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The Journal of Rfalconcam

Winds Of Change

You might think this is Kaver. It certainly looks a lot like him. But it isn’t. The fact is, Kaver hasn’t been seen since last fall, when he presumably left the area for his regular winter migration.

The tiercel in this picture appears to be Tybropa-Cree, a falcon that was fostered, or hacked by our friends at the Canadian Peregrine Foundation back in 2007. In an interesting coincidence he came from the same hack box in Scarborough, Ontario that Linn, Mariah and Kaver’s daughter from 2007, had been staking out last year. Tybropa-Cree– our watchers have nicknamed him “TC”– has a black ID band on his leg, which is how we found out who he was. Watcher Jill Church first photographed him in the town of Greece, east of Rochester, in late February.

Why mention him, you might be asking? Well, the answer is that for the past several days TC has been here in Rochester, hanging around with Mariah and exhibiting all of the typical courtship behaviors we’ve come to expect from Peregrines. A couple of days ago, Falconcam team member Carol Phillips found him under the pedestrian bridge near the Kodak tower. Here’s an album of her pictures. And if you look at the fourth picture in Carol’s album, you’ll see that TC and Mariah have even been observed mating!

So, what of Kaver? That will have to remain a mystery, unless he should fly back into town. It’s not too late for him to do that– he’s arrived as late as the 15th in past years, but most recently he’s been returning early in the first week of March, so his absence this late in the month is atypical. If he does return, there would almost certainly be a battle between him and TC, with one of them being driven out of the territory, or perhaps even killed. If he doesn’t, then Mariah has fulfilled her biological imperative for reproduction by mating with this new tiercel.

Now that they have commenced mating, nest selection should begin soon. Both Mariah and TC have been spending lots of time on the Kodak Tower, despite the absence of a nest box. So far they haven’t taken much notice of either of the boxes installed on the Powers or Times Square Buildings. The next couple of weeks should see them choosing a nesting spot. You can keep tabs on the nest box at the Powers Building at the Rochester Falconcam’s Multicam page, and we hope to have the cameras at the Times Square box connected soon. Our watchers are keeping their eyes to the skies too, so we’ll be sure to keep you updated!

In the meantime, courtesy of Frank at the Canadian Peregrine Foundation, we’re happy to bring you some pictures of Tybropa-Cree when he was a youngster growing up in the hack box in Scarborough, Ontario.

july3peregrinechicks4img_4358.jpg     july3peregrinechicksimg_4353.jpg

july5whiteimg_4363.jpg     july32chicksimg_4354.jpg

31 Responses to “Winds Of Change”

  1. Karyn aka Rickabob Says:

    Oh no….I hope nothing happened to Kaver and that he is just late. But then again, if he does arrive, I would hate to see a battle. I know, I know, that is natural behavior..but still. TC is a beautiful male. Will keep watching.

    On a side note…it has been so long that I have tried to log into Forum on Yahoo that I can’t remember id or password! LOL So thanks so much for this site.

  2. Kathy V Says:

    Thank you so much Frank for letting us know who this new fella is. I pray nothing has happened to Kaver, and he does return, But.life goes on and if not Mariah has her mate (?) and hopefully they will pick a box. I am waiting with anticipation. Nice photos, he’s quite a looker.

  3. Cathy Says:

    He looks somewhat like Kaver, but has Mariah’s intense glare, too! Maybe Kaver found another babe somewhere else, too! Sounds like “Love the one you’re with” is the falcon motto! Ha!Ha! He is a beautiful bird and I sure hope that if he is Mariah’s new mate that they are fruitful!

  4. dale Says:

    insanely cute nestbox photos. what a delightful camera angle.

  5. Maureen in MA Says:

    Perfect title for this post. Thank you for the update, and pictures! It’s starting out as a very interesting season, to say the least.

  6. bluhawkk Says:

    Any way of luring Mariah to one those prepared nestboxes?

    It would be a shame if she nested in some precarious spot.

  7. bluhawkk Says:

    BTW, is it typical that after the season mating pairs go their separate ways?

    Are peregrins solitary except in season?

  8. Donna Says:

    Wow, I have a tear in my eye reading this. I will greatly miss Kaver, if he doesn’t return. He was a wonderful provider for Mariah and the little ones. I’ll be watching.

  9. Kim in Italy Says:

    Thank you so much, Jess, for the update, Carol’s beautiful pics, all the pics, TC’s ID and Frank’s good, kind help!

  10. Barbara in WA Says:

    Well, if TC becomes the new “husband” for Mariah then it is very cool to know where he came from, to see him as a youngster !!

