Project Track-'em 2001-2002 Season
Special thanks to the students of Branksome Hall School in Toronto for their support and involvement.
Tracked July 11, 2001 -
September 18, 2001
(additional observations in Project Track-'em 1999-2000 and 2000-2001)
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. This transmitter was removed in July 2001 and replaced again with a new unit, this time a solar-powered transmitter which has allowed us to learn about Nate's travels in even greater detail. Read the "Traveler's Diary" reports under the map for commentary on his most recent journeys.
Click here for Nate's Photo Gallery
May 29, 2002: Mississauga, Ontario. To our great relief, we have been able to confirm that Nate has returned safely to his territory at the St. Lawrence Cement Plant in southwest Mississauga. Armando Castro was observing the nest box at the site on Monday when he was visited by Nate at close range, allowing him to confirm the band numbers beyond any doubt. Visit the Mississauga-Clarkson page for full details.
Nate has spent three full years as part of Project Track-'em, and during that time has provided us with a wealth of information we never dreamed of being able to collect when we began this project. He is a very special bird and we hope that he will now be equally successful as a breeder. Since he has now retired from Project Track-'em, all future updates regarding Nate will be posted on the Mississauga-Clarkson page.
May 22, 2002: location unknown (Cartagena ... or Mississauga?). Over the past couple of days, Nate's story has taken some interesting twists. After more than four months of complete inactivity, Nate's transmitter came to life again two days ago ... and indicated without any doubt that it is still in Cartagena, Colombia! There are three possible explanations for this. 1) Nate is alive and well in Colombia -- seems very unlikely considering his past record of spring migration that he would still be there this late. 2) Nate died during the winter, ended up somewhere that the transmitter could not communicate with the satellite, and has somehow reestablished contact. 3) The transmitter fell off Nate while he was in Cartagena, and he came back north without it.
Which of these is true? Obviously we hope for #3, and there is some evidence to suggest this might be the case. The latest report from the Mississauga-Clarkson site, where Nate spent last spring and summer, describes a bird matching Nate's characteristics hanging around the nest box there. We are hoping to get confirmation of his band numbers soon.
Mar 19, 2002: location unknown (heading home?). There has been no further data from Nate since the last minimal blip from his signal at the end of February. However, considering that last year he left Cartagena at the beginning of March, and arrived at Mississauga within the first few days of April, it is reasonable to assume that Nate is already well on his way back north at the moment. It will be interesting to see whether he returns to St. Lawrence Cement in Mississauga where he established a territory last year, and if so, how he will react to the presence of another male at the site.
Feb 28, 2002: location unknown (Cartagena?). We still have received no clear data from Nate since January 10. However, today we received a partial signal from the transmitter which gives us some valuable clues. The voltage of the transmitter is considerably above the normal range, suggesting that there may be a mechanical problem accounting for the lack of communication. Also, the temperature sensor gave a reading of 32 degrees Celsius. This would be consistent with a transmitter being worn by a peregrine in a tropical climate, though it is not impossible that this temperature could have been achieved under different conditions (e.g. having fallen off Nate). The fact that we have received any information at all gives us hope that we may still get another full reading to confirm Nate's location.
Jan 26, 2002: location unknown (Cartagena?). Again more than two weeks have passed since a clear signal from Nate's transmitter. We remain uncertain what the problem is, but hope that it is simply a technological glitch that will still resolve itself.
Jan 10, 2002: 10.2N, 75.7W (Cartagena, Colombia). At long last Nate has sent us a signal again. This time it comes from slightly southwest of his usual position in Cartagena, but the quality of the transmission was poor, and he may in reality be in his usual place. We hope to receive a clearer report during his next broadcast window.
Jan 7, 2002: location unknown (Cartagena?). It has been approximately two weeks since the last report from Nate's transmitter. This is the first time that we have experienced such a long gap since he has given the new solar transmitter last July. As usual, there are many possible explanations, and we hope that transmissions will resume shortly. One potential problem is weather; I had not been paying attention to recent weather patterns, but the forecast for the coming days looks pleasant (mostly sunny with a consistent daily high of 30 C / 86 F).
Dec 26, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W (Cartagena, Colombia). Nate remains in his usual spot in Cartagena.
Dec 23, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W (Cartagena, Colombia). As usual, Nate's recent reports have indicated no more than slight movements around his home base in Cartagena.
