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Banding Day Wrap-up

Wow, what a morning! If you watched the action unfold on the cameras or on our 2008 Banding Day page, you were able to follow along as we welcomed Seneca, Diamante, Quest, Zephyr and Susan B to Rochester with names and ID bands. If not, go back and read the 2008 Banding Day page. There you’ll find information on each of the eyases, including their names and ID band numbers!

For the Rochester Falconcam crew the day began at 7:30 with Kenn, Jim, June and Carol arriving to check the camera set up and make sure all of the preparations were in place for the arrival of our guests. Lisa McKeown and Grace Tillinghast stood by ready to greet the media and others as they arrived.

Banding Table Preparation

Mike Allen and Barbara Loucks of the DEC arrived shortly after 8:00 and began setting up the banding table with able assistance provided by Kodak’s Tom Hoehn. Tom’s an old hand at this– he’s been to eleven bandings!



As soon as the students and other guests arrived the extraction teams headed up to the top of the Kodak Tower. They reported that Mariah was very aggressive and territorial, striking the hard hats of several team members. They worked quickly while Mariah yelled and made repeated attacks.


Kaver sounded the alarm too. He flew circles around the tower, coming close but never attacking as Mariah did. Later everyone agreed that Mariah just keeps getting more and more aggressive with each passing year.



Of course the students from the Hilton Quest school were very excited to see the eyases when we brought them in. Local media were also on hand to record the event, while June and Carol announced the names for each eyas and recorded them on the official Rochester Falconcam Eyas Naming Chart.


Here’s Seneca, the first falcon to be banded. Mike Allen decided that she’s a female, but “a small one”. June and Barbara Loucks talked to the children about the size difference between male and female falcons and answered some questions while she received her bands. Afterward, Seneca took a short tour outside so that all of her adoring fans could get a look at her!


Next up was the smallest of the group, Diamante. You can see Mike Allen holding Diamante’s head as he performs a short examination. Mike was impressed that the eyas followed his every move, a very good sign! Diamante was the quietest of the eyases during his banding too. Maybe he was tired from all the food he received before getting yanked from the nest box!


Quest, on the other hand, was a real talker– or maybe I should say “squawker”. The Quest school students were thrilled to hear their name announced for this big female. She was especially noisy when Mike was applying the colored tape over her US Fish and Wildlife Service band. Mike said she was yelling because she didn’t like blue, the color of the tape he was using for her.


Then it was Zephyr, the second young tiercel, who received his bands. Zephyr’s name carries forward the popular theme of naming the Rochester falcons after winds. Since his name was submitted by the members of the GVAS volunteer Fledge Watch, we think he’ll definitely have a place in the watchers’ hearts!

Susan B.     img_4256.jpg

Last up was Susan B. As soon as they brought her to the table the students all knew she was a female. They turned out to be quick learners, and they were right! Tom Hoehn even got in on the banding act, standing in for Barbara Loucks to assist with the final banding. Susan B was named by the City of Rochester, and her name is meant to commemorate one of Rochester’s most prominent citizens, as well as to honor the city itself. We were thrilled with all of the names that were submitted, and we can’t wait to see this group of five fine eyases take to the air in a few weeks.


Finally it was time to finish the banding task. The young falcons were carefully placed back into the specially designed Eyas Transport Pods– better known as five-gallon buckets– for the trip up to the nest box. Putting back the eyases takes much less time than removing them, but it still gave Mariah plenty of opportunities to voice her displeasure at the presence of humans in her territory, and she attacked with as much vigor as she had an hour before. With the eyases safely back in their scape the Eyas Return Team retreated.

This eleventh year of banding the Rochester Falcons was the best yet. Five robust, healthy eyases, terrific names, engaged school children and a wealth of guests all contributed to an excellent morning. The Rochester Falconcam would like to thank Barbara Loucks and Mike Allen for taking time from their very busy schedules to spend a morning with us. We’re also grateful to Kodak for hosting the banding event in the style we’ve come to expect and appreciate. And finally, many thanks to all of the fans who viewed the banding, whether in person or on the Internet. We all feel very privileged to take part in each year’s Banding Day, and we’re glad you could share it with us!

