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KITCHENER-WATERLOO HACK SITE REPORTS:
Sunday October 5, 2003
I was presently surprised to see him a few days later when I went to check on the hack box. He was eating hungrily and didn't notice me as I peeked at him around the corner.
He kept returning to eat for the next few days and then disappeared again. The transmitter record showed him in Brampton and Mississauga. I kept leaving quail but did not really except to see him again.
I was very surprised when, on the 22 September I went to replace the food and the quail was gone! I suspected that someone must have been up there and taken it away. A few days later the transmitter report indicated that Tee-Dee had indeed come home and had no doubt eaten the quail.
I am continuing to check regularly and leave quail, but Tee-Dee has not eaten any others. I will continue to check the box regularly until the transmitter indicates that he has really left for good.
Please check Tee-Dee's home page for reports on current transmitter locations.
Thursday September 18, 2003
Monday August 11, 2003
We are still providing them with food on a daily basis and this kind of flying behaviour is encouraging because this is how they learn to become very aerodynamic and really hone their hunting skills. When they decided to come down from the heavens they landed one after another on the TD Waterhouse building antenna. What a treat to see and what a coincidence they decided to take such an impressive flight over the only 20 minutes I could be there today!
Sunday August 10, 2003
Sunday August 3, 2003
Since the transmitter application Tee-Dee has lost some of his zest for flying, though he can fly just as well as before. He seemed to be a little dejected about the whole ordeal (who can blame him). In the last couple of days things have been returning to normal. Tee-Dee has been playing tag with his sister in mid air and tonight he was the one initiating the flying. Rogue also has been getting more adventurous. Saturday night we saw her chasing a small bird! Go girl, you get that bird!
Thursday, July 31, 2003
However, a sub adult peregrine reappeared mid morning. He called a few times to Rogue but basically just sat on the Royal Bank. Looking through the scope we could see that he had a mix of brown immature feathers and "blue" adult feathers indicating that he was a one year old bird, released last year. We could not see the band well enough to make a positive ID however.
In the evening Rogue made several short flights. Each time she took off the sub adult male would also take off and join her in the air. He tried to play tag with her and called constantly. Even though she is a baby, he appears to be trying to court her. Rogue seems a little unsettled by all the attention.
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
At 2:15 a sub adult peregrine flew in and checked out our babies and landed on the Royal Bank. We could see the red leg band confirming that this was a released bird! Most likely it was Guillespie or Langford, released in Kitchener last year. He made several "fly bys" past our babies before landing on the steeple beside them and tried to "foot" TeeDee. The much larger Rogue stepped up and scared him off. He re-appeared later in the evening when Rogue left the steeple and started dive-bombing TeeDee. TeeDee stood his ground and the sub adult eventually left the area.
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Tomorrow we are scheduled to put the radio transmitter on one of the birds. We wanted to set up the trap, but both birds were sitting on the hack box. We tried to "nudge" them off by peeking through the window 8 feet from the hack box. I don't think they could really see us very well, because they only showed mild curiosity in our direction. Eventually we started banging on the window -- still no reaction. Eventually they left and we were able to set the trap. Once they saw us around "their" hack box they flew past us several times kekking loudly. We went back to the 10th floor balcony and waited for instructions from Maya on the parking garage. There was a street concert going on directly below us and we could hardly hear her over the radio. Our yelling back and forth managed to disturb a chess tournament. Fortunately everything eventually settled down and just before dark TeeDee came back to the box and went straight in. He was followed within minutes by Rogue and we trapped them both. They continued eating until the quail was entirely gone.Maya Basdeo reports: The setting of the trap. Lets just say it was easier said than done in this case. Our birds have not relinquished 'their box' for anything now that they've taken it over. Daniel and I were waiting for an opportunity to do a final test run on the trap before the event, but Tee-Dee and Rogue sat and napped, napped and sat all day long on their box, with the exception of one short game of tag. The kids took off from their perches and chased each other around, climbing higher in the sky all the while. Finally, when they were so high they were almost out of sight, each took a tremendous stoop down towards KCH and landed perfectly back on the building. Shortly thereafter they returned to their abode.
Martin arrived in the evening and he and Daniel went over to the KCH to baitthe trap and make sure everything was in working order. I was positioned on the top level of the parking garage across from the box and we each had two-way radios so we could communicate with one another during the process. As I stood looking through the spotting scope, I could see Tee-Dee and Rogue looking at something in the window. Whatever it was didn't phase them at all. They sat in the same position roosting and looking quite content. A few moments later Martin came over the radio and said he and Daniel had been looking at the birds from the inside of the building through the glass and their presence so close did not seem to affect the birds in the least. He would have to 'encourage' them off another way. Martin radioed to me he was very slowly and carefully approaching the birds outside on the rooftop from behind the corner. From my position I could see the birds start to crane their necks and look around the corner. They finally decided however close Martin got was close enough and they flew off, but only across the street to the belltower of St. Mary's Church.
As soon as I saw them land I communicated to Martin and he and Daniel ran out to quickly set the trap and test its working ability. While they were doing this, our little babies decided they didn't like anyone messing with their box...so they took off and dive bombed Martin and Daniel! I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I radioed over as soon as I saw the attack in progress and the guys had to literally duck for cover! This happened three separate times. Tee-Dee and Rogue landed, were vocalizing, looking mad and then dove at Martin and Daniel. From my perspective it definitely looked like our birds were going right for their heads!
