|The 2nd juvenile female Peregrine seen in the Downtown Utica - Picture by D Cesari|
|The first juvenile female seen the previous week - picture by D Cesari|
Since it is quite unlikely that a new pair will accept the former nest site at the Gold Dome Bank (it’s only 4 stories high), we need to try to provide the falcons with a new site on one of the taller downtown buildings. Hopefully, during the year we will get permission from the owners of one of these buildings to install a nest box. If not, a new resident pair of Peregrines could be consigned to using inappropriate and/or dangerous sites, and any breeding success would be jeopardized.
|The 2nd juvenile female again - picture by D Cesari|
|The colorful Least Bittern peeking out from the cattail beds|
|A classic pose - the Bittern straddles the leaves|
The bittern’s hunting technique is the same as that employed by the larger herons –they mainly use stealth. They move slowly into position and wait to see their prey move, before making a quick stab with their stiletto-like bill. They mainly hunt for small fish, amphibians and insects.
|Hidden behind a curtain of reeds - a pair of Least Bitterns stand in their nest|
As I watched this individual, he eventually made his way over to a larger clump of cattails that border one of the Marsh’s pools. He climbed up the leaves to a place where his mate was sitting on a well concealed nest. There he joined her on the small platform made from bent over cattail leaves. Completely constructed from last year’s growth, the nest was the color of straw. I'm certain that if I hadn’t seen the male climb up to it, I would’ve never picked it out from its surroundings.
|Hunting along the edge of the cattail beds|
After this the male went back to skulking around the perimeter of the nest area. He soon found an intruder lurking in the vicinity –it was another male Least Bittern. He chased that bird off in short order.