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Lakeview nest site summary

Lakeview Generating Station -- on the shore of Lake Ontario, between Dixie and Cawthra
(Visible from Lakeview Promenade Park, west of the generating station itself)


Please help us keep track of the peregrines!  We welcome your observations of this pair (or any other peregrines) by email 

Mississauga - Lakeview Nest Site Reports:

Saturday October 7, 2006
Michael Bowers reports:
There are still two peregrines at Lakeview. I was watching them soaring high above the generating station, when one made a dive of about 200 hundred feet , and attacked a ringed bill gull. The gull went down, and the falcon kept on flying, maybe they don't feed on gulls. It was quite a sight.

Saturday January 28, 2006
Michael Bowers reports:
Two peregrine falcons at lakeview generating station.

Thursday September 1, 2005
Mark Nash reports:
With fall just around the corner, reports have been streaming in that things have got very quiet at many of the urban nests sites, and with the absence of the juveniles, it is nice to see at least that many of the urban adults are still on territory, with reports of many of them still spending time on the nest ledges.

Now independent, and hunting on their own, it would appear that many of the juveniles have either moved on, or have dramatically expanded their hunting areas taking them farther away from the home territories. We remember years past, while very closely monitoring some of the peregrine nest sites, we witnessed the adults on more than one occasion actually chasing their offspring out of the territory as October moved in. It is believed that the adults reach a point that they will simply no longer tolerate the harassment for food from their offspring, (in addition to sharing the territory with the kids), and "encourage" their young to move on. Sooner or later, the urge move on overwhelms them, as in the peregrine release sites that we have been doing over the years, the juveniles simply stop returning to the hack boxes for the food being provided by the hack site attendants.

Wednesday August 24, 2005
Mark Nash reports:
We have just received some news:
As of late July, observers at Lakeview reported that all three chicks fledged successfully and are feeding voraciously on the local fauna. So we now have 3 new unbanded birds to add in the mix. I was very confident about this from the outset, since this was the first time eggs were laid in step with other birds early in the spring. With five birds now hunting in the area I would say there will be a lot of nervous pigeons around Lakeview!

Wednesday August 3, 2005
Bruce Massey reports:
On my way back to a Toronto, I stopped off in Port Credit to see if I find any birds near Lakeview Generating Station. Walking along the boardwalk, I checked the south side of the station with no luck. As I was walking back to the car, I look back and saw the pigeons and what appeared to be evasive maneuvers. I got my scope out of the car and sure enough I had an adult male peregrine on the small tanks at the base of the towers. Unfortunately, that was all peregrines that I saw in about half an hour. I also checked the East side of the plant with no luck.

Friday July 29, 2005
Michael Bowers reports:
Three peregrines flew from the Lakeview generating station today, at 2.45 pm.They were very vociferous. I only observed two return, the adult landed on one of the smoke stacks, and the immature landed on the ledge of the roof facing west and stayed there for about 20 minutes.

Tuesday May 10, 2005
(Webmaster's note):
At least two chicks have hatched at the Mississauga - Lakeview nest site! Click here for a photo.

Monday April 25, 2005
Mark Nash reports:
We have at least 3 eggs!
Congratulations to Lakeview OPG

We finally have some good news these days, as it has been confirmed that there are at least three eggs being incubated at the Lakeview OPG plant. While it has been made official with regards to the Lakeview plant schedule to be demolished some time in 2006 - 2007, the peregrines have once again taken over one of the south facing roof elevations and are well underway in their efforts to incubate and hatch their eggs.

Apparently, full time incubation started around the 29th or 30th of March, and if this is in fact the case, we should be looking at a hatch date of approx. first week of May 2005.

The unidentified adults are tending full time to the incubation duties, and our fingers are crossed that the pair will be successful this year with a hatch.
Stay tuned..............

(Webmaster's note:) Click here for a photo of the eggs.

Thursday April 21, 2005

(Webmaster's note:) Nest site summaries for 2003, 2002, 2001 and 2000 have been made available.

