The Canadian Peregrine Foundation
TORONTO HOME PAGE ARCHIVES
May - June 1999
Monday May 3
Wednesday May 5
Harry Crawford reports: Spike was on the north west corner of the CIBC building at 8:50am today, and was still there at 9:10. At 5:00pm Mandy was circling slowly above the CIBC building. She eventually disappeared over the north east side.
Yesterday Spike was on the north west corner of the CIBC building, and remained there
until 8:20. On Monday Mandy was seen briefly on the west CIBC antenna at 7:10 am.
Between 7:15 and 7:45 she alternated between the north west corner of
the same building and the north west corner of the roof just above.
Marcel Gahbauer reports: Shortly after 1 pm today, I happened to catch a changing of the guard at the Sheraton - Kingsley flew in to the west end of the ledge, and seconds later Victoria flew out from the same spot. She headed southeast, and quickly disappeared from my sight.
In his May 3 update, Harry Crawford noted that the behaviour of Spike and Mandy had changed in recent days. Bruce Massey mentioned the same thing to me, and suggested that this could be an indication that they have finally started incubating somewhere. With that possibility in mind, I spent well over an hour aroundYonge and Bloor today hoping to track down their mystery location.
Unfortunately the peregrines eluded me completely today. However, I did notice that there were people working on the roof of the Bay, and that several pigeons and gullsflew close to both the Bay and the CIBC, without drawing the attention of the peregrines - this suggests to me that while they often perch on these buildings, this is likely not the location of the nest.
Just as I was leaving the area, I spotted a crow being repeatedly rebuffed from the west side of the Manulife apartments at Charles & Bay. Unfortunately I couldn't see what was attacking it - it could have been one of the peregrines, or possibly just another crow.
Of course the brief period I spent at the site today is not nearly enough to draw any strong conclusions. At this point we have not even proved that they are nesting, let alone where. We just have to keep watching, and one of these days we'll be able to track them down...
Thursday May 6
Friday May 7
Saturday May 8
Marcel Gahbauer reports: At 5:20 this morning, I was at the corner of Davenport and Yonge, waiting for dawn. My plan was to see where Mandy and Spike flew from in the morning, and then monitor that area for evidence of nesting. Unfortunately, things didn't quite go as planned. I watched the CIBC and Bay buildings for four hours, and never caught a glimpse of either peregrine. However, both of the kestrels flew by several times, and the male even perched on the northwest corner of the CIBC roof at one point. By 9:30 the fog had rolled in, and I could no longer see the top half of the buildings, so I left.
Harry Crawford reports: Mandy was seen on the east antenna of the CIBC building at 6:15am. She relocated to the north west corner of the roof by 6:50 and was seen heading to the south east around 7:00am. Spike was on the north west corner of the CIBC building at 10:45. He was on the south roof edge of the Bay building at 2:00pm, relocating to the north west corner of the CIBC building a few minutes later. He was gone by 2:30. At 7:05 Mandy was on the east antenna of the CIBC building.
Sunday May 9
Tuesday May 11
Wednesday May 12
Thursday May 13
Friday May 14
Sunday May 16
Harry Crawford reports: The immature female was on the south east corner of 77 Bloor West between 6:45am and 7:45. She spent most of the time preening. Incidentally, this is the exact spot that the kestrels spend a lot of time on. She moved to the north west corner of the CIBC building and eventually ended up on the south west corner of the Bay roof, disappearing shortly later. At 12:25 a turkey vulture came south, slowly over mbanx and continuing on.
Yesterday, the immature female was on the north west corner of the CIBC building at 6:15am, disappearing by 7:30. She was seen in the same location at 10:15 and 2:35pm.
Bruce Massey reports: Down at Yonge and Bloor around dawn, I found Mandy on the southeast corner of the TD Bank (southwest corner of Bay & Bloor). Spike came in from the direction of Avenue Road over Yorkville and joined Mandy hunting pigeons over Asquith. Mandy caught a pigeon and took it to halfway up the north side of the CIBC building. Spike begged for some, but it was no deal. He got frustrated, and flew off to the northwest but came back without any food. He finally waited until Mandy left him something to finish off. The two birds much to my surprise stayed there for the next 4 1/2 hrs. This gave me an excellent opportunity to use the scope to look at them closely. To make a long story short, due to the amount of vertical striping on their chests, even though they have their adult colouring, my guess is that they are first year adults. Also, based on their behaviours, and the lateness of the date, I don't think that they will nest in 1999. However the fact that they spent the winter in Toronto and have stayed together, there might be a good chance of a nest in 2000.
