Project Track-'em 2000-2001 Season
Tracked August 10, 2000 - June
(additional observations in Project Track-'em 1999-2000 and 2001-2002)
The final episode of Nate's story ended in March 2005. Please see the March 29th and April 5th 2005 reports on the Mississauga Clarkson page. His story has also been published in media other than our own website. See "Late great Nate recalled," an article published on April 21st, 2005 in The Mississauga News for more information.
Nate was one of four young peregrines introduced to Richmond Hill in the summer of 1999 through the Canadian Peregrine Foundation's Project Release. He and his three brothers were released from the hack box on June 28, and gradually began to acquire the skills required for independence over the course of July and August.
In early October, Nate began his southward journey. Within just over one month, he flew nearly 5000 km to reach the coast of Colombia, where he spent the winter. During the first week of April, Nate finally began to move again - and within a month was back home in Ontario.
In October 2000, Nate was fitted with a new transmitter to allow us to follow his movements for a second season. Read the "Traveler's Diary" reports under the map for further details about his journeys from late 2000 through to mid-2001.
Spring 2001 in Ontario:
Nate's northbound journeys:
Click here for Nate's Photo Gallery
Jun 19, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W. Reports from Nate's transmitter have been consistently poor over the past month, probably suggesting that the battery is becoming weak. However, visual sightings confirm that he is still residing around the St. Lawrence Cement Plant in Mississauga - see the Mississauga page for the latest observations from that site.
May 21, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W. The past two reports from Nate have been too poor in quality to provide any useful coordinates. However, yesterday night's transmission contained one clear report which pinpointed him to be in southwest Mississauga, near the St. Lawrence Cement property, and thus confirming that it is Nate who is being seen there regularly.
May 8, 2001: 43.5N, 79.7W. With this latest set of coordinates, again located near the Clarkson area of Mississauga, we are now quite certain that Nate is the male being seen at the St. Lawrence Cement property off Winston Churchill Boulevard. He has been present there, in the company of a young female, for the last couple of weeks; whether they are nesting, or simply establishing a territory is not yet clear. Reports based on transmissions from Nate's transmitter will continue to be posted on this page, but additional observations of him and his mate will be put on the Mississauga page.
May 3, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W. The last scheduled report from Nate was missed for some reason, presumably interference of some sort with the signal transmission. Once again this time, the signal which did come through is not terribly clear, but it looks like Nate is now in the Clarkson area of Mississauga, near the lakeshore.
April 23, 2001: 43.8N, 79.2W. Once again, Nate's signals have not come through clearly. The coordinates point to Morningside Park in Scarborough, but like the last report, he could be anywhere within a wide circle around this spot.
April 19, 2001: 44.2N, 79.4W. Tonight's reading is of very poor quality, so because of the inaccuracy involved we won't plot this location on the map. The coordinates indicate a spot northeast of Newmarket, but he could be anywhere within a 30 km radius around there.
April 14, 2001: 43.7N, 79.5W. Nate seems to be zeroing in on the area where he spent much of last summer. Today his signal came to us from Brampton, in the Hwy 410 / Hwy 7 area.
Note also that the April 6 entry has been corrected below - I inadvertently overlooked the most accurate reading initially, leading to a misidentification of Nate's position.
April 10, 2001: 43.8N, 80.3W. It seems that Nate is going to do a bit of wandering around, now that he has returned to Ontario, perhaps in search of a suitable nesting territory. Today he has moved back to the west a bit more, and is out in the countryside between Orangeville and Waterloo, specifically near the village of Belwood. Just to the southwest is Lake Belwood, where waterfowl may be concentrating on migration; this may attracting Nate's attention at the moment.
April 6, 2001: 43.6N, 79.9W. Five weeks after leaving his winter home in Cartagena, Nate is now inching his way closer to Toronto. Yesterday's clearest signal indicates that he is the area of Halton Hills, northwest of Mississauga.