Tuesday May 25, 2004
Larry Onisto reports:
Since the peregrine eggs are so close to hatching as we went into the May long weekend, we continued to monitor the peregrines several times over the weekend. The female was observed faithfully sitting on the egg on Saturday May 22. That night severe storms thunderstorms passed through the area and dumped more than a centimetre of rain with extremely high wind gusts. On Sunday morning we checked the nest via the plant security camera, the bird was gone with no trace of the egg. We did a search below the nest area and found nothing. On Tuesday May 25 the female was observed perched on a nearby ledge.

We believe the storm was responsible for the loss of the nest. Two years ago two nests in the area were lost under similar circumstances. We will continue to monitor peregrine activity, however, the failure so close to a hatch was frustrating to all of the staff volunteers at Lakeview.

Friday May 21, 2004
Larry Onisto reports:
This is the May 21th morning view of the peregrine. The bird continues to be diligent with incubation duties. While the male has been seen from time to time, sightings of the birds around the plant have been very sparse. We expect this could change quickly if there is a successful hatch.

Wednesday May 19, 2004
Larry Onisto reports:
This is the May 19th dawn view of the peregrine. Yesterday afternoon the bird moved around and revealed that it was only sitting on a single egg. The egg may have been damaged and then removed by the birds. Shortly after the first egg was laid we captured the male picking a little roughly at the egg that was first laid until the female intervened. Perhaps this picking behaviour had something to do with the failure of the egg. We continue to watch and wait.

Wednesday May 18, 2004
Larry Onisto reports:
The peregrine has been sitting on eggs diligently now since April 20 in spite of a several good storms which rolled through. The nest site is as close to a cliff face as can be imagined and is fairly exposed to the elements. The pair at Lakeview are new this year, female has two silver bands but unfortunately poor camera resolution has not permitted any more detail on bands. I will be sending daily updates with fresh pictures from today onward. We are expecting a hatch anytime after the upcoming long weekend. She has been a very good brooder and they got and early start so I am very optimistic we will see a successful hatch with the two eggs she is currently sitting on.

Friday April 30, 2004
Larry Onisto reports:
Peregrines at Lakeview are very diligent with egg duty, second egg laid April 25, five days after the first so we are looking at a late May hatch. These new birds have started nice and early compared to the previous pair - we are hopeful they will do well. More pictures to come next week.

Tuesday April 20, 2004
Mark Nash reports:
Great News indeed!! We have just received news from Larry at the Lake View Ontario Power Generation Plant (April 20th) that the new pair of falcons that have been very territorial over the past weeks, have set ups house and laid their first egg!! He has included a photo and two small mpeg clips with his news, and they are worth watching!! The short clips can be viewed with Window Media Player.

Tuesday March 23, 2004
Larry Onisto reports:
After a long period of no peregrine sightings I am pleased to report we have a new pair of birds which have shown good fidelity to the Lakeview site for the past 2 weeks. They were first observed around the 2nd of march and are hunting and hanging around quite a bit. I am out watching them and will try to get you band information (colours) if I can. These are definitely new and different birds from previous years. I will send photos as I am able.

Monday May 26, 2003
Larry Onisto reports: 
We have been watching the peregrines closely this year and have noticed a dramatic decrease in activity particularly during the late winter period. Up until this year we have had a lot of activity by a pair of birds that have nested here for the last three years. Something has changed now. We have had sporadic sightings of a new bird with no leg bands and, only occasionally, have there been sightings of a pair of birds. We will keep watching but activity by the birds is markedly lower than last year. I have seen little to indicate that we can expect nesting activity. We continue to watch.

Wednesday June 5, 2002
Marcel Gahbauer reports: 
Unfortunately the good news from Lakeview has again been shortlived.  Yesterday at the invitation of Larry Onisto, I visited Lakeview and we confirmed that the nest has again failed.

Larry has been watching the nest ledge daily on weekdays from an observation point south of the Lakeview plant.  While looking up from the ground made it impossible to see eggs or chicks, the behaviour of the adults gave a clear indication of what was going on.  Last Friday, for the first time, the female brought food to the nest ledge, and it was evident from her behaviour that she was feeding at least one chick.

