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A nest box in the top of the ADM Milling plant in Port Colborne, ON.


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

Port Colborne Nest Site Reports:

January 9, 2008
Doug Garbutt reports:

Nest Site 2007 Activity Summary Eggs laid on Mar.25,27,29 & Apr.2/07. May 3-5/07 all chicks hatch. Banded May 26/07. 3 males 1 female. Banded as Hunter (died in box pre fledge), Bandit (fledged), Magnum (died at the vet - infection), & Trillium (fledged).

The 2 falcons that fledged looked really healthy and there was no reason to believe that they would not survive. The 1st (Bandit) seemed to be an accomplished flyer but was only seen for 2 days after his 1st flight. The 2nd (Trillium) also looked great at her 1st flight. However, she was not seen after that. A very disappointing year down here! To add to the bad news, Purity (our resident female) disappeared sometime during October.

We are not sure if she migrated or died. On a somewhat positive side, there has been a new girl on the block (a new juvie on sight identified by her leg band identification as Millie who was produced this year in Mississauga 2007 at the St. Lawrence Cement Plant. Our remaining territorial adult, (Fredom) & Millie are going back & forth between our facility & another flour mill about 3 Kms north of us. Hopefully they don't decide to use that as an alternative nest site. Anyway, that is it in a nutshell.

Tuesday September 11, 2007
Doug Garbutt reports:
Thanks for the info on the females with the green tape. This particular bird is still at our facility. I can't find where she roosts but she is hunting here. In my original message I said our falcons were putting the run on her however, the falcon I saw trying to chase her away was Freedom. As we watched closer the following day, it was more like he was playing with her or "showing off". Constantly diving at her in the air or if she landed. They even locked talons flying. After a couple of days, I was concerned that something had happened to Purity as she was not anywhere to be seen. I did locate her though. She is at the Robin Hood flour mill about 5 Km. north of us on the Welland Canal. She has been there for a week or so. I have also seen Freedom there on occasion over the course of the summer. I think when Purity returns we should see some real action if that juvie is still around. Thanks again for the info & we'll keep you posted. We'll try to get the # of the juvie.

Monday September 10, 2007
Doug Garbutt reports:
I have to let you know that we had some excitement here today. As you know, not allot happens down here so when something does happen I'm gonna let you know.

Today, I went out on the roof of the lab for a break. I saw one falcon chasing another. The one being chased (intruder) landed on the roof of our grain elevator. The other falcon (our resident) was dive bombing it as it sat there. The intruder strayed there for about 1/2 hour. I was able to make my way up to the top floor of the elevator where I could get a better look at the falcon.

With binoculars I could positively see that the right leg had green tape covering the U.S. fish & W/L band. Unfortunately I could not get a look at the band on the left leg. The falcon was definately a juvie female (as it was big and brown in colour). I don't know if it is still here or not but we will keep our eyes open. At first I thought it was a Rochester juvie, but they did not use green tape this year. Perhaps you can let me know of any bandings this year where green tape was used on a female.

Monday July 30, 2007
Doug Garbutt reports:
Sorry we haven't been in touch much lately, but with the disappointing season we have had here there was not much to report. I can tell you that the adults here are doing just fine. I was truely worried about their health after what the young ones experienced this year. After all the bad news we've had this falcon season, the news I'm relaying is indeed uplifting!!!! You have probably heard already, but if not check the link below out & I'm sure you will be as thrilled as we were when we 1st heard the news that Millie is nesting in a power plant near Toledo, OH. And has produced chicks!! It turns out that the bird in question turns out to be "Millie", the falcon we retrieved from the Welland Canal. The very one you inspected on your way to Rochester (to attach a transmitter to one of their young ones - Skye)!! It kind of makes fetching her out of the canal & your stop to deem her O.K. just a little more special.

Here is a link to a newspaper article about how her eyasses fell from the beam she was nesting on. Does this story sound familiar? Fortunately her two boys survived.

