Saturday, August 24, 2013

Utica Peregrine Falcons - August Update

At last, a Peregrine Falcon claims our new nest box - photo by D Cesari
For about 3 weeks, I've been receiving reports of a Peregrine Falcon visiting the new nest box on the Adirondack Bank Building in Downtown Utica. This late in the season, there is little chance that the falcon would be breeding, but it is an encouraging sign that the bird knows about the box and appears to be claiming it. When the box was installed back in the spring, no adult pair seemed to be in residence in the downtown area, but now things look very different.
Perched above a window on the State Office Building - photo by D Cesari
Recent reports of a pair of falcons at the State Office Building were confirmed last Saturday by me and wildlife photographer, David Cesari. Upon getting out of my car, I immediately spotted an adult  Peregrine perched above a window on the west face of the State Building. After Dave arrived we picked out what appeared to be its mate perched about half way up the spire of Grace Church.
Note the full crop (bulging throat) typical of a bird that recently fed - photo by D Cesari
After  walking a few blocks downtown to get a better view of the Grace Church bird, a 3rd Peregrine - this one a large juvenile female, flew in from the south and brought both adult falcons off their perches. Interestingly, this new bird was not outright attacked, but a screaming match ensued between the adult male and the juvenile female. They both landed on the nest box on the Adirondack Bank, where they continued to argue for a minute or so, after which, the juvenile flew off toward the west. The male remained in the nest box for the remainder of the time we were there.
Adult male (center) and Juvenile female (right) "arguing" on the box - photo by D Cesari 
The 15 story Adirondack Bank Building in Utica - home to the new falcon box
A Peregrine perches next to an office window - photo by D Saltis
The adult female Peregrine - photo by D Cesari
The adult female came by a little later and perched above him on the building's facade. It seems clear that this adult pair has claimed this box and they are defending it. There is a fair possibility that come next spring, they could very well breed and give Utica a new shot at hosting a successful Peregrine Falcon nest. We can only keep our fingers and talons crossed.

Maya, Utica's original nesting female Peregrine disappeared in early 2012
Tor, the male of original pair died in 2012 presumably after striking a window
Many thanks to Deb Saltis and Craig Podosek for their reporting their observations. Thanks also to Dave Cesari and Deb Saltis for contributing pictures of the new Peregrines.

No comments:

Post a Comment