On Monday, Larry looked forward to observing more such activity - but instead noticed that the adults were not paying attention to the ledge at all anymore.  What had happened?  Since the ledge is out of the range of the building's security cameras, we can't be certain.  However, Mississauga was hit with the same severe storm as Toronto early on Sunday morning.  Given that the drainage on the nest ledge is poor, it is easily possible that the heavy rain caused the chick(s) to drown and/or washed them overboard.  Alternatively, even if they survived (perhaps with the protection of one of the adults), they would have been at such a young age that death from hypothermia following such a soaking would have been highly likely.

To keep disturbance to an absolute minimum, Larry had avoided any visits to the roof in previous weeks.  As a result, we do not know how many eggs or chicks there were prior to the storm.  In light of what was observed on Monday, we did visit the roof yesterday, accompanied by shift manager Jon McMahon.  Locked in with a safety harness, Larry crawled to the edge of the roof and looked down at where the nest was ... and found no trace of any eggs or chicks remaining.  Just as telling, we saw no sign of either adult during the brief period we spent on the roof (though the impending arrival of yet another storm may have sent them searching for cover).

This marks the second year in a row that a chick has hatched at Lakeview only to perish within its first week of life.  This is very disappointing, especially since the site is otherwise well suited to peregrines, and they have clearly established a strong presence there, remaining on site throughout the year.  After coming down from the roof, I spoke with Larry and Jon at some length about possibilities for providing the peregrines with increased protection from the elements in time for next spring.  They are very interested in making progress on this issue, and we hope to be able to come up with a solution that is safe both for the peregrines and the facility.

Saturday June 1, 2002
Marcel Gahbauer reports: 
We have some good news this time ... it appears that the earlier report about the peregrines having abandoned their nesting attempt as a result of a severe late April storm may have been in error.  Larry Onisto has informed us this week that of late the adults have again regularly been visiting the nest site and appear to be incubating.  If these are still the original eggs, then we should expect a hatch within the next few days; alternatively, it is possible that the first clutch was indeed lost during the storm, and that this second clutch still requires a week or two of incubation before we can expect a hatch.  We look forward to having some additional good news to share soon.

Saturday May 11, 2002
Marcel Gahbauer reports: 
Once again, it appears that tragedy has struck at the Lakeview nest site.  Late in April, it appeared that the peregrines were incubating eggs on one of the pillars on the south side of the plant.  However, very strong winds and heavy rains swept through the area on April 28 and 29, and it appears that their unprotected nest ledge provided nowhere near enough shelter against the elements.  Over several subsequent days, the peregrines were not seen by Larry Onisto, who had been monitoring their progress.  A couple of observers have reported sightings since, but not as regularly before.  Although it is strictly speaking not too late for them to attempt a second clutch, past history suggests they likely will not do so.  However, the site will continue to be monitored all the same, and hopefully they will prove us wrong. 

Friday April 26, 2002
Marcel Gahbauer reports: 
Larry Onisto has advised us that he believes the peregrines at Lakeview are incubating eggs, likely laid early this week.

Thursday April 11, 2002
Marcel Gahbauer reports: 
Over the past week, George Daszkowski has reported seeing a pair of peregrines in the Lakeview area on several occasions, both in flight and on the ladders of the smokestacks.  Peregrines have nested at this location with limited success the past two years (unhatched eggs in 2000 and one chick in 2001 which disappeared after one week in the nest).  It's likely this is again the same pair, but since we were unable to identify them in past years can't be certain.  Hopefully this year we will be able to track down their origins, and they will at last raise a brood successfully.

Friday December 21, 2001
Marcel Gahbauer reports: 
Our hopes were high for the first ever successful peregrine nest in Mississauga this past spring, but unfortunately none of the three pairs were able to raise any young.  To increase their chances of success for next year, the Canadian Peregrine Foundation has prepared nest boxes for two of the sites.  CPF Director Mark Nash delivered the first box to the Lakeview Generating Station last Friday, and we expect it to be installed shortly; details and photos to follow.  A second box will be delivered and installed at the Mississauga Executive Centre in early January.

