The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

Project Track-'em 2000-2001 Season




Adelaide's transmitter fully sponsored by Falconbridge.

Tracked June 29, 2000 - January 3, 2001
(with additional observations since the satellite transmitter was removed)

Adelaide hatched in Toronto in early May 2000, and was raised for the next several weeks by her parents Victoria and Pounce-Kingsley.  Her first flights on June 18 and 19 were weak, and she bruised her wings in a minor collision with a building.  Following treatment and a rehabilitation period at the Owl Foundation where she was able to strengthen her flight muscles in a safe environment, Adelaide was released back to her home in downtown Toronto on June 30.  Just prior to release, Adelaide was fitted with a satellite transmitter, which will allow us to follow her movements over the coming months.  Reports on her latest positions will be posted below as we receive them.



Click here for Adelaide's Photo Gallery

December 18, 2001:  Thunder Bay, Ontario.   Brian Ratcliff has informed me that as of December 8, Adelaide is still present in Thunder Bay.  She was spotted dining on a pigeon along the CN lines near the Thunder Bay waterfront.  Peregrines have not overwintered in Thunder Bay before, but Adelaide is currently one of four peregrines still in the city as of mid-December, so it looks like this could be a historic winter for the area. 

September 9, 2001:  Thunder Bay, Ontario.   Following a successful moult, Adelaide was released yesterday in Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the north shore of Lake Superior.  Over the later stages of her rehabilitation, she had enjoyed the company of a young male originally from the Thunder Bay area, who was also recovering at the Owl Foundation.  The decision was made to release them together in the hope that their bond would persist in the wild.  

July 12, 2001:  Owl Foundation.   Earlier this spring it was evident that Adelaide was not yet ready for release, as her feathers had not sufficiently recovered from her winter misadventures.  She is currently undergoing a full moult, and it is hoped that by mid-August she will have a full set of new feathers.  At that time she will be reassessed and a decision will be made whether she is ready for release, and if so, where.

March 15, 2001:  Owl Foundation.   Adelaide is progressing well.  It is still too early to tell when she will be able to be released, but we are hopeful that it might be as soon as late spring or early summer.  

February 9, 2001:  Owl Foundation.   Adelaide remains at the Owl Foundation.  In speaking with Kay McKeever of the Owl Foundation last night, I learned that Adelaide's feather condition has improved somewhat since she arrived more than a month ago, though she still has a long way to go.  What is evident is that Adelaide remains a feisty bird, very much driven by hunger - apparently no sooner is food dropped into her flight cage, than she pounces right down on it without fail!  Adelaide will likely remain at the Owl Foundation for some time yet, as it will take a while for her feathers to grow back to a state where she will be able to sustain flight to the degree needed for survival in the wild.  We will continue to provide updates on her condition periodically as we receive reports from the Owl Foundation.

January 3, 2001:  Owl Foundation.  Mark Nash reports:  Sometime just before the holidays, Adelaide once again found herself in a fine kettle of fish (or should I say a fine trap of pigeons) taking her Christmas dinner a little earlier than most of us.  This bird must either have nine lives, or is one of the unluckiest peregrines around (though so far she's been lucky to escape from each of her predicaments).

Adelaide once again managed to get herself trapped in another live pigeon trap on a Kitchener rooftop, and feasted on several of the plump grain fed pigeons.  Can this bird really be that stupid, or is she smarter than the average peregrine and realizes that she doesn't have to work for a living after entering the traps?  Either way, she has been well fed and is showing it.  Unfortunately, this time around her tail feathers and primaries were pretty badly beaten up.  She is back at the Owl Foundation for evaluation and a little tender loving care.  We hope to have further news on her condition before too long.

December 6, 2000:  43.5N, 80.5W.  Adelaide remains in downtown Kitchener-Waterloo.

December 1, 2000:  43.4N, 80.6W.  Once again, Adelaide's report puts her in Kitchener-Waterloo.  This time she seems to be slightly west of where she has been recently.  This is consistent with the observations made by Peter Coo yesterday (see below).