For another look at the banding, check out Tom Hoehn’s post in Kodak’s 1000 Words blog!

You can also view some video clips from the banding posted by Baerbel at YouTube!



43 Responses to “Banding Day Wrap-up”

  1. Cathy Says:

    FANTASTIC to watch!!!

  2. Alison in Austria Says:

    So it would appear that Diamante is the eyas that folks on the kfalconcam board have been calling “Tiny”.
    Thank-you for the great wrap-up and the special fly-by pictures of Mariah on the attack.

  3. Liza O Says:

    Due to a job change, I was not able to make it to the banding today. I appreciated all of the up to the minute coverage as I was lurking from work! I loved that the name Zephyr was used ! He may have to be my favorite! I did, however miss mariah attacking the team at the nest box , that is always my favorite part of banding day ! Sorry team!!!
    See you at headquarters.

  4. Brenda in Florida Says:

    What an interesting day! We’ve watched the babies grow and now they have names. How wonderful to see all of the children involved in naming the eyases and in observing the banding process. A huge thank you to everyone involved in making it possible for us to watch the Peregrine falcons raise their family. It does seem the eyases are showing off their new ‘bracelets’.

  5. Kathy Villone Says:


  6. AJ Says:

    Great names! They are getting easier to pronounce every year. Thanks.

    Is “tiny” smaller than the males? I thought there were 3 females. Now were the eyases weighed? What are there weights? I’m going to call Susan B. Su B. So far I have not been able to see there bands. Sleep well little ones.

    Wish I could watch in person sometime.

  7. Angela Says:

    Well Thats Great! Im glad to hear they are all healthy and I love the names! Great to see that we have a boy this year! Well Im Glad Banding Day 2008 went well!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰

  8. Alison in Austria Says:

    If the bird had been named O-non-dowa-gah (People of the Great Hill), which is what the Seneca originally called themselves, AJ, you would have learned to pronounce that too:-D

    I think that if some posters have been calling one of the eyases “Tiny” based on size, it would have to be one of the males. Even a small female tends to be bigger than a male. However, sexing a falcon is an imprecise science and we think there is a “female” from a previous brood who fledged quickly and may indeed have been a male. S/he has not been found at a nesting sight, so that we could know for sure who is producing the eggs.

  9. Ei Says:

    I’m one of the posters who has been calling one of the eyases “Tiny” and I was referring to one of the two youngest…the size difference between the youngest and the eldest was quite striking until the past day or so. I did suspect the smallest was a male, but that’s one of the fun parts of watching-seeing if your guesses are correct when the experts meet the birds for the first time! πŸ™‚

  10. tom Says:

    The rfalconcam Banding Day team did a great job bring the event to a wide audience – kudos to those tireless and creative people. The work to plan this event began an hour after the close of last year’s banding. There is much sophistication involved to pull this off but they make it look easy. Jim, FalKenn, June, and Carol, you rock!

  11. Linda Mueller Says:

    This was the first banding day I’ve been home to watch and I spent the entire time glued in front of my computer. This was the best ‘entertainment’ and now it will be fun to watch the individual personalities develop. Thanks so much for doing this. (Midlothian, VA)

  12. FujiMan Says:

    GREAT JOB!!!
    Will any video be posted?

  13. Donna Says:

    I was also plastered to my computer screen this year. I’m glad to see all the volunteers made it out in one piece.
    I haven’t been able to see them all stand up long enough to check out their bands. They are all so awesome.
    A few years back, wasn’t one of the males, mistaken for a female and given a female name? Does anyone remember this?