Monday June 11, 2007
Doug Garbutt reports:
1st fledge

Just had to let you know that one of our clutch here has "flown the coupe". I think it was this morning, Mon. June 11/07 but it may have been yesterday, as I can't confirm there were 3 eyases in the box when I was at the mill yesterday,(but I was not working Sunday & only went out to check on the birds). Regardless, I spotted the young male on the ground @ 7am today Mon. June 11 but by 7:30 it made it's way up to the 4th floor on the steel structure on the east side of the mill. Later Rolf saw the young bird attempt to cross the slip to the other grain elevator West of us. It chickened out half way across and made its way back to our facility. As of 9pm today, the young one is O.K. sitting on the fire escape on the 9th floor. It's time to pull our hair out again!!!! I'll let you know when the next one takes the big jump (probably tomorrow).

Saturday May 5, 2007
Doug Garbutt reports:
4th egg hatched

Happy to report that the 4th & final egg has hatched here sometime this morning. I guess Freedom is not shooting blanks. Now the fun begins. You guys will be busy too. Rolf is in Germany now so he missed the eggs hatching here but will be back shortly to enjoy the "growing up" process and most importantly, the dreaded fledge proccess. Good luck with all the nest sites.

Friday May 4, 2007
Doug Garbutt reports:
3 eggs hatched

Just want to let you know that between last night at 8:00pm & 6:30 am today, 2 chicks hatched. If that's not enough, at 10am today another hatched. One more egg to go!

Monday April 9, 2007
Doug Garbutt reports:
Just want to let you know that all is well here. I'm sure it is no different anyhere else but the birds are on the eggs constantly 'cause of the cold frigid weather! I can say for sure that as of last Thurs. Apr. 5th there were 4 eggs. I can't catch the adults off the eggs even for a switch, so there is an outide chance there could be another. The box is paying off here because if the eggs were on the ice cold beams I'm sure the falcons would have a hard time keeping the eggs warm enough, let alone trying to keep them together!.

Congrats on the Burlington nest box. It looks great and I can sure appreciate the work involved not only in building but also installing the box. Lets hope that you don't have to transfer the chicks from the beam to the box in this instance as it looks a liitle more difficult than it was here in Port Colborne. I went to the Leaf game on Sat. & was able to see the box from the Skyway as I drove over it. Great work by all of you. Also, I'm so glad your website is being updated. We'll keep you up to speed on what's going on down here.

Thursday March 1, 2007
Doug Garbutt reports:
As far as our resident falcons are concerned, eveything is good here, in fact I witnessed the two having a throw in the sack on Mar. 1st. The 2 birds are in the nest box every day and I think they have finally decided that this is the place to lay!!! Time will tell & we'll keep you posted.

Wednesday September 27, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
You will be interested to know that our adult falcons here are in the nest box you built" EVERY DAY", often for hours! They are acting as if they are going to have another brood.

Wednesday August 2, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
There are still 2 young ones here. There could be more, but it is very hard to see them all together.

Monday July 17, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
We see less and less of the young ones. Perhaps they are making day trips? I've noticed them flying across Lake Erie, so far that they disappear from sight.

Wednesday July 12, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
I saw the adult female catch a bird across the canal by the ship breaking yard. The young one was right there and Mom gave him the bird. He must not of had a very good hold of it and the seagulls managed to make him drop it in the canal (which was quite rough at the time). After five or six attempts , the young falcon managed to retrieve the prey from the water. He then took it to a safe place on land to eat it.

Thursday July 6, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
All 4 Juveniles are seen together. They are now becoming expert fliers. They will stoop to within one foot of the water, scattering ducks. They also like to catch butterflies that soar high into the air.

Tuesday July 4, 2006
Rolf Numsen reports:
Just a quick update. All of the juveniles are doing very well. Doug and I observed all 6 birds together the other day. Last Friday we had a wicked hail storm but the birds came through OK. They are already trying to catch pigeons. We did noticed some thing special yesterday - both adults where in the box tending to the nest. I mean scratching like making a new nest, - the female had to spent an hour or more in the box,picking up pebbles and cleaning it up.

