The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

DOWNTOWN TORONTO ARCHIVES

January - February 2004

Thursday February 26, 2004
Jan Chudy reports:
10:35 a.m. As I looked out my north facing window on the 61st floor of First Canadian Place, a peregrine flew by going east. I guessed it to be Spike since it wobbled a bit every so often. I picked up my binoculars to see if any other bird was around and found one on the north west corner of 140 Adelaide AND one on the Sheraton ledge. So, I have now seen three birds at one time.

Friday February 27, 2004
Jan Chudy reports:
One bird was standing on the nest box at the Sheraton at 10:45. On checking at 10:55 it had gone but appeared to have moved to the north west corner of 140 Adelaide where it remained until 12:05. At 12:15, no bird was in sight. At 1:55 I spied a bird on the Sheraton ledge. On checking at 4:55, one bird is on the Sheraton ledge and an other is on the north west corner of 140 Adelaide.

Monday February 16, 2004
Jan Chudy reports:
Well, my report is not as exciting as Scott Scobie's. Having noted no activity at the Sheraton all day, on looking out my north facing window in First Canadian Place at 4:05 p.m. I spotted a falcon on the north west corner of 140 Adelaide. Based on it's size, I took it to be Spike. He stayed there until I left the office at 5:05, rotating himself every so often so that he was facing the fading sun. Then, standing on King outside Royal Trust Tower I watched him describe lazy circles over Adelaide for about 5 minutes then he flew off east along Adelaide.

Saturday February 14, 2004
Paul Marshman reports:
Around 1 p.m Linda and I looked out my window facing Church St. to see a pair of red-tailed hawks circling the area around St. James' Cathedral. At one point one swooped by the cathedral below roof level. Some crows ganged up to chase one of the red-tails out of the neighbourhood, but a minute later we saw one over the cathedral grounds being attacked vigorously by a peregrine. Almost immediately what appeared to be a peregrine flew back toward us and right over my building, but when we looked back there were still two peregrines chasing the red-tail. They took turns stooping on it, seeming to hit it more than once, until they finally gave up and returned to home base. The red-tail, meanwhile, stayed around and soared high over the neighbourhood for a few minutes before drifting off -- these birds can take a lot of punishment. I've seen the falcons attack the local red-tails before this season, but the question is: was there really a third peregrine involved, and was it chased off when Spike and Mandy appeared on the scene? We have suspected for some time that a third peregrine is in the neighbourhood, possibly staying at the Sheraton Hotel (it has the penthouse suite, of course). This seems to be more evidence.

Monday February 16, 2004
Scott Scobie reports:
I work on the 45th floor of BCE Place in Toronto. My office has a ledge just outside the window. On a few occasions I have been blessed with a visit from a falcon now and again. I have seen a large one and a small one. But today, February 16th at approximately 7:40 am, I saw an awesome display.

I had come in early and was sitting at my desk working on my PC with my back to the floor to ceiling windows. I then heard this funny squeaking noise. High pitched, like metal on metal or some such thing. Not truly thinking I would see anything out the window, I turned around to see a Peregrine falcon walking on the ledge and calling out. He was large. We watched each other for a few minutes. Then he started to see or hear something else. All of a sudden another falcon lands on the ledge outside my window. They faced each other and danced together a few times. And then the second smaller one jumps on top of the back of the first one. They stay that way for a few seconds and then the second one flies towards the islands. The first one follows a bit later.

So I follow them with my eye and a THIRD one joins them. The 2nd and 3rd fly together, lock (somehow) together and start falling (slowly as one is still flapping) towards the lake. The first one I saw is circling them.

Then the two joined (mating) fly from the islands towards the CT tower.

It was amazing.

Monday February 2, 2004
David Raponi-Monk reports:
8:35 a.m. - My wife and I noticed a peregrine sitting on a balcony ledge at 133 Church Street, just north of Richmond (by Henry's). It had caused a commotion with a group a pigeons in the area, and was facing in toward the balcony and occasionally turning it's neck to look at the street below. We watched it for approximately 15 minutes, but it remained still and unfortunately I was going to be late for an appointment at St. Michael's Hospital. A good omen to start the day, especially a Monday.

