Year End Gathering!!

CALLING ALL 2017 WATCHERS!!!!!

JOIN US FOR THE YEAR END PICNIC!!

We will have our end of season gathering at The Root Farm in Sauquoit.

Please join us on September 23rd at 6pm.

We will provide sandwiches, water and iced tea.

Please bring a dish or dessert to share.

Matt will share his compilation of the 2017 highlights – always a pleasure!!

If you have questions about the gathering or need directions to The Root Farm please contact us by e-mail at falconwatch185@gmail.com

The Amazing Disappearing and Reappearing Juvenile Falcons

Max comes for a landing on the roof of the State Building
Max comes for a landing on the roof of the State Building

The last time that three juvenile Peregrines were seen in Downtown Utica was on July 27th. Two days later Max was the only one left in canyon. The next thing we expected to happen was for Max to leave, but instead, Zander returned to the fold. The two sibling sparred and chased each other (and their parents), quite a bit. By August 2nd, Max seemed to be the lone kid again. On August 3rd, we were convinced that Max had left the area. We even made an announcement to that effect on our Utica Falcon Facebook page. Not only did Max reappear in the evening, but he had Zander with him. On Friday night the brothers were darting around the State Building, chasing each other and sparring like mad. High winds in the evening allowed them to fly especially fast. As for Astrid and Ares, they had been doing more and more ledge displays during the period when the kids were less of a presence in the canyon. However, when the young returned the parents reverted to keeping low profiles and even occasionally hiding. We fully expect that sometime soon they will have the canyon to themselves again, but don’t ask us to make a prediction about when that will be. We’ve given up on doing that. At least for this year!

Perching on the steeple
Perching on the steeple
Astrid and Ares keep a low profile on the side of the ADK Bank Building
Astrid and Ares keep a low profile on the east side of the ADK Bank Building
Zander flies up to where Spirit was perched
Zander flies up to where Spirit was perched
Spirit looks at her brother
Spirit looks at her brother
Spirit looks into a window of the courthouse
Spirit looks into a window of the courthouse
Perched on top of the steeple
Two perched on top of the steeple
Two brothers at their nighttime perch on the State Building
Two brothers at their nighttime perch on the State Building
Chasing after dad
Chasing after dad
A kid gets hazed by a Kingbird
A kid gets hazed by a Kingbird
Carrying off part of a pigeon meal
Carrying off part of a pigeon meal
Perched on a power pole near Harbor Point
Perched on a power pole near Harbor Point
Coming in for a landing on a window ledge
Coming in for a landing on a window ledge

Luna Has Left the Fold, But the Other Three Juvenile Falcons Continue to be Seen

Lots of playing and sparring
Lots of playing and sparring

We’ve had one of our young Peregrines leave the fold since my last update. Luna, the smallest male, was last seen flying and sparring with his siblings on July 14th. Although we don’t know for sure what has become of him, we have no evidence that he had been injured or killed. The incentive to leave the family is strong for a small male since he would have the hardest time obtaining food from the adults. More often than not, when he did get something he would lose it to one of his larger siblings. As of July 21st we still have three juvenile Peregrines on their parent’s territory. They frequently return to the canyon where they hunt, spar, and make tremendous commotions. They are very loud birds! All three have been seen hunting. They do this alone and in teams. Sometimes they fly very low as they try to stir up prey. They are often out of our view, hunting on the outskirts of the territory. So far they all return to the canyon at least a few times a day and almost always by nightfall. The parents have been doing fewer ledge displays at the box just lately. They still spend a fair amount of their time keeping out of sight of the perpetually hungry gang of kids.