Monday June 26, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
Just thought you would like to know that all 4 of the young falcons here have fledged. The last one on Friday (23rd). The parents are training them & the young ones are really practising their flying skills with each other. Hopefully they learn to hunt on their own. They sure are hard to keep track of. good luck with all the young ones up in T.O. I'll send you some pics and stories soon.

Friday June 16, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
On June 26th an adult was seen doing food drops in the air with the young one catching the drop.

Wednesday June 21, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
7:30 a.m.
The fourth and last chick finally fledged. This would be the female. She lit on the break wall running north and south beside the P.C. Grain Terminal where she was noticed at 10:30 a.m. The Seagulls were really tormenting her, trying to get her to fly into the water. There were probably 15 to 20 at times. She stayed there until 11:15 a.m. She then flew across the water to the land alongside the grain elevator where she stayed for about 15 minutes then she flew to the high fence around the electrical sub-station at ADM where she would spend the night. At this time the other three chicks were often seen practicing flying and locking talons.

Tuesday June 20, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
All three fledged chicks are ok and spending a lot of time on the 12th floor roof.

Monday June 19, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
only one juvenile was left in the box. The third fledgling was spotted on the West Pier ground level as far south as he could go. An adult did a food drop, the chick feasted, then walked all the way around to the south east corner of our grain elevator. It then flew over the canal, past the stone islands, (all the while being dive bombed by seagulls). It made its way back and landed on our office roof at 2p.m. He eventually made his way up to a windowsill of the 11th floor south side where he spent the night.

Sunday June 18, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
The two fledglings were observed flying between the two grain elevators.

Saturday June 17, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
It flew again and stayed on the 6th floor mill roof until the next day.

Friday June 16, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
The second chick fledged. It was seen flying with the other fledgling. Each time a chick fledges no matter where it ends up landing the seagulls harass it. They try to make it fly, hoping it crashes in the water (I am assuming). The young falcons never did panic or make a stupid move when this happened. So, after some of this "Seagull abuse" the second fledgling decided that it would be safer in the box, so it returned there and spent the night.

Thursday June 15, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
We have picked the names for our young falcons. They have been named Sampson, Cimaron, Skylar & Archer. These are the names we pulled out of a hat from the ones submitted by the employees. We also had our 1st one fledge early this morning. He flew around the tower and landed back in the nest box twice! Later he flew over to the other grain elevator and back to our building 4 times over the course of the day. I went back out to the mill at around 8pm and found him on the very top of our elevator (above the nest box). I think he may spend the night there. He flew very well. You guys were right on with the projected fledge date. You said 5 days and it was exactly that. We'll keep you up to date.

Saturday June 10, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
Banding Day!

The 4 eyases were banded today with great success. Since the 1st one hatched on May 9th, they were pretty mobile. Attending the event (besides the crew lucky enough to be working at the mill that weekend) were MNR bander, Mark Heaton & his 3 children, Anne Yagi from the MNR & Bruce Massey & Mark Nash from the CPF. After climbing the grueling 12 floor trek, (each floor 3 times the height of a normal floor), lugging all the necessary equipment, the crew finally reached the summit. The awesome sliding door on the front of the nest box ad been closed for about an hour before the banding crew arrived. This didn't seem to bother the chicks much but the adults were really freaked out to say the least. Some of the Mill workers that were out on the roof replacing filters had to retreat inside as the adult falcons were aggressively attacking them. When the chicks were removed from the box & brought to be banded, all involved were amazed at the incredible specimens in front of them. It was determined that there were 3 Males & 1 Female. This was a good thing in a season that had produced few female birds. The 3 males were named Sampson, Skylar & Archer, the female was named Cimaron. Everyone attending the event went away with a sense of amazement. I will forward some pics asap. The young ones here this year seem to be just fine & I assume they will be fledging this week some time.

Thursday June 8, 2006
The Webmaster reports:
The Port Colborne chicks will be banded at 10am. on Saturday June the 10th. Images from and information concerning the ceremony will be posted at a later date.