Monday February 2, 2004
Paul Marshman reports:
About 11 a.m. I noticed the neighbourhood pigeons flying around in a panic, and soon saw the red-tail fly by from the south. A few seconds later a peregrine appeared and did a quick loop, apparently just out to show the flag and keep an eye on that nasty hawk. The red-tail didn't seem much concerned, and soared around the area for a few minutes before disappearing. A little later a kestrel appeared on the stone cross on the cathedral, the first time I'd seen it there in a while.

Saturday January 31, 2004
Paul Marshman reports:
About 3 p.m. Linda and I were on Court St. when we noticed a bird on the southeast corner of 33 Victoria Street, opposite the nest. This is a favourite roost for the peregrines during the summer, but we haven't seen them there recently. However, this wasn't a peregrine, and after viewing from King St. with binoculars, we identified it as a red-tailed hawk -- probably the same one that had been haunting the neighbourhood all week. It was eating something, either some food it had brought with it or (more likely) something the peregrines had left there. We waited to see what would happen when the peregrines returned. In a few minutes the hawk flew off, and immediately one of the peregrines came into view and flew around the block, screeching fiercely. It then went and sat on top of the loop antenna high above the CHFI building, likely to keep an eye out in case that thieving hawk came back. Very entertaining.

Friday January 30, 2004
Paul Marshman reports:
About 9:30 a.m. I looked out my window to see something sitting on the stone cross at the rear of St. James' Cathedral. It was a red-tailed hawk, probably the same one I'd seen earlier in the week, being chased out of the neighbourhood by a peregrine.

Thursday January 29, 2004
Paul Marshman reports:
Harry and I arrived at the corner of Court and Toronto Streets about 1 p.m. and found both the peregrines on the nest, in a heavy snowfall. After a few minutes Mandy flew across the street to the office building on Toronto St., where we could see her eating something. A few minutes later she flew back to the nest.

Wednesday January 28, 2004
Jan Chudy reports:
2:45 p.m.: Very exciting viewing these past few moments. I was looking out my window (facing the Sheraton) as I spoke on the telephone to a colleague in Montreal when I realized I was seeing two falcons playing tag and the upside down tag thing over the Sheraton. They moved over University Avenue and I lost sight of them. Yipee!!!

Wednesday January 28, 2004
Jane Stanley reports:
2:00 pm: The two birds are sitting right next to each other on the south-west corner of the old National Trust building. Earlier in the day I saw one of them diving, hunting it appeared, over the city to the south and east of the nest site. This seems to be a regular perch for them, but I rarely see them sitting together.

Monday January 26, 2004
Paul Marshman reports:
Looking put my window about 3 p.m. on one of the coldest, most miserable days of the winter, I noticed a large bird soaring around the spire of St. James' Cathedral, in the middle of a steady snowfall. It turned out to be a red-tailed hawk, the second day in a row I've seen it here after a long absence. Suddenly I saw a second, smaller shape, and hawk was attacked by a peregrine, which made stoops at it until the red-tail high-tailed it south toward the lakeshore. The peregrine turned back north and made a couple of swoops over the cathedral, half-heartedly running at a couple of pigeons before flying off toward Adelaide St. From its size and the fluttering of its wings as it soared, I took it to be Spike -- however, the cold, the snow and the wind must have made it hard for anything to fly normally.

Sunday January 11, 2004
Paul Marshman reports:
The downtown peregrines have been sticking pretty close to the nest most of the winter, but I hadn't seen them during the recent very cold days. However, on Sunday morning about 10 a.m. I spotted both Mandy and Spike in the same nest square, one facing in and the other facing outward. Returning about an hour later I found both on the northeast corner of the King Edward Hotel. So they seem to have survived the deep freeze, alive and well.

Monday January 5, 2004
Harry Crawford reports:
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL. I haven't reported in a long time but I am hopeful there will be more frequent sightings from First Canadian Place.

A good start to the year - driving by 18 King East, one of the birds was on the second ledge from the north, facing inwards. As I arrived at my north facing 61st floor office at 8:55 a.m., I checked the Sheraton ledge. As I watched, a bird flew in low from the south-west. I assumed it was aiming for the nest ledge but, no, it flew up to the lower portion of the "S". It stayed there for an at least hour. On checking at 10:05, the bird had vanished. No more sightings for the day.

 

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