Project Track-'em 1999-2000 Season
Tracked August 18, 1999 - November 10, 1999
Lincoln was one of two young peregrines introduced to Guelph in the summer of 1999 through the Canadian Peregrine Foundation's Project Release. He and his brother were released from the hack box on August 4, and very quickly became independent. We attached the satellite transmitter to Lincoln on August 18, and monitored his movements over a period of approximately three months. See the map below for a summary of his journey, and check the "Traveler's Diary" under the map for commentary on his progress.
March 23, 2001: Location unknown We have yet to receive any confirmed reports of Lincoln since his transmitter fell silent in December 1999. However, with spring migration underway, it's worth reminding everyone to keep an eye out for Lincoln again this spring. It would be wonderful to rediscover him and learn where he is now residing. Please contact us at email@example.com if you think you may have seen Lincoln.
March 30, 2000: Location unknown - possibly southern Ontario? Recent sightings strongly suggest that Eco and/or Lincoln have returned to southern Ontario. Neither transmitter has communicated with the satellite since December, and it is safe to assume that they will not become reactivated at this point. It is therefore critical that we receive eyewitness reports about these two birds in order to track them down again this spring. Please call us immediately at (416) 481-1233 or 1-888-709-3944 if you spot an immature (brownish) peregrine falcon with a satellite transmitter on its back (look at this photo of Lincoln to see what it looks like).
The first sighting was by Larissa Neumann on February 24. While driving on the Queen Elizabeth Way in Burlington, she spotted a peregrine flying past the highway near Burloak Drive, and was surprised to see an antenna coming out of its back. The description she provided to us left us convinced that she had seen a bird equipped with the type of transmitter we had put on Eco and Lincoln. There is an outside possibility that this bird is from the Alberta research program, or another effort we are unaware of (possibly local monitoring by a falconer). However, the odds are that the bird seen by Larissa was either Eco or Lincoln.
On March 6, a birdwatcher passing through Stoney Creek observed a peregrine flying past with what appeared to be stick coming out of its back. Upon learning about Project Track-'em, she realized that the "stick" was likely an antenna. These two sightings gave us strong hope that at least one of Ontario's birds had returned safely, and we turned to the media to help us locate it/them. Hamilton's OnTV, Toronto's CITY-TV, the Globe and Mail, the Hamilton Spectator, the Guelph Mercury, and the Richmond Hill Liberal have all provided good coverage, and as a result we have been able to follow up on several more sightings since.
Within the past week, there have been several more confirmed sightings in the Toronto area. On both March 23 and March 28, a peregrine wearing a transmitter was spotted hunting over the duck pond at the southeast corner of High Park in Toronto's west end. The most recent sighting there was around 2:30 pm on Tuesday, March 28. Less than 4 hours later, Natalie Helferty spotted a peregrine with an antenna near the CN rail yards at Keele and Highway 7, just north of Toronto. While it's possible that this was the same bird, the description of the position of the transmitter (as well as the fact that the "High Park peregrine" had been sedentary for close to a week) suggests that there may be two different birds in the area. If that is the case, then it may well be that both Eco and Lincoln have returned safely.
Before we can draw any conclusions, we will have to get a leg band reading from these birds. We encourage everyone to help us in the search for these birds - if you can visit either High Park or the Keele / Highway 7 area over the next week of two, bring along a pair of binoculars (or a spotting scope) and be prepared to look for a black leg band on the peregrine if you are lucky enough to spot it. Please phone in any sightings (from these locations or anywhere else) to 416-481-1233 or 1-888-709-3944 as soon as possible. Several CPF volunteers will be out searching as well, and we will report on any progress as soon as possible.
December 15, 1999: Location unknown. Like Eco, Lincoln has fallen silent since arriving in Panama. It's impossible to know whether this is an indication of a dead battery, a malfunctioning transmitter, or (hopefully not) a dead bird. The last is actually probably the least likely, since the condition of the bird is not tied to the activity of the transmitter - if one of the birds were to die, the transmitter could easily keep sending signals from that location for months on end. There's still a slim chance that the transmitter will revive and begin broadcasting again, but if not, we will have to rely on observers to spot and report him to us.
There is better news from Guelph, where a peregrine was spotted near Gordon and Stone Roads around 10 am this morning. It was flying and seen only briefly, so could not be identified as to age and sex, but it certainly is possible that this was Nomad, still hanging around Guelph. We will keep our eyes peeled for future sightings in that area.
November 24, 1999: Location unknown. Two weeks have passed since we last heard from Lincoln, and we are naturally a bit concerned. We know that the transmitters occasionally miss a cycle or two, so if he has switched to the 10-day cycle for winter already, we may not get any more information from him until November 30 at least.
|November 10, 1999: 9.7N, 81.4W. After leaving us in the dark with a series of incomplete readings on November 6, we were happy to receive better results tonight. Lincoln is back on the move again, and appears to be heading for Panama, following the paths of Eco and Nate. At the time of today's transmissions (around noon), Lincoln was over the Gulf of Mosquitos on the north side of Panama; presumably he has since reached land. It's quite interesting to see that despite the greatly different routes they followed when heading south, all three of our migrating peregrines from Ontario have visited the central part of Panama.
|November 2, 1999:
15.5N, 83.9W. Our feathered
friend Lincoln has baffled us again. After streaking south at an incredible pace
over the last week of October, he appears to have very suddenly decided to stop. In
fact, tonight's data indicate that he has actually headed back north a bit from his last
known coordinates. Currently he is located along the coast of Honduras, relatively
near the town of Puerto Lemoira.