November 30, 2000:  Laurel Creek.  Peter Coo reports:  I watched Adelaide for about half an hour this morning at Laurel Creek CA again.  This time, I could quite clearly see the missing tail feathers when she banked; I think there are three missing from the middle of the tail somewhere. At first, I thought I'd found a different individual, because even though I got closer to her than ever
before, I couldn't see any sign of the antenna, plus the underparts looked paler (but then this was my first sighting of her in full sunlight). The antenna finally showed as she took off from her perch on a stump. 

Marcel Gahbauer comments:  Others have commented too that the antenna can be difficult to see.  Even though it is ~8 cm (3+ inches) long, it is of course very thin, and depending on what kind of background the bird is being viewed against, can be very difficult to spot. 

November 24, 2000:  Kitchener.  Peter Coo reports:  I saw a dark-looking Peregrine in Kitchener today at 1245 p.m.  It was perched on a sign on the top story of the Royal Bank building - I got the scope on it, there was definitely an antenna, plus a dark (green?) band on the left tarsus. (Only saw one leg, and that only briefly). The bird flew after a few minutes and disappeared around the north side of the building, but the tail looked complete (?).

Marcel Gahbauer comments:  This very likely was Adelaide again.  The identification band on her left leg is actually black, but depending on light conditions could certainly appear dark green.  What is perplexing is that the tail looked complete this time, whereas it has previously been noted that she is missing a few tail feathers.  One possibility is that depending on the the way she was flying and the angle at which she is seen, gaps in the tail might not always be visible.  Alternatively, though the odds would seem to be against this, it could be that one of our "silent" Track-'em peregrines is also in Kitchener at the moment, so I would encourage anyone who does see a transmitter-wearing peregrine to try to read the leg band and report it to us for confirmation at

November 22, 2000:  43.5N, 80.4W.  Adelaide's coordinates have shifted ever so slightly to the east, but confirm that she is still in the area of downtown Kitchener.

November 18, 2000:  43.5N, 80.5W.  Once again, Adelaide's satellite report indicates that she is in downtown Kitchener.  It appears that she is settling down at last.  The data we received matches well with the sighting below.

Mark Jessop reports:  I saw Adelaide on the Royal Bank building on and off this morning.  In the afternoon she was back on it again, sitting on the Queen St side around 2:30.  She was not there around 3:00, but around 4:15 she was enjoying the sun on the Ontario Street side. A pigeon wasn't very lucky today.  The last time I saw her she was feeding on one, while on the sign.  I didn't see her catch it or stick around for very long.  Judging by the amount of whitewash that is around the signs, she spends a lot of time at that building.  I also found the sternum of a bird she must have caught a while ago on the sidewalk.  Looking down from the parking garage it appears that there may be other bones etc. on top of the bank's first floor roof, which is under the Queen St. sign. 

Bruce Massey reports:  I arrived in Kitchener around 8:30 am and briefly saw a peregrine on the "old" Canada Trust building. After walking around the downtown area, and seeing some pigeon action, I finally found Adelaide perched on the Royal Bank Building.  I confirmed it was her by the antenna. Initially, the lost tail feathers weren’t all that apparent, as she was perched on the sign, but when I saw her flying, they were quite evident.  She seemed to stay pretty well in the general downtown area, and unfortunately was most active as I was waiting to board the bus home.

November 14, 2000:  43.5N, 80.5W.  Not surprisingly, given the eyewitness reports in recent days, Adelaide's latest transmitter readings place her in the downtown Kitchener area again.

November 12, 2000:  KitchenerMark Jessop reports:  Just wanted to report some observations from today between 11:30am and about 12:30. As I came out of the Beaver Lumber on Park St. in Kitchener I saw a raptor land on a 40' high TV antenna and awkwardly try to balance on it.   It was a peregrine, however it was missing a good number of tail feathers; the centre tail feathers were missing but the outside ones were still there.  I was able to get fairly close to it but unfortunately because of the angle of the light unable to really get a good look at the face. The bird didn't appear frightened or even slightly disturbed by my presence directly underneath the antenna but I couldn't tell if there was a transmitter on it.

I was able to clearly see the antenna when it flew off, and I watched it fly off towards the downtown but couldn't tell where it went.  On my way to the Fredrick Mall Zehrs, the pigeons were flying about in their usual panicky way.  So I pulled over into the old city hall parking lot and waited.  Sure enough a peregrine was flying slowly around following the flock and then it went over and landed on the Royal Bank building at the corner of Duke and Ontario Streets. Specifically it landed on the sign facing the downtown. This is the part that confused me though and excited me too.  This peregrine appeared to have all of its tail feathers but I was unable to see an antenna.  Considering the angle that I was looking at the bird it was quite possible that I may have just not seen it.