April 1, 2001: 43.4N, 79.8W. Nate is almost home! Tonight he is in Burlington, in the vicinity of the Canada Centre for Inland Waters and the Skyway Bridge - a location which has been frequented by Hamilton's resident peregrines at times, and was also visited by Magellan last fall. The abundant high perches and healthy pigeon population no doubt combine to make the area attractive in they eyes of a peregrine. Nate, however, will likely not linger here long - we expect that he will continue to head back to either Richmond Hill or the area around Toronto's Pearson International Airport where he spent much of last summer. The next update from Nate, on April 5 or 6, should give us an idea of where he is aiming to settle this time around.
March 27, 2001: 41.4N, 85.0W. As predicted, Nate is closing in on Ontario. Tonight he is about 25 kilometres north of Fort Wayne, Indiana. This leaves him only ~200 kilometres southwest of Detroit / Windsor. At this rate, assuming he continues on this trajectory, he should be back in Ontario within the next couple of days.
March 23, 2001: 39.4N, 91.0W. Nate is making up for lost time, racing northeast at a rate of roughly 300 kilometres per day since we last heard from him on Monday. Tonight he is just northwest of St. Louis, Missouri. If he keeps this pace up, and maintains the general direction he has followed this week, he could be back in southern Ontario by the middle of next week. It's interesting to note that this year Nate is taking a much more direct route back toward Ontario than he did last spring.
March 19, 2001: 30.5N, 97.7W. Somewhat surprisingly, Nate continues to proceed northward very slowly. He is now located in Austin, Texas, and thus has traveled only ~300 kilometres over the past five days.
March 14, 2001: 27.8N, 97.3W. Nate has slowed down his pace a bit. Today he reported from Padre Island, Texas, only a couple of hundred kilometres north of his previous location.
March 10, 2001: 25.4N, 97.8W. The race northward is definitely on! Nate as of tonight is near Matamoros, Mexico, just south of Brownsville, Texas. He has covered a distance in the last four days very similar to that between Cartagena and Guatemala in the previous period. He is definitely moving much faster than last year, as well as much earlier.
March 5, 2001: 15.8N, 88.3W. Nate appears to be on the move! Though the quality of today's reports was again poor, they nonetheless were consistent in locating him near Pto Cortes at the northeast end of Guatemala, near the Gulf of Honduras coastline. Last year Nate did not start heading north until early April, so if he has indeed started his migration, he is on a greatly accelerated schedule - perhaps being a year older, he has more of a biological urge to return and seek out a breeding territory. Hopefully our next report from Nate (expected on the weekend) will confirm that he is moving north.
March 1, 2001: 10.2N, 75.7W. Today's reports show Nate a bit to the southwest of his usual position. However, the quality of these transmissions is not high, so this may be largely due to error.
February 24, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W. Nate has really settled in over the past month, always in the same part of Cartagena. Note to those concerned that his lack of mobility might be a cause for worry - though his position has remained as roughly 10.4N, 75.5W, the finer details of his position have been changing regularly, indicating that he is moving around at a local level.
February 19, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W. There have been a couple of additional reports over the past week, both indicating Nate remains in Cartagena. It will likely still be about six weeks until he gets restless and begins moving north.
February 7, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W. Another report from Nate in Cartagena.
February 2, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W. After two and a half months, Nate remains in Cartagena.
January 28, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W. Still no significant movements for Nate, who continues to travel around within the immediate area of Cartagena.
January 20, 2001: 10.3N, 75.4W. Nate's winter break in Cartagena continues.
January 11, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W. No change in location this time. Nate must be content with his current location.
January 6, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W. Nate is back in communication, and remains at his winter retreat near Cartagena.
January 1, 2001: Position unclear. There appears to have been some interference preventing a clear signal from coming through today. However, it's probably safe to assume that Nate was in Cartagena on this first day of the new year.
December 28, 2000: 10.4N, 75.6W. A more accurate reading from Nate tonight shows that he is definitely still in the area of Cartagena.
December 23, 2000: 10.3N, 75.7W. Tonight's transmission didn't come through very clearly, so some accuracy may have been lost. Nonetheless, it seems clear that Nate will be spending Christmas in Cartagena.
December 19, 2000: 10.5N, 75.3W. This time Nate has shifted back to the northeast, a bit further east than he has been in the past, but still in the area of Cartagena.