Now we can speculate again about what he will do next. This might be an indication that he is happy to settle in this area for the winter - or perhaps he is simply taking a rest before resuming his journey, much like Eco did in Florida in mid-October.
October 28, 1999: 14.2N, 84.2W. Lincoln continues to head south at an incredibly rapid pace! In the past four days, he has covered a linear distance of over 1800 km from his last position off the east coast of northern Florida to his current location in northeastern Nicaragua. At this rate he will soon catch up to Nate, who is currently the "leader" of the four peregrines in terms of being the one furthest south. However, having traveled well over 3000 km since his release in Richmond Hill just ten days ago, Lincoln may want to slow down the pace a bit. Based on what we have already observed with Nate, I imagine that Lincoln will now work his way along Central America, passing through Costa Rica and Panama on the way to South America. But we will of course have to keep checking to see whether he follows this prediction, or else surprises us yet again.
|October 24, 1999: 30.6N, 78.0W. These birds continue to amaze us. Less than one week after being released following three weeks of rehabilitation, Lincoln has covered more than 1500 km in under four days! It would appear he is trying his best to make up for lost time. Interestingly, he seems to have gone almost straight south from southern Ontario (although admittedly, we don't know the exact route he took, since we didn't receive any reports during his four days of travel). He is presently out over the Atlantic, much like Eco was four days after leaving Richmond Hill; in fact their latitude is virtually identical, although Lincoln has remained much closer to the coast (only a few hundred kilometres offshore, versus Eco's 900 km). We are curious to see whether Lincoln will now swing west toward Florida as Eco did, or will instead continue south toward (and over?) the Caribbean islands.
|October 19, 1999:
43.6N, 79.6W. It would seem
that Lincoln had no fondness for Richmond Hill! As of tonight, he is already
considerably to the southwest, having (assuming a straight line of flight) crossed over
North York and Etobicoke on his way to Mississauga. Interestingly, he is heading
almost directly toward the warehouse where he became trapped a few weeks ago. We
hope that this time he will have the good sense to stay outside.
October 18, 1999: 43.8N, 79.4W. Lincoln is flying free once again! This afternoon we brought him from the Mountsberg Wildlife Centre (where he has been recuperating for the past few weeks) to the Aurora MNR office, where we reattached the transmitter to Lincoln (we had taken it off when he was first taken in for examination to prevent damage to it). We then took Lincoln to the Richmond Hill Town Hall for release. We selected this location because it would allow us to easily provide food to Lincoln for the first couple of days in case he needed some support while regaining his hunting skills, as he has been out of practice for a little while. That being said, we know from having handled Lincoln yesterday that he is a very strong bird, and he will no doubt soon assert his independence again.
Lincoln was released at 5 pm, and almost immediately took off, carrying with him the quail we had left in the box. Loaded down with this weight, he flew only as far as the southeast corner of the roof, where he settled down and proceeded to eat most of the quail over a period of ~40 minutes. He flew off and out of sight around 6 pm, but between the fading sunlight, a full crop, and a long and busy day, it's not likely that he flew far today. If it is on schedule, we should be getting a broadcast from his transmitter tomorrow night, and will hopefully be able to tell then whether he is hanging around, or decided to take off already.
|October 12, 1999: Lincoln's release date has been set for Monday October 18; exact time and location are yet to be determined. The map at right summarizes his movements to date (the Sep.29 to Oct. 18 dot represents his stay at Mountsberg).
October 7, 1999: It has taken a while to get Lincoln cleaned up from his warehouse misadventure. He remains at the Mountsberg Wildlife Centre, and is almost ready to be released. We hope to get him on his way again within the next week. News will be posted here when he is released, and a map will also be inserted above on or before that date.
September 29, 1999: Lincoln's journey has been temporarily interrupted by a small mishap. Yesterday afternoon Mark Nash retrieved him from the Toronto Wildlife Centre in Downsview, where he had been brought by employees from a warehouse in Clarkson (southwest end of Mississauga, Ontario). Apparently Lincoln had found his way into the warehouse some time late last week, and was unable to get back out again. Perhaps he had chased a pigeon into the open doors of the building, or maybe there was another reason for him going inside. We'll never know. Yesterday morning, workers in the building were finally able to corner Lincoln and trap him.
Although a bit skinny, since he probably hasn't eaten in a few days, Lincoln is otherwise in rather good health. There is a slight abrasion on the cere, but there appear to be no other wounds or fractures, so while he may be frustrated and hungry, he seems to be uninjured. Nonetheless, to be on the safe side he was taken to the Wild Bird Clinic at the University of Guelph for tests before we release him again. Watch here for updates on Lincoln's status, including news on when and where we release him again.
September 22, 1999: At some point in his travels last week, Lincoln must have turned east. The reports we received from the transmitter last night place him in the southern part of Mississauga, around Port Credit. This is almost due east of his original location in Guelph, which is a bit surprising, given that in the fall most raptors move the opposite direction along the Great Lakes, i.e. from east to west. Will he continue to head east into Toronto, or change his path? We will have to wait for the next transmission to find out.
September 17, 1999: Earlier this week, a reliable observer spotted a peregrine falcon wearing a satellite transmitter on its back near Victoria Road and Highway 401, approximately 20 km south of Guelph. While he was not close enough to read the band numbers, we know this must have been Lincoln, because the three Richmond Hill birds were all accounted for at the time. We now eagerly await the next report from his transmitter to find out where he is going.
© Canadian Peregrine Foundation