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Rochester’s New Female Identified

Photo Courtesy of Joyce Miller

Sunday brought together all the right factors– bright clear weather, plenty of photographers and observers, and not least a cooperative falcon– to allow us to positively identify the female Peregrine who has taken Mariah’s place in downtown Rochester. Falcon watcher Joyce Miller, who also got the definitive shot of Archer’s ID band, managed to snap this image of the female showing off her black and green bracelet. For those who can’t quite make out the ID, it’s 81/Y.

Yesterday evening we sent the photo and band ID off to some of our contacts including Barb Loucks and Mike Allen at the DEC. Today we heard back from them as well as Juanita Woods and Art McMorris from the State of Pennsylvania, and from them we’ve received the following history:

81/Y was was hatched and fledged in 2007 from the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning. Her parents are Erie *T/W (1998 Rhodes State Office Tower, Columbus, Ohio) and Dorothy 5/*A (1999 Firstar Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin). Erie’s parents were an unbanded male named Bandit and his 1st mate Aurora red 4R0 from Canada. Dorothy’s parents were Bill 74T (hacked in 1991 from Madison Wisconsin) and Sibella 20V (hacked in 1988 from Isle Royale, Keweenaw County, Michigan).

She received her ID bands on May 31, 2007. Her USFWS band has ID#1687-00506, and was initially covered with blue tape that has since fallen away. Pennsylvania doesn’t name the falcons they band, but her local watchers, Kate St. John (the “Peregrine Lady” of Pittsburgh) and Karen Lang, informally called her Beauty (both the name and the color of her tape began with the letter “B”). Kate writes a blog where she’ll be sharing the news about their former fledgling.

So welcome to “Beauty“, 81/Y! Everyone at the Rochester Falconcam is thankful to Juanita, Art, Kate, Barb and Mike for their help in tracking down the story of our newest Peregrine. We also want to extend our gratitude to Lou Capuano and Jim Pisello who photographed her and contributed to the ID effort, and the many watchers who have been looking out for this new pair of Peregrines.

We’re considering what to do about the fact that she doesn’t have an official name. For now we’ll continue to call her Beauty, but you know that Rochester has a long history of providing unique names for our falcons, so who knows what the future holds…?

48 Responses to “Rochester’s New Female Identified”

  1. Anne Clarke Says:

    Beauty — works for me! Thank you for letting us know as fast as possible, Jess! It’s good to know who Archer has chosen for his mate! They are both young and hopefully will have a long and healthy life together in Rochester!

  2. ei Says:

    Congratulations and thanks to all the sleuths! I personally think if her watchers called her Beauty, it’s a perfectly fine name with me…and fitting! Welcome to Rochester, Beauty!

  3. Kathy Says:

    Oh I’ve read kate’s blog, she must be thrilled!! Welcome Beauty! She comes from good stock that’s for sure!

  4. Lola Says:

    Beauty is a beauty ! Thank you everyone – – — Juanita, Art, Kate, Barb and Mike for the help in researching her past.

  5. DianaR Says:

    Congrats to all in their efforts to id our new Beauty. I can’t see any reason why we should change her name – it sounds like a good one. After all, how would we feel if folks changed the names of the young’uns that we name?


  6. pam Says:

    Beauty is a fine name. Let’s keep it!

  7. rossum Says:

    Beauty is a noun, not a name. Come on guy’s a Rochester falcon deserves a dignified name that somebody put some thought into not a name that was picked because it had the same first letter as the color of the tape on a leg band!!!

  8. Marcia Lyman Says:

    Beauty has been a name for time out of mind – “Black Beauty,” “Beauty and the Beast,” etc. I’d say the name is perfectly dignified; I expect the watchers in Pittsburgh put some thought into it. By me, no need to change it.

  9. Barb Says:

    This picture makes it look like she is missing a talon. Is she? Does anyone know was she one of the falcons that spent the winter in Rochester?