December 15, 2000: 10.3N, 75.8W. Nate is again a bit to the southwest of his usual position, but remains in the general vicinity of Cartagena.
December 12, 2000: 10.4N, 75.5W. Nate has moved around slightly over the past two weeks, spending a bit of time southwest of Cartagena, but for the most part he remains in his usual winter territory.
December 1, 2000: 10.4N, 75.5W. Nate remains in Cartagena.
November 26, 2000: 10.4N, 75.5W. Once again, Nate's reports confirm that he is still in Cartagena, Colombia.
November 22, 2000: 10.4N, 75.5W. Sure enough, now that Nate has returned to Cartagena, his coordinates are very consistent, confirming that he has settled down here again. If the pattern established last year holds, we wouldn't expect to see any significant movements for the next few months, but we will continue to report on his position regularly nonetheless.
November 18, 2000: 10.4N, 75.5W. Home sweet (winter) home! Nate is back in Cartagena, Colombia, the same location where he spent the winter of 1999-2000. It will be interesting to see whether he remains here throughout the coming winter.
November 13, 2000: 8.7N, 76.7W. More than seven months after leaving Colombia, Nate has returned! As of today, he is along the Caribbean Coast, near Puerto Rey, roughly 200 km southwest of Cartagena, where he spent the winter of 1999-2000. The next update from Nate (scheduled for the weekend) could well find him back in Cartagena again.
This is a very significant event - to our knowledge, this marks the first time an individual peregrine has been successfully tracked to its wintering grounds for two consecutive years. The fact that Nate has traveled to Colombia in both years shows that peregrines may be consistent in their choice of wintering territories from year to year. We will wait eagerly to see how closely Nate's activities this winter mirror last year's observations.
November 10, 2000: 8.9N, 81.7W. All seems to be back to normal, with a strong signal coming from Nate's transmitter early yesterday morning. After a bit of a rest in Honduras following his rapid escape from North America, Nate has resumed his journey and is now in Panama. Nate was close to this location on October 27, 1999 while on the way to Colombia; we will have to wait and see whether he continues along the same route again this year.
November 6, 2000: location unknown We had expected to receive a report from Nate within the past couple of days, but none has come in. However, at least two of the other Project Track-'em birds have also missed their "scheduled" reporting window, suggesting that there may have been a satellite or relay problem affecting all of these reports. Hopefully everything will be back to normal later this week when the next transmission period comes around.
October 31, 2000: 16.5N, 86.1W. Nate seems to be taking a bit of a breather after his rapid flight south. He has shifted just slightly to the southwest, to the mainland of Honduras, since the last report. We should know some time next week whether he will remain in this area or continue his trip through Central America.
October 26, 2000: 16.8N, 85.7W. Incredibly, Nate has picked up the pace even further! As of mid-afternoon today, he was another ~2300 kilometres south of his last reported location, which means he has been averaging almost 600 kilometres per day. This location placed him well out over the Caribbean Sea, roughly midway between Cuba and Honduras. A second transmission from Nate later in the day indicated he had made considerable southward progress, and was at or near one of the small islands off the north shore of Honduras. Now we must wait to see whether he stays in this general area, or continues south to where he wintered last year.
With Nate traveling so quickly, it's difficult to guess what route he might have taken. Given the direction he was headed in, Nate may have continued south through Florida, across to Cuba, and then back out over the Caribbean Sea from there - but only he will ever know...
|October 22, 2000: 36.8N, 79.8W. As we expected, Nate has decided to quickly make up for lost time. As of early this morning, he was near the Virginia / North Carolina border, in the area of Danville, Virginia. This is almost due south of where we released him five days ago, but 800 kilometres away! To get to where he is now, Nate crossed the Appalachians, unlike the many raptors who in the fall follow the line of the Appalachians to the southwest. Last fall, Nate seemed to stay with this main migratory route, remaining on the north/west side of the Appalachians, but this time he is taking a more direct route south which (if he maintains this course) will bring him to Florida within the next few days. We hope to have our next report by Friday October 27, and are very curious to see whether Nate will still be in the USA at that time, or already further south.|
October 17, 2000: 43.8N, 79.4W. Nate is back in the air! As of last week he had recovered fully, and was flying back and forth in his cage, evidently eager to be set free. Nate presented a very unique opportunity to us, in that no other peregrine (to our knowledge) has been tracked by satellite for two consecutive seasons. By applying a new satellite transmitter to him today, we hope to be able to determine whether his second-year migratory patterns will be at all similar to those he followed as a juvenile. Keep checking this page for updates on Nate's second year of travels.
