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April 30, 2007
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK:
April 9, 2007
Volunteers from the Canadian Peregrine Foundation with the help of Hospital staff installed a new nest tray for Juliet and her mate, Hurricane, who hatched in 2004 on the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Toronto. The nest tray, which sits on a 10th-story ledge of the hospital, was customized by CPF staff with high sides to protect the birds and any future eggs from a fall.
Juliet is the daughter of Fancy and Groucho, the first peregrine falcons to nest in Syracuse since the birds came close to extinction in the 1970s.
April 5, 2007
October 10, 2006
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts we post the following update for our web cam viewers.
On October 10th the adult resident female Peregrine Falcon was found on a corner, just blocks away from the Statler building. It appears that she died immediately after colliding into a building. Initially it was thought this could possibly be a migrant bird passing through the area, but after the DEC traced her color band numbers and USFWS band numbers there was no doubt - it was Buffalo's own Beauty.
At this time we do not have details or eyewitness accounts of how or why. It was a tragic accident that we can only theorize or second guess.
We all know that the life of a Peregrine is not an easy one, but over the years this female proved time and time again that she was a force to be reckoned with. She aggresively defended her territory and nest, stayed in the city year round, hunted with her mate, raised and fledged twenty four young falcons in the eight years she ruled the skies of Downtown Buffalo.
The adult male continues to stay in the area rather than migrating, just has he has since April of 1999 when he arrived with "Beauty" to our city. We are sure that he won't be a bachelor for long - on October 14th he was seen in the company of what we believe may be a "new" female falcon"
She leaves some big talons to fill.....
SE Michigan, USA:
Anyway, thought you would be interested! Also, I have a nesting female 85/H on the Blue Water Bridge. Thought since the band numbers were so close maybe you knew WHO she was and her origin (possibly even Mariams sister?).
Thank you so much for writing and all of the updates. We are delighted to hear that Miriam is doing well and has started her own family. Truly sorry about your resident adult female’s demise because of Miriam!
I guess things have a way of working themselves out, and very glad that she is under your protection and care!! She certainly has had a long interesting history up here with the satellite tracking and the hack site, with fond memories of her antics while she was under our care/watch. Miriam was purchased by the CPF as a chick from an anatum peregrine breeder in western Canada and hacked out at the CPF peregrine hack site in a small community called Richmond Hill Ontario in 2003. Richmond Hill is just 15 minutes north of Toronto. Miriam was also was a participant in our satellite tracking program that year.
The other Pefa wearing the Black band is another Ontario bird that was produced at the MEC – (Mississauga urban nest site) in 2003. This female was named “Tonga”, and banded on June 13th/2003. She was the heaviest of her two other sisters, (weighting 966 grams – empty crop weight - at 28 days old). She had two other siblings named Orian and Artemis, but sadly Artemis was reported dead in July of 2003. Orian has been confirmed nesting in Virginia USA last year at a wild non-urban nest site! You can see some history of the MEC nest site on the CPF web pages at the 2003 Mississauga Centre Photo Gallery, and can see current Mississauga Centre reports at the Mississauga Centre nest site observations page.
Mark - thanks a bunch! This is so much fun, investigating Mariam's story! I've been looking at all the pictures and stories in the website. I thought maybe you would be interested in some recent pics of Mariam, her babies, and mate! All pics are Mariam except for the one with the fresh kill - that is Allegro!
June 3, 2005
Two eggs from a pair of endangered birds of prey have hatched on a tower block in central London.
The Peregrine Falcons laid three eggs in Marylebone, where they are being monitored by the BBC's Springwatch.
This is the second year the birds have nested in the same spot. Last year they successfully reared two chicks.
"Clearly they have identified tall buildings in London as a great place to live," said Andrew South, of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
"And that has a lot to do with good food sources."
Peregrine Falcons can swoop on prey at more than 200mph and are often described as the fastest birds, if not animals, on earth.
Many were culled during the two World Wars to protect carrier pigeons and by the 1980s, the breed almost vanished from the UK - but now there are about 1,500 pairs.
They are usually seen in coastal regions with high sea cliffs and wild, upland crags but the birds are adapting to city life.
Mr South added: "This is fantastic news as these birds are in good recovery but they are still the most protected bird in the country."
The chicks hatched on Wednesday and Thursday and a third is expected any time in the next few days.
They are being watched around the clock by Royal Parks staff, advised by the Metropolitan Police.
A watch point will be set up in Regent's Park so people can watch the chicks' progress until they leave the nest in about a month's time.
Dave Johnson, the Royal Parks' wildlife officer who has spent 1,500 hours monitoring the birds said he was "thrilled" to see them back.
"Last year they successfully raised two chicks but the parents would not have returned if the site conditions were not right," he said.
The birds are to be featured on the Springwatch programme next week.
May 29, 2005
The Toledo metropolitan area has room for a second nesting pair of peregrine falcons after all.
Two more of these sleek-winged, slate-backed birds of prey have nested this spring, selecting a lofty perch atop a fractionator tower at the BP Refinery in Oregon. They join a pair of peregrines that nest atop the former Commodore Perry Motor Inn downtown.
The Commodore Perry site has been active annually since 1988, when a falcon nicknamed Nellie McClung and her mate, tagged Commodore Perrygrine, hatched out the first falcon nest on record in Ohio.
The downtown site has gone through several pairs of falcon mates since, but only one year has the nest failed to produce young. The class of 2005 numbers four chicks, all of which were banded last week by a crew from the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
Observers long have wondered whether there was room for a second nesting territory in Toledo, given that falcon mates fiercely defend their wide-ranging turf against all comers, including hawks and other falcons. Indeed, some intruding male peregrines have been killed in territorial combat over downtown through the years.
The BP nest, however, apparently settles the elbow-room question. It was reported early this month by a refinery worker and initially was found to contain three eggs. But as of this week the nest was down to one egg and the adult pair apparently had abandoned incubation, said Bill Roshak, assistant supervisor of wildlife management for Ohio Wildlife District 2.
Nonetheless it is likely that the birds have established a new territory, one they should maintain into next year, Roshak said. He noted that the nest, much like the original nest atop the Commodore Perry, is in a precarious position atop the round-topped tower. It is possible that the missing eggs inadvertently have rolled off into oblivion.
Both of the adult birds at BP are wearing legbands, but Roshak said that no one has been able to read the numbers so far to establish positive identity. He added, however, that the female is believed to be an East Coast bird because it wears a silver anodized legband used by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service there. Legbands used in Ohio are anodized purple.
Roshak said that the state wildlife division wants to work with refinery management in possibly siting an artificial nesting box in a more secure location in hopes of drawing the falcons to a safer nest.
"Once they lay an egg we are obligated to do everything we can to protect that nest site," the biologist said. Falcons are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act and remain listed as endangered in Ohio.
The eastern subspecies of the peregrine, once casually called the duck hawk, was declared extinct in the early 1960s. Pollution from such persistent pesticides as now-banned DDT was found to interfere with their reproductive cycle. But in the late 1980s attempts were undertaken to "hack" or artificially introduce birds from captive populations to urban skyscrapers.
Skyscrapers are like artificial cliffs to falcons, which in nature scratch together nests high on sheer rock faces. The original Toledo falcons, however, showed up from hacking projects in other cities and began Ohio nesting history unassisted.
The original nest on the Commodore Perry was an abandoned pigeon nest, precariously perched on a narrow ledge in the old hotel’s roofline. It blew down in a strong storm in its second year of use, and the chicks were lost. That nest was replaced with a man-made nestbox atop the south face of the building and it has become remarkably successful.
In all Ohio now has 22 nesting pairs of falcons, including the two nests in the Toledo area, one atop a downtown Lima bank building, and one at Huron on a waterfront grain elevator. Seventeen of the nests have hatched young. In 2004 a record 54 chicks fledged from 15 of 16 known nests.
Falcons are a supreme bird of prey and use their sleek, swift form to dive-bomb prey — usually pigeons in urban areas — at speeds of 200 mph or more. Their long, pointed wings are shaped for speed, but they must use altitude and a dive to gain velocity. That is why they nest high on cliffs, in arctic and subarctic regions and elsewhere in the wild, or on tall buildings.
Historically falcons did not nest anywhere in Ohio because of a scarcity of natural cliffs. But all that has changed since the now self-sustaining populations have become acclimated to urban downtowns.
Peregrines often are confused with Cooper’s hawks by casual observers, many of whom think, after reading about peregrines, that they have a falcon preying on songbirds at their backyard feeders. That is highly unlikely.
In both species adults have blue-gray or slate backs and buff-streaked breasts and stand about as tall as a crow. But the Cooper’s wings are large and rounded, providing lots of lift and maneuverability in its normal woodland settings. In comparison the peregrine’s wings are longer and pointed for dive-bombing speed.
The peregrine has very large, yellow-rimmed eyes and the Cooper’s has red-rimmed eyes, among other differentiating field marks. Thus a backyard "hawk" preying on songbirds likely is a "Coop’s." But that bird tearing apart a pigeon on a downtown office-tower ledge at lunchtime likely is a peregrine.
Steve Pollick is The Blade's outdoor writer
May 27, 2005
NEENAH — A pair of endangered peregrine falcons has produced two young in a manmade nest atop Minergy Corp.’s plant overlooking Little Lake Butte des Morts.
Wisconsin has about 20 pairs of nesting peregrine falcons, but Riot and Karla, as the birds have been named, are the first known to have taken roost in the Fox River Valley.
“I think it is very significant,” said Greg Septon, a peregrine expert who initiated Wisconsin’s peregrine recovery program in 1986. “It’s very exciting.”
Two eggs hatched about a week ago, and a third egg remains in the nest. Hope for a third nestling, or eyas, is diminishing with each passing day, however.
“We will take the two,” Septon said. “It is a big move forward.”
Peregrine falcons are crow-sized birds of prey that are admired for their beauty, speed and agility. The term peregrine means wanderer or migrator.
Native to Wisconsin, peregrines originally nested along the bluffs of the Mississippi, St. Croix and Wisconsin rivers, and the Door Peninsula.
They were placed on the U.S. Endangered Species List from 1970 to 1999 and remain on the Wisconsin Endangered and Threatened Species List. Their decline began in the 1950s with the use of the chemical pesticide DDT, which weakened their eggshells and prevented hatching.
The recovery program has had success in attracting peregrines to nesting boxes atop power plants along the shores of the Great Lakes. Riot was born in 2001 atop Wisconsin Public Service Corp.’s Pulliam Power Plant in Green Bay.
Nesting boxes were placed atop tall buildings in downtown Appleton several years ago, but they failed to attract any peregrines.
Terry Carroll, general manager of Minergy’s paper sludge recycling plant, said employees built a nesting box from plans obtained on the Internet.
“It’s a huge box,” he said. “It took two very large men to pull this thing up the side of the building with ropes.”
The nest was placed at the edge of the roof, 115 feet above Little Lake Butte des Morts, last fall. The bottom was filled with pea gravel. Employees then crossed their fingers and waited.
Within two months, Riot arrived. He was identified by a band on his leg.
Karla, who was born atop a power plant in Cohasset, Minn., arrived about two months ago.
“The box on the Minergy plant is very much like a cliff on a river, as far as a peregrine is concerned,” Septon said.
The eggs were laid in early April. A motion-activated camera keeps tabs on the nest.
Minergy employees were like proud parents when the two eggs hatched.
“From what we understand, these are the first ones to be born in the Fox River Valley, ever,” Carroll said. “We would like to see this happen every year. It’s a real source of company pride.”
When the nestlings are 3 or 4 weeks old, Septon will band their legs to track them. Septon banded Riot as a nestling four years ago.
Peregrines prey on birds like pigeons, grackles and starlings. They dive as fast as 200 mph and kill their prey with a sharp blow with their feet.
“They come rocketing out of the sky,” Carroll said. “They hit the bird, and it is just a poof of feathers. They (prey) don’t see it coming.”
April 20, 2005
CANTON - Maverick the falcon is a proud papa again.
Maverick's mate laid four eggs earlier this month at the Bank One Tower. A partially enclosed area on the 10th floor is the same spot where the couple nested four eggs last spring.
Falcon eggs are becoming old hat at the downtown building on Market Avenue N, said Joe Ryan, who serves as the building's engineer and resident birdman.
Four chicks hatched last May, but one died last summer after injuring its wing when it slammed into the building.
Maverick and his lady have adapted to city life. A gravel nest was placed there by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. The mother bird is unnamed because it is not banded, said Tom Henry, a wildlife biologist with the division.
Life is good for the Peregrine parents.
"He's got his honey, and there's plenty to eat, that's the main thing," Ryan said of Maverick. "She stuck around most of the winter off and on."
Pigeons are the delicacy of choice.
"It's easy hunting, so why would they want to go somewhere else? As long as pigeons keep on having pigeons, the falcons will be fine," he said.
Henry says the male falcon must win turf battles.
"Normally, when they settle in on a territory, as long as a bird can maintain that territory in competition with other birds, he'll return to it every year," he said.
Ryan discovered the first egg on April Fools' Day. Henry checked on the eggs briefly Monday. The eggs are expected to hatch in early May.
Ohio's falcon population continues to grow, Henry said. Maverick was born in 2000.
Seventeen or 18 sets of eggs are being incubated throughout the state, he said. More than 20 falcon pairs are nesting in Ohio. Six pairs are nesting in the Cleveland area alone, including at Terminal Tower and at the Cleveland Clinic on the city's east side.
"It seems like the past several years we've been increasing in our numbers," Henry said, "so we've had record years each year."
This spring's first hatching apparently occurred under a Lakewood
bridge, he said. Bird-watchers can follow the progress of the various
falcon nests at the Division of Wildlife's Web site at:
Peregrine falcons were removed from the federal endangered species list in 1999, but the birds remain on the state's endangered species list.
In downtown Canton, the falcons are celebrities of sorts.
"Every day, every place I go, everybody wants to know about the falcons," Ryan said. "In the building, outside the building, my mom's house, wherever I go."
Conditions are ripe for a successful hatching, Henry said. Risk factors include chilly weather and unprotected eggs, he said.