Marcel Gahbauer comments:  Following up on Peter Coo's report of November 7, the above observation indicates that Adelaide is making her presence known to Kitchener-Waterloo residents - additional reports are always welcome as a supplement to our satellite data; please send any sightings to

The missing tail feathers can be fairly easily explained.  Back in September, when Adelaide got herself stuck in a trap, she broke a few of her tail feathers.  Prior to her release on September 30, intact feathers moulted by other peregrines were implanted to restore her full complement of feathers.  The fact that she is now flying around with a gap in her tail suggests that perhaps some or all of these implanted feathers have fallen out again.  Fortunately peregrines can function well even if they are missing a number of tail feathers, so Adelaide shouldn't have any serious problems.

As for the "full-tailed" peregrine which Mark observed, this is evidently a different individual, and could be one of any number of peregrines.  If it happens to be a male, the potential exists that he and Adelaide will may develop a pair bond, and possibly seek a nest site in Kitchener-Waterloo next spring.  I encourage everyone to help us monitor the possible developments in this area.

November 9, 2000:  43.5N, 80.5W.  After missing a report for some reason, Adelaide's transmitter was functioning well again today, and indicates that she is once again back in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.  Earlier in the week, Peter Coo reported a juvenile peregrine wearing a transmitter near Waterloo's Laurel Creek Reservoir on November 7, and this report confirms that it was very likely Adelaide.  If you are in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, keep your eyes peeled for Adelaide, and please report any sightings to us at

October 31, 2000:  43.2N, 80.2W.  Evidently Kitchener didn't hold the same appeal for Adelaide the second time around - as of today she's back in Brantford.

October 26, 2000:  43.5N, 80.5W.  Sure enough, Adelaide has found her way back to downtown Kitchener-Waterloo - perhaps the memory of her last sumptuous meal in this city proved too tempting to ignore.  We hope that she will keep herself out of trouble this time.

October 22, 2000:  43.0N, 80.4W.  Though she hasn't moved far, Adelaide has reached Scotland!  This of course is Scotland, Ontario, a small town of ~600 people located just south of Brantford.  For a week and a half now, Adelaide has been circling around Brantford.  As time goes on, it seems more and more likely that she is searching for a winter territory in Ontario - will this be it?

October 17, 2000:  43.1N, 80.2W.  Adelaide has shifted slightly to the southeast.  Today's reading positions her along the Grand River, midway between Brantford and Cayuga, near Onondaga.  This is only ~15 km from where she was four days ago, so Adelaide certainly doesn't seem to be in a hurry to go anywhere.

October 13, 2000:  43.2N, 80.3W.  Moving south doesn't seem to be in Adelaide's plans - at least not yet.  She has moved almost straight north from her last reported position, and is now just north of Brantford.  Interestingly, if she continues on this course, she will return to Kitchener-Waterloo, where she spent much of August and early September.

October 8, 2000:  42.7N, 80.3W.  Adelaide didn't stay in London for long.  She has returned to the shore of Lake Erie, but is heading back toward the east.  Today's report places her in Port Ryerse, a small town on the north shore of Long Point Bay, approximately 10 km south of Simcoe. 

October 3, 2000:  42.9N, 81.2W.It seems the open countryside around Hawk Cliff didn't particularly suit Adelaide - as of today she's back in an urban setting again.  Not surprisingly, she's in London, the closest big city to Hawk Cliff.  As of this afternoon, she was on the southwest side of the city, but this is only a few kilometres from downtown, where George raised his family this past summer.  George of course lost his mate Calypso in June, and is presumably in search of a new partner.  It's certainly possible that Adelaide and George will meet (and maybe they already have) - if George charms her sufficiently, Adelaide may decide not to migrate at all, or the two might leave together.  Given that the peak of peregrine migration in southern Ontario is usually around this time, it will be interesting to see whether Adelaide is still hanging around when she next reports on October 7 or 8. 

September 30, 2000:  42.7N, 81.2W.  Adelaide is back in the air!  Around 2:10 pm, she was released at Hawk Cliff, near Port Stanley, Ontario.

