The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

DOWNTOWN TORONTO ARCHIVES

January - February 2001

Wednesday February 28, 2001
David Dean reports:  An adult male (assumed to be Kingsley) was passing between the two towers at BCE Place around 4:45 on Tuesday afternoon. First coming from the northwest, Kingsley made a fast pass between the towers at the 31st floor level, ascended up the about the 40th and settled on the ledge facing south on the Canada Trust tower (the southern tower) for a few minutes. He evidently enjoyed the fist pass, as he passed between the two buildings once again, to begin soaring high over Bay between Front and Wellington where he disappeared from view.

Kingsley made his lunch time appearance at 12:50 today. What was different about today was that he first appeared at a much lower altitude than usual over Union Station close to Yonge Street. As my location was about 10 floors above where he appeared, I got an excellent view of his gray/blue back. He ascended on the drafts hitting BCE Place and headed over the tracks behind the Promenade on the Eastern side of Yonge Street. He kept ascending and ended up soaring at a much higher altitude than he usually does. He decided enough was enough and departed by making a high speed pass well above BCE Place, heading North West, where I lost sight of him.

Tuesday February 27, 2001
David Dean reports:  At 1:45 today a peregrine began soaring high above Yonge and Front in Toronto, visible from my south facing 31st floor window in BCE place. No antenna, believe it was a male but not 100%. Could not verify that it was not immature. After reaching a very high altitude, maybe double mine, it made a fast pass over my building, heading directly north.

Also report seeing Mandy and Spike chasing each other around the Four Seasons at Avenue and Bloor last Sunday.

Thursday February 22, 2001
Jennifer Barr reports:  Yesterday I was in the Commerce Court West at 4:15 and witnessed both peregrines on 18 King Street East.  One of them was flying out from the east side so i'm guessing that it had visited the old nest site.  The other was eating a small bird (I couldn't really see the bird but the feathers were flying everywhere!).  Right now (3:40 Thursday) there is a peregrine at the Sheraton nest ledge.  I guess they still haven't committed to a nest site.

Wednesday February 21, 2001
David Dean reports:  I see at least two different Peregrines routinely from my office window in BCE Place in Toronto. I face south over the harbor. Right now Kingsley is sitting atop the third ledge (about 47th floor) of the Canada Trust tower at BCE Place, facing south. He is noticeably smaller than Victoria, who I saw on Monday.  He started soaring over Union Station around 4PM, at which point he decided to have a rest and do some preening.  I usually have a couple sightings a week. A while ago I saw 3 at a time in the Bay/Bloor area.

Tuesday February 20, 2001
Jennifer Barr reports:  
Both peregrines just flew by, one landed on the northeast corner of 130 Adelaide and the other has landed at the old nest site on the Sheraton.  They look like they are going to hang around for a while (having assumed a familiar position!).

11:40 am:  I just saw the peregrine falcons in a very private moment (read:  breeding) on the top of 120 Adelaide.

Monday February 12, 2001
Harry Crawford reports: 
Victoria was on the second from the top, right step on the west side of the Bank of Nova Scotia tower (in the sun) at 2:10pm.  She moved to a lower step to join the recently arrived Kingsley at 2:30 and flew off 10 minutes later.  Kingsley flew off to the north scattering pigeons around 3:00pm according to a reliable source.

Friday February 9, 2001
Marcel Gahbauer reports: 
For the second time this week, I find myself the reluctant bearer of bad news about Toronto peregrines.  King Eddie, who fledged from the downtown Toronto nest in the summer of 2000, has died.

King Eddie got into trouble while young, falling down a chimney in downtown Toronto and landing on an active boiler inside the building.  He severely scalded both of his feet, and required extensive treatment at the Ontario Veterinary College's Wild Bird Clinic.  Following his stay there, he was transferred to the Owl Foundation in Vineland, where he was given a 96-foot long flight cage in which to exercise and recuperate.  Thanks to the excellent care he was receiving there, his recovery was progressing much better than expected.  His severely stunted talons had almost grown back to normal, the strength seemed to have returned to his feet, and it looked like he would be releasable later this spring.

Unfortunately, an unforeseeable tragedy occurred last week.  The flight cages are designed such that the only perches are at either end of the long narrow cages, and at both of these ends, adjacent cages are completely blocked off from each other.  The only places where birds can see into adjacent flight cages is in the mid-section of the flyway, where there is no place to perch (they can of course stand on the ground, but there are opaque walls up to a height of one metre).  It's therefore difficult for birds to see each other, and virtually impossible for them to come into contact with each other.

However, King Eddie was always a determined and curious character, and "virtually impossible" proved to be too much of a challenge for him.  Reconstructing the event based on the evidence discovered at its conclusion, it seems that Eddie must have hovered against the edge of his cage, and thrust one of his legs through the narrow crack between the wide slats of wood (the slats are too wide for a raptor to have any chance of holding on to it).  For him to do undertake such a bizarre action is unpredictable enough, but the real coincidence is that the red-tailed hawk in the adjacent cage happened to be in flight at that moment, and attacked Eddie's leg.  The two raptors must have laboriously hovered in the air together for some time, judging by the degree of the lacerations on Eddie's leg.

Eddie was immediately treated for shock at the Owl Foundation, and then taken directly to the Ontario Veterinary College for further care.  Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, they were never able to fully stabilize him, and he succumbed the next day.  Owl Foundation staff are devastated by this unexpected tragedy, and have assured us that despite the slim likelihood of such an event ever recurring, measures will be taken to increase the isolation of birds to ensure their safety.  We thank them for their continued dedication to treating the various peregrines that need their assistance.

Thursday February 8, 2001
Marcel Gahbauer reports: 
We have learned from Sara Jean Peters of the Ohio Division of  Wildlife that the adult female found dead near Yonge and Bloor last week was a peregrine from Pennsylvania.  Her precise origin and age are still being researched, and we will pass along this information when we receive it.

Tuesday February 6, 2001
Marcel Gahbauer reports: 
We have some sad news to pass along today.  Late yesterday evening, Mark Heaton of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources phoned CPF director Mark Nash to let him know about a peregrine found dead in Toronto last week at 60 Bloor Street West.  It was an adult female, with leg bands on both legs.  At this point we know that it was not Mandy (as she is unbanded), nor any of the other Ontario peregrines we know of, as the bands do not match up.  We hope to know shortly what the background of this bird was.  There was also no obvious cause of death,  though an impact with a building is a strong likelihood.  We can only guess at what happened, but the most plausible scenario is that this female intruded (intentionally or not) on the territory of Windwhistler-Spike and Mandy, and was attacked by one or both.  Very likely the victim was an unmated individual in search of a mate in time for the breeding season.

Thursday January 18, 2001
Linda Woods reports: 
I was in the King &Victoria St. area this morning and saw both Kingsley and Victoria sitting on the roof top, east side, 18 King St. east. I first spotted them around 09:30hrs and they were still there when I left the area at 10:45hrs.

 

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