This is the first time in our history of hack releases that the birds have moved back into their box and adopted it as their eyrie and also the first instance of intruders being stooped and buzzed for being too close! I was laughing in disbelief. These two birds were only 40 and 42 days old but they were behaving like territorial adults!
Martin was up to his elbows in peregrine poop (quite literally) and worked quickly to get the quail tied to the inside of the bars on the box. We were almost ready to go with only one last test to make sure the screen would come down when we needed. The screen came down...but then we couldn't get it up again. Martin was yanking on the string from around the corner and we were trying to communicate over the radios as to when the screen went up and when it dropped. At the same time we had some kids patch into our channel so our communications were continually interrupted. Martin and Daniel could hardly hear me because there were very loud celebrations going on in front of City Hall. Since they couldn't hear me very well, they were yelling into the radios. All the yelling drew the attention of participants in a chess tournament being held after hours in the cafeteria. We got as far as me letting Martin know the screen came down well but wouldn't go up all the way. He tried pulling the string harder to get it to go up and then the string broke.
So Martin sent Daniel to the corner store to buy string. Daniel ran to the store, Martin continued to fiddle with the trap while fending off dejected chess players, and I laughed from my spot on the parking garage. Daniel came over the radio only to advise us that the store had no string of any kind. We decided to give it a go anyways. Martin was hidden well from view and all we really needed was the trap to go down well once the birds were in.
We all waited in anticipation. Several minutes later greedy little Tee-Dee flew back to his box, ran inside and started scarfing down the quail. A few moments later he was followed by Rogue. I let the guys know the birds were in and they lowered the screen and we had our birds.
We had decided to trap them both, although only one of them would be fitted with a transmitter, because they were so close and we wanted to minimize and avoid any undue stress to the birds. I walked over to the KCH and the three of us watched on the monitor in the cafeteria as Tee-Dee and Rogue demolished a quail, oblivious to the fact they couldn't leave the box now. After they finished eating Martin and Daniel retrieved the birds who spent the night in their own carrier until the next morning.
Thanks so much to Daniel and Martin Geleynse!! You guys have been instrumental in the success of the watch and of the re-trapping of our babies!
Monday, July 28, 2003
At 7:30 TeeDee flew to the Mayfair Hotel and a pigeon landed right beside him. He did a "cockroach" walk with wings half open toward it. The pigeon decided not to stick around. Late morning TeeDee flew around and landed on the hack box! He ran straight into the box. All we could see was the occasional wing flap from a falcon obviously happy to be back home. He reappeared on the box ledge and devoured a quail. Not wanting to be left out, Rogue flew to the box within 3 minutes and also started eating greedily. Both birds made a number of flights later in the day, but stayed close to the box.
Sunday, July 27, 2003
Saturday July 26, 2003
Maya went up to the roof to put food out for them. She waved the quail around and called like a parent falcon (very impressive imitation!) saying "here is the food" but still they didn't fly back. Tee-Dee (the male) was still on the steeple of St. Mary's Church. He made a short flight toward city hall and then landed on the Royal Bank. Later he flew from there to the BCE building and he slept there that night. Rogue slept on the Forsyth building. She is younger and less confident than TeeDee.
Friday July 25, 2003
At 12:30pm Kale, Danielle and myself were ready to release the birds. Danielle was stationed in the cafeteria to watch the reaction of the birds on the monitor. Kale and I went out to the hack box to pull the bars. We brought a ladder with us so I could get up onto the top of the box. Kale stood directly in front of the box with his hands raised over his head as I pulled the bars up. This was to deter the birds from taking a panic flight before they were ready. After all the bars were pulled and I had climbed down from the box Kale and I grabbed the ladder and high-tailed it around the corner and back to the cafeteria to watch from the monitor. We were communicating with the other teams via our radios and once the birds were foraying through the bars we got down to the ground level and took our place in the parking lot opposite the hack box.
2:15pm a tiercel took his first flight off of the box and swung around towards College street, impacted a building and came down to the ground. Our ground crews were prepared and Mark and Seamus were first on the scene. Mark collected the bird without incident and brought him back up to the roof of Kitchener City Hall (KCH). It was later confirmed the bird was Tee-Dee. No sooner had Mark released Tee-Dee he took flight again and inspired the second male Pippin to take off. This was around 3:00pm. Tee-Dee took off across the horizon, gained height and landed on the rooftop of a nearby apartment building. Pippin took off and circled in the opposite direction and was seen flying very low along Weber Street and was losing altitude when he was lost from view behind a building.
The landlord of the apartment building agreed to take Mark to the roof to search for Tee-Dee. On arrival to the rooftop, Tee-Dee was spotted. The roof however was under construction of some sort and was littered with rope, wires, lumber, steel mesh and other materials - very hazardous for an inexperienced juvenile peregrine. We watched from points on the ground as Mark worked his way around obstructions towards Tee-Dee who was again, rescued without incident. Upon release onto the KCH roof Tee-Dee decided to stay put for a while.
We focused our rescue efforts on locating the missing Pippin. We were concerned that maybe he'd landed in a tree or a low roof or maybe even the ground. It was a very windy day and the wind definitely played a role in blowing the young peregrines around. It takes some practice for them to fly well and navigate with the gusts of wind. If Pippin had indeed landed low or on the ground it would have been extremely hard for him to become air born again and harder still for him to navigate, as he wasn't flying very well on his first try. Several teams went out on searches for the balance of the day but none of us found our baby Pippin. Photos to follow............
