The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

DOWNTOWN TORONTO ARCHIVES

March - April 2005

Saturday April 30, 2005
Jeff reports:
Exciting incident on Saturday 30 April at around 16:30. A lone Turkey Vulture was flying Northwards when it was attacked by one of the Peregrines (the male, I think). Much squawking. The Turkey Vulture was about three times larger than the falcon. The falcon was able to harass the vulture so much that it changed direction and headed South from the vicinity of the King Eddy out over the harbour. This took place very high up (I estimate it would be 400 to 500 feet above the ground). The vulture was generally gliding around and the falcon was flapping like crazy in between diving onto the vulture. I couldn't perceive actual contact but visibility was poor and the falcon certainly came very close (too close to say with certainty that there wasn't contact). This was real serious stuff and the falcon dived very fast.Nonetheless, the Turkey Vulture didn't seem unduly disturbed beyond changing direction and generally fleeing, albeit at a moderate pace, all the while being dived at by an irate falcon. [At one stage I was sure that I could see both falcons (with the male as the sole attacker) but later I wondered whether I could have been mistaken since both birds would have had to leave the nest. I was concentrating on the action so I didn't notice what happened to the third bird.]

The attack lasted about three or four minutes then the Peregrine returned and perched on the roof of the King Eddy from where it continued to screech. Meanwhile, the Turkey Vulture turned around and resumed its flight North, still at an altitude of about 400 to 500 feet but this time undisturbed by the falcon. I imagine the falcon had exhausted itself. The Turkey Vulture seemed almost oblivious and looked quite comical just gliding sedately. After flying to a different perch on the King Eddy for a brief spell, the falcon headed off Northwards, past its King Street nest and quite low (above 120 feet the ground). Dunno where it was going but it was certainly not after the Turkey Vulture which by now was out of sight.

Peregrines really seem to put a great deal of effort into flying: probably something to do with wing profiles being geared more toward diving than powered propulsion, I guess.

Friday April 29, 2005
Linda Woods reports:
09:30 - 10:50
Viewing the monitor placed in the upper areas of # 18 King St. I could see that Mandy was still in hard incubation. She got up once, turned the eggs and then settled back down again. I could only see two eggs, but maintenance staff of # 18 King St. report that there are 4 eggs being incubated.

Although the monitor does not give a wide range of view, I did not see Windwhistler in the area. It wasn't until I made my way back down to street level, that a peregrine was seen floating high above the King and Victoria St. area, and I could hear vocalizing coming from the nest ledge (same vocalizing that Wind did yesterday).

I would like to know where Windwhistler is spending his "free time" if he has any. If he's not at # 18 King and not seen in the area of the Sheraton Hotel, then just where does he go?

Friday April 22, 2005
Linda Woods reports:
6:30p.m.
Viewing from the upper levels of the King Edward Hotel, Mandy can be seen on the eggs. Her head tucked down with no detectable movement. Windwhistler was not in sight at this time.

Wednesday April 20, 2005
Jan Chudy reports:
Driving along King at 8:20, a falcon was hunched over on the east side of the roof of the King Eddie. Just as I commented that it must have prey, a feather shower erupted over the ledge! Breakfast being prepared, I guess.

Thursday April 14, 2005
Linda Woods reports:
6:15p.m.
Since about 6:00p.m. I have been watching two peregrines from my living room window. One is on the antenna of the East tower of New City hall,( possibly Windwhistler, with the malar stripe) and the second one is sitting on the upper cross bar of the east antenna of the Sheraton Hotel, Wind I would assume.

Wednesday April 13, 2005
Linda Woods reports:
6:35ish p.m.
Walking south on Bay St. I got a glimpse of a peregrine on the north-west corner of the Hilton Hotel. I was not in an area where I could get a look at the south side of the Sheraton with-out walking three blocks. I'm assuming this was Wind.

Viewing from the upper levels of the King Edward Hotel. Mandy definitely on eggs. She got up a few times, readjusted, and then settled down again. Windwhistler came into view and landed on the north -east corner of One Financial Place. A few moments later, he took off again and headed west ( toward the Sheraton)

He soared (from my view point) on the east side of the Sheraton and then quickly returned to the north-east corner of One Financial Place. Loosing light, I made my way back down to street level and over towards the Sheraton Hotel. When I arrived at the corner of Adelaide and York Sts. Windwhistler was still on One Financial Place and Wind was on the nest ledge near the nest tray, facing south.

Wednesday April 13, 2005
Webmaster's note
: We have received the following bulletin, which, while not reporting on the peregrines themselves, contains news that may affect the birds. While we cannot caution them to "avoid any undue panic or concern," we can hope that they are not affected too significantly by the noise levels.