  10. John Carlos Says:

    I always was under the impression that we shouldn’t name animals which we’re not sure we’ll have for very long. Having said that, am I the only one who thinks Mariah could very well still send “Beauty” packing on a one way trip outta’ town once she has recovered and is released?

    Hopefully Mariah’s release doesn’t happen until Archer has had a chance to migrate out for the season so that she doesn’t get attacked 2-on-1 again.

  11. Maureen in MA Says:

    Thank you for the news, and for everyone’s driven efforts to identify this Beauty!

  12. Terry Says:

    Beauty works for me!

  13. Barb C Says:

    I disagree about Mariah sending her packing. Maria is not a young bird and has been severely injured. Another Territorial fight could be her last. I hate to say this but unless she has a total recovery and is 100% I hope that she is retired to the Seneca Park Zoo where she will be safe. Also retirement would most likely add a few more years to her life then she would get in the wild. Nature is a wonderful thing but not particularly kind.

    question: Is Beauty Archer’s mate or the female that has been hanging around with Zepher?

  14. June Kogut Says:

    I agree with DianaR.. We wouldn’t want someone to change Quest’s name for instance.. Beauty is a perfect name for a new Matiarch in Rochester. Good luck to her..And good luck to Mariah. Let’s NOT send her back to fight again. I think she has earned a sensible and safe retirement .!!!

  15. Kathy V Says:

    thanks for the hard work, and update along with the great photo.

  16. pam Says:

    Regarding the issue of Mariah returning to the wild. In a perfect world, I would love so see her return and enjoy the freedom again. But at the same time I fear for her life. As someone said she is not a young bird and instinct would probably bring her back to the same area. I don’t believe she would be the victor in any territorial battle against younger birds. Her age is working against her here. She would be safer in ‘retirement’ but the question is- what is Mariah’s right? If she recovers fully, isn’t it her right to be set free? If we could ask Mariah, I think she would choose to be set free and take what nature has intended for her- good or bad.

  17. Carol P. Says:

    Pam – I totally agree with you. If she recovers 100% and is able to be released, she should be. I just can’t imagine a healthy Mariah in a cage no matter how pretty the enclosure. It would break my heart. She needs to be free. But, if she is unable to be released due to her injuries, I couldn’t think of a better place than Wild Wings to care for her. But I truly hope it doesn’t come to that. What happens to her after her release is out of our control as well it should be with such a beautiful and wild creature. Just my opinion.

  18. Alison in Indiana Says:

    Thank-you to all involved for identifying the falcon who now rules the skies in down town Rochester. I certainly hope Archer did not do a number on Zephyr to win “Beauty’s” fancy. It is somewhat comforting to know that the two are not related, as the siblings in Sweden were not able to produce eggs of their own and one is not quite sure of the cause.

    As for the name, of course she is beautiful, but there is a precedent for giving a Rochester name for a resident falcon or tiercel. Mariah’s first mate was named Sirocco and continued to be called that for some time even after it was discovered he was originally named Cabot. Up in Canada there is a falcon they continue to call Madame X even though the fledge watchers where she came from called her “Runaround Sue”.
    A “wind” name with a hyphenation to Beauty would probably satisfy all parties.

  19. chrissy Says:

    Great to know the new falcon’s origins! Much as I wish Mariah hadn’t lost to the new female, considering how close they are genetically, pairing Mariah with Archer may have weakened the gene pool. Nature is at work here and we are witnessing it in all it’s wonder.

    As far as releasing Mariah, I don’t believe there would be a fight if she’s released after mating season. At least, I’ve never heard of such a thing. We’re not even sure how she’d tolerate permanent confinement. Midtown is still scheduled to be demolished later this year as far as I know, so the new pair will have to relocate eventually. They may opt to nest at Brighton next season. That was the new female’s first choice, after all.