Tuesday July 21, 2003
Thursday July 17, 2003
Saturday July 12 - Wednesday July 16, 2003
Friday July 11, 2003
The peregrine chicks were introduced one at a time as each was first weighed. After weighing, the chicks were passed to Chris Enright and Amanda Low, members of the University of Guelph research team on West Nile Virus. Each bird had a blood sample taken which will be tested for the the antibodies of WNV. A feather sample was also taken. The feather samples will be sent to Queens University where they will be part of DNA research. Finally each chick was given a intermuscular vaccination for WNV and then they were back into the hands of Pud Hunter and Ken Cornelisse, Biologists with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Each bird was then banded with both a US Fish and Wildlife and Canadian Wildlife Service leg band.
Each of our sponsors were given the opportunity to name one of the chicks. The first bird was named Pippin, after Peregrine Took in Lord of the Rings, by Rudy Kruppa who works for the City of Kitchener. The second chick was named TeeDee by Jennifer Orsan of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (get it...TD and TeeDee), the third chick was name Rogue by Dion Thomson of the Ontario Hawking Club. GREAT NAMES GUYS!!!!!
After a brief round of photographs, the chicks were taken up the elevator (they can't fly yet) to the rooftop of City Hall for placement in the hack box. Kitchener City Hall was kind enough in allowing us to put a t.v. monitor in the cafeteria that has cable running to it from the camera mounted on the inside of the box. We can get a "birds eye view" of the goings on inside the box without imposing on the chicks. One more feeding of quail and we said goodbye to our little rays of hope for peregrine falcon recovery.
Thank you so much to the City of Kitchener for playing such a pivotal role in assisting in the recovery efforts of this majestic bird. In particular Gary Sosnoski, Doug Hergott, Colleen Allan, Albert TenBruggencate and Randy Brubacher. Thank you again to TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for your ongoing, amazing, wonderful and much appreciated support. In particular Jennifer Orsan. Thank you for supporting the various aspects of the CPF and being one of the great facilitators for us in fulfilling our mandate of the restoration and recovery of Endangered and Threatened Birds of Prey. Thank you to Martin Geleynse of the Ontario Hawking Club for being so willing to share your resources, knowledge and time to care for and monitor these young birds and head up the re-trapping of one so we can affix our satellite transmitter before the fall migration. Thank you also to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Stewardship Rangers and all the volunteers. All the support from our sponsors, partners and volunteers has made this program a success. Click here for photos.
Thursday July 10, 2003
March 19, 2003
February 19, 2003
Monday February 17, 2003
Wednesday October 9,
Tuesday October 8,
It was this time last year when a peregrine reappeared on the RBB and stayed in the area for a few weeks. I will monitor the area; and hope that anyone else who sees the bird/birds will report back to me and or to to you.
3:00 p.m. Rudy Kruppa just called to say that the bird has just flown away. When he turned for a moment, the bird left so he was unable to see in what direction he flew. Isn't that always the way? Rudy will report back if he spots the bird again.
Saturday August 31,
Martin Geleynse reported that he had watched her hunting on Tuesday morning, August 20th - a separate report is expected. He agreed that Destiny has become a proficient flyer/hunter. Martin did not see her take a kill either; however, he commented when we spoke that her main prey that morning was a sharp-shinned hawk. Apparently she was giving it quite a run for it's money!
Report - Randy Fowler: On Friday, August 23rd, Destiny was observed at AirBoss, the old Uniroyal plant. She was perched at several locations on the roof and was identifiable by her antenna.
Wednesday August 21,
This evening Alanna and I went to change the food. One quail was still on the hack box. We surveyed the skyline from the 10th floor balcony and found Destiny on the roof of the TD antenna building. In the moment that we weren't looking she left. We then drove over to the parking garage and no sooner had we arrived than she flew over that way with a flock of at least 50 smaller birds behind her! She landed on the louvered 1/4 circle on the west side of the building (had to go down to the street to see her). From there she flew around and around, directly over us a few times, before disappearing from our view. It was starting to get dark so we decided to call it a night and head for home at 8:35 - 8:45 p.m.
Tuesday August 20,
Judith Agnew reports: This afternoon I saw a peregrine taking off from the ledge of City Hall in front of the hack box. It swooped down along Young Street so I only saw it for a brief moment. I did not see an antenna. This evening I went to change the food and both quail were gone - that is a first! One was gone altogether and the other was eaten - picked clean - on the NE corner ledge of City Hall in front of the hack box, facing toward St. Mary's. Destiny has never eaten there. I did not see Destiny or any other sign of peregrines. Hopefully tomorrow we will see one or more peregrines.
Monday August 19,
Judith Agnew reports: It has been raining here off and on all day. By mid day today I had not yet seen Destiny and had not seen her myself yesterday. When we were over to City Hall during the day, the food had not yet been eaten and little or none had been eaten yesterday.
At 7:15 p.m. this evening Bernie and I went to change the food - By then one quail had been completely eaten. We put out fresh food and surveyed the area from the 10th floor of City Hall. Destiny was perched on the TD domed building on the west face under the TD logo. Before we left she was lying down and as we drove by on the way home she was once again sitting up. From that spot she has a very good view of Victoria Park and the westerly skyline, looking out toward Waterloo.
Sunday August 18,
Judith Agnew reports: Early this morning, around 5:45 a.m. Bernie Gay saw Destiny flying around downtown. He returned to the parking garage a while later and she put on quite a display of her flying skills. At one point she was perched on the Royal Bank Building and may have been startled by the crew power-washing the building. She flew from building to building, TD at King and Water, to Rogers Buildings, to City Hall, to the Benton St. Apartments, to Water St Apts., St. Mary's and back around to all the usual spots. She was chasing birds and stooping on them into Victoria Park. Bernie watched her for over an hour and a half, before she disappeared behind the TD antenna building. He did not see her take a kill; but she was very busy! Mid afternoon, a survey of the downtown rooftops did not turn up any peregrines.
