I can’t seem to get away from the Jersey falcons. My yearly Rochester Falcon Watchers’ Weekend happened in Elizabeth, NJ this year. Cadence, hatched in 2015 in Rochester and pictured below as a juvenile, is now raising a family of four this year. Her brood is learning to fly and hunt. I do believe I saw or heard all four juvies at one time.
Cadence and her unbanded mate, Allen, were in their usual spots atop the Union County Courthouse antennae. Seven o’clock on a Sunday morning is the best time to visit. I heard falcon begging and hoped the kids had not eaten too much before my arrival.
I started on the NW side of the tower where the igloo is located, but decided the garage roof would give me the best view. Yup! I spotted one of the young to the west on a building nearest the tower.
All of a sudden, as is falcon custom, brunch arrived courtesy of Cadence and so did the kids who didn’t look all that hungry. Guess who came in first? Too easy, of course it was the young female, Akira, who didn’t look willing to share.
I heard more begging and thought I saw a third or fourth youngster on the satellite dish behind me. A kestrel was pretending to be a peregrine.
But, lo and behold! For sure a third juvie wanted to help me photograph the gang on the courthouse tower! He kept getting closer and closer to me. I definitely do not look like Kathy Clark, the NJ biologist who medicated and banded him. He definitely looked like he had just had a meal.
Allen joined Cadence and Akira to finish off the huge pigeon meal. But he had to sneak up on Akira or she may have injured him. Both adults watched her to continue to gorge.
Two of the boys joined each other for a game of hide and seek and tag on the building across the train tracks to the west. Cadence went back to her post on top of the antenna and Akira was left alone.
It won’t be long now before this big girl takes to the skies. She was flapping like crazy out of cam view on the west side of 101 Hudson. It looked to me like she would fly any minute. She is so big that if she keeps her wings out she will not fall hard if she goes down. In the past, the adults have flown on either side of a first time fledgling and provided draft to keep their offspring aloft. This girl is almost twice the size of the male, so I hope he is an excellent aerialist.
The Shady Lady of Jersey City (band 79/AN) must have put on sunscreen. She was apparently in the shade at 10 Exchange Place when she suddenly appeared. She then beat it around the building, went next to the Hudson River, and back to 101 Hudson. She sat in the sun for a good two hours before winging her ‘big girl’ way 3 blocks south to 77 Hudson to check out the penthouse condo. A girl after my own heart, strong and focused.
Most of these pictures are archival. That means they just show that the almost fledglings are doing OK so far. Most of my time has been spent in Jersey City, but I was able to make a stop at Tompkins Square Park for the red-tails and Riverside Church.
Digiscoped female fledgling in Jersey City. She is doing OK. this is her shady corner in the morning.
Jersey City fledgling on the north ledge next to the scrape
Fledgling rescue kit
Jersey City fledgling watch view of Lower Manhattan
Jersey City west terrace ledge. Parent giving our girl a small snack.
Riverside Church peregrine perch. Our Metro Area birds only choose the best addresses to raise their young.
Riverside fledgling doing well
Tompkins Square youngsters getting crowded out
Intruders were two floors above taking pictures. Momma red-tail Dora was not happy at all.
The Boss, our fledgling falcon in Jersey City, made the leap of faith. My friend Mike and I were there on Thursday and must have just missed the first flight. The adults were busy feeding him huge quantities of food on the 37th floor small terrace on the NE corner of the building. He would have had to have flown across the building from the NW corner 41st floor.
Other news we have is that our female appears to be at least 18 years old! Mike got pictures of the band numbers that we were missing. More about that later.
First, Athena is there with food
The Boss charges her and Athena leaves
He yells for her to come back and feed him
She returns and the gorging begins
You can tell he is excited to be beak fed
Watching a peregrine feed young is not for the faint of heart
Can you name that prey?
After the feeding, both adults did flybys to get The Boss to move
Several months ago I promised a surprise post. Life got in the way of working on the pictures and posting the news.
Our park pair produced two young this year. The surprising part is that the young hatched and were raised right on the beach at Croton Point Park. I am all for letting people know about the birds so the public can be educated about proper bird etiquette, but in this case there was way too much risk of someone climbing the tree to get a very close look at the hatchlings. In spite of parasails getting caught in the tree almost every other day, the parents raised the two young. They fledged just after Memorial Day and have entertained park staff and visitors ever since.
I posted earlier that photographers are able to walk right up to our pale male and he doesn’t flinch. This saved his life after he ran into the side of one of the maintenance trucks a few weeks ago. Park staff easily picked him up and he went to rehab for a week. He returned to the skies above the park and seems to be fine.
Red-tailed hawk pair in February 2012 – yes, I was that close to them
Mom feeds the kids right over the beach at Croton Point Park
Dad shows the kids how to fly. The nest and eyases are right below him.
Fledglings playing talon tag above the old Bungalow Colony in the park.
One juvenile perched in the adult female’s tree. The bird is looking at its sibling over in a tree by the park office.
Juvenile number two in a tree right next to the park office watching me and its sibling. Juvenile number one is in a dead tree right across the way.