Friday May 12, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
May 12th the fourth egg hatched.

Doug Garbutt reports: We are delighted to announce that the the 3rd & 4th eggs have hatched here. The box you guys built is absolutely fantastic and will give these young falcons a much better chance of surviving. We have amazing footage of the process to date, and will provide you with it when the falcons are done with their antics.

Thursday May 11, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
The third egg hatched.

Wednesday May 10, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
Second egg has hatched!

Today at 10am the 2nd of 4 eggs hatched. The strangest thing happened.

Shortly after the egg hatched, the female grabbed it by the neck like a cat would a kitten & dropped it about 2 feet from the scrape. the male arrived shortly after & inspected it. We thought one of the parents were going to eat it but the female then picked it up & put it back in the nest. WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT ALL ABOUT ??????

Tuesday May 9, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
First Egg has hatched!!

We're excited to announce that at 4pm today the 1st of 4 eggs has hatched here. Mom was feeding it by 7pm. We'll keep you posted.

Sunday April 9, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
4th egg!!!
We have egg #4 here as of this morning, probably laid late yesterday. Guess we still have a way to go to catch up to Rochester! Full incubation has started.

Doug Garbutt reports: 11:00 am there still 3 eggs but on Apr.10th @ 9:30am the 4th egg [was] noticed. For the next month or so the adults [took] turns sitting on the eggs, with the female sometimes having trouble getting the male off the eggs.

Saturday April 8, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
3 eggs so far.

Friday April 7, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
Full time incubation start[ed].

Wednesday April 5, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
The 3rd egg was laid. At this time the adults will sit on the eggs most of the time but will sometimes leave them uncovered for 1/2 hr. at a time.

Tuesday April 4, 2006
Doug & Rolf report:
Only 2 eggs so far. Hoping for more. The mom is sitting nicely out of the elements as the snow falls here right now. We'll keep you posted.

Monday April 3, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
I noticed a 2nd egg. The male was constantly bringing food to the female.

Friday March 31, 2006
Doug & Rolf report:
We are very pleased to announce that "Purity" produced an egg today at exactly 2:25 pm. We managed to capture it on tape along with the pair copulating a couple of hours earlier. We will keep you updated as things progress.

Tuesday March 28, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
I just wanted to tell you that our falcons have not forgot about their nest box and have been in it constantly since Monday, scraping, squawking & cleaning. Hopefully this means she will lay her eggs in the box this year. Today Rolf & I hooked up the recorder in order to hopefully get the entire footage of the whole process. I have to tell you that it sure looks like the female has an egg in her as her butt looks ready to explode! You will be the 1st to know when she lays that 1st egg. Talk to you soon.

Monday March 27, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
The falcons were back in the box, preparing the scrape again.

Saturday March 25, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
It was noticed that some debris had somehow ended up on the beam.

Monday March 20, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
The birds did not show up in the box at all. In fact, the pigeons were making themselves at home there. The adult falcons were however seen on the beam on the 11th floor below where they had laid the eggs the previous year.

Monday March 13, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
The adults were noticed daily preparing the scrape in the nest box.

Monday March 6, 2006
Doug Garbutt reports:
The adults were noticed daily preparing the scrape in the nest box.

Tuesday October 11, 2005
Doug Garbutt reports:
I just thought you may like to know that all is well here. Today I had the monitor on and saw both adult falcons inside the nest box. The male was doing scrapes, vocalizing to the female and both were really inspecting the box. I hope he can convince her that this is the place to lay her eggs next year. Rolf & I inspected the box on Saturday, and did some minor cleanup.

I think all of the pigeons in Port Colborne have congregated at ADM. The flock has tripled in the last week or so. There is no shortage of food for falcons right now. About 2 weeks ago, one of our lab techs. was outside & saw them take down a hawk. He said it was about twice the size of the falcons. He heard them screeching and noticed they were diving at it. Finally one of the falcons hit the hawk, snapping its' wing. The hawk crashed onto the roof of the grain elevator next door to us. I guess they are "kinda" territorial.

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.

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