  20. diane m Says:

    Beauty is a good name. And for Mariah, she is a free and wild bird. She does not want to go in a nursing home no more than we would want to be put in a nursing home. Give her the dignity she deserves. God bless her for all these years being the Matriarch of Downtown!!

  21. Elizabeth Austin Says:

    ..it’s simple as ABC…Archer, Beauty, and their first offspring could all be named, beginning with a ‘C’!!

    I’m so ambivalent about Mariah’s future….it seems as though Rochester has become a peregrine 4-lane highway, with so many falcons being sighted….out of respect for Carol P.’s opinion, though, I’d say she should be released…I only wish her release geography could be ‘far from the madding crowd’, so that she has more of a chance..but she’d hone in on Rochester again, I’m sure….

  22. caye Says:

    Just consider that Mariah must be well before we send her off to fight again?? Kind of crazy isn’t it?? I would just love to her and know that she will be in loving care and we could all get a chance to see her.. But we all feel differently and I know we all care for her but my heart just aches for her!! and the uncertainty of it!! …. Must admit our new friend is a BEAUTY.

  23. Kathy Says:

    Update on Freedom posted under the “Welcome Archer” post. Not great news I’m afraid, it’s now confirmed he lost his territory. On the plus side no downed peregrine was found so perhaps he will turn up elsewhere.

  24. Maureen in MA Says:

    Disregarding my humanized emotions on Mariah’s release, I agree with Pam and Carol P. Mariah should be returned to the wild to live out her remaining time on Earth, however long that may be. I think that’s what most of us would want if presented with a similar choice regarding our own lives. My only wish is that Mariah not be released until the end of the season when, hopefully, Beauty and Archer have gone to their winter retreats. This way Mariah has a fighting chance, at least.

  25. chrissy Says:

    Not sure I understand why the new female is being renamed. Even if Beauty isn’t an “official” name, it was given to her by her caring and dedicated watchers in Pittsburgh. Seems to me changing her name kind of diminishes their hard work. Just a thought.

  26. sandi Says:

    Its great to know how many ppl care!! Im glad mariah is improving. As for the new pair, i hope to see them bring new babies to rochester.. I had a thought about what to do with mariah if she gets healthy.. Would you be able to place her at one of the new nesting boxes just to get her used to it, so maybe next year she would know where it was? Also just wanted to mention about a falcon that greets me every morning where i take a short stop before i pick up the children for school( drive a school bus) Its close to brighton where Zepher was spotted.. At first i wasnt sure it was a falcon because it didnt fly low enough for me to recognize it.. Last week on friday it flew down low enough so i could look under it,, it has the markings that falcons have and to me it looked big.. Its strange that it shows up at the same time im there, its exiteing to watch this falcon.. but on cue, he or she shows up.. when i go back next week i plan to bring my binoculars to see if i can see it better.. thankyou for all you falcon watchers do to bring such joy into watching these beautiful birds!!!!

  27. monica Says:

    I’m glad there is another falcon to watch, but i m wondering is Beauty the one that fought with Mariah? I’m sure it was mentioned, but i missed it. Well she is a beauty of a bird. I too, agree with maureen, that should Mariah be released, it’s after the other two are done here, & gone to their retreats, so Mariah will have a peace and quiet here in her sky. Whoever takes her ( & Kavers )place, it just won’t be the same. I’ll still be watching, though.

  28. Alison in Indiana Says:

    Yes, “Beauty” is the one that displaced Mariah in the downtown Rochester territory. We also think she was the one hanging out with Zephyr in another part of town.
    What with the injuries Mariah has incurred, it will probably be a good long time until DEC (and not we) decides where she shall spend the months after her recovery. If it is to be in the wild, then the rest is up to her.

  29. John Carlos Says:

    If Mariah recovers and can be returned to the wild, I hope she is returned at the appropriate time so that if she’s going to fight for her territory, she can do it without injury to either female.