Monday May 17
Mark Heaton (OMNR) reports: Kingsley and Victoria are the proud parents, once again, of three youngsters. The chicks were seen for the first time today since the parents took interest in this location. They are about 6-10 days old.
The pair first nested here in 1995 and for the past few years have been residing at 18 King Street East.
The nest tray that Pete Ewins placed at the Sheraton in 1995 sparked the interest of the pair (thanks Pete!). The adult birds can be seen frequently on the south face of the building - west side under the "S" in Sheraton.
Marcel Gahbauer reports: Good news - Kingsley and Victoria have three chicks! With the aid of a small extendable camera, we were able to peek in to the nest ledge today for the first time. We discovered that Kingsley and Victoria have nested in a wooden tray (much like the one in Etobicoke) which they had shown no interest in when it was first installed here in 1995. The three chicks were standing upright in the box; this combined with their size suggests that they are currently 6 to 10 days old.
Harry Crawford reports: Between 6:25 and 6:40am the immature female was on the north west corner of the CIBC building. She was seen there briefly again at 12:25. At 5:40 she was seen on the west side of the CIBC building, moving to the south side at 6:00pm and finally to the south side of the Bay roof at 6:50. At 7:00 a second peregrine appeared on the south east corner of the Bay roof and chased the immature female away. The second peregrine disappeared a few minutes later
Tuesday May 18
Wednesday May 19
Marcel Gahbauer reports: Good news for everyone who has been longing to see Kingsley and Victoria again - we could have live video from their nest up on the website in as little as one week!
Yesterday afternoon we returned to the Shertaon Hotel nest ledge. Mark Heaton (Ontario Ministry of Natrual Resources) erected a wire mesh barrier at the east end of the ledge, to prevent the chicks from accidentally entering the building's air intake system, which is located there. While out on the ledge, Mark also installed the video camera which had previously overlooked Kingsley and Victoria's old nest at 18 King Street East. Although both adults were attentive and alert, they did not appear to be overly disturbed by the activity. Perhaps they recognized the old camera and knew there was nothing to fear.
Now that the camera is in place, we are working feverishly to get all of the other essential components in place - computer, camera software, telephone lines, etc. We hope to have all of these needs addressed by early next week, and will begin broadcasting the signal to the Toronto Webcam page at that time. Keep checking here for more exciting news!
Harry Crawford reports: There was a lot of activity in
the Yonge and Bloor area today. It started around 6:00am with the immature female
circling above theCIBC building. She then flew twice by 44 Charles West on the north
side chasing a gull. This didn't seem to be a serious attempt [from the peregrine's
point of view] as her speed wasn't great. She ended up on the east antenna of the
CIBC building at 6:10 and then on the bottom of the 'B' of the Bay building at 6:20.
At 7:40 she was on the 'n' of the Radisson Plaza.
At 8:00 the imm. was soaring above the CIBC and Bay buildings. A few minutes later another peregrine appeared from low in the north and gave chase. They disappeared behind the buildings heading north. At 8:45 there were two peregrines soaring slowly above the CIBC and Bay buildings -- definitely a male and female and probably Spike and Mandy.
This evening, at 8:25pm Spike and Mandy [probably] were soaring above Yonge and Bloor. Eventually Spike ended up on the bottom of the 'y' of the Bay building and Mandy on the south side of the CIBC building. They were gone by 9:05.
Thursday May 20
Saturday May 22
Monday May 24
Tuesday May 25
Thursday May 27
Friday May 28
Marcel Gahbauer reports: All the wiring on the downtown Toronto camera was connected today. We expect to have phone lines installed on Monday morning, and will hook it up to the computer at that time. If everything goes well, the Toronto Webcam should be up and running by Monday afternoon.
Victoria and Kingsley were both seen flying around the Sheraton while we were down there, but there was at least one adult on the nest ledge at most times.
Saturday May 29
Bruce Massey reports: At 6 am, both Spike and Mandy were on top of the Bay antenna, and they stayed in the general vicinity for about an hour. They then spent the next hour on and around the Xerox Building, just east of Bloor and Yonge.
Downtown, Kingsley was on the nest ledge. I was watching from King and York, which is the closest one can get to the nest from the south and still keep it in view, but of course a scope is required from this distance. During the time I was there, Victoria flew in from the south. She seemed to come in from the top of the Richmond-Adelaide Centre. After a short break, Kingsley was back on the nest ledge, and I relocated Victoria on the New Commerce Court antenna.
At noon I was back at the midtown location, and found both peregrines sheltering on the north side of the CIBC building on the window ledge halfway up the building. About three hours later, Mandy went off to the east. Presumably she chased after a kestrel, which chased her back, and she took shelter in one of the vertical concrete slits. Surprisingly, the kestrel didn't pay any attention to Spike, who was still on the window ledge.