Around 11 am this morning, I picked Nate up from the Owl Foundation and brought him to Richmond Hill. We had decided to release Nate from atop the Richmond Hill Town Hall, since that was where he began his journey last year, and it would allow him to readjust to life in the wild in a familiar setting. Mark Heaton and Natalie Helferty of the Ministry of Natural Resources assisted with the attachment of Nate's new 20-gram transmitter, and by 2 pm he was ready for release.
Up on the roof, Natalie removed Nate from his carrying box and placed him on the front platform of the hack box where he had grown up last summer. Almost instantly Nate took flight, heading straight east with good strong wingbeats. After roughly 100 metres, he swung around and headed straight back toward us, gaining a bit of altitude along the way. As he passed overhead, Nate dropped his feet down and shook his talons at us. Whether this was a menacing gesture or a friendly wave goodbye is up to interpretation, but it certainly seemed like an intentional communication with us.
Following this, Nate went to perch on an antenna on the northwest corner of the Sheraton Hotel convention centre, a perch he had frequented often last summer. He remained there for close to an hour, before Bruce Massey saw him fly off to the east again on a short loop which brought him back to the Sheraton again. Around 3:20 pm, Nate set off in a more determined fashion to the north, and after an hour had not returned. However, tonight's satellite readings indicate that by around 7 pm, Nate was back in the area of the Richmond Hill Town Hall again.
Nate may well stay around Richmond Hill for a day or two to reorient himself, but if his migratory instincts are strong, he probably won't linger for long. As always, we encourage everyone to keep their eyes open for any peregrine wearing a transmitter, and report any sightings to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We expect to receive our next satellite transmissions from Nate toward the end of this week, and will post regular updates on his travels again.
September 19, 2000: Vineland. The latest word from the Owl Foundation is that Nate is doing very well. He is catching prey with ease, and his flight appears to be strong and steady. He has yet to be re-examined by veterinarians to confirm that he is ready for release, but we are hopeful that we will be able to return Nate to the wild in the very near future.
September 4, 2000: Vineland. Nate has recovered enough to be transferred to the Owl Foundation in Vineland, Ontario. He is now in a 90-foot long flight pen where he will be able to regain his muscle strength, and where his condition and progress can be easily evaluated without much disturbance.
August 17, 2000: Guelph. Nate had a close brush with death earlier this week, but fortunately it looks like he will survive. A couple of days ago he was found stumbling around on the ground by airport staff, and was rescued by them. It's unclear at this point what happened to him, but the symptoms suggest that poisoning may well have been involved. At the University of Guelph's Wild Bird Clinic, Nate's condition was assessed, and the situation looked grim. However, Nate has again proven himself to be a survivor, and is recovering better than expected. He will be kept at the Wild Bird Clinic for at least a few more days until his condition improves and an evaluation can be made about his potential for re-release.
August 10, 2000: Malton. Throughout the summer so far, Nate has remained more or less in the area of Pearson International Airport. Not only have we continued to receive coordinates from his satellite transmissions, but we have been getting reports from the bird control staff at the airport, who are responsible of keeping the pigeons, gulls, and other birds away from the runways to ensure safety for the planes taking off and landing. The Greater Toronto Airport Authority undertook a hack release of three young male peregrines at the airport in July, and Nate seemed to be attracted to the hack box - memories of his youth perhaps. Apparently on at least a couple of occasions he actually entered the box and took some of the food (quail) intended for the newly released birds - Nate may have learned to take advantage of all opportunities, and never pass up a free meal.
© Canadian Peregrine Foundation