Saturday August 17,
Judith Agnew reports: I arrived at the garage at 3:50 p.m. to find Destiny on the hack box eating. She ate, looked around, head-bobbed, ate some more, leaped on the quail from other angles, ate more, head-bobbed, etc. for a good 40 minutes! Afterwards, she cleaned her beak on the 4x4 and then jumped up on it, then another, to have a good view....Any of us there on Release Day will recall she spent hours jumping up and down on the 4x4's - At one point Mark radioed that she would have the best landings and take-offs because she was practising now. Each time, for the first few hours anyway, we thought she was going to fledge. We were wrong. Of course she did not land well at all for days; but she soon figured it out. She flies beautifully.
When she left the hack box, she headed over to the TD antenna building. She circled 'round and 'round. Randy thought the wind was a hindrance - I thought she might just be too heavy (or perhaps too top heavy) having eaten so much - her crop was bulging! Before she left the hack box she actually looked like she was going to start in on another quail.
I went up late to change the food as I knew that Destiny had eaten late. When I arrived she was nowhere to be seen and I proceeded to take care of tomorrow's food. The quail she had been eating was gone -a handful of feathers, two wings - one on the ground, one on the hack box roof and half a dozen picked clean bones was all that remained...
Remember that I reported her landing on the NW ledge of the TD domed building and disappearing from sight on Thursday night at 9:00 p.m.....At the time I mentioned to Mark Jessop and to Barb Buchanan that Sarah liked to sleep under the then CT red logo on the west face of the domed building in the afternoon last year. She stopped when they put up the green TD sign. Guess where I found Destiny sleeping tonight at 8:45 p.m.? ... under the TD logo on the west face of the building! I believe that is where she went Thursday night too but we' d have had to go to the 10th floor of City Hall to see her. After dark in that spot she is not visible with the naked eye, and cannot be seen at all from the parking garage.
Friday August 16,
Judith Agnew reports: Again I did not see Destiny all day. I went over to the garage as dusk approached to see if she would roost in sight. Unfortunately, I did not see her. One quail was taken again so she had been around at some point!
Of interest to the volunteers who drive up to the garage roof - There have been ongoing repairs while we have been there this year - The foreman of the repair crew told me this afternoon that cars still cannot go beyond P4 (as of yesterday). He had thought it would be a few days but now says it may well be a week. The good news is that we can still access the roof, P6, from the P4 level by elevator or by the stairs.....
Thursday August 15,
Judith Agnew reports: Shortly before 10:00 a.m Destiny appeared out of nowhere, yet again, and was perched on the steeple at St. Mary's. By 10:15 a.m. she flew over the hack box and landed on the roof of City Hall.
In the evening, I went up to change the food. As usual of late one quail was gone. I could see Martin over at the garage and called to say I'd meet him. Destiny was not in sight. Later, while Martin, Barb and I were at the garage Destiny appeared on the TD antenna building. She went over to St. Mary's, back to the TD and then flew around and around the TD building before going back to St. Mary's steeple and then over to the TD domed building for the night. Mark Jessop had arrived by the time she took her last flight. When she landed on the top NW ledge of the domed building she only remained in view for a moment - she took a few steps along the ledge and was gone from sight! We headed home ourselves a little after 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday August 14,
Judith Agnew reports: I did not see Destiny at all, and neither did any of the other volunteers with whom I spoke. We still have volunteers out regularly but at times none of us see each other and we spend some time driving around trying to locate Langford. I wonder if he too went to Brantford??? The news release below was sent out today by the Kitchener-Waterloo Chapter of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation regarding the rediscovery of Gillespie:
KITCHENER -- One of the three falcons released by the Canadian Peregrine Foundation from a hack site atop Kitchener City Hall was recently found unconscious in Brantford. Fortunately, after being brought to a wildlife rehabilitator, he is doing fine.
Gillespie, one of the two males released, was apparently chasing a pigeon on Monday morning when he collided with a building. He was brought to Dr. Chris Crombie at Windrush Vet Services in Burford. "He suffered a bruise over his left eye, but the eye appears normal and there does not appear to be any other injuries," says Dr. Crombie. Gillespie was re-released this morning in Burford after a few days of observation.
"These types of collisions are not uncommon for the birds, especially when the buildings have glass exteriors," says Ken Cornelisse, Area Biologist with the Ministry of Natural Resources. "We're really lucky though, that someone in the area brought the bird to a wildlife rehabilitator."
"We're happy that Gillespie is OK," says Judith Agnew from the K-W Chapter of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation. "We were wondering where he was, he hadn't been spotted since August 4". Langford, the other male, was doing well the last time he was seen, also on August 4. Destiny, their sister, is staying close to home. She can often be seen perched on the antennae on top of the TD Building at 305 King Street West.
Peregrine Falcons are coined "the fastest animals in the world" because they have been known to dive at speeds of more than 300 km/h. This speed works to their advantage, to capture other birds on which they prey, but it sometimes may work to their disadvantage, as with Gillespie.
In the wild, these birds are cliff dwellers and they prey on other birds. As a result of pesticides, many species of birds, including peregrine falcon populations declined towards the 1970's. Since this endangered species was reintroduction program began in the late 1970's, a number of the birds have nested atop tall building in cities. The Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, the Ontario Hawking Club, the City of Kitchener, Kitchener Lions Club, and the Waterloo Stewardship Network are just a few of the many partners and sponsors that have allowed the Canadian Peregrine Foundation to continue the recovery program and promote environmental awareness through these outreach programs.
