Thank you, Conserve Wildlife of New Jersey and New Jersey Fish & Wildlife biologists for allowing me to attend the banding this year. Please contribute to Conserve Wildlife.
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.
The falcon pair has been putting on a show for photographers the past few days. I guess they are getting tired of all the migrants invading their space. Just saw a post today that the palm warbler became a falcon snack.
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.
Really enjoyed yet another visit to see the Rochester falcons. It was like the good old days. The youngsters seem to be finding High Falls gorge on the Genessee River. With four of them, when they were flying the sky was filled with wings. You can see many more pictures at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opyrl466oz8&list=UU86by8i7REZeo3F7S1u-7yA
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.
The Riverside Church peregrines are out. The baby birds are learning to fly and eat. Croton Point Park has new maintenance workers.
The 77 degree weather was a welcome relief. Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Alviso was outstanding in the early morning light. The smells reminded me of my childhood there.
The Boss is doing well. Went down Sunday and Tuesday and saw all three both days. Here is the proof: