Good Question: Do Rochester’s peregrine falcons fly south for the winter?

Good Question: Do peregrine falcons migrate in the winter?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Do the peregrine falcons that live on top of the Times Square Building in downtown Rochester migrate south for the winter?

The peregrine falcons seem to capture people’s attention every spring during egg-laying season. They’re the fastest birds in the world, tend to mate for life, and can survive in many different environments. Vanda asks “are falcons snow birds? Do they fly south for the winter?”

June Summers, president of the Genesee Valley Audubon Society which operates the 24-hour R-Falcon cameras, says some peregrine falcons migrate.

“Those that live farther north probably migrate, some of them will stay on their territory depending on how much food that they can get,” Summers said.

Nova and Neander did not migrate over the winter months. They have plenty to eat right here in Rochester and bring back to their nesting box atop the Times Square Building.

June explains why that building is so attractive to falcons.

“It would attract them because it looked more like a cliff than most of the other buildings in Rochester that had flat roofs,” June said.

Sometimes called the cheetah of the sky, peregrine falcons dive for their prey, reaching speeds of up to 200 miles per hour.

Peregrine falcons are an endangered species. Since the Genesee Valley Audubon Society started operating the R-Falcon cameras in the early 1990s, 78 babies have hatched. Roughly half of them survived.

R-Falcon Cam is running a contest is giving people the opportunity to submit name ideas for the baby falcons. You can submit here and the deadline is before midnight on Tuesday, May 14.

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