Friday June 15, 2001
Marcel Gahbauer reports:  
Unfortunately there is bad news from Lakeview.  Approximately one week after the presence of the chick was confirmed, another look at the ledge revealed that it had gone missing.  The chick's fate is unknown, though predation is suspected due to the high density of gulls, crows, and other raptors in the area, any of which could have snatched the chick during a moment of inattention by the parents.  A disappointing outcome, but the peregrines here are making a bit of progress each year, and hopefully next year will fare better.

Friday June 8, 2001
Marcel Gahbauer reports:  
On Tuesday June 5, Pud Hunter of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources confirmed the presence of a single chick on the Lakeview nest ledge, estimating it to be roughly 14 days old.  During his brief inspection from the roof above the nest, the adult female made repeated attacks, and came within a metre or two of Pud's head on a number of occasions.  The male was also in attack mode, but remained much more distant, and after the first couple of minutes retreated to one of the smokestacks to observe the situation from there.  Leg bands were once again visible on the female, but could not be read since she was in constant motion.

Friday June 1, 2001
Marcel Gahbauer reports:  
This afternoon Larry Onisto of Ontario Power Generation, Mark Nash and Bruce Massey of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation, and Mark Heaton of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources investigated the Lakeview nesting site, and were delighted to find one healthy chick on the ledge, approximately 6 to 8 days old!  There was no sign of the other three eggs, which is disappointing, but all the same this is an exciting moment, as it marks the first successful breeding of peregrine falcons in Mississauga.  Watch for further news about this chick (and hopefully its parents) soon!

Friday May 18, 2001
Larry Onisto reports:  
I have been seeing 2 birds regularly now for the past couple of weeks.  Today roughly at the centre of the plant at 1100 hrs I observed the female sitting on the nest containing 4 eggs, 3 brown and one white.  I did get a quick look at the male and he appears to have two red bands. 

Marcel Gahbauer comments:   The banding pattern on the male seems to suggest it is an American bird, likely from the Midwest, and at least 3 years old.  We hope to be able to get a band reading from the bird to fully confirm its identity.

Sunday April 29, 2001
David Pfeffer reports:  
At the Lakeview site, around 7pm, Bruce Massey and I spotted the male at what appears to be the nest ledge.  We haven't seen the female for a while and the male has been frequenting the ladder on the smokestack furthest to the west or the ledge itself.  However, his visits to the ledge are fairly brief.  After fifteen minutes he left the ledge and glided to the southeast towards the lake.  On the ledge to the east of their ledge we did spot prey.  It looked like a Pigeon or a Gadwall. The wing was really curved.

Thursday April 26, 2001
David Pfeffer reports:  
There was a guy painting the top of the smokestack that is furthest to the east.  This didn't appear to be bothering the birds as the male was soaring around the stacks and briefly passed by the man without any sign of aggression.  The male then moved around the other stacks until he reached the ladder of the stack that is furthest to the west.  He stayed there for about fifteen minutes watching the painter and then took off north west.  Fortunately, he flew right above me and I was able to notice that his chest has a very noticeable salmon wash.  

Before flying out of sight the male turned and made an attempt on a pigeon.  After some impressive dives by the male, the pigeon kicked into high gear and left the poor male way behind.  The male then continued north.

Sunday April 22, 2001
David Pfeffer reports:
  When I met Bruce Massey today around 10:30a.m., a male Peregrine flew from the Lakeview generating station and attacked two Turkey Vultures that were roughly half a kilometre away to the west.  After swooping and diving over them he circled around briefly and then headed directly back to the station.  An hour earlier Bruce saw the female lazily head north east.  This probably indicates that the male was on eggs at the time as he flew directly to the station and disappeared.

Tuesday April 10, 2001
Larry Onisto reports:  
I have been seeing a pair of birds on site consistently now for the last several days. I was able to get out for about an hour today and watched as the birds were flying to the ledges which were used as nests last year. They would perch there for extended periods and then fly off and soar around the stacks. One bird made an attempt to take down a pigeon which dove into a tree at the last second. They use the wind currents around the stacks for some effortless soaring, perching from time to time on the stack ladder and sometimes returning to the ledges.  Just before I finished observing today, one of the birds gained altitude and flew off in a northwest direction towards the city of Mississauga. I am curious to know if these may be the same birds being seen in downtown Mississauga or a different pair altogether.