Tuesday August 13,
Judith Agnew reports: As I began to write reports this morning, I received a call from Pauline Wilson over in the Breslau area. She said that a falcon had been around their place for 24 hours now. It was seen to be wearing jesses and bells. After discussing the situation with both Jim Wilson and Martin Geleynse, Martin, my son David and I went over to see if we could retrieve it.
I did not think it to be a peregrine, and it definitely could not one of our released birds; however, it could well be in trouble. Pauline, and several of her neighbours, kept watch over it and when we arrived it was perched on a barn roof at the Troika Equestrian Centre.
Martin very quickly lured it in - It was a captive-bred immature (1st year) male Lanner Falcon. Martin called the breeder and arrangements to return it were being made as we left.
Thanks to the concern and interest of our local community for alerting us to this beautiful creature, and for us being able to arrive in a timely fashion to rescue him. A very interesting start to my day!
When I went to change the food there was no sign of Destiny. As I walked out to go to the hack box, she swooped down from the City Hall roof and flew within 12 -15 feet of me on her way over to the TD antenna building. One quail was gone again. By 9:00 p.m. she was still roosting on the antenna.
Monday August 12,
Judith Agnew reports: Late afternoon, Destiny was again perched at the TD antenna. At 4:45 p.m I changed the food and found that 1 quail was gone altogether. Also I found a set of wings around the side of the roof - have never found carcass remains there before! They were not there on Sunday as it is right on the path I walk to the hack box.
There was a sighting, between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., by Grant Nixon, City of Kitchener, of a peregrine flying east on Duke St. with prey in its talons - one of the birds pinching food from the hack box, or a kill? He did not notice if the bird had an antenna so we don't know if it was Destiny.
Sunday August 11,
Judith Agnew reports: This morning, between 5:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., Bernie drove around Kitchener and Waterloo looking for the birds. Destiny was not where she had roosted for the night and Langford and Gillespie were not spotted either.
Around 11:30 a.m. Destiny was on the TD antenna and at 5:00 p.m. she was nowhere to be seen again when Alanna and I went to change the food. When we went out, Destiny was on the St. Mary's steeple (NE corner) watching us. Again she had picked clean the quail that I had placed on the hack box roof. The others were not touched. We replaced the food and left. At 8:30 p.m., from the parking garage roof, she was not in sight. Within moments I saw her flying from behind City Hall toward the TD antenna - She turned back and chased some Chimney Swifts past City Hall and over behind the Royal Bank building before returning to St. Mary's Steeple.
That is the first time I have actually seen her take any interest in chasing birds. Until now they have been chasing her! After a few minutes, approx. 8:45 p.m. she flew to the TD antenna and settled in. She seems to really like the rectangular part half way up the antenna. This has become a favourite roosting spot for her over the last few days.
Saturday August 10,
Judith Agnew reports: Around 5:45 a.m. Destiny was still roosting on the TD antenna. At 9:00 a.m she was on St. Mary's bell tower and by 10:00 a.m she was sitting on the hack box roof eating. It is rather hot again today and by 1:00 p.m. she was nowhere to be seen.
At 7:00 p.m. Destiny was perched on the TD antenna. One quail had been picked
clean at the hack box. The temperature remains hot and humid; and there is no
sign of Langford or Gillespie. There has been another possible sighting of a
male though, on Lincoln in Waterloo. That is about 2 blocks from where most of
the sightings have been so far.
Friday August 9, 2002
Judith Agnew reports: At 6:00 a.m. this morning Bernie Gay saw Destiny perched on a cross at St Mary's Church. By 11:30 a.m. she was on the roof of the Water St. Apt. and then she flew over to the TD building antenna. Since she had not eaten at the box yesterday I checked the food and a whole quail was gone.....who took it? Don't know for sure! She is staying close to home; although she seems to be venturing farther out on some of her flights.
After supper, Barb Buchanan saw a peregrine on the Royal Bank Building - She did not see an antenna and the bird flew off to the north just before we returned. North, incidentally, is the direction of the Manor apartments and the Regional Building.
Within a few moments of our arrival I had spotted a peregrine on the antenna of the TD building at King and Water (SW) - I could not identify it with binoculars; but with better magnification it was indeed Destiny. Even before we saw her, Barb said she suspected the bird on the RBB had been one of the males.
When we left at 9:20 p.m. Destiny was still perched on the antenna at the TD building.
Thursday August 8,
Judith Agnew reports: I was up at the garage at 6:15 a.m. and stayed until 8:30 with Mark Jessop. Destiny at first was not in sight but then we saw here fly from the front of the church to the apartment building on Water Street. She stayed there, basking in the early morning sun / preening, until 7:00 a.m. when she flew over to the TD building on King and Water. We were not sure whether she was having a bath in a puddle on the roof or playing with something but she was very busy. We did not see her eat at the hack box and we saw no sign of the males.
At 7:45 p.m Destiny arrived back at St. Mary's bell tower and perched on the
NE steeple. A crow tried to land on top of her but she held on and it was forced
to leave. At 8:40 p.m. we left for the evening and at 9:15 p.m. when I drove by
- she was still sitting on the top of the steeple.
The sighting at King and University this afternoon is in the same area as Bernie was travelling when he thought he saw a bird yesterday. I will try to go there or dispatch someone else to monitor the area. It would be good to track down Gillespie and Langford. We are still hoping that they will return to the hack box.