Dec 14, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W (Cartagena, Colombia). It has now been four weeks since Nate returned to his winter home, and he shows no signs of moving away from his usual small area of Cartagena.
Dec 6, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W (Cartagena, Colombia). Over the past week and a half, Nate has continued to report consistently from the same area in Cartagena.
Nov 25, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W (Cartagena, Colombia). Nate's reports from Friday and Sunday again place him in Cartagena.
Nov 21, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W (Cartagena, Colombia). After close to a week, Nate's coordinates have varied only slightly, confirming that he is again settled into his small winter territory.
Nov 17, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W (Cartagena, Colombia). As expected, Nate has remained stationary since arriving back in Cartagena yesterday.
Nov 16, 2001: 10.4N, 75.5W (Cartagena, Colombia). Home sweet home! Not surprisingly, Nate has returned to his winter territory of the past two years, in Cartagena, Colombia. If past patterns hold true, he will likely settle down now, and not make any appreciable movements for the next few months until he begins to head back north again in March. This year it took Nate a bit under three weeks to reach his winter home. We will of course continue to update his position throughout the winter, even if he doesn't undertake any significant travels during this period.
Nov 15, 2001: 9.7N, 78.9W (El Porvenir, Panama). Over the past three days Nate has continued his progress along the coast, and is now along the shores of the Caribbean in Panama, approximately 100 km east of Colon.
Nov 12, 2001: 10.4N, 83.5W (Northeast coast of Costa Rica). As expected, Nate is now in Costa Rica, though only a few dozen kilometres south of his last location. He remains right along the coast as usual.
Nov 11, 2001: 10.8N, 83.4W (San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua). Nate's journey along the coast of the Caribbean has resumed. As of this evening, he is at the very southeast tip of Nicaragua, about to head into Costa Rican territory tomorrow in all likelihood.
Nov 10, 2001: 14.6N, 85.7W (Patuca River, Honduras). Rather than skirting along the coast, Nate is taking a shortcut to the south by crossing over Honduras. His location today was along the Patuca River in the country's interior.
Nov 8, 2001: 17.3N, 87.8W (Turneffe Islands, Belize). It seems that Nate is in the mood for island hopping. He has continued his travel south along the coast, but remains offshore, this time on the Turneffe Islands, located ~40 km east of Belize City.
Nov 7, 2001: 18.6N, 87.3W (Banco Chinchorro, Mexico). Nate has now made it across the Yucatan Channel, and appears to be resting on a complex of small offshore islands known as Banco Chinchorro, located about 30 km offshore from the Mexico/Belize border.
Nov 6, 2001: 21.9N, 84.9W (Pen. de Guanahacabibes, Cuba). To our relief, it appears that Nate managed to avoid getting involved with Hurricane Michelle. After two days of silence we were wondering whether he might have flown into the storm, but it may be that the strong weather system was simply interfering with the satellite communication. Today Nate spent most of the day on the very western tip of Cuba, perhaps resting for the next leg of his journey which will presumably take him to Central America.
Nov 5, 2001: 29.3N, 83.0W (Suwannee, Florida). Perhaps in part due to Hurricane Michelle swirling to the south, Nate has shifted south just slightly in Florida over the past couple of days. He is making his way along the Gulf Coast, and is currently around the small town of Suwannee, roughly 80 km southwest of Gainesville.
Nov 3, 2001: 30.1N, 83.8W (Appalachee Bay, Florida). Just one report from Nate today, but a significant one in that we know he has now reached the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. His location as of this evening was along the edge of Appalachee Bay, 60 km southeast of Tallahassee, Florida. Now the question is, will Nate strike out across the Gulf of Mexico as he has in the past, or follow along the coast of Florida instead as many other peregrines seem to do?
Nov 2, 2001: 33.0N, 83.4W (Macon, Georgia). Nate keeps moving south at a steady pace. Assuming that he stopped migrating in the late afternoon yesterday in North Carolina, he covered another 400 kilometres today to reach an area just northeast of Macon, Georgia. A couple of reports from along the way in South Carolina and Georgia (shown on the map below) reveal his progress throughout the afternoon.
