Utica Peregrine Falcon Update for April 11, 2018 –
This morning was chilly and mostly overcast. Temperatures started out in the low thirties and rocketed up fifteen degrees by morning’s end. Very light snow fell a few times – mostly in the afternoon. On Tuesday evening, Astrid enjoyed a short soiree before getting back to the nest and relieving Ares. She was on the eggs by 8:00 PM and that was where she remained for the entire night. Ares brought food at 5:06 AM, but for some reason, he brought it to a ledge west of the nest box (that was different). Astrid jumped off the eggs and side stepped along the cross perch. She was making loud begging calls that sounded just like those produced by older falcon nestlings. That’s right, those same insistent, harsh calls that some of hear in our sleep during Fledgewatch. She flew out to the west presumably to connect with Ares and collect her breakfast. A minute later he came to the box to take over on the eggs and she went to the Hotel with whatever prey Ares had for her. It was too dark for us to determine what it was she was tearing into. She went over to the State Building at 5:23. About a half-hour later, she was out of view of our cameras. She showed up at the nest box at 7:18. She had a large crop, which meant she had eaten more than adequately. She spent some time conversing with Ares; they were negotiating the changeover. He didn’t want to leave the eggs just yet. A little more than ten minutes later, he relented and she took over on the eggs. At 9:30, Ares was seen at his lookout post on the top of the State Building. He came and left from there a couple of times, so we assume he was using it to spot prey. At 10:13, he was seen on the County Building. He was probably still hunting. They switched out at 10:39 and then it was Ares’ turn to incubate. A little while later Astrid was seen perched on the State Building and that’s where she remained for the balance of the morning. At 11:08, Ares gave alarm calls from the box. Astrid was still on the State Building and neither falcon left their post. The alarm calls were likely in response to a migrant raptor or raven passing through the area.
Astrid took over at the nest at 1:06. It was a smooth transition. Evidentially, Ares was ready to go this time. Ares flew over to perch on the State Building and from there made a few hunting forays. At 4:33, Deb saw an intruder flying over the canyon. It appeared to be another Peregrine Falcon – probably a female. Astrid jumped off the nest and flew into action. Ares came to the nest and climbed onto the eggs only a minute later. Astrid chased the intruder north, but we don’t know what happened after that or if they interacted in any way. Astrid returned to the fold a half-hour later at 5 PM, at which time she took a perch on the State Building. She remained there for about two hours. Ares was getting anxious for her to relieve him and began giving light chirp calls at around 6:40, but she didn’t stir. She did leave her perch right before 7 o’clock. She flew west and at a pretty good clip, but (as usual) we don’t know where she went. She returned to the box at 7:50 and, following a brief conversation with her mate, she took over incubating the eggs. Ares likely went directly to his night perch. Good night, falcons!