Utica Peregrine Falcon Update for April 15, 2018 –
Freezing rain was on tap for us this morning and it continued on and off for much of the morning. Fortunately, accumulation was light. Temperatures were pegged in the low thirties and the winds really picked up by later in the morning. Although the ice wasn’t an issue later on in the day, the wind speed continued to increase. It was not exactly a nice spring day. Astrid had taken over on the eggs at close to 5 PM, Saturday night and she remained on the nest until Ares relieved her at 4:42 Sunday morning. His arrival at the box was a little unusual. He first landed (while screeching) on the east veranda, before making his way over to the box and relieving Astrid. Once Astrid was away from the box, we didn’t see her on camera again until she returned at 8:39. Ares had left the box only a minute earlier. At about 9:00, Astrid began calling and our PTZ cam showed Ares soaring to the north and over the bank Building. At 10:40, they did another quick switch and then it was Ares turn on the eggs. We didn’t know where Astrid had gone until Deb came through town and spied her on a high ledge on the west face of the State Building. Astrid came to the box at 12:26 and stood on the cross perch. She had a very full crop, which was likely the result of her feasting on whatever prey it was that Ares was seen storing on the State Building on Saturday evening. While on the perch, she and Ares did some conversing. It seemed clear that Ares didn’t want to get off of the eggs. After ten minutes, she hopped into the box and began beaking with him. She then went behind him and acting like she was about to step on his tail and/or primary feathers, and suddenly he relented. He got off the eggs and left. She quickly got settled and began her own incubation session.
At 2:09, Astrid appeared to be getting a little stir-crazy. She was compulsively picking at the pea gravel while still remaining tight on the eggs. She soon settled down and then about twenty minutes later, Ares flew through and she called out from the box. Did she want to be relieved? The next thing we knew she was dozing. Ares arrived at the box at 2:47, but for some reason he went over to the west veranda. From there he jumped onto the long perch and then he was out again and she fell back into dreamland. At 3:25, the falcons did a pretty quick switch and then Ares was on the eggs. Things got a bit weird after that: At 4:46 (ish) Ares became animated and began calling. He got off the eggs and flew out of the box. Astrid came to the cross perch at 4:48 and she was obviously upset, She was giving loud calls, but not alarm calls. What we didn’t know at the time was that Ares was dealing with an intruder. Out PTZ 1 cam caught a very distant shot of him chasing another (probably male) Peregrine from the roof of the State Building, north over the Adirondack Bank, and then right out of camera view. Astrid tried to settle on the eggs, but didn’t stay for more than a few seconds. She left the box and the eggs were alone. Fortunately, Ares returned only a minute later and he resumed incubating. It was then Astrid who was out of view. She came back to the box just before five o’clock, but she wasn’t ready to do the switch yet. She flew out and disappeared behind the State Building. At 6:05, Astrid returned to the box. This time she was ready to switch and Ares was ready to leave. She settled down on the eggs and began to incubate. Hopefully there will be no more excitement for today. Ares quickly was out of camera view. He probably either went hunting or took to his night perch.