Maverick and the female falcon are experienced parents, Henry said.
"She's certainly acting like she's been at this site before," he said.
April 7, 2005
2. One falcon, tundra subspecies, was first sighted on Oct 27, 2004. This individual has remained thru the winter and is still here. He has selected a tower to roost and can be seen there almost every day. He also hunts in an area of tall buildings and has been photographed from the top floor of the Verizon building. I saw the bird last night on my way home. This bird has wintered here.
3. On Sunday, March 27, 2005, I spotted a pair of peregrine falcons, tundra subspecies, about 5 miles from home. The female was having breakfast in a communications tower while the male perched. One of the individuals was again at the same location last night. No bands were detected on either bird using the spotting scope.
4. This morning I was able to confirm one falcon perched in a medical building a few miles from the location described in (3). The falcon is reported to be part of a pair that has been seen and photographed from the building and that hunts in the financial sector in San Juan. It is possible that 3 and 4 are the same pair, something that I hope to confirm.
February 14, 2003
Lucy and her unbanded male mate have four healthy chicks this year. They were banded on May 10, and are three males and a female.
Marcel Gahbauer comments: Previous reports about Stelco are archived in the Hamilton section of the CPF website, as that is where she was raised. However, future news will continue to be reported on this page.
March 11, 2002
March 5, 2002
I was able to view her legs and she bore NO bands, so neither bird here is banded. Should the birds perch side-by-side there is a remarkable disparity in their plumages. The old gal has an almost pure white breast and abdomen with light barring on the flanks, while the other is barred across the breast with a light salmon suffusion. She has the typical black helmet, while the pale bird has a narrow malar stripe and typical (tundrius) white forehead patch. The pale female was fully cropped by noon while the darker bird had yet to feed that day. Interesting too that the dark bird was very tolerant of my approach and behaved much like the migrant tundra juveniles that pass through in the fall. The pale female is much less tolerant of close approach. I suspect the darker bird is an urban breeder and familiar with human activities, but we'll never know without bands.
One item I failed to mention is her relationship with regional eagles. On occasion, as many as 3-4 juveniles occupy her home territory and she has to move about to avoid confrontation. I suspect that the eagles occasionally force her off kills. I've also noted recently that the falcon occasionally loses her favorite perch to ospreys! This contrast with the other winter peregrine that dominates any ospreys that approach her roost tower!
The tundrius peregrine feeds on the gulls & terns where she kills them. Chief prey species are: (juvenile) laughing gulls, ring-billed gulls, royal and sandwich terns. Examined carcasses are usually fully consumed except for the head and viscera. Frequently, turkey vultures and the aforementioned eagles clean up the spoils!
I have not seen a lot of attacks, but those witnessed suggest she makes a low, fast approach into roosting flocks on sand bars. I have seen her stoop from aloft, but seldom as often as the direct approach. Interestingly, flocks of black skimmers totally avoid her home territory! Just yesterday, I observed two large flocks approach the region only to turn about and immediately fly away from the area. As you may know, skimmers are distant relatives of terns, tend to gather in large, conspicuous, flocks and are relatively slow fliers.
The second "anatum" falcon roost near and frequents a regional shorebird roost, but I have seen few attacks and found fewer kills there.
Wintering peregrines spend virtually all of the day resting, preening or loafing and make their kills in an expeditious manner. Although shorebirds are abundant in the area they are seldom taken as prey. It is the standard predator / prey relationship with the falcons taking the largest, easiest and most vulnerable prey available to conserve energy and reduce effort! Occasionally both birds will be absent from their usual haunts, but the vast majority of the time they demonstrate as much fidelity to roost sites as they do to breeding sites.
The lighter bird is unbanded, but I've had no success checking the darker bird since she roosts high overhead with her lower legs concealed. The latter bird departs early in spring and I suspect she is continental in origin, while the former departs very late (May) so I suspect she travels to high latitudes (arctic?) As an indication of the peregrine's recovery, up until the 90s no peregrines could be found in this region after fall migration. The lighter-colored falcon has been returning here for over five years and appears to be of advanced age. She has become an old familiar fixture in the landscape and will be missed when she fails to return and adopt her old routines after departing on her last migration.
NORTH CAROLINA: September
NORTH CAROLINA: May
I later learned that the pair had successfully bred for the first time at the site last year, attracting much attention and admiration from casual tourists. What an excellent educational opportunity at a spectacular tourist destination! There is a large parking lot directly in front of the cliff at the top of the mountain overlooking a vast landscape of adjoining mountaintops!
The eyrie is at/on the "Devil's Courthouse," on the Blue Ridge Parkway between Asheville, NC and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (just east of the Parkway's highest point) There is another active eyrie on "Looking Glass Rock" along the Parkway, but it is well-distant and beyond the range of even spotting scopes!
© Canadian Peregrine Foundation