The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

DOWNTOWN TORONTO ARCHIVES

July - September 2002

Thursday September 26, 2002
Harry Crawford reports: 
Spike and Mandy were quite active between 1 and 2pm.  They spent time chasing each other around and first occupied the east side of the nest building.  Mandy spent some time vocalizing with that unusual sharp bark.  They eventually settled on the fire escape across from the west side of the building.  I left the area just before 2 pm to check out the activity back at Yonge and Bloor; Zoe, Paul and Neil went up in 8 King East to see if they could get a better view of Spike and Mandy's bands.

Wednesday September 25, 2002
Harry Crawford reports: 
Spike and Mandy were on the north side of 18 King East during the 1 to 2pm period.

Tuesday September 24, 2002
Paul Marshman reports: 
About 1 p.m. Neil and Zoe saw Spike on the nest ledge. He called out with a sharp "bark" as Harry described last week, and a few minutes later Mandy flew by and they both flew off together. I joined them shortly thereafter, and saw Mandy fly back in and settle into the end square on the north, where she started to eat what seemed to be a black-and-white pigeon. She wasn't plucking it, so it must have been already plucked. Spike returned to the middle square, coming from the east, and after a few minutes flew over to join her. He stayed in the opposite corner of the square until she had apparently finished eating, then disappeared for a minute and reappeared with the prey, which he then started to eat. These birds don't seem to mind bringing prey back to the nest site and eating it there, whereas we never saw Kingsley and Victoria do this. They preferred dining out.

Friday September 20, 2002
Paul Marshman reports: 
Around 1:20pm, Both Spike and Mandy were on the east fire escape of 8 King East; Spike was one level below Mandy.  Yesterday, around the same time, Mandy was on the west side of 18 King East while Spike was in one of his favourite spots on the north side of the same building.

David Dean reports:  11:10 Not at my normal location, I am in 65 Queen West overlooking City Hall. While I know that peregrines (Kingsley and Victoria previously, and more recently Mandy and Windwhistler) have spent a great deal of time around City Hall, I have never seen one personally, until today. Around the top of the western City Hall tower I can see the familiar