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Will Falcons Follow the Food?


As we reported on the 19th, the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) was considering “seeding” the nest boxes with food in order to entice Mariah to use one of them. Yesterday, Wildlife Technician Mike Allen supplied both of the Rochester boxes with dead quail, a standard food used for feeding raptors. Why quail? It’s readily available both frozen and fresh, and quail meat has a lot of nutritional value for raptors.

Only time will tell if Mariah “takes the bait” at one of the nest boxes, but we’re hopeful that the newly delivered morsels will entice her or the new male to visit the nest boxes.

28 Responses to “Will Falcons Follow the Food?”

  1. diane m Says:

    I was surprised to see something in the box. Now I understand what is in the box.It should attract something soon hopefully.

  2. Barbara in WA Says:

    Aha – I was wondering what I espied in the web cams – I’d forgotten about the “bait” idea. Thanks for posting about this.

  3. chrissy Says:

    Great idea. But Mariah has surely already laid her first egg by now. 😉

  4. Maureen in MA Says:

    I had forgotten about the bait idea too. Thank you for filling us in!

  5. Judy Says:

    Did Mariah lay her first egg? Does she have a new partner?

  6. Jess Says:

    @Judy – The answers to your questions in order, are:

    1. We don’t know yet (but it’s doubtful), and
    2. yes, probably (read about the new tiercel in town HERE).
  7. Kris Says:

    The nestbox appears to be a bit leaky. Could this be a deterrent when choosing a nesting site?

  8. Alison in Indiana Says:

    Kris, they don’t know it leaks, they have not been in it! But, no, it would not be a deterrent. In the wild they nest on cliffs – no rain protection there. Location, i.e. unobstructed view of the area, availability of prey – that determines the choice, not amenities like a roof.

  9. claujuh Says:

    well i must admit i am still a wee bit anxious over this whole situation! poor mariah…and where did Kaver go???? if I feel this anxious and forlorn, imagine how our raptor friends feel!! :>{

    i hope Mariah finds her way…….

  10. Kathy V Says:

    Thats a great idea, hope it works. Thanks

  11. Kathy V Says:

    I pray that Mariah or her new mate takes to the bait. You all have given us alot of news lately about M&K and the new mate, offsprings and their laying of eggs, but it is still not the same as years before, by now we would be watching M&K and their rituals. I know, no use living in the past, on to the present, and hopes of an upcoming new family. I sure wish we could find out something about Kaver. Guess I have a hard time with change. Watching this year after year, has made me feel so close to them, and want that again. Hopefully we will. Thank you all.

  12. caye Says:

    I feel so disapointed, and wish things were as they once was. Sad days in Rochester! I only tune in once in a while, not much to look forward to. Caye

  13. Birdlover Says:

    How long do those dead quail stay in the box if they’re not consumed? I assume they go “bad” after a while…or at least not so tempting as “bait”?

  14. Paule Says:

    I’m leaving in Québec Canada… I’m really sad about what’s happening this year… I use to look at Mariah and Kever every spring… It’s my soap of the year… Hope to see a new familly soon…

  15. Alison in Indiana Says:

    In the wild (and actually this is the wild for our resident pair), peregrines make various stashes and come back to them to pick up a meal. (This was used at one site to help a single dad raise his brood after the female was unable to do her part of the job – I think she was killed in a collision, but do not remember all the details). I do not think scientists know how long a stashed bit of prey has been in a particular place to see how long the bait remains useful. However, I do not think there is a “sell by” date for dead birds in peregrine thinking. They cannot smell the carcases rot, so that is not a problem for them. I would assume they loose their appeal when there is no edible flesh on the bones because it is so dissicated.

  16. Alison in Indiana Says:

    Well, someone has taken an interest in the carcasses; they are not in the same position as when I last checked.

  17. Alison in Indiana Says:

    It must have been a very high wind. At 4:20 this morning all four bodies were as they were placed, at 4:21 suddenly the front left one was next to the front right one, where it remains. No living creature was seen on my review of Shaky’s Archive viewer. http://shakymon.com/rfc-archive.html

  18. Amy Says:

    It’s all very sad and I will miss seeing them this year. Sometimes its very frustrating to not be able to control nature.

  19. christy Says:

    Just hope Mariah lays her eggs in a safe place if cams can’t be there to watch over her and her eggs. Safe from people as well as the weather. I’ve read falcon eggs can go for $30K each on the black market.

  20. chrissy Says:

    I’m surprised a TV (Turkey Vulture) hasn’t helped themselves to the bait. They can smell carrion five miles away if I remember correctly and the numbers coming through Braddock Bay are phenomenal lately. April 2’s TV count was 3846.

  21. Birdlover Says:

    I haven’t seen any turkey vultures downtown. They seem to flourish around the area of Irondequoit Bay, and there are quite a few that seem to congregate around a brush landfill off 104 in Irondequoit. I don’t recall ever really seeing them in the urban areas of Rochester.

  22. Lizzie Says:

    I have watched the falcons for several years now,… it seems that all of your comments are getting to be a bit dreary,… I wouldn’t give up hope just yet,… the weather has been kind of wonky this year,… so maybe, just maybe it has thrown off Mariah and Kaver’s pattern a little,… I say don’t give up hope just yet,…

  23. AJ Says:

    I do remember hearing of the TV being chased by our M & K other years. They are in Henrietta. Do Crows fly that high? Both are on the clean-up committee.

    Is Mariah still being spotted in the area? I still see hawks on 390 N. Not sure if they are Redtails or our guys. Can’t tell about the size in the traffic. Maybe Mariah just needs a rest this year.

    I thought you wrote every Tuesday,


  24. OliverPinkStuff Says:

    If you need something to follow while things get sorted out… this is a very good scrape. http://falcons.hamiltonnature.org/

  25. Sarah in Florida Says:

    ….and another good one for viewing:


  26. AJ Says:

    What a sad Easter time this will be(Falcon wise). Usually Mariah lays her first eggs at Easter time. and the mail gets busy. It says the cameras are ready but sofar there are no new pictures. Anm I going to the wrong place? Have a blessed Easter-just the same.

  27. maddie f Says:

    i luv this website

  28. sarah Says:

    this website is SOOOOOOOOOOOO Awesome!
    i wish caver would come back=-<

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