First a bit of background.  Adelaide has spent close to two weeks at the Owl Foundation, where she was kept in a 30-metre (90-foot) long flight cage.  There she was given ample opportunity to regain her muscle strength, and to maintain her practice at catching her own prey.  When she was declared fit for release, a location needed to be chosen.  Normally we would like to see a bird released in a place it is familiar with.  However, it wouldn't have been wise to bring her back to Kitchener, for fear of her getting trapped again.  Likewise, knowing the navigational skills of these birds, if we brought her back to Toronto she could easily be back in Kitchener in short order.  As a result, we settled on Hawk Cliff, a raptor monitoring station near Port Stanley, south of London.  Peregrines have over the years passed this site in good numbers at the end of September and beginning of October each year, indicating that this is on the migratory route of many peregrines.

In the morning, Adelaide received her final preparations for release, courtesy of Ulrich Watermann.  A couple of Adelaide's tail feathers had been damaged in her ordeal a few weeks ago, so to make sure that she was ready for the long flight that might be ahead of her, he implanted healthy feathers moulted by other peregrines to replace those that were damaged.  When we saw her in flight later in the day, it was wonderful to see Adelaide flying with a full complement of tail feathers again.

Around 1:30 pm, Mark and Marion Nash arrived at Hawk Cliff with Adelaide to the welcome of a large crowd of over sixty people.  As she was brought out of the box, she struggled vigorously, convincing everyone that she was in good health and strength.  Mark released her near the edge of the cliff, and she swooped up into the air immediately with skill.  For the next few minutes, she was seen drifting to the east, playing in the wind, no doubt happy to be free again.

But her freedom was not to last long - only ten minutes later, she found herself entangled in the nets at the banding station just east of Hawk Cliff!  Adelaide had been attracted by the bait used by the banders, and dove impetuously into the mist net.  She was released again, and this time she took off and out of sight.  Before too long though, she was back for one more try - only this time she built up enough speed that she punched a clean hole right through the net.  The net was badly damaged, much to the chagrin of the banding crew, who faced a long repair job, but all the same they were thrilled to see Adelaide show so much energy.  She then soared back into view over the main observation station for a few minutes, giving everyone a great opportunity to see the transmitter on her back.  Again she eventually drifted off to the east.

By the end of the afternoon, it was evident that "Hawk Cliff Addie" had been completely and enthusiastically embraced by all of the locals.  Although everyone present wished Adelaide a long and safe journey, no doubt they would likewise all be happy to see her at Hawk Cliff again.

The next signal from Adelaide's transmitter is scheduled to come in on Tuesday or Wednesday, and we are very curious to see where she will be at that time. 

September 19, 2000:  43.2N, 79.4W.  Adelaide is currently at the Owl Foundation, and is being observed regularly.  She is gradually regaining her strength and energy, and will hopefully be ready for release within the next week.

September 15, 2000:  Adelaide's feet and some of her feathers needed a bit of cleaning up after her time in the pigeon cage, but Dr. Markus Luckwaldt at the Amherst Veterinary Clinic in Scarborough was able to do this without a problem, and she seems to otherwise be in good health.  Adelaide will be transferred to the Owl Foundation in Vineland, where she will be placed in a flight cage for a few days to allow her to rebuild her flight muscles prior to release.

September 12, 2000:  Adelaide has just experienced quite an adventure, but thanks to Bird Control International who quickly notified us of her predicament, she is doing fine.  Late yesterday afternoon, Adelaide was discovered inside a pigeon trap on a downtown Kitchener building.  Presumably Adelaide had spotted the pigeons inside the cage and thought that they would make an easy meal.  Unfortunately, upon entering the cage, Adelaide became trapped just like the pigeons.  In the short term she may not have been too concerned - as the pigeon remains in the cage suggested, Adelaide fed very well.  However, after discovering that she could not get out, Adelaide was no doubt a bit frustrated by her situation.  Fortunately she was rescued quickly, long before she risked starvation or dehydration.  We picked up Adelaide yesterday evening, and a brief physical examination found her to be in quite good condition.  All the same, she will be brought to an avian vet for a more detailed check-up before we consider releasing her again.