Coming in for a landing
Coming in for a landing
Reaching out for the ledge
Reaching out for the ledge
Checking out the flying partner
Checking out the flying partner
Flying with your shadow
Flying with a shadow
Coming down on the steeple perch
Coming down on the steeple perch
Having a visitor on the windowsill
Having a visitor on the windowsill
The kids still enjoy perching  next to each other
The kids still enjoy perching next to each other
Spirit has a full crop
Spirit has a full crop but is still calling for food
Chasing Ares off his perch again
Chasing Ares off his perch again
Coning in with prey
Coning in with prey
Three kids in view
Three kids in view
A landing on the very top of the steeple
A landing on the very top of the steeple
Astrid keeping a low profile
Astrid trying to keep a low profile
high altitude sparring
high altitude sparring

 

Dashing by the audience of fledge watchers
Dashing by the audience of fledge watchers

All Four Young Peregrines Continue to Return to the Downtown Canyon

All four young falcons flying together in the canyon
All four young falcons flying together in the canyon

As I’m writing this update at 5:30 AM, I can see all four young Peregrine Falcons actively chasing each other around the State Office building. The heavy rain had just subsided and these guys were ready to go. About a half hour ago one of them had chased Astrid out of the nest box. Astrid and Ares have resumed performing ledge displays at the box, but more often than not, they are interrupted and chased out before they can finish. The youngsters have been hunting for themselves, but still continue to get prey from their parents whenever possible. They frequently pursue their parents and even up them from their perches. It has gotten to the point where Astrid and Ares spend a considerable amount of time hiding from their kids. However, evidently, they still seem to want them around. Last night when Spirit and one of her brothers were out hunting by the Mohawk River, Astrid came in and lured them back to the canyon with a meal. So far, every night the kids have been returning to the canyon and to their perches on the State Building.

Lots of chasing
Lots of chasing
Astrid perches in one of her favorite hiding places
Astrid perches in one of her favorite hiding places
Ares gets chased out of the nest box
Ares gets chased out of the nest box
More chasing
More chasing
Arriving at their perches on the State Office building for the night
Arriving at their perches on the State Office building for the night
Another steeple chase
Another steeple chase
Soggy falcons perched on top of the steeple
Soggy falcons perched on top of the steeple
Upping each other from a perch on the hotel
Upping each other from a perch on the hotel
More sparring
More sparring
Coming in for a landing
Coming in for a landing
four small planes invade the falcons' airspace on the morning of the Boilermaker
four small planes invade the falcons’ airspace on the morning of the Boilermaker
Screeching through the canyon
Screeching through the canyon
Taking over Astrid's favorite steeple perch
Taking over Astrid’s favorite steeple perch

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The Four Young Falcons Continue to Make Fantastic Progress

The juveniles have taken possession of many of Astrid and Ares' favorite perche
The juveniles have taken possession of many of Astrid and Ares’ favorite perches

Over the course of the last week, the four juvenile peregrines from the Utica nest continue to be seen daily. They are spending more time away from the canyon, but usually all of them return a few times a day. They have been spending most of their time testing their hunting abilities and on a few occasions they have been observed successfully securing prey. However, they still regularly pester their parents for food and their shrill begging calls are frequently heard echoing through Downtown. As they push to the outer boundaries of their parent’s territory, they have been able to experience different habitats and explore interactions with a wide variety of other species. They have been spending an increasing amount of time around the Mohawk River just lately. So far we have been very fortunate to be able to track them on some of their adventures and we hope to continue to as long as they remain in the region.

Spirit and her brother perch in a dead tree near Harbor Point
Spirit and one of her brothers perch in a dead tree near Harbor Point
Sparring
Sibling Sparring
Astrid
Astrid
Spirit
Spirit

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Taking some stored prey from Ares' cupboard
Taking some stored prey from Ares’ cupboard on the State Building
Finding new and interesting places to perch
Finding new and interesting places to perch
Ares dropping off food
Ares dropping off food
Flying in low
Flying in low
Perching on a tower with the Utica sign in the backround
Perching on a tower with the Utica sign in the background
An immature Bald Eagle flies over
An immature Bald Eagle flies over
An Eastern Kingbird chases after one of the falcons
An Eastern Kingbird chases after one of the falcons
Two kids on the high steeple
Two kids on the high steeple
An Osprey hovers over the water just before displacing one of the Peregrines from its perch
An Osprey hovers over the water just before displacing one of the Peregrines from its perch