Peyton Place For Dorothy’s Girls

13 May 2011

Dorothy, the female peregrine at the University of Pittsburgh, has successfully fledged 34 young in her ten years as Queen of the Cathedral of Learning, so it’s no surprise that we hear of her many offspring.

What is a surprise is the soap opera that’s playing out with her daughter and granddaughter in Rochester, New York.

In 2007 Dorothy and Erie (her previous mate) fledged four young.  One of them was Beauty who flew to Rochester, New York and settled at the Times Square Building.  Here she is at the nest box after her arrival in 2009.

This spring Beauty is incubating three eggs under the watchful eyes of five cameras and Rochester’s dedicated falcon fans, but her nesting season got off to a slow start.  She laid one egg April 1, then waited eight days to lay the second.  This was probably because her mate Archer was not very attentive.  Watchers reported him in another part of town hanging out with a second female peregrine.  Hmmmmm!

Eventually Archer paid attention to Beauty, they completed their clutch of eggs, and everything seemed to calm down.  However, the second female peregrine stayed in town and settled at Kodak Park four miles away.  This female also has eggs and a mate who’s often missing.  Hmmmm!

This week the watchers identified the second female and solved the mystery of her mate.

The second female peregrine is Unity, born of Belle at the University of Toledo, Ohio.  Belle is Dorothy’s daughter from 2003 so she and Beauty are sisters, four years apart.  That also makes Unity Beauty’s niece.

And here’s where Peyton Place comes in.  It turns out that Archer is the mate to both of them.  When he’s with Beauty, Unity is alone and vice versa.  This detective work was made easier by the fact that Archer has a distinctive wing mark.

Click on Beauty’s photo above to read Rochester’s Imprints blog about the Peyton Place among Dorothy’s girls.

Archer!  How could you!

UPDATE, May 18:  Staff at the Kodak Tower in downtown Rochester saw two female peregrines fighting there on the afternoon of May 18.  Speculation is that the combatants were Beauty and Unity.  Read about the fight here.

(photo of Beauty in 2009, from the main camera at RFalconcam)

16 thoughts on “Peyton Place For Dorothy’s Girls

  1. Very interesting!
    How long will it be before Unity wants all of Archer’s time and Beauty’s nest?

  2. WOW!
    Archer is going to be mighty busy trying to feed two families at once! What are the chances either family will survive/thrive?

  3. With Unity being only 2 years old, what are the chances that any eggs she has laid are fertile? Durand, a 2 year old female in Columbus, laid 5 eggs this year, but abandoned them. The eggs were removed today and will be checked for fertility.

  4. I won’t speculate about fertility but, clearly, Archer is not thinking ahead! Hungry mouths to feed four miles apart. yoy!

  5. (Terrible anthropomorphizing but…) I can imagine Archer meeting Unity and saying, “You remind me of someone.”

  6. LOL @ the anthropmorphosizing. Would Beauty and Unity be able to sense that they are related in any way?

  7. We have a bigamous tiercel here in Toronto called Jack and he has 2 nest sites about 5km apart. Last year between the two females he had 5 offspring. This week his alpha female (his original mate) had 3 of her eggs hatch and we’re still waiting on the other site to hatch. He seems to have it timed so there’s about 5-days or so between nests hatching. This is his third year with both females and so far he’s done well. For sure the females do alot of the work especially during fledging but he has been an excellent provider, brings in food constantly to both nests, gives both females long breaks from incubating/kid duties and keeps the skies safe.

    The females are both aware of each and both keep to their respective territories ..only Jack and they seem to know where that invisible line is but at no time has either female been ‘upset’ over it or tried to overtake the other. They also both have rushed in to defend him anytime another tiercel has come into the territories looking for a home.

  8. Wow, Kathy! That’s quite a story. I suppose that means Beauty & Unity know each other exist… but I doubt they sense they’re related to each other.

  9. Kathy, What a great story! Can you tell us at which sites the nests are located, and are there webcams/blogs to go with them?

  10. Donna, Kodak Park, at the moment, does not have a web cam, we rely on the watchers for the info. Rochester, Beauty & Archer does have a cam. Here is the link.

    Indeed, this is a story book tale for sure and it just keeps getting better. Not sure how many eggs are over at Kodak Park but the egg or eggs will hatch a month or so after Beauty’s eggs. This will give Archer time enough to get a jump on feeding his and Beauty’s eyases before he has to go over there to feed his and Unity’s eyases. Hope he can keep up the pace. 🙂

  11. Interesting tale. I imagine that many lines could be drawn between all the falcons that are being watched. I think that Archer — our resident bigamist — also flirted with his grandmother — our matriarch in Rochester – the great queen — MARIAH! That is, until Beauty arrived on the scene and displaced Mariah. A terrible battle documented on the Rochester falcon site. A Peyton Place or Falcon Crest (or Quest….depending on if you are following our Quest story)

  12. Donna: Neither site has a working cam this year, they both need to be replaced. Years of juveniles chewing through and pulling on the cabling has rendered them useless. We hope to have a new cam in place for next season at his original site. His second home is on a private residential building – not sure if they will put in a new cam as sadly some of the residents are not enamored about having birds of prey on their building and their presence there has been highly contencious to say the least.

    This is the third bigamous male we’ve had here in Toronto by the way. Must be something in the ‘pigeons’!

    We do run updates on the CPF site about Jack at the Etobicoke site – his original home:

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