  11. Bonnie, Ridgecrest, Ca Says:

    I would hate to know that something happened to Kaver as to Cabot -Sirocco before him.
    But since location is everything I doubt that we will see them in the nest box in the new location.

  12. Fred Says:

    Last I knew, Greece was west of Rochester, TC must be very clever to find another east of Roch. 🙂

  13. Alison in Austria Says:

    bluhawkk, we used to think that was typical, that both falcons would wander off and then reunite at their scrape the following season. But meanwhile we have encountered stationary falcons in North America who hang in their territory all year long. This is typical of the species in Australia. Now we observe a mix of both on webcams. Used to be that the Cleveland falcons both migrated. The current pair are year-rounders. Same in Harrisburg. Sometimes Mariah migrated as well as her mate, but more often, it seems she stayed around and only the male migrated, twice no, as we seem to be experiencing, never to return. This does not have to mean something dire has happened to Kaver – he is unbanded, so if he is nesting somewhere else he thinks is better for offspring, there is no way to recognise him and know that.

  14. BIGFRANK-CPF Says:

    Glad U like the “baby pictures” of Tybropa Cree. The camera angle mentioned by Dale was…open door on back of box,dont let anyone escape,take shot holding camera in one hand door in other. I have a few shots of all 4 young outside the box,but beyond the BIG SISTER,none are recognizable. It was a great thrill to be part of the team,feeding them,release day…watching them progress. So much was instinct that I would have thought was learned behaviors.
    For the record all of our “city” Peregrines stay all year long together,on site. When I first learned Kaver migrated I thought it odd. I too hope nothing untoward has happened to Kaver.

  15. bluhawkk Says:

    Alison, thanks.

    Interesting that they seemingly makes choices and are not driven soley by biological imperative.

    Now one wonders what drives their choices.

  16. Kathy V Says:

    Thanks Alison for the info. You seem to know quite a bit about falcons and their ways. I know next to nothing, just what I learn from all you folks on line. I too, hope Kaver returns, but if not, I hope he is well and happy and prospers. Mariah will do fine, only hope and pray she picks a box here. Will be waiting more news.

  17. Alison in Austria Says:

    Everything I know I learned on-line at the Kodak website, now Rfalconcam, and a couple of other sites. Used to be that biologists and experienced banders hung out on the forums and we got lots of questions answered. I have been watching falcons on-line all over the globe for some 10 years and draw on that experience as well. I have rarely experienced peregrines in real life and when I did, they were mostly sitting teathered to blocks, laid back before the next feeding or raptor show.
    So, Kathy V, just stick around, keep your eyes and ears open (especially when Jess, Jim, Carol P and some of the other old hands post), and you will be able to help the newbies in years to come.

  18. Alison in Austria Says:

    “Interesting that they seemingly makes choices and are not driven soley by biological imperative.

    Now one wonders what drives their choices.”

    Biological imperative. They stay in an area with good food supply; wandering was driven by going where the hunting was better. They choose a scrape for the qualities that will make for a successful brood, adequate food supply, overview of the territory to be able to control airspace. They choose a mate for the same reason humans do – the other looks most likely to be a successful family partner. When peregrines fight over territory it is always male on male or female on female – the winner takes over because he or she has proved him- or herself more fit in the eyes of the remaining peregrine.

  19. Birdlover Says:

    Peregrine falcons form monogamous pair bonds that often last throughout many breeding seasons. Both males and females have a strong attachment to previous nesting sites, which may explain monogamy over multiple breeding seasons, rather than attachment between individuals.

    That being said Alison, and the fact that they “reunite at the scrape”…has the relocation of the scrape changed the way Mariah has approached mating this season? The watchers even indicate that it was with great sadness that they watch her fly in circles around the area where her nest box used to be, where it is now blockaded with netting to prevent her from having access.

    So has all of this had an impact on her to somehow feel that the “biological imperative” is somehow escalated or confused and perhaps desperate because of all of the massive changes around her?

  20. Joan McC Says:

    I feel a bit better knowing that perhaps nothing happened to Kaver and he just chose someone else. But I still worry about the nest box issue and Mariah’s probable frustration at not having access to her old place. And what about those boxes installed a few years ago at Kodak Park – any nibbles there? Is anybody watching those sites? If Mariah doesn’t go for our nest boxes, what sort of places could she choose for her eggs? Lots of questions, but I’m really interested…

  21. chrissy Says:

    Falcons are known for their strong instinct for site fidelity. I’m hoping kaver slipped by the watchers long enough to decide there’s no point in staying on since his home is gone. It’s getting on in the season and if Kaver shows up now I fear there would be a battle. As the days grow longer those hormone levels increase and Kaver showing up raging mad catching Mariah and the new kid in town in flagrante is not a scene I’d want to witness.

