It was another chilly day in the falcon’s canyon. There was intermittent snowfall in the morning with steady winds developing. By afternoon the wind was stronger and more constant. Temperatures again remained in the 30’s. Ares was heard well before he was seen in the predawn hours. Right before 6 AM, he showed up on the State Building. He arrived at the nest box at 6:10 and was very vocal for about five minutes. In a few minutes he flew out and was immediately replaced by Astrid. He flew back to mate with her on the cross-perch, but the attempt failed. Twenty minutes later they successfully mated on the same perch. At 6:45, Ares came to the box with prey – probably a starling. He left and likely flew by Astrid with it. He came back to the box once more with the prey and then again without it. Did he hand it off to Astrid somewhere? If he did, she dropped it, since only a minute later she was perched on the steeple without a meal. At 7 o’clock, Astrid joined Ares at the box and much to Ares’ satisfaction, she consented to a ledge display. After some fancy footwork, the pair engaged in some intense beaking while standing on their favorite scraping spot on the west side of the box. This was the first time this season they did that. At 7:45, Ares was again trying to give Astrid a Red-winged Blackbird. He came back to the box with it three times – each time the meal was a little bit smaller. Just before 8 AM, Astrid met Ares at the box and she finally took the prey. She flew west with her gift.
A little after nine o’clock there was a failed mating attempt on the State Building. Ares was back to the box following that and while there he made lots of squeaking vocalizations while perched on the scrape. This guy really wants eggs to look after! The next two hours seemed to be relatively quiet, but it’s conceivable that we missed something. Realize, sometimes we are only able to keep track of these guys by periodically checking our phones. At 11:45, the pair mated (for real this time) on the State Building. About one half hour later. Ares was seen feeding on something on a ledge just to the west of the west veranda. A few minutes later he screeched away with the prey in tow. He was probably trying to gift it to Astrid again, but she didn’t seem very keen on the idea. At 12:20, Ares made his warning call cackle. Was there an intruder? We couldn’t see one, but then again such things are easy for us to miss. Ares was back at the box again at 2 PM, but Astrid’s whereabouts were unknown. For the next couple of hours, the falcons mostly loafed on one building or another and then they spend some time out of camera view, so we didn’t know what they were up to. At 5:10, I could hear Ares’ screech calls over the monitor. He came to the box after that and was seen wiping off his bill as if there was another food exchange. A half-hour later, Astrid flew right past the box; Ares conversed with her as she made a few swings through the canyon. She was taking advantage of the wind to get some free flying in. A little before 6 PM, she was feeding on something on a window ledge west of the nest box. It was possibly a blackbird or a starling. Shortly after that, both falcons wrapped up their activities for the night. Until tomorrow, falcons!