  14. Ei Says:

    Donna-There were actually 2 gender debates in recent years. In 2005 Aconcagua was banded as a male-small and late hatch-but was HUGE by the time s/he fledged. In 2006 Sabrina was banded as a female, but was much smaller than her sisters at fledge time. But despite visual size Aconcagua may be a very large male and Sabrina may be a very small female. They are officially listed as it was determined on banding day and the debate will remain open until they are spotted nesting somewhere. Only then will we know for sure!

  15. Gail Says:

    Alison in Austria–The Six Nations of the Iroquois are: the Mohawk, the Oneida, the Onondaga, the Cayuga, and the Seneca.

    The Seneca and what you call the O-non-dowa-gah (Onondaga) are two different tribes. Look at a map of the Fingerlakes and you will see how physically far apart these two tribes were (the Cayuga were in between the two)

  16. Jim Says:

    Thanks Tom. I had a great time as always.

    If anyone wants to see more pictures from banding day, I’ve posted some of mine at Peregrinations.

  17. Alison in Austria Says:

    I remember there was also discussion about Isis (named by June Summers of the GVAS) actually being Osiris. Isis was banded female in 2002 and then disappeared at the beginning of fledging causing great consternation. When s/he turned up again some days later in fine fettle, it was thought s/he may have been a male who fledged early and successfully, as males are wont to do. But as s/he has never been found again, we shall never know.

  18. Penny Smith Says:

    This is the first year I’ve witnessed the Falcons from egg-laying till now and found it to be a wonderful experience to be part of. The site was given to my by a former New Yorker and I have it bookmarked. Everyday we ask each other “Have you checked the babies today?” It is going to difficult waiting until the babies arrive next year. But you can bet we’ll be watching and waiting.

  19. Froona Says:

    Thank you all who have made this bandingday a great succes. I have been watching it from the very first moment. Fortunately in the Netherlands it was 15: 30 when they took the eyases out of the box so I could watch it. Mariah every year amazes me, she does really attack. How different from our own female peregrine at De Mortel nestsite S2. I was at the banding of our own 4 eyases, so I know how exciting it is.
    Wonderful names for wonderful special eyases!
    Jim: spectacular shots of Mariah! Great! Thanks for sharing! What a lady she is: indeed legendary this Mariah of Rochester!

  20. Carol P. Says:

    Mariah is indeed legendary Froona! I couldn’t agree more. I consider it an honor to be one of her Watchers. She is a Queen of Peregrines. πŸ™‚

    Tom – Thanks for your kind words. πŸ™‚

    I have yet to go through all my pictures and videos from that day. The children from the Quest School in Hilton were awesome. They were so excited when I announced her name. πŸ™‚

    I’m also keeping a very close eye on Rhea Mae’s new family up in Toronto. How very nice of her to claim a nestsite with a webcam! πŸ™‚

    Carol P.

  21. caye Says:

    can you give some instruction on how to pronouce the males names?

  22. Jess Says:

    @caye- Assuming you’re used to American English pronounciation, try this…

    Diamante: Dee-ah-mon-tay
    Zephyr: Zeh-feer

  23. Donna Says:

    Thanks EI. Sabrina is the one I was thinking of. So, I assume there have been no sightings of her.
    Has there been any talk of placing another tracking device on a future Fledgling?

  24. Ei Says:

    No official sightings, Donna. Last year there was a juvie that stopped by the tower…straining my memory, but I think late winter…who was unidentified but in some reports had red tape on the USFWS band. I’d have to dig to find whether there was an opinion on size. I haven’t heard any transmitter chatter.

  25. monica Says:

    I missed banding day too. ( had to show up to work!). I’m glad there are a couple boys in the bunch. I’m always amazed how it all unfolds.With mariah and kaver there, hovering over it has to be a little unnerving! I guess we’ll soon see the little ones taking flying lessons. I applaud everyone involved , and thank you all too. I believe to that Mariah and Kaver are both legends here in rochester.

  26. AJ Says:


    I was just wondering about the tracking device myself. I thought it was mentioned at the beginning of this season. Or is it on the reason for the Srape?

    Any news on there weight yet, Jess?

