Thursday, July 30, 2009

July 29 - Is Lexi Really a Female?

Before I post any pictures from my visit on the 28th, here are a couple more shots from a week ago. Here is Lexi sitting atop the building on the southwest corner of Main and South Temple.

As I was going back through my photos, I found this one. I believe this is Early (top), Lexi and then an adult in the distance. This was just before the food handoff. I could be wrong - possibly a pigeon in the distance?

On Tuesday night, 28th, I arrived about 5:30 pm and was unable to spot any of the falcons. Lunchtime of the same day, same thing - no sightings. Bob arrived about 5:45 and said he spotted Lexi up on the Temple but he was tucked back. Bob left for a meeting but before he could get off the Temple grounds, Lexi took off heading south and then west. Within a few minutes Lexi was back with Early. Lately, Early seems to be nowhere and then suddenly appears after Lexi flies off. We have no clue where Early is hanging out during the day but seems to return to the home grounds at dinnertime. We also had not been seeing parents together. Mostly we had been seeing the adult male coming in to drop off food.

After Bob left, Karl arrived to help watch. He told that the parents had been spotted Monday night sitting on a building that is a few blocks south of the Temple grounds, called One Utah Center. There was confirmation that while they were spotted there, the two kids were flying around near the Church Office Building. I determined to visit One Utah Center soon so I could try to get some photos of the adults. Karl also said that kids could be seen flying south, maybe to that building, then returning very soon after (also on Monday night).

A few other watchers arrived and very soon after there was a fly in by both adults, a meal handoff and a lot of sqwauking (presumably because Lexi didn't want to share her meal with Early and was warning him off). There has been growning suspicion that Lexi, who was thought to be a female while she was still in the nest, (then was identified as a male upon tagging) is actually a female after all. I was told that she/he is displaying plumage that is more identifiable as a female, like the dark bars showing in the second picture below.

Here are some shots of Lexi in the spot where she ate her meal.

This is Lexi, I believe, just about 9:15 when I was getting ready to leave for the night. Early was not seen much during that hour or so while Lexi was eating. Parents disappeared too. As I was driving off, Karl radioed that the two kids were put on a spectacular flying show just over their heads. Sorry I missed it.

July 30, last night, I headed down to park closer to One Utah Center in hopes of seeing the parents and maybe kids flying around their new spot. I parked my car 2 blocks away and walked over, finding an office building across from One Utah, then took the elevator as high as I could get (10th floor). I had seen something along a ledge that I thought might be one of the kids resting. As I got closer and zoomed in, it appeared to be something dead, I pressume a pigeon, and maybe its a meal that was left there for later?

Sorry, kind of gross. Looks like intestines hanging down.

I have a whole string of flying pictures that I will post later today. They are from a last week but they are so great, I just have to put more of them up. I am on duty tonight as well, so there should be more pictures tomorrow.

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