    Personally, if it were me and I was capable of being free, I’d be shouting the famous, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” I’d be okay with being on display if the choice was limited to being in captivity simply because I cannot survive in the wild or death.

  30. Juanita Woods Says:

    When Columbus’ nesting female, Victory, was finally released (August 2008) she was released in Ohio, but not in Columbus. Also, August was chosen so the fledglings from Columbus would be raised and ready to move on to their own territories.

    Victory was seriously injured in a building strike September 2006. She was taken by a master falconer husband & wife team March 2007. This wonderful couple worked with Victory and with the Ohio Division of Wildlife (comparable to New York’s DEC).

    The right decision was made to release Victory away from Columbus. My identical twin sister Rita & I had worked to help rehab Victory and we even purchased whole quail for her. No sightings of Victory have been reported but Rita & I continue to hope and pray that she is alive, safe and well. We will never forget Victory or the honor of being in her presence. No wonder the ancient Egyptians worshipped these falcons as divine beings.

  31. Janimare Says:

    Juanita, your story is so very moving. I hope your Victory is somewhere where she is happy and wants to be.

  32. t Says:

    No matter how pretty it is, a prison is still a prison….While the desire to protect Mariah is natural and everyone in this forum should be commended for wanting to protect Mariah, Mariah was born wild and free, and free she should be.

  33. david Says:

    could any one tell me ,is mariah having this territory issue because her box was removed? I,m just a casual watcher, but have been watching for several years now, and this trouble seemed to start when her box was moved. thank you in advance for any help

  34. Karen Says:

    I just want you to know that I’m the one who named Beauty. I’ve been watching the peregrines here at the University of Pittsburgh for over 10 years now. It maybe a Noun like someone said but I put more thought into the name other then it was the color of the tape on her leg. I thought that she is a Beauty of the Sky. I’m truly sorry that Mariah was hurt, she’s a beautiful bird too. I’ve been watching the Kodak Peregrines for many years via web cam, Kodak always had the best! I’m glad that most of you want her to keep her name that I gave her. She is now a member of your community and what ever you all decide it will be great. I know she’s got a lot of people who care about her just as much as I do. Thank you for taking care of her, she’s in good hands.

  35. June Kogut Says:

    Isn’t it exciting that we have so many falcons to watch, love and support..Karen, obviously we have welcomed your “Beauty” to Rochester and will be most happy to have more little ones to watch grow and move away… I bow to the superior wisdom that Mariah should have the freedom to fly wild in the skies SHE chooses if her recovery allows… It will be frightening to see her fly away, hopefully after the fledging of Beauty,s brood.. I’ll be holding my breath for a long time worrying about her.

  36. Kathy A Says:

    True, Beauty is a Noun, but so are Quest and Grace and probably a bunch more names that we have chosen for the Rochester falcons. I think the name Beauty fits wonderfully-so well in fact that maybe it was fate that she landed in Rochester.
    Maybe since the name is not “official”, we could make it so?
    Just a thought.

  37. chrissy Says:

    Karen, Great to hear from you. That little fledge you watched over as she took her first shaky flights has sure grown up to be a mighty falcon! You have every reason to be proud of her. Mariah was injured but she’s still with us, dining on quail and getting the best care so don’t feel bad about her. Sure, we’ve turned the page but the story continues. And your Beauty of the Sky is part of it now.

  38. Joan McC Says:

    Sorry, but I can’t get enthusiastic over welcoming Beauty. My loyalty to Mariah goes deep, and I can’t turn it off just because she’s been cast aside. I know, I know – this is nature’s way – survival of the fittest and all that. But I’m still hurting for our beautiful Mariah…

  39. caye Says:

    Joan McC, agree with you. My loyality is with Mariah….and how I miss seeing her.
    Any further reports on her since the vet saw her on Tuesday?

  40. Carol P. Says:

    No reports yet Caye.

