Tuesday, June 30, 2009

~ A few more pix of the UB kids~

Just about two weeks ago ~

One of the fledglings on a MacKay roof before flying to the VA

Kevin works diligently at his skills

Mom, BB, watching the kids
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The first nesting for BB and Smoky is a wonderful success!

This pair formed a bond during 2008 and chose MacKay Tower as their home. Connie Adams, DEC, met with key people at UB who then had the nestbox built and installed on the tower. The Peregrine pair would have nested there even without a nestbox, but the eggs could easily have been broken or rolled off the narrow ledge. Once hatched, the chances of all surviving would not be high.

A safe nestbox in which to nurture the hatchlings makes the all the difference. The eggs are protected in the gravel scrape and after hatching, the eyasses are kept safe from the winter weather extremes. Maturing chicks can practice wing-flapping on ledges or perches to get strong before their big adventure begins.

For a couple days after fledgling the UB peregrines stayed close to the MacKay complex. The third day was spent at the water tower, and from there they graduated to the VA Hospital with its many roofs, wonderful for perfecting their take-offs and landings.

BB and Smoky have proven themselves to be great first-time peregrine parents and we hope this is just the beginning of many more successful nesting seasons!

And a very special thanks to the great UB MacKay guys who helped so very much!

Monday, June 29, 2009

~More of the UB students of flight~

The UB fledges having a beautiful day learning to fly from the roof of the VA Hospital. More shots can be seen HERE

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

~Fledglings gain freedom~

The UB kids have moved their headquarters to the VA Hospital which offers them terrific perches and ledges. The parents are still feeding the kids and giving flying lessons as the fledglings seem so happy with their newfound freedom.

For their album of flight go here: Fledglings get their wings!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

~The fun of flying free~

Saturday morning found Kevin on the water tower practicing to perfect his wing-flapping technique. He is so conscientious about it! He caught air quite a few times and finally flew off to the VA to join Tory and Athos. A parent perched nearby.

Zephyr had flown off the MacKay building roof to MacKay tower where he was flapping and flapping! A parent flew over to check on him, or encourage him to join the rest across Bailey at the VA.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

~Peregrine fledglings like the water tower~

Athos getting fed by parent
parent left
and flew around demonstrating flying
and the other parent stayed on the tower
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~Athos and brother on water tower~

Athos spent time on the water tower ledge again today, where he was joined by his younger brother, maybe Kevin, who fledged yesterday.

One fledgling on the top of the tower, one on the lower ledge and a parent on the far left.
This one was practicing lift-offs by flapping hard enough to catch the air.
He was lifting off, coming down and lifting off again and again!
He was having so much fun finally being out of the nestbox!
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~Two on the roof~

Tory and a little brother hanging out on the MacKay roof Friday. The little one is likely Zephyr, the last to fledge. Athos and probably Kevin seem to like the water tower near the VA.

How cute is this?
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

~Athos - Fledgling of the Day~

We had spotted a Peregrine earlier on the ledge of the water tower next to the VA Hospital, but thought it was probably a parent, and we continued on to MacKay the check the fledgling's status after the strong thunder storm went through the UB area.

After doing two rescues and returns to the roof, Mike Koch, DEC tech, confirmed two chicks on the roof, plus there was another on the nestbox perch. Athos, a fledge from June 23, was missing.

Before leaving UB, we could still see the bird on the VA water tower. Suspicious, we drove over and saw the bird was a fledgling, not an adult! Roger got these shots.

Athos, looking up at parent flying high above

After the adult flew toward UB, Athos practiced wing-flapping for a few minutes

and then flew off the water tower beautifully, and
headed for MacKay! He flew off again and back again.
It was a beautiful sight!

The four birds weathered their first severe storm which roared through the area with very high winds, lightning, thunder and heavy rain.
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Beautiful Tory, female fledge, made it from the old nuclear tower near MacKay where she spent June 23, her first day out of the nest, back to a roof under the nest box on June 25.
Photo by Roger Johnson

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

~UB Peregrines~

Athos again flew to the ground after being put back on roof on Tuesday. This time Connie Adams was on hand to pick him up and Ken once more returned him to the roof. The female, Tory, on the nuke tower yesterday, flew the short distance to the roof. Only one could be found on the roof this morning.
Two still at nestbox

Mom nearby protecting her kids
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

~Athos Fledged and Rescued~

UB male Peregrine fledgling, Athos, was found by employees early Tuesday morning on the MacKay complex grounds. They watched as Athos walked across the closed road to a UB construction site. He was reported to have glided over the fence to a rock pile, and then walk up the pile of debris to the top.

Athos continued to enjoy his new view of the world, unaware of the gathering crowd. We spoke with Connie Adams, on another DEC assignment, who then asked Ken Nusstein of MacKay to get Athos and put him in a box and keep him inside til help arrived.

Joel Thomas, SPCA, arrived quickly, examined Athos, and found the young male fledgling to be in excellent condition and able to be released to one of the roofs on the complex below the nesting tower.

Ken Nusstein on left; Kevin Hicks on right;
Athos in box
Ken delivering Athos to roof
BB keeping watch

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