Wednesday August 7,
Judith Agnew reports: We had the trap door system ready to activate before the birds arrived last month and it had been decided to try to trap a bird for satellite transmitter deployment today. Bernie Gay arrived to run the trap rope and then Martin Geleynse arrived to wait for the bird's arrival with me. What was a very lengthy job last year was accomplished in well under than an hour this year, thanks to Bernie for redesigning the system, the efforts of Martin and myself, a degree of luck and an unknowingly co-operative bird!
Thanks to funding by the Ontario Trillium Foundation we have today outfitted
Destiny with a satellite transmitter. Present were: CKCO TV (Jim Troyak),
The Record (Christian Aagaard and Robert Wilson), 2 MNR representatives, Pud
Hunter of the Aylmer office and Ken Cornelisse, Biologist, Area office in Guelph.
Several of our local volunteers were on hand including Mark Jessop and Irene
Greb, as well as CPF director Mark Nash, David Pfeffer (CPF), Martin Geleynse
(Ontario Hawking Club), Daniel Geleynse, Alanna and David Agnew Gay and Sheri
Walker and Colleen Allan - City of Kitchener.
All went well and by around 12:45 Destiny was back in the hack box. A few minutes later I opened the trap door and she went out onto the tray - she ate, she preened and then she went for a flight to the south. A while later she appeared on ductwork atop the Walper Hotel. From there she flew to the roof of the Benton Street Apartments around 3:30 p.m.
At 7:25 p.m. Destiny flew in from the SE, arced around the TD domed building,
and landed at the bell tower of St. Mary's Church. At 8:20 she was still there
preening and seemingly very comfortable. Of interest, perhaps, was that the
quail she had been eating in the afternoon at the hack box was nowhere to be
seen when I went to check the food. I suppose that I could recant this theory
after the next time I am on the roof; however, at this point it appears that she
(or one of her brothers?) may have pinched it and gone somewhere else to eat.
Unconfirmed sightings of the two males continue to be reported. Are we really seeing them off in the distance, or is it merely wishful thinking? Most reports are from the Waterloo direction but one was from the Westmount area.
When we left for home at 9:30 p.m. tonight, Destiny was in the corner of the ledge, by the SW steeple, on the bell tower of St. Mary's. Seeing her roost there made me think of last year's birds who spent many a night on that same ledge. This is the first time I have seen her stay there for the night.
Marcel Gahbauer comments: A new page has been created to document Destiny's travels. The page will be updated every 4-5 days as reports from her transmitter arrive.
Tuesday August 6,
Judith Agnew reports: The males have not been seen since Sunday evening when they were playing in the air over by the apartment building on Water St. Destiny, however continues to stay close to the hack box area. She has eaten at the box each morning for the last several days and has even taken quail into the box to stash for later; although there is plenty of food available. Martin and I watched her eat yesterday morning and then I saw her being chased by two kestrels. After she landed back at the Water St. apt. roof, one of them continued to dive on her.
Hopefully Langford and Gillespie will return but at least they looked well when we last saw them together on the weekend.
Sunday August 4,
Judith Agnew reports: Bernie Gay and Randy Fowler were on watch this morning. Destiny was at the hack box around 6:30 a.m. She poked at a quail then sat on the top of one of the 4 x 4's of the hack box for about an hour. She then jumped down and had a good meal before flying around in her circular "territory" and landing on the TD antenna at King and Water. The males have not yet been spotted this morning.
After eating, Destiny hopped back up onto the 4x4 post. She went back onto the hack box roof, nibbled at the quail and inspected the top of the box carefully, before perching on the post again. She then flew to the Water St. apartment building roof, then over to the TD domed building and quickly off to the TD antenna at King and Water where she stayed for 2 1/2 hours. In the meantime a vagrant peregrine, presumably one of our males, flew down Duke headed toward Waterloo.
At noon Destiny flew over to St. Mary's steeple and then to the TD domed
building a few hours later. We did not see her leave that ledge.
At 5:20 p.m. one of the males was at the Water St. apartments (it has a name, but I know not what) on the balcony roof for 40 minutes then flew off in that moment when nobody was looking. At around 7:00 p.m. a peregrine came flying in from the NW and flew between the apartment building and City Hall. It was joined by a second peregrine. They were playing together in the air and then landed on the far side of the apartment building roof.
Earlier in the afternoon Bernie, David Pfeffer and I thought we saw two birds around Clarica, then again over the old Uniroyal Bldg. At the parking garage Randy saw the same as did we. Around 2:00 p.m. Mike called in a sighting of two birds flying together and playing in the air by Victoria and Weber. Looks like we may have all three back in the same area. I hope so.
We would still appreciate calls about sightings of the birds. Just before the two birds were frolicking together this evening, I got a call from City Hall Security. The Regional police had alerted them of a call about a possible juvenile peregrine being harassed by crows. I went over to check, after speaking with the people who had made the report. Several of their neighbours were out with bird books. It was a Cooper's Hawk fledgling and its parents were circling overhead. Hopefully, we have made some new friends and falcon watchers. It was great to see people so genuinely interested and concerned.
Saturday August 3,
Judith Agnew reports: Destiny continues to improve her flying skills, especially landings. She is staying close, so we see her improvement with every flight. She has made significant progress with manoeuvring and her landings are great. She has bashed into a few walls, and has glanced off a few windows but she just takes it in stride and carries on. She has been gliding, soaring, honing her navigational skills. Between times she settles in at various locations for fairly long periods of time. She continues to travel within a small radius of City Hall.
