‘Tis That Time of the Season, Again!

Hatching time at the old falcon cam!

Lucky Family!

Mariah and Kaver have begun hatching this season’s brood.  And meanwhile, their daughter Rae Mae is hatching babies with her man Tiago in Canada.  Ah, spring!  It never feels like its really here till the falcon hatchings for me, anymore.

The Unexpected World of Blogs and Falcons

The debate over the efficacy of blogs and blogging continues, especially in the Rochester area.  I took my own stab at defining the undefinable just prior to vacation.  Meanwhile, as sort of a quiet answer to “what good are blogs,” the Rochester Falcon Cam blog reports some amazing news:

Imprints » Blog Archive » A Pair of Fledgling Updates

From Mark Nash and our friends at the Canadian Peregrine Foundation comes the news that 2006 fledgling Rhea Mae has established a nesting territory on top of the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Toronto, Ontario Canada. This location has been home to a resident pair, Wind and Tiago, for the last several years. Reports indicate that Rhea Mae and Wind engaged in a territory dispute for four days, with Rhea Mae emerging victorious.

Not only that, but Linn was spotted in the Syracuse area.  I call this news amazing not because of the distance the two fledges traveled: these are in fact small journeys in the life of falcons.  What is truly amazing is that there are so many people watching these birds and reporting back to Imprints.  Where previously the migratory patterns of falcons was a secret known only to biologists and conservationists – where our public understanding of these patterns has previously been gleaned from seconds-long views of marked-up maps on PBS – we now have a very personal account of our feathered friend’s lives and times.

What a world we live in where we can get details so granular about things we’re interested in.  In this world of information, we make our own newspapers where we find our joy, we don’t wait for others.

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Its Hot Out. Very, Very Hot Outside. . .

Yep. It’s hot in Rochester. No doubt about that.

And if you think it’s hot where you are, you should try living in a wooden box on the twentieth floor of a darkly-colored building. It’s not easy at all as you can see from the picture below:

Hot Baby Falcons Flattened OutThe falcons in this picture seem to say, “Mom, I’m really hot. It’s hot, I’m tired and it smells like sparrow feet in here. I think we should start those flying lessons very, very soon.”

rFalcon Cam: There Be Hatchin’ in Progress!

Yep, the moment those of us habitually staring at the Kodak Tower falcons anxiously await each spring is upon us: the first of the latest edition of new falcons is breaking out of his shell:

The First Little One Hatches

And mama Mariah is working to help get the shell out of the way. Funny thing about falcons, at least in my own observation: where other carnivores tend to make the young handle these stressful, dangerous trials on their own, falcons are remarkably loving and solicitous at this moment.

Cleaning the Shell Away

EggTurning: Turning the Egg Upstate!

OK, so I’m having a little fun with our good friends at RT’s name, but all in good fun!  Here we see a picture of Mariah turning her eggs over in the nest.  Peregrines do this from time to time, presumably so that they don’t under-incubate the eyases on one side.  You know, if you don’t keep turning them, they come out all black on the one side and doughy on the other!
Egg Turning

Egg Number 2

Somewhere over the course of the night, Mariah laid her second egg of the season. Some of you may have noticed by now: I get kind of obsessed over the falcons each year. But the way I see things, it’s just nice to know that somethings don’t ever change, even as they change every day.

To whit, the birth of falcons. Mariah is on track for her usual four eggs this year, it looks like. We got a bit concerned the other day because she came and sat on the nest twice, looking like she was going to lay another egg, and then left. But that’s what happens when you stare at the falcon cam too long: you obsess like it’s your falcon.Dos Eggies

The Sentinel

High above Rochester, a watchful father keeps danger at bay.
Kaver is doing his falcon best to keep the first egg of the season well-guarded. Earlier today, Mariah was sitting on the egg, and I almost wondered if she wasn’t laying a new one, but alas, no new eggs today. At least not so far. According to Imprints (the Falcon Cam authority and a treasure trove of falcon information), peregrines tend to space out egg laying by about two days or so. That means that if there are any newbies in our future, they should be coming in today.