Nov 1, 2001: 36.0N, 82.2W (Western North Carolina). Nate has covered a lot of ground again today. By mid-morning he had reached the southern end of West Virginia, and over the course of the afternoon he crossed parts of Virginia and Tennessee before ending up in western North Carolina. Assuming a direct flight throughout the day, he flew approximately 500 kilometres since leaving Wheeling, West Virginia.
Oct 31, 2001: 40.2N, 80.6W (Wheeling, West Virginia). AMAZING! After seeming to be so thoroughly settled in at his adopted home in Mississauga, Nate has suddenly started to head south after all. We received a series of signals from him today all from the area of Wheeling, West Virginia, roughly 60 km southwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and nearly 400 km SSW of Mississauga. So now we all await with great curiosity to see whether Nate will make it all the way back down to his winter home in Colombia despite his late start, or settle in somewhere not quite as far away this winter.
Oct 25, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). More of the same from Nate, still staying close to home.
Oct 23, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). For the time being at least, Nate is back to home in the southwest corner of Mississauga.
Oct 21, 2001: 43.2N, 79.8W (Burlington). One of Nate's reports today came from the west edge of Burlington, near the Skyway bridge at the east end of Hamilton Harbour. This is further west than we have tracked Nate since he received his new transmitter early in the summer, though it is still quite close to the heart of his territory. But is it perhaps another sign that he is contemplating migrating after all?
Nate's summer / early fall
Oct 20, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Once again, only minimal change in Nate's position.
Oct 17, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Despite the peregrine migration season being well underway, Nate remains near his summer territory at St. Lawrence Cement.
Oct 14, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Nate is again at St. Lawrence Cement, and his mate is still being seen in the area too.
Oct 11, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). After the observations of October 7, it seemed like there was a chance Nate would be elsewhere by now, but he has instead returned to staying close to the St. Lawrence Cement plant.
Oct 7, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Though Nate was again centred around southwest Mississauga today, the range of points we received was wider than it has been in a while. Maybe he is getting restless after all?
Oct 3, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Another powerful report from Nate's transmitter today confirmed that he is still staying put at St. Lawrence Cement.
Oct 1, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). As we enter the peak of traditional peregrine migration season, Nate remains stationary in southwest Mississauga.
Sep 28, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). A strong reading today placed Nate right at home at the St. Lawrence Cement plant.
Sep 25, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). No change for Nate in the past few days; he remains along the shore of Lake Ontario in the west end of Mississauga.
Sep 23, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Nate is back near home again today along the lakeshore just west of Southdown Road.
Sep 21, 2001: 43.5N, 79.8W (Oakville). Nate is away from home for a second consecutive reading - maybe he is getting restless with the arrival of the cooler autumn weather after all. Today he was along Trafalgar Road near Lower Baseline Road, still within ten kilometresof his territory at St. Lawrence Cement, but nonetheless further away than he has been in the past month.
Sep 18, 2001: 43.5N, 79.7W (Oakville). Today Nate drifted a bit to the southwest along the shore of Lake Ontario again, but he remains within a few kilometres of his home base at St Lawrence Cement.
Sep 15, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). It seems that as the fall progresses, Nate is sticking ever closer to home, as his coordinates have varied little over the past three weeks. Perhaps he really won't migrate this year now that he has a mate and a territory to defend. It's still too early to draw any conclusions though, as he only headed south in October in previous years.
Sep 11, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Another one of Nate's regular updates shows him at the St. Lawrence Cement plant as usual.
Sep 8, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Nate showed little movement away from home today.
Sep 6, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Once again, no significant change in Nate's position, but this time it appears there may be a good reason, as a female is accompanying him at the St. Lawrence Cement plant again - see the Mississauga page for details.
Sep 2, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Nate enters September the same way he left August - at home near the St. Lawrence Cement plant. With other raptors now beginning to migrate in good numbers, it will be interesting to watch whether Nate becomes increasingly restless over the coming weeks.
Aug 29, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Nate's back at home at the St. Lawrence Cement plant again.
Aug 26, 2001: 43.5N, 79.7W (Mississauga/Oakville). The strongest signal from Nate today came from a bit to the northwest of his usual location, around Highway 5 & 9th Line.
Aug 23, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). As expected, Nate is back at home again at the St. Lawrence Cement plant in the southwest corner of Mississauga.
Aug 21, 2001: 43.5N, 79.7W (Oakville). Today's short-distance wanderings brought Nate a bit to the west into Oakville.