  27. AJ Says:

    Me again. I see the eyasses are feeding themselves. Mom and dad hunt and catch and they devour. Another milestone. Oh, they grow up so fast.


  28. caye Says:

    Thank you, Jess, that is a big help to me and others perhaps. I have really been enjoying OUR BIRD FAMILY. Caye

  29. egon firl Says:


  30. Natalie Says:

    I Love birds but I like Maria and Kaver the best!

  31. Natalie Says:

    Maria + Kaver= Susan B., Seneca, Quest, Zephyr, and Diamante! Awesome!

  32. Ei Says:

    Hi AJ-

    I don’t recall any recent transmitter plans. The prior 2 were part of a project by the Migration Research Foundation, but I don’t believe they’re currently working with peregrine falcons. I’m sure Jess will let us know if any new projects develop.

    I don’t think the DEC weighs eyases in NY…I don’t recall having seen weights listed before.

    Yes, they are growing up fast πŸ™‚

  33. AJ Says:


    I’m quite sure that we have had weights in the past. It gives us watchers a better size reference. I have often suggested having some measuring marks up the back of the scrape for us. But I guess no one else likes the idea.

    Still no explanation for the large time differance from when a letter was submitted and the time on the letter to read.

    Have a good night! 10:10PM

  34. Alison in Austria Says:

    AJ, I think Ei is right and you are remembering weights from other falcon projects like Pennsylvania. for example here: http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/falcon/recent_news.html

    Gail, not to put to fine a point on it, but most internet sources I have found say something similar to what I posted here about the Seneca Nation’s original name. This is the Wikipedia entry: “The Seneca nation’s own name is OnâdowÑga’, meaning “People of the Mountains”, and is identical to the endonym used by the Onondagas. With the formation of the Haudenosaunee (“People of the Longhouse”) or the Iroquois Confederation in 1142, the Seneca became known as the “Keepers of the Western Door” because they settled and lived the farthest west of all the nations within the Haudenosaunee. Their name “Seneca” was designated by other nations, after the Seneca nation’s principle village of Osininka.”

  35. Ei Says:

    AJ-I think you may have missed the time stamp explanation Jess posted last month…
    Jess Says:
    May 10th, 2008 at 8:02 pm
    @AJ- the timestamps on the comments come from the server that hosts our website. ItÒ€ℒs in a different timezone than Rochester.

  36. AJ Says:

    Ok, I’ll let the weight thing go, but I do recall it. I did not go to any other falcon reports, unless it was repeated on the Rochester one.

    I did miss Jess’s report on May 10TH. It was my/our 50TH anniversary. Sorry.

    Look at the size of white fluff now. I hope one doesn’t get pushed off,

    Jess, do adults get sleepy aftr a good meal?

  37. Jess Says:

    @AJ – Ei and Alison are correct– The DEC doesn’t weigh the eyases during banding day, at least not at the Rochester site. Gender determination is based entirely on the bird’s size, as determined by measuring the diameter of their leg.

    @FujiMan- Baerbel Winkler, one of our guests at banding day, has posted quite a few video clips at YouTube. You can watch them HERE.

  38. Luana Rossbach Says:

    Just noticed one of the little ones with a transmitter. Was is installed on banding day? Which one is it? It was laying down taking a snooze so I could not see the bands. Fantastic site! I have seen others and they pale in comparison.

  39. lucy Says:

    is that a tracking device on one of them??

  40. goptl Says:

    Can someone if they haven’t already, what’s the deal with the tracking device? I know they did that but I thought it was with adults that they trapped. Seems it’s gonna be pretty tough on that young bird. Tell us it isn’t so.


  41. Trista Says:

    they’ve had the tracking device on past chicks it works out fine, but which one has it?

  42. Sharon Says:

    Quest has the tracking device. There is a full story about it on the Imprints page; specifically, this post that you commented on. πŸ™‚

  43. John Carlos Says:

    Who has the green and yellow bands from 2008?

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