Sunday April 8, 2001
Marcel Gahbauer reports:  
Recent observations have indicated that there are again peregrines in Mississuaga.  The question is, are we hearing about one pair which travels between Lakeview Generating Station and the Mississauga Executive Centre, or are there two separate pairs?  With a distance of less than 8 kilometres (5 miles) separating the two sites, either scenario is very much possible.

I set out today to try to investigate this mystery.  The first stop was at the Mississauga Executive Centre, where over a span of half an hour I observed a considerable migration of birds heading north over the four building complex, including 3 Turkey Vultures, 2 Red-tailed Hawks, 3 flocks of Double-crested Cormorants, and several small flocks of Canada Geese, Common Grackles, and Red-winged Blackbirds.  The fact that none of this bird activity elicited a response from a peregrine made me suspect that they were not in the area.  There was also no whitewash visible on any of the four buildings along the west end of Robert Speck Parkway, though the presence of a swing stage on #4 suggested that they may have just had their windows washed.

However, shortly before giving up, I made a visual sweep of the area to the south, and spotted a lone peregrine circling high over the pinkish Edward Jones buildings southwest of Hurontario and Burnhamthorpe.  The impression I got from it was that it was a male, though at this distance it was impossible to be certain.  It drifted higher and higher, also gradually heading south, and I eventually lost it from sight.

I then headed south myself, to Lakeview Promenade Park, just west of the Lakeview Generating Station.  No sooner had I started to systematically scan the towers of the plant for peregrines, than I heard an agitated call and looked up to see an adult female heading north with a definite sense of purpose.  It quickly became evident that she had set her sights on a hapless Red-tailed Hawk which happened to be flying past.  The peregrine made several vigorous attacks at the hawk, driving it down to shelter on one of the transmission towers, then returning to attempt to drive it away from that refuge as well.  At that point two crows arrived to join the fight, and the peregrine turned her victim over to them.  She then played around in the wind for a few minutes.  Several times she almost landed on the west edge of the building, but caught a gust of wind and lifted up again.

Though only one bird was seen at Lakeview, the energetic response of the female to a non-threatening intruder bodes well for the possibility of this being a nest site.  It's possible that there are already eggs, and the male may have not been in evidence because he was incubating.  Even if there aren't eggs yet, he may have simply been letting the female take care of territorial defense, as is often the case with peregrines.  Things look promising for this site.

In conclusion, it's still difficult to say how many peregrines there are in Mississauga, since only one was seen at each of the two locations today.  However, given that the female's behaviour at Lakeview strongly suggests a nesting attempt, I suspect the adults from that site would not be ranging far inland at this time of year, so my hunch is that the peregrines being seen at the Mississauga Executive Centre are different ones.  We are of course very interested in learning the identity of all of these birds, especially since we are curious whether any of them are Toby or Alberta (displaced from Etobicoke last spring).  If you spot any of the Mississauga peregrines, please help us continue to piece this puzzle together by e-mailing your sightings to the webmaster

Friday April 6, 2001
Larry Onisto reports:  
I have been seeing an individual bird here (the Lakeview Generating Station) for the last two weeks.  Late last week I saw a pair for the first time this year and there is evidence of the birds hunting and feeding.  I try to go out every day to do some spotting, yesterday I only saw a single bird again however, the other could have been somewhere else on site.

Friday December 22, 2000
Maris Apse reports:  
Today, an adult Peregrine flew from the Lakeview Generating Station area and directly over me in a westerly direction at 1:45pm.  

Tuesday November 14, 2000
Maris Apse reports:  On my way to work in Toronto this morning at around 8:15 am, I saw a Peregrine flying north over the Port Credit harbour bridge (at Lakeshore Rd.) - it circled and headed south, so I turned right at the Post Office( Elizabeth St.?) and parked, but lost sight of the bird.

