It was another cool day in the canyon, with temperatures hovering in the 30’s. The snow that had accumulated yesterday on and in the box (as well as on the verandas) had melted by the end of the day. That meant that Astrid and Ares didn’t have to do any shoveling. Too bad, that would have been interesting. One of the falcons, we think Astrid, was in view on the State Building as early as 4:20 AM. Both were there just before 5:00. A half hour later, Ares made his first visit to the nest box, but he didn’t stay long. At 6 PM he was plucking prey on a window ledge west of the nest box. We weren’t sure if he tried to gift the food to Astrid or not. At 6:15, the pair shared a ledge display at the box. What made their display somewhat unusual was that Astrid was interacting from the west side of the “dance floor”. Even when they rotate around each other, she almost invariably ends up on the west side of the box. At any rate, Ares didn’t seem to be put off by it. After the dance, Ares did his trademark cowabunga dive out of the box and Astrid made a nice scrape. A minute later a small flock of Pigeons flew by and she dove out in pursuit.
The pair remained very active for the next hour – zooming about the canyon and alighting on numerous perches and, of course, coming to the box. Just before 8 AM, Ares arrived at the box with a Starling in his talons. He partially plucked it right there in the box. After which, he flew off with it, came back with it, flew off again, and then returned without it. Did he store the food or give it to his mate? We didn’t know. He made a few more short visits to the box during the mid-morning hours and then we mostly lost track of them. Finally at 11:30, Deb found the pair loafing on the east face of the State Building – that’s a place our cameras are blind to. The couple was back to the nest box for a quick but lively dance at 1:15 PM. This time Astrid flew off first and Ares remained at the box. He made a scrape and then ingested a few small stones. By this point, we still hadn’t confirmed any mating attempts, but they are easily missed when they take place off camera and outside of microphone range. At 3 PM, there was another food exchange at the box. Astrid ripped the food away from Ares and dove out like a thief. Ares in particular was very active for the balance of the afternoon – popping in and out of the box, giving long calls and darting around the canyon. If there was a mating, it probably took place during this time window. Both converged at the box again at five o’clock, but there was no display, mating, or food exchange. Just a fast conversation and then she was off again. That was the last we saw of her for the day. Ares made a couple of more visits to the box and then he retired for the night at 5:45.