Her brothers on the other hand seemed to be strong flyers from the start. They fly like pros and have made good landings regularly. We are having great difficulty keeping track of the males though. They seem to spend most of their time to the east of City Hall and the command central at the Duke and Ontario Parking Garage roof.
The extremely hot and muggy weather has made things difficult for both the birds and the humans. The volunteers on watch are great; and I would like to thank them all for the time and effort they are putting in for these three birds. Any information regarding the location of the males would be greatly appreciated by us all. The area between the Rogers Buildings, the Regional Building on Frederick Street and The Manor Apartments on Queen Street seems to be their favourite "hangout" now.
Friday August 2,
Judith Agnew reports: Destiny continues to fly to other close buildings and her landings are steadily improving. Langford and Gillespie disappear quickly and reappear the same way. By mid morning all three birds were perched on buildings close to City Hall and the parking garage ... Destiny was on the Royal Bank Building, one male was on the Rogers Building and the other flew in and landed on the Commerce Building briefly before heading back toward the Regional Building
The males continue to fly father away than does Destiny. By the end of the evening, there were two birds on the TD Building and one the Regional Building.
Thursday August 1,
Judith Agnew reports: Destiny flew to the church across the street, St. Mary's where three crows decided to harass her. She held her own - vocalizing and wing-flapping. She stayed in a roof gutter at TD/Canada Trust Building all afternoon, surfaced at 7:00 p.m. and roosted on that building for the night. We weren't sure of the location of the males but they have begun frequenting the Manor apartments. We saw the males soaring several times and they landed on numerous buildings very well. Destiny's landings have not been too good. She stays much closer to home than do the males.
Wednesday July 31,
Judith Agnew reports: Wednesday started well. We had all the birds located immediately - They had stayed where they had been when we went home Tuesday night. We kept watch over them and were fine until a very severe storm blew in. The sky turned very dark around 9:30 a.m. We scrambled to get what rain gear we had out to people on patrol. One bird flew from where he had been perching and no one was able to see where he went. The other bird was blown around and knocked off the ledge he'd been on. None of the people present thought he had left the building but that he was blown in to the roof gutter behind. The third bird remained at the hack box.
The storm lasted a long time and we all, literally, ran for cover. After the worst of the storm had passed we could not locate the birds who had been away form the hack box.
When we found them in late afternoon, Gillespie was at the Manor Apt. on Queen Street N. and Langford was lying down on a balcony roof, facing the parking garage, at the apartment building on Water Street between Duke and Weber - he looked more like a piece of rubber than a peregrine, but he was indeed there! However, by nightfall we only knew the location of Destiny, who roosted for the night at the TD domed building on the 1/4 circle louver ledge at the top of the building facing the parking garage.
Tuesday July 30,
Judith Agnew reports: The bars came off the hack box here around 11:25 a.m. today. All three birds retreated to the back of the box - after being so keen to get out, they decided to take their time once they could!
At 12:00 noon Destiny flew straight out - she had looked out from the inner ledge, had gone into the water tray and back up to the ledge more than once, before she made a bee line to the open door and was gone. Her first flight took her to the Rogers Building via the construction site at 50 Queen Street where she considered landing on the crane. She soared and gained altitude before landing at Rogers. There she stayed for several hours and for a while we could not see her. We weren't sure if she was still there or not. While out trying to find her, Martin and Mike accidentally came across her on the Regional Building.
Meanwhile, back at the box...at 12:04 a male emerged, Langford we think. At
12:36 he was followed by Gillespie. It was not until 6:28 that Gillespie flew
off around the back of City Hall and headed east. He disappeared into the trees.
Bob and Karen Young went to look for him and saw him head back toward us at tree
level. We did not see him. All the while the third bird remained on the hack
box. As it began to get late I was heading off in search of Gillespie again,
when we got word that he had landed on the Regional Building too. By the time we
closed up for the evening, there was a bird on the box (never flew), one on the
Regional Building and one on an antenna of an apartment building behind the
A slow day, but good for the birds. A nice, relaxed start to this new chapter in their lives.
Saturday July 27, 2002
Judith Agnew reports: The chicks have now been named: the female is Destiny, the younger male is Langford, and the older male is Gillespie.
Friday July 26,
Judith Agnew reports: The chicks are really active. The small male really thinks he wants out....People are talking about the birds a lot around City Hall. It is really interesting for us to be able to watch their personalities develop. The little one is a going concern - always up to something. The female continues to be laid back, but assumes the role of leader when humans are approaching. The large male is also very laid back. They are all very calm and relaxed. They appear to get along very well. They are all flying across the box now. As Release Day approaches I am getting quite excited. It will be interesting to see how they develop after they are free.
We are still welcoming volunteers - there is a good mix of "watchers" (experienced / neophyte) and we hope to have all stations manned by at least two people, each shift, each day for the critical first days. It will be lots of fun and very rewarding for us all. The release will begin in the Rotunda at 10:00 a.m. after which volunteers will be assigned locations. We expect all will be in position by 11:00 a.m. so that we may then remove the bars of the hack box and await the first flights of this year's chicks.
Tuesday July 23,
Judith Agnew reports: The release has been set for Tuesday, July 30th at 10:00 a.m. More volunteers are still needed for the fledgling watch - see the information above for details.
Friday July 19,
Judith Agnew reports: The chicks are doing well. They are eating well and seem to be enjoying life in Kitchener. Theirfeathers are coming in - the smallest male has lots of down already gone - tufts on his head etc. Although the female is still the downiest, she is developing flight feathers nicely.