    Joan, if it’s any help, I understand that falcons fledged on buildings and nestboxes will choose them over a natural scrape. But, then, what do the experts know! In Carol’s album the new tiercel seems to spend a lot of time under the pedestrian bridge and near the outcroppings on the side of the gorge. He’s so young it’s probably impossible to predict. Mariah laid her first egg on the 26th last year. We’ll have to watch the watchers around then.

    I wanted to share this link (http://www.falconcam.med.ualberta.ca/stories.html) as an example of the survival skills these falcons have. Then, of course, there’s Dundas, the one taloned tiercel who, last I heard was doing just fine up in Canada.

  22. Kathy M. Says:

    Chrissy, TC was originally born on a bridge so that might be why he is drawn to it. It will definitely be interesting to see where Mariah lays her eggs this year!

  23. Denise Says:

    Why did they move Mariah’s nest box from the Kodak building?

  24. bev. Says:

    I love Kyver, but to think that this youngster has made it is exciting.
    I sent money that year to help feed those youngsters in the hack box.
    Canada and Rochester are getting quite comfortable exchanging falcons LOL

    I also do not want to see a fight after witnessing 3 at U of A in Edmonton Alberta last year and one the year before. Not a very happy event, and gut wrenching.

  25. Kathy V Says:

    Oh my, this is sad, I was hoping all could be like years before, darn that renovation of the Kodak building. I hope my gut feeling is wrong. It was so nice to have them in their usual box and watching it everyday. Guess I don’t want change, but thats not practical thinking. Think positive…..

  26. Birdlover Says:

    Mariah sure got the attention and fear of the folks outside on break today off Irving Place. She was in hot and noisy pursuit of a crow that must’ve made her angry. The crow was trying to go up and down and around in the parking lot across from the county office building, but eventually they both took off over the powers building. The war seemed to originate behind the Gannett Building for what that’s worth…

    The people on the sidewalks apparently are not used to falcons and were actually acting as though they were afraid they would be attacked (She was up and down on that bird from the moment I saw them til they took off towards the Powers Building).

  27. Carol P. Says:

    Birdlover – You are absolutely correct. That was Mariah chasing a Crow. I was watching from the top of the Sisters Cities Garage, across from the county office bldg. She was up on the top arm of the communication tower when a Crow landed below her. Immediately she went into a stoop and chased after the Crow. It was cool to watch her from above as she raced back and forth across the parking lot next to the Hochstein School of Music. She finally broke off the chase and ended up flying higher and higher heading south. It was thrilling to watch from above, but I’ll bet the folks on the ground also had a great view of this aerial dogfight. – Carol P.

  28. Kathy Says:

    I wonder if TC’s not being spotted lately has something to do with Mariah trying so hard to get to her old site – maybe he chose another location but if she refused to go, would he view that as a rejection of himself? I know people are posting he’s a love and leave em type but that’s not really accurate as he’s only now just coming up on 2 years old. When he was hanging with Linn and the others he was technically still a juvenile and like most teens, he was socializing and discovering the world so I don’t really count that as he wasn’t really sexually mature but now he is and Mariah is his first real mate.

    I hope it all works out and she does chose a new nest site but 11 years is a long time and I expect it’s very stressful for her to be denied access to her ledge after all these years.

  29. Birdlover Says:

    It really makes me physically sick. To think that she keeps flying around and around Kodak tower, unable to even get to the area since it’s blocked off with netting. You can’t “train” her to a location for that many years, film her, study her, study her young, tag her young, put tracking devices on her young and not feel some type of responsibility here.

    I’m not trying to pick a fight – but man’s interference here was hardly worth the outcome. You don’t let the “old bird” give so much, and get to this point of her life and hang her out there. Kaver being gone coincidence? I don’t know what to think or believe. But I can see that it’s awfully quiet around here and even that silence is scary.

    Perhaps the DEC or someone of authority could give an update. Not about the things you don’t know (because after 11 years, we expect more than that) – but the things you DO know. I would sincerely be appreciated.

  30. chrissy Says:

    Kathy M, TC hatched on a bridge? No wonder. He may be right under the watchers while they’re searching the skies for him.

    Birdlover, I hear ya! As a Buddhist I understand change. But it’s a universally accepted norm that when we interfere with the natural order we take responsibility for it.

  31. Kathy Says:

    Chrissy, yes TC was originally hatched on a bridge and they removed the eyases because years before they would fledge and drop into the water and drown so they were removed to Toronto and placed in a hack box so they would have a chance!

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