IMPORTANT NOTICE CONCERNING LOW FLYING AIRCRAFT ON THURSDAY OR FRIDAY

The Building Owners & Managers Association of Toronto have just notified us that they have been advised ... that on Thursday afternoon, April 14th, or Friday, April 15th, weather permitting, Airborne Sensing will be flying low over the downtown core mapping the area. They will be flying a few hundred feet above the buildings and will be flying below the level of the CN Tower. We are told that one of the requirements of Transport Canada was to notify the City that they would be flying. Airborne Sensing sent Survey & Mapping an after-hours email yesterday informing them of the plan. No permission from the City apparently is required to fly over. However, people may be concerned seeing a low flying aircraft over the downtown core.

Please advise your employees immediately to avoid any undue panic or concern.

Sunday April 10, 2005
Linda Woods reports:
3:15p.m.
Full time incubating has started! Un-disclosed amount of eggs. As I was walking west along King St. toward Leader Lane. I could see Mandy sitting on the ledge next to the nesting area. Windwhistler was not in sight.
Viewing from the upper levels of the King Edward Hotel.: Mandy had not moved, until Windwhistler came to the north-east corner roof-top with a prize meal for her. She flew up to him and gently took it out of his beak.
Without opening his wings, Windwhistler leaned toward the ground, tilted his head and in a stoop position took off towards the east and out of my sight. Mandy began feeding and Windwhistler returned to the nest ledge,stepped back into the nesting area, and slowly disappeared out of my sight line ( just below the lip of the ledge and somewhat in the centre)
All appears well at King St.and incubation is under way.


Jeff reports: Very interesting event at 14:20 on Sunday April 10. On hearing a commotion I looked out the window to see a Peregrine was feeding on the northeast corner of the King Eddy roof while being 'attacked' by what I later took to be an American Kestrel:

The attacking bird had a very distinctive chocolate brown body and grey wings: it looked like its body had been painted: most striking. Also, I could clearly see (through my 12x50 binoculars) that it had a white stripe across its tail feathers close to their tips. A third bird looking exactly like this was perched on top of the King Eddy' chimney: no perceivable brown but it was perched.

From my point of view, the attacks looked more V-shaped than U-shaped, i.e. the Kestrel seemed to be diving steeply at the Peregrine then pulling up sharply. Dives were accompanied by squawks and the Peregrine ducked most of the time. The Kestrel was determined and relentless, diving down, swooping back up and commencing another dive without hardly pausing. This was especially impressive because the Kestrel looked to be no more than about a third of the size of the Peregrine! I think it was the female Peregrine. Anyway, after a few minutes, I think the Kestrel must of become tired because it flew onto the roof of the King Eddy and the other Kestrel, that had kept its back to the attack the whole time, flew off the chimney and onto to top of a vertical pipe that sticks up out of the top-most part of the King Eddy's roof. After a few seconds, the Peregrine (that had been unmoved by the attack) flew off and a few minutes later the Kestrels disappeared too.


On Saturday afternoon, I was watching a Peregrine perched on the King Eddy roof when a passing seagull swooped down at it a squawked. The seagull appeared to get no closer than about six feet above the Peregrine (the Kestrel on Sunday came imperceptibly close to the Peregrine but at no time made actual contact, as far as I could tell). The seagull then resumed its flight without further ado. This seemed most odd. I don't know much about Peregrines but I don't imagine they would predate on seagulls so why the hostility? The fact that it was so matter-of-fact too struck me as odd, almost comical. It was like, "I'm flying along and, oh there's a Peregrine, I must dive at it!". These creatures are fascinating :-)

Something else I noticed on Saturday. I had assumed that, in general, birds' wings are raised slightly when gliding. I was carefully watching a Peregrine gliding around for a few minutes and it seemed to me that its wings were perfectly horizontal: something I didn't expect. You know when the moon is almost full but not quite and you cannot decide whether it is full or not so it's not because when it really is a full moon the shape is unmistakably perfect? Well, the Peregrines' wings looked like that to me: perfectly flat, in a straight line either side of its back.

Saturday April 9, 2005
Linda Woods reports:
08:50
Viewing from the upper levels of the King Edward Hotel, I did not see either adult in the nest ledge itself, nor could I detect any movement around the nest pillar to indicate that Windwhistler or Mandy are nesting behind the pillar.

11:30
Viewing from the Church Street condos, Paul thought he could see movement in the nest ledge. I took a quick look with the mini bins, and agree with Paul that there was bird lying down in the ledge. I'll keep checking.