Interest in the project remains high and volunteers are calling. We still would like more volunteers; so, anyone interested should call. When I drop in to check the monitor there are always people watching!
Wednesday July 17,
Judith Agnew reports: The chicks are adjusting well to their new home. They are relaxed, preening and jumping up and down to and from the ledge. Having the monitor hooked up is great! It is in the cafeteria and people are quite interested...I was up several times (morning, afternoon and evening) today to check on them. Jim Wilson and I were up to monitor their progress this afternoon - we wanted to see how they were handling the heat - very well, it would seem. The breeze was blowing through their down and they were jumping in and out of the water tray. They are all eating, as evidenced by their crops; and by actually watching them eat on the monitor. Thanks to Albert Tenbruggencate and Sheldon Valeda for getting the camera and monitor up and running. The air vents Bernie installed on the upper sides of the box are working well to circulate the air; as are the three, instead of two, peepholes.
An article on the banding has been published in the Record, and can be accessed here.
Monday July 15,
Judith Agnew reports: We have three healthy big chicks in Kitchener. The banding took place in the Rotunda of Kitchener City Hall at noon. There was a good turnout, with the public, the media, and local dignitaries on hand. There were two cheque presentations - Trillium Foundation and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. Thanks to the new owners of Williams Coffee Pub for providing coffee and juice for the banding
The chicks are 2 males and 1 female. They were: Male #1- 28 days, 698 grams; Female - 29 days, 979 grams; and Male #2 - 29 days, 660 grams. The two males were noisier than the female but they all were very calm. The banding was done by Jim Wilson (breeder), Al Murray (Waterloo Stewardship Network Coordinator), Pud Hunter (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources), and me - (CPF Kitchener-Waterloo Chapter Coordinator).
After an opportunity to photograph the chicks we placed them in the hack box, where they will remain until they are old enough and strong enough to be released. We expect that there will be a monitor in the Rotunda on which the public can view the chicks in their new home.
When Al placed the chicks in the hack box, two huddled in the left corner (as
we viewed it) by the ledge and the other ran over to the other corner. When I
peeked in on them before leaving City Hall, later in the afternoon, two were
looking out from the ledge and one was on the floor.
CKCO (CTV affiliate) TV broadcast live from the banding ceremony for the noon news and coverage at 6:00 p.m. and again at 11:00 p.m. was very good.
8:30 p.m: Bernie and I went over to feed the chicks - Their own parents had fed them breakfast! When we arrived, they were all up on the ledge together. They were alert but quiet. The female jumped down aggressively when I opened the door to change the water...She was not too scary - we'll see in a few days! She seemed to be watching out for the other two.
Wednesday May 29,
Rudy Kruppa reports: There is a peregrine perched on the Royal Bank building under the yellow logo facing St Mary's Church. It's the first one I've spotted since February. It's been there since 11:00 am and it's noon now.
Monday May 20, 2002
Marcel Gahbauer reports: Linda Woods has reported to me that last week (Tuesday or Wednesday) during the weather forecast on CKCO news, it was reported that a peregrine had been spotted on the television station's antenna during the broadcast.
Thursday April 11, 2002
Dan Daly reports: Late this morning I witnessed a peregrine falcon perched on the TD Canada Trust building in Downtown Kitchener. It jumped off and rode the thermals for about five minutes over downtown Kitchener before gliding off to the east. This is the first Peregrine I have seen since late December. Hopefully it one of the birds that frequented Kitchener Waterloo last year that has now returned. We will be watching!
Wednesday April 10, 2002
Sheldon Valeda reports: 6:10 PM: A falcon was sitting on the NE corner of the TD building. It was big and looked a bit bottom heavy seated. It attempted a half-hearted attack on a pigeon and then landed on the NW corner of the same building. When it flew I could see that it looked mature to me, and weathered with ruffled feathers and some primaries missing. After an hour it flew off over the parking garage toward the Rogers building and disappeared.
Tuesday February 26, 2002
Ron Lohr reports: I saw a Peregrine across from the Sears Outlet Store in downtown Kitchener at lunchtime today. It was quite vocal as it entered and left a cavity in the top edge of the building (3 stories) above the Second Cut Barber (147 King St E).
Thursday February 21, 2002
Rudy Kruppa reports: I caught a glimpse of a peregrine today around 4:00 pm. right behind City Hall. I lost sight of him behind another building after a few seconds but it was heading towards Waterloo. The first sighting I've seen since December.
I also saw a pair of kestrels on Monday playing and chattering over Queen St. (Walper Hotel). The way one of them chased a smaller bird and actually dove on it I can see someone inexperienced mistaking it for a falcon. If it wasn't for the size and the vocalizing it almost had me guessing.
Sunday February 10, 2002
Tom Preece reports: I have been watching for the falcon at the Marsland Center. Well I finally saw it last Sunday around 2:30 pm sitting on the north side.
This Sunday we were uptown and we saw a falcon stooping on some pigeons over the downtown Waterloo area. It then went on the Marsland Center again for about 15 min. and then headed towards the Clarica building. That was the last we saw of it.
Friday February 8, 2002
Judith Agnew reports: At approx. 11:30 a.m. I saw a flurry of pigeon activity south of me. I was headed south on Weber St. a block east of the back of City Hall and the parking garage. Flying fast out of the west across Weber St. was a bird in hot pursuit of the pigeons. It stooped on one SE of the Rogers Bldg and disappeared from my view.
For earlier reports, check the Kitchener archives.
© Canadian Peregrine Foundation