I decided to walk out on the pier and check the "Ridgetown" and there she was on the forward mast crossmember - a beautiful large adult, very alert and likely looking for breakfast. I could not see any bands. What a nice start to the day - even though I got to work 15 minutes late.

Marcel Gahbauer comments:  This adult female could well be the same bird that was at Lakeview for much of this year - although that one did have a fairly conspicuous red leg band.  It would be interesting to know whether this individual will remain around the Port Credit area for the winter, as many peregrines are now settling into their winter territories.  As always, I encourage anyone with sightings to send reports to us.

Tuesday July 4, 2000
Marcel Gahbauer reports:
  The peregrines at Lakeview seem to have given up on nesting for this year.  Larry Onisto informs me that there has been on sign of either adult peregrine over the past week, though the lone egg remains intact on the ledge.

Friday June 23, 2000
Larry Onisto reports:
  Today both birds were perched on the stacks, while the egg was laying untended on ledge. I attempted to try to get band information but did not get an opportunity to see well enough with only binoculars. Earlier in the day I observed one of the birds flying from the plant towards Mississauga. I watched it until it disappeared. We may have a commuter.  

When Mark Heaton was here last,  the egg observed on the plant was in front of Unit 6 and I realized today that the egg I have been watching is in front of Unit 7. Some time during last weekend the egg on Unit 6 may have been removed by the birds or a predator and now there appears to be an egg on Unit 7 which I have been watching all week not realizing it was a different egg. It is fully intact which leads me to believe that the birds did not move it. 

Thursday June 22, 2000
Marcel Gahbauer reports:
  At long last we again have some very exciting news to report from Mississauga - a pair of peregrines is currently tending to a nest on the Lakeview Generating Station!  Sadly the chances are not good for a successful hatch this year, but even so, this is a wonderful development.

We first learned about these birds on June 8, when Larry Onisto, Corporate Relations Officer at Lakeview, called the Canadian Peregrine Foundation to report their presence.  Later the same day, a security camera recorded some very odd behaviour by the female at the nest.  The female backed away from one egg, with the other one seemingly tucked into her breast.  However, it almost seemed like she was trying to get away from the egg but failing - as if it was stuck to her.  The female turned around and for a minute or so we were unable to see what she was doing; when she turned to face the camera again, she had the egg in her beak and flew off with it to an unknown destination.

The following day, Larry escorted me to the roof, from which we could look down at the nest.  The remaining egg had not been attended to all day, and neither adult was around when we were on the roof.  Chances were that both eggs were likely infertile for one reason or another.  Interestingly though, the eggs were only discovered a few days previously, and had likely been laid within the previous week (or two weeks at most).

On Monday, June 12, I returned with Mark Nash of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation and Mark Heaton of the Ministry of Natural Resources.  The egg had not been attended to throughout the weekend, and thus we were making an attempt to recover the egg for analysis to learn why it (and the other) had been abandoned.  The ledge itself was roughly 15 feet below the roof, and it was only through an ingenious contraption created by Mark Nash out of rope and duct tape that we were able to retrieve it.  The egg has been sent in for analysis, but we expect that it may be several months until we receive any results.

While we were collecting the abandoned egg, two other significant discoveries were made.  The female appeared, and we were able to see that she had a leg band, indicating that she was likely a bird from a captive release program (and thus not Alberta or any of the other southern Ontario peregrines we are familiar with).  More importantly, another new egg was discovered two ledges over from where the first one was.  It is awfully late in the season for a peregrine to begin incubation, but we hope that there remains a possibility for a hatch in Mississauga this year.  As of Tuesday (June 20) Larry Onisto reports that there remains only a single egg, and that the female remains in the area, but may not be overly attentive toward it.  We will continue to provide updates as we receive information.

NOTE: If you would like to try your luck at seeing these peregrines, please view them from the Lakeview Promenade Park immediately to the west of the Lakeview Generating Station.  Access to the park is via Lakeview Promenade road, off Lakeshore Blvd.  From there, look east across the channel toward the generating station; the adults have been seen on a variety of high perches.  Should you be fortunate enough to spot a band number on either adult, please record it and report it to us.

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