The pigeon trap which Adelaide found herself trapped in is one of the more humane forms of pigeon control.  In many places, pigeons (and other birds) are indiscriminately killed through the use of a variety of poisons.  In many cases the birds can suffer greatly before dying, and there is the further risk that predators (such as peregrines) will feed upon a poisoned bird (either dead or alive) and become seriously affected themselves.  In contrast, traps such as the ones used by Bird Control International allow the pigeons to be caught without any harm coming to them, and they can subsequently be transported away for a humane release in rural areas.

We are very grateful to Bird Control International for ensuring that Adelaide was immediately rescued upon discovery, and was well cared for until we were able to arrive to pick her up. 

September 6, 2000:  43.4N, 80.4W.  It's back to the city for Adelaide - the latest coordinates put her in the vicinity of downtown Kitchener.

September 2, 2000:  43.6N, 80.6W.  Adelaide remains in the general area of Kitchener-Waterloo, but this time is a bit to the northwest - her location puts her near the town of St. Jacobs.

September 1, 2000:  43.7N, 80.7W.  It seems that Adelaide has decided to take a look at the rural areas surrounding Kitchener-Waterloo - this evening she was northwest of the city, near Yatton.

August 28, 2000:  43.4N, 80.5W.  Kitchener must be more interest than Guelph - Adelaide has returned, this time to the southwest part of Kitchener.

August 23, 2000:  43.6N, 80.4W.  Adelaide has shifted over to Guelph today.  It's interesting to note that she seems to be hopping from city to city so far.  That's perhaps to be expected, since she grew up in an urban setting, but it is a significant observation nonetheless.

August 19, 2000:  43.5N, 80.5W.  Thoughts of migration may have been premature.  Adelaide seems to be content in Kitchener-Waterloo for the time being, as she has barely changed her position since the last report.

August 14, 2000:  43.5N, 80.6W.  Apparently Adelaide has had enough of Scarborough.  To our surprise, today's series of transmissions place her well over 100 km to the west, in Waterloo!  Could it be that Adelaide's migratory instincts are kicking in so soon?

August 9, 2000:  43.8N, 79.3W.  Still in Scarborough, but Adelaide has moved a bit north and is now in the area of Scarborough Town Centre, where both Nate and Rouge spent time earlier this year.  Again this must be a site which holds particular appeal for peregrines.

August 5, 2000:  43.7N, 79.2W.  Adelaide remains near the shoreline in Scarborough.  Victoria has been reported in this vicinity in past years - it would be interesting to know whether she was the one who introduced her daughter Adelaide to this neighbourhood.

July 31, 2000:  43.7N, 79.2W.  Adelaide is a bit closer to home today, reporting in from the Scarborough Bluffs around Markham Road.  This is an area where peregrines have been seen semi-regularly (in spring) for the past few years.  Likely it is the steep bare cliffs and the abundance of pigeons (and other birds) which attract them to the area.

July 27, 2000:  44.4N, 79.1W.Toronto seems to be rapidly becoming a distant memory for Adelaide.  Today she was far northeast of the city, near Beaverton on the east side of Lake Simcoe.  Already we are noticing a big difference compared to last year, when most of the hacked peregrines we were monitoring through Project Track-'em didn't start to wander for at least a couple of months after they began flying.

July 22, 2000:  43.6N, 79.3W.  Today Adelaide was out over Lake Ontario, just beyond the tip of the "Leslie Spit" (aka Tommy Thomson Park).  As we learned from Eco, Lincoln, and Nate last year, peregrines appear to be comfortable over open water, but we still wonder what would motivate Adelaide to want to go away from land.

July 18, 2000:  43.7N, 79.4W.  Adelaide is beginning to wander a bit away from her downtown Toronto home.  Tonight's transmission places her a few kilometres to the northeast, near the Don River around Dundas.

July 13, 2000:  43.6N, 79.4W.  It has now been two weeks since Adelaide was released, and through both visual confirmation and satellite readings, we know that she has spent most of this time around Harbourfront, near the foot of Bay Street.  This is not an area where Toronto juveniles have typically frequented in the past, but Adelaide has settled in here, and rarely seems to go as far north as the nest building on King Street.  Kingsley and Victoria are still providing her food on at least a part-time basis, but Adelaide is rapidly becoming independent, and a few days ago was seen making a kill of her own.


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