Thursday April 7, 2005
Linda Woods reports:
Here is the latest for "Wee Angus" nesting in Toledo, Ohio on the Commodore Perry Building. Angus is Kingsley and Victoria's offspring.
3 EGGS!
Per the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Nesting Summary for the State of Ohio, Angus and his mate (who is the mother of Victory, now nesting in Columbus, Ohio!) have 3 eggs!
Egg laying began there on March 26 and incubation began March 29.
May 1st is the predicted date of the first hatch!

Tuesday April 5, 2005
Linda Woods reports:
08:15 - 08:55
Viewing from the upper areas of the "King Edward" hotel , Mandy is on the nest ledge enjoying the morning sun.Windwhistler not seen initially. I watched for approx. 15 minutes before I started seeing feathers floating skyward. Definitely a peregrine on a lower area cleaning prey. Tried to see if Mandy was watching, but she was more interested in adjusting her leg bands, ( numbers which we still have not read) and unfortunately I was not able to read. Windwhistler finally finished cleaning the prey and made his way over to the nest area and landed on the ledge next to the nesting area. Mandy entered the nest ledge and was out of view behind the north side of the nest pillar. She exited the nest ledge and flew over to the King Edward Hotel, where Windwhistler left the food for her. While Mandy ate, Windwhistler made his way over to south-east corner of #33 Victoria St. Could not see any eggs, if there are eggs they are sitting up against the nest pillar ( north side) and out of view from this angle. The behaviour of the adults indicated that hard incubation has not started yet.

Jeff reports: The Peregrines have been spending a good deal of time around the King Eddy of late. At 18:35 on 5 April they indulged in about four minutes of aerial jousting. I've not seen anything like this since the training sessions in summer. Mainly, the male darted at the female but it was by consent since the female was simply swooping around rather than dashing for cover. For me, the best part of these actions is when one falcon rolls almost upside-down so they are 'talons-to-talons' (a defensive posture, perhaps). I imagine they are feeling frisky :-)

Thursday March 31, 2005
Linda Woods reports:
08:30
Mandy is seen on the ledge north of the nest ledge. Unable to see into the nest itself and can't determine if there are eggs at this time, Windwhistler is not seen in the area during this time.

Friday March 25, 2005
Linda Woods reports:
11:15 am - 12:00p.m.
Upon arriving at Leader Lane, no activity was seen, until, of course, I decide to move to a different view point. Chirping heard and Windwhistler appears from below and flies to the ledge. More chittering is heard and over head I see an adult female heading towards the north -west.

I see , what I think is Mandy enter the nest ledge and not return to the ledge. I make my way up to the roof of the King Edward Hotel, and was unable to get a clear view into the nest area itself, but did not see any "incubation activity at this time.

Back down to street level, lots of chittering is heard. Mandy makes an appearance on the nest ledge and Windwhistler flies off to jump down into the ledge a few spaces over (just like Kingsley use to do) 15 minutes later Windwhistler is off towards the south over the King Edward hotel and disappears from view. Mandy remains at the nest ledge and moments later, she takes off towards the south -east (Church and Front) I loose sight of her as well.

No other activity is seen during this time.

Tuesday March 22, 2005
Harry Crawford reports:
From about 1:10pm until 1:25pm, there was a lot of vocalising coming from the nest area of 18 King East. Finally, Windwhistler-Spike hopped up from the floor of the nest ledge and made himself visible. Mandy joined him 5 minutes later. They both disappeared into the nest ledge around 1:50pm.

Sunday March 20, 2005
Jeff reports:
The peregrines have put in an appearance on the King Eddy roof once every few days this month. Though at times I believe I see the small peregrine and at other times the larger one, I cannot be certain that I am really seeing the male and the female based on size. On the afternoon of Sunday 20 March, however, the falcons appeared together perched on the canopy of the ventilation window. They hang around for ages: on Saturday afternoon one of the falcons perched on the canopy for four or five hours.

Saturday March 12, 2005
Linda Woods reports:
11:15a.m.
As I was approaching walking along the north side of King St. near Toronto St. I could see one adult on the north west corner of the King Edward Hotel. It appeared to be eating, but the peregrine was somewhat back off the corner and I could not clearly see what it was doing. Next few minutes both Mandy and Windwhistler were kacking and swooping the roof of the King Edward Hotel. After a few minutes it was all over and did not see what had stirred them. Interesting though, they don't nest on the King Edward, and they are not nesting as yet, so why would they both be so territorial of the King Edward Hotel roof top? It's Spring!

Tuesday March 1, 2005
Jeff reports:
I spotted one of the falcons a couple of times (or both of them one time each!) last week on the roof of the King Edward. Yesterday (28 February), both falcons were perched on the King Eddy's ventilation window canopy in the afternoon during the heavy snow. One of them is back there now, the morning of the 1 March, and it's still snowing. I'm convinced that they use the canopy for shelter even though they still get snowed on.

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