Aug 19, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Another strong signal tonight from Nate on territory near the St. Lawrence Cement Plant.
Aug 15, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Nate continues to remain on territory.
Aug 12, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Home sweet home - Nate has returned to the St. Lawrence Cement plant.
Aug 9, 2001: 43.6N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Tonight Nate's local wanderings take him a bit to the north of his usual location.
Aug 6, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Nate is back to his usual location tonight, the St. Lawrence Cement plant.
Aug 4, 2001: 43.5N, 79.7W (Oakville). For a bit of variety perhaps, Nate wandered a bit to the west today into Oakville, but is still in the same general area as usual.
Aug 3, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Tonight Nate is located just a bit to the southeast of "home", somewhere along the Lake Ontario shoreline.
Aug 1, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Not surprisingly, tonight's signal confirms that Nate is still on territory in Clarkson.
Jul 26, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Nate continues to reside in the Clarkson area of Mississauga.
Jul 24, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Once again, Nate is in the heart of his territory at the St. Lawrence Cement Plant.
Jul 22, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). The regular updates from Nate's new solar transmitter indicate that he is spending most of his time around the St. Lawrence Cement Plant and the neighbouring shoreline of Lake Ontario.
Jul 20, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). The latest report from Nate indicates that he is still near the St. Lawrence Cement plant, this time a bit to the southeast along the lakeshore.
Jul 19, 2001:
Mark Nash reports: Nate was trapped by the Canadian
Peregrine Foundation on July 5th at the St. Lawrence Cement plant where he has
spent most of his spring and summer with a young girlfriend. Sadly, no
evidence of eggs was observed, but a nest scrape was observed several weeks
earlier, and both he and an unknown female was present protecting and spending time on the empty nest bowl. Nate's female partner
disappeared several weeks before we were able to get on site to trap Nate.
Nate was outfitted with a new 18 gram solar powered transmitter, and released shortly after he was trapped. I can tell you by personal experience, that it is no wonder why Nate has been a survivor and so far beat all of the odds that a young peregrine has to overcome in its first 2 to 3 years before reaching adulthood, and finding a mate. Nate is truly one of the most aggressive peregrines I have ever experienced!! He made it quite clear that he was in control, and had no use for me despite the fact that we had raised and cared for him in the hack box atop the Richmond Hill Town Hall in 1999. Both of my hands are still infected due to the numerous bites, and lacerations he inflected on me while installing the new transmitter. I truly pity the great horned owl, or other raptor believing Nate might make an easy meal.
Nate was in great condition, with absolute no feather mites, or lice, and good color. He was still wearing all of his old (last years) feathers, with two new tail feather coming in. No sign of new primary and secondary feathers coming in, but they can't be far away. Molting should be happening very soon.
I had a rare opportunity to eyeball Nate last Monday (July 16th), roosting on one of his favourite spots down at the St.Lawrence Cement plant, and he is doing quite well. Sadly, we have not seen his female friend since her disappearance over a month ago. We are watching Nate, as are his new foster parents at St. Lawrence Cement. All are very excited to have him around, and we are all looking forward to his travels this fall and winter, and his safe return next spring. My heartfelt thank you for all those at St. Lawrence Cement who have been so kind, supportive, and caring to our very special friend, a little bird named Nate. He has touched the hearts and imaginations of thousands around the world over the past two years.
Jul 18, 2001: 43.6N, 79.4W (Etobicoke). According to this report, Nate is a bit further east than usual, around the Etobicoke lakeshore. Tonight's report wasn't very clear, so this may represent some error, but it's also possible that this report caught him on a hunting foray away from home.
Jul 16, 2001: 43.5N, 79.6W (Mississauga). Tonight's report from Nate puts him in the southwest corner of Mississauga, near the St. Lawrence Cement Plant.
Jul 14, 2001: Mississauga. Nate remains at the St. Lawrence Cement Plant in Mississauga. Last week his old transmitter was removed, and he was fitted with a new solar-powered transmitter which will enable us to follow him for a third season (see report by Mark Nash on July 19 above for details). Nate will become the first peregrine in the world tracked for three consecutive years, and we hope to learn important information from him on whether the migratory patterns of anatum peregrines change as they age. Regular updates will be posted on this page as we receive signals from Nate's transmitter.
© Canadian Peregrine Foundation