The Sentinel

Let me also say a “thank you” to the Genesee Valley Audubon Society and the authors of Imprints for this fantastic source of information. So many of us stare at the page when we should be working, little understanding the intricacies of peregrine falcon lives. No longer. Now, we’re getting great information all the time, and folks have a chance to comment and be part of a community. There are, of course, falcon and bird-cam forums and such, but those require registrations most of us won’t bother with and most forum software is devoid of the all-important RSS feeds that make modern blogging possible.

Thank you, guys!


Yes, yes indeed! It’s definitely spring, now. Days can be counted upon to be over 40 and even 50 more often than not, skirts are getting shorter and the falcons are laying eggs. Apparently, somewhere over the course of the night, when I wasn’t looking, Mariah laid the first arrival of the season.

Aaaahh! Spring. I feel like getting some brews and cooking out tonight. It’s just a shame that I don’t own a working grill at the moment. Well, there’s some impulse shopping for the weekend, eh?

The New Arrival


Open Source Polling

Those who have been reading my site know that I have been active in advocating for the Clean Money, Clean Elections system of public campaign financing for a long time. The reason is simple: much though we like to believe we live in a democracy, when candidates without enough money get eliminated before we get to vote on them, the sad truth is that we live in a plutocracy.

Naturally I believe that a publicly funded campaign is the preferrable method of democracy. However, regardless of whether or not that does indeed come to pass, there can be no question that lowering the cost of elections is also a major goal for those who value democracy. One area where innovative new solutions may provide cost savings for grassroots candidates is in what is being called People-Powered Polling.

My new-found compatriot site,, has the scoop from Daily Kos:

Developing open-source, Amish barn-raising polling is a huge part of that as well. It lowers barriers to local candidates, gets more people involved in the process, and ultimately helps everyone.

I?ve signed up for the project, and will post updates on how it?s going and how it?s worked for our local candidates who?ve tried it. If you have any interest in helping, you can sign up with them too.

Sibling Rivalry?

It’s always nice when the more precocious one’s in the family pass on thier expertise to the rest, just so long as they don’t start showing off.

This is how you flap your wings!

Here we see the young ones, feathers blosoming and getting ready to take flight, observing how the flapping of the wings is done. Won’t be long now, and they’ll be out and flying. Geeze. Sarah’s gonna be bummed when there’s no more birdcam to look at!

Grumpy Banded Babies. . .

See the Grumpy Babies up Close!Nothing spoils the mood of a baby falcon, especially one whose already molting his or her first feathers, quite like getting banded. Just ask these grumpy ones!

FalconCam: Home Alone

I just got home from doing laundry and decided that since Sarah had left the FalconCam open, I’d hit refresh and see what I came up with. Apparently, mother falcon has decided that the chicks are old enough and the weather warm enough that she could go run some errands and leave the little ones home alone for a time:

Home Alone

The nest must look a whole lot bigger and maybe even scarrier without mom or dad to fill it up. Here we see all the little ones crammed in together, sharing body heat as chicks will do. I couldn’t believe my good fortune at having captured this moment, because you so rarely see the chicks by themselves in a way where you can really get a good look at them.

Home Alone, Close-up

The chick in this photo seems to say, “Where ever mom is, I hope she brings back food!”

Mom Returns, but no food. . .
Ah ha! Mom has returned, but if the little one was looking for a fresh meal, he’s going to be disappointed. Whatever errand took mom away from the nest, it wasn’t shopping.

Wonderful Semi-Profile of Mom!
Here’s a great picture of mom. What a nice profile!

Russling up the Little OnesHere’s what must be the hard part: getting all the little squirming buggers in the same pile so you can sit on them. Mom seems to have the situation well in hand, though.