  41. monica Says:

    I feel the same way about Beauty,as Joan McC. Yea she is the new resident so we need to welcome her, but then Mariah will always remain the queen of our skies. She ‘s been with us for so long. She had a lot of misfortunes, Kaver not coming back, nest box moved and now the attack. Sure it’s nature and that’s what happens, but we all have hearts and that’s the way most of us falcon watchers feel.
    I do like the name Beauty and it shouldn’t be changed.

  42. Janie Says:

    You picked an awesome name for your falcon. I hope it will stay “Beauty”. I loved the name since the first time I read it here on Imprints. Watchers are so important to the young fledglings and those here have been privileged to name a few of Mariahs offspring. The honor you can see makes them bonded in a special way with the falcon as our CarolP is with RheaMae. I just knew in my heart you didn’t just name her for her band color. The name was so much more special then that. I hope you’ll join our yahoo group if you already haven’t and watch how “your” Beauty” does in Rochester. Hopefully we see some big yellow feet aka BYF here again with Mariah and Kaver’s ( insert sadness here for our Kaver who’s missing) grandson Archer caring forward their legacy.. His father Freedom was special to me (insert more sadness for his unknown whereabouts just this year)

    God Bless

  43. Donna Says:

    I’m posting this for Janie: Her post disappeared

    You picked an awesome name for your falcon. I hope it will stay “Beauty”. I
    loved the name since the first time I read it here on Imprints. Watchers are so
    important to the young fledglings and those here have been privileged to name a
    few of Mariahs offspring. The honor you can see makes them bonded in a special
    way with the falcon as our CarolP is with RheaMae. I just knew in my heart you
    didn’t just name her for her band color. The name was so much more special then
    that. I hope you’ll join our yahoo group if you already haven’t and watch how
    “your” Beauty” does in Rochester. Hopefully we see some big yellow feet aka BYF
    here again with Mariah and Kaver’s ( insert sadness here for our Kaver who’s
    missing) grandson Archer caring forward their legacy.. His father Freedom was
    special to me (insert more sadness for his unknown whereabouts just this year)

  44. Karen Says:

    I know how hard it is for everyone about what happened to Mariah. She is truly a Queen and will always be the Queen of Rochester. The female here at the Univ of Pittsburgh is 10 years old and I worry every year that a new female is going to challenge her. The more the falcon population grows the more they fight for a good territory and Mariah has a beautiful one. I’m glad that she is healing nicely, she’s a fighter and I have no doubt, will grow stonger with each day. I know that Beauty can never take Mariah’s place but I also know that she is lucky to have such a dedicated group of people who love falcons. I hope that Beauty and Archer are able to pick out a nest box and raise a family in Rochester this year. It’s such a beautiful sight to see the adults teaching the fledglings the ins and outs of being a peregrine. Thank you for keeping an eye or two on my Beauty.

  45. Barbara Says:

    Is there a webcam at the site where Beauty hatched and fledged? Or a site with pictures of the nestbox and maybe even pictures of her as an eyas or fledgling? It might be nice to be able to picture where she was born. No one will ever replace Mariah completely in everyone’s hearts, but Beauty is a real beauty.

  46. ei Says:

    @Barbara-you can see Dorothy & E2’s scrape at


  47. Janie Says:


    here is the webcam with Beautys mother Dorothy sitting on 4 eggs. Her father Erie disappeared in 2007 replaced by E2


  48. Phayne Bushner Says:

    Have been watching Mariah for years now. We are so sorry she was injured. Beauty is a good name for the newest ruling matriarch of the Rochester falcon line. Has she taken to the nest? Will she mate and settle into the nesting box? There are many beautiful Native American names for locations in the Rochester and upstate area. Perhaps these names can be given to any offspring of Beauty and her mate. I live in Loveland, CO, and recently spotted a Peregrine falcon in Yuma, CO, out on the northeastern plains of Colorado. Falcons are not a common site there, but we could not get close enough to see if the falcon was banded.

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