and followed.

When I arrived at Falcon Central, which is on Broad St, closer to the front of the TSB, I saw the Aaron was there. I quickly joined him and got the scoop of what he had seen. Like me, he saw Dot.ca dive down the front of the building and hit a pigeon. The pigeon took off and there was also a 2nd one. He chased both out over the river, where Aaron lost sight of them and I picked them up. After he caught the pigeon and headed back towards the TSB, Aaron saw him fly to the right (north) side of the TSB where he lost him behind the Philipone Bldg. He thought he might have been heading towards the Powers Bldg. Fascinating that we saw two different views of the same event.

I got back into my car and drove all around the area surrounding the TSB, but had no luck finding Dot.ca. I returned to Falcon Central just in time to see what seemed to be 30 or more police cars and vans converge on the area. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many. As Aaron and I watched, about 50 people came walking down Exchange heading north, right in front of the TSB. I’m not 100% sure what they were protesting, but they sure had the attention of the Rochester Police who were all over the place. That was very, very strange. Back to Falcon Watching.

For awhile, we waited to see if Dot.ca would bring his prey up to the nest box. Every now and then a pigeon feather would float by us, so we assumed he was close by and that the feathers were being blow by the wind to out location. We didn’t have long to wait. Dot.ca flew in from somewhere behind the TSB and up to the nest box. I knew he was carrying something but not sure what. Aaron checked his pictures and we saw it was just a piece of the prey, which included the leg/foot.

We could see movement on top of the nest box platform, but we couldn’t tell if Dot.ca was feeding Orion or not. I walked down in front of the Blue Cross Arena aka Rochester War Memorial and saw two heads bobbing up and down. Every now and then I would see Dot.ca feed a piece to Orion.

I returned to Falcon Central to join Aaron there. Dot.ca finished eating/feeding Orion and flew up to the base of the SW wing. Beauty never moved from the top IBeam of OCSR the whole time I was there. I really do believe her molt is holding her back a bit, just like one year when Mariah went through a molt.

Soon we were joined by Dan S, Jeanne, Joyce and Kathy O. We all settled in for an evening Fledge Watch, although there wasn’t much activity at all. We saw Orion flap his wings for awhile after eating, but then he settled in the nest box for a nap.

Just before 8:00 pm, Dot.ca took off and did a slow, leisurely stoop down low over exchange, heading south. We waited to see if he would return, but he didn’t. Maybe going over to the BS location to visit with Pigott???

Before joining us, Joyce had spent some time over at KP with KPT.

At 8:00 pm, I decided to call it a night. Kathy and Joyce also decided to leave. We left Dan, Jeanne and Aaron to continue the watch.

I still think it will be 2-3 days before Orion decides to take that first flight, but it’s good that the fledge watch has started. You just never know when it will happen.  We’ll keep watching!

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