Sunday May 30
Bruce Massey reports: Around 7:30 am, I had Spike on the east antenna on the CIBC, and Mandy on the Bay antenna. I didn't seethem for about 10 minutes, and then I saw Mandy chasing what I thought to be an immature around ManuLife and Mbanx. Mandy landed on the northwest corner of the top roof of the ManuLife. With the early morning sun to the east I had to reposition to the church on the west side of Bay, almost down to Wellesly. I then had a second Peregrine perched on an antenna on top of the ManuLife Center. When I got the scope on it, it turned out to be Spike. In the bright sun during the chase, I could have sworn it was an immature, but definitely smaller than Mandy, so if it was an immature, then it was a male, not a female.
Downtown, I set up the scope at the northwest corner of the new Commerce Court. I found Victoria on one of her favourite perches (the cooling tower railing on the NE corner Richmond-Adelaide Centre). Kingsley flew into the "t" of "Centre". What I couldn't understand was what I was seeing up in the bottom corner of the nest ledge. What it turned out to be was a young eyas that was sunning itself. Over the next hour or so I observed all three young sunning themselves.Monday May 31
Thursday June 3
Harry Crawford reports: At 5:10pm the female imm was on the top of the south facing CIBC logo. She moved to the south facing top ledge around 5:45, remaining there until 7:15pm. On Tuesday a male and female peregrine flew from behind the CIBC building roof area around 5:55pm heading west along Bloor and south above Bay streets. They didn't appear to be in a hurry.
Friday June 4
Harry Crawford reports: At 5:55am the two imms were on the west side of the CIBC building. They moved several times to different areas of the same building with the male disappearing around 6:45. The female remained until 8:10 when the swing stage disturbed her.
Sunday June 6
Harry Crawford reports: At 8:00am the female imm. appeared on the south east corner of 77 Bloor West, displacing the two kestrels. A brief fight broke out but the kestrels eventually moved off. At 8:25 one of the kestrels came back and tried to remove the peregrine but was unsuccessful. At 8:40 the imm. moved to the CIBC building, remaining there for twenty minutes. She was back in the same location at 5:25pm for about a half an hour.
Yesterday, the imm. was seen on the south west corner of the CIBC building at 11:30am, remaining there for an hour. At 1:20pm she was seen briefly on the west antenna of the same building.
Monday June 7
Harry Crawford reports: The immature female was on various locations of the CIBC building between 5:50am and 8:30 when the swing stage appeared. At 12:35 she was seen on the north east corner of the same building with food visible on the west ledge.
Wednesday June 9
Marcel Gahbauer reports: This morning the downtown Toronto chicks were banded. Until today, we had been reporting three chicks on the nest ledge. Upon arrival at the Sheraton today, I learned that a fourth chick had been spotted earlier in the morning via the camera. How we all missed it until now is a mystery, but we were certainly delighted to see it today. This is the only nest in southern Ontario this year with four chicks (last year Etobicoke and Hamilton did as well, but this year they have three and two, respectively).
The Sheraton Hotel has enthusiastically adopted its new long-term guests, and kindly provided us with a room on the 43rd floor for today's banding procedure. Guests of the Sheraton Hotel and the Canadian Peregrine Foundation were treated to views of the action on the nest ledge via television monitors connected to our video camera, and were then able to watch the banding taking place inside. Many members of the media were also in attendance - the Toronto Sun, Globe and Mail, National Post, CFRB, CBC, CTV, CITY-TV, and ONTV (among others) all sent photographers and/or reporters to cover the story.
The chicks did not disappoint. As the swing stage descended toward the nest ledge, they all scurried toward (and beyond) the camera. Mark Heaton of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources climbed off the swing stage and on to the ledge to retrieve them, and gave viewers inside a good view of the chicks by briefly holding them in front of the camera before placing them in the bag to go up to the roof.
Once inside, the chicks were taken out of the bag one by one. The two males weighed 665 grams and 660 grams, and were thought to be roughly 31 days old. The females weighed 960 grams and 920 grams. Based on their feather development, their ages were estimated to be 29 and 27 days, respectively. All of these weights are quite high, even for this age group - Kingsley and Victoria are evidently doing a very good job of feeding their young, as usual. A survey of food scraps on the nest ledge revealed that they have been eating primarily pigeons, although there was one feather which looked like it came from a yellow-shafted flicker.
Mark Heaton and Pud Hunter, also from the Ministry of Natural Resources, attached two bands to each bird - one on each leg. Feather samples were also taken from each of the chicks for further testing. Throughout the procedure, the chicks were relatively calm, although they did squawk a fair bit. In most cases a quick squirt from the water bottle calmed them down again.
Unlike at some of the other recent bandings (Etobicoke and London), the adults here were very aggressive. Both Kingsley and Victoria made repeated passes at the people on the swing stage. Victoria was even bold enough to land between the arms of one of the stage operators - certainly an experience he will never forget (and one which at the time must have been incredibly nerve-wracking). As soon as the chicks were back at the nest, Victoria returned to perch nearby.
The four chicks have been given names which honour those who have played an important role in the success of this nest. The older female will be named "Sherry", after the Sheraton Hotel which has been most cooperative concerning the peregrines, and who also unexpectedly presented us with a much appreciated donation at the banding today. The first male banded will be known as "Eric", in recognition of Eric Robb, the director of security at the Sheraton Hotel, who has gone out of his way to help us with the protection and monitoring of this peregrine nest. The other male was named "Foe", in appreciation of the valuable support the Friends of the Environment Foundation has given to the Canadian Peregrine Foundation both at the Toronto site and elsewhere. The young female will be known as "Icon", named in honour of Intercon Security, who have been supporting us with camera equipment since the Canadian Peregrine Foundation was established, and who have been particularly accomodating with trying to get this new nest site back under observation.
Thursday June 10
Harry Crawford reports: At 6:00am the immature female was seen beginning to eat a pigeon on the west ledge half way up the CIBC building. Things became interesting at 6:55. The female imm was observed spreading her wings out with head bent down as if to protect her prey. The immature male was to her right about three bird lengths away slowly approaching with head lowered. A few minutes later both peregrines were pulling away at what was left of the pigeon. The young male was gone by 7:10 and the female was still there at 8:35.
The female imm was seen around the CIBC building and the Radisson Plaza between 5:00pm and 5:40 and between 6:45 and 8:15. Yesterday, both immature peregrines were visible on the west side of the CIBC building at 5:35am. They were in the area until 8:15.
Monday June 14
Harry Crawford reports: The female imm was on the CIBC building between 5:55am and 6:20am. Yesterday she was on the CIBC building at 7:00am for fifteen minutes. The male imm was on the same building then for ten minutes. The female was on the south facing Bay logo at 6:50pm, moved to the south facing CIBC ledge and disappeared at 7:15pm. On Friday June 11, the immature female was on various locations of the CIBC building between 7:25 am and 9:00 am.
Wednesday June 16
Harry Crawford reports: The immature female was on the south east corner of the Bay building between 6:45am and 7:45 when she relocated to various positions on the CIBC building. She was gone by 8:10am. Yesterday, she was seen on the top of the south facing CIBC logo at 12:45pm. She spent most of the time between 4:55pm and 8:10pm on the south facing Bay logo with a few brief visits to the CIBC building.
Friday June 18
Marcel Gahbauer reports: Yesterday the first two chicks fledged from the Toronto nest - the first one in the early afternoon, and the second later in the day. These were a male and a female, but we're not yet sure which ones. Fortunately they flew well, without any incidents.
Volunteers have been watching the site all day today, and have followed the two fledglings as they made several strong flights around the downtown area. We thought at one point that a third chick had flown, but looking at them later through the camera, we had our doubts, since the remaining two chicks still have a fair amount of down on them. Nevertheless, we will be watching them as they could be enticed into starting to fly any day now.
We will try to provide brief updates regularly over the next week or two, but will only be able to post a more full report later on, as we are too busy right now watching the birds to type up all of our notes at the moment.
Saturday June 19
Marcel Gahbauer reports: Volunteers have spent the whole day in the streets of downtown Toronto watching the Sheraton nest and the surrounding buildings for the flights of the young peregrines. Little has changed since yesterday - the one male and one female continue to make good strong flights, while the other two chicks remain in the nest.
Monday June 28
Marcel Gahbauer reports: The Toronto Fledgling Watch has wrapped up for another year. Thank you to all of the volunteers who put in many long hours monitoring the movements of the fledglings. We are pleased to report that this year there were no fatalities or even injuries. Of the four fledglings, only Eric ever came down to the ground (although he had to be rescued twice). We hope to provide more details on the experiences from the 1999 Fledgling Watch in the next little while.
Wednesday June 30
Harry Crawford reports: During the period from June 17 to today, both the immature male and female could be seen around the CIBC building in the morning hours, usually at first light. They occasionally visited the Bay building. Evening sightings were not as frequent. The male was seen less frequently. Today the female was visible from 6:15am to 8:30 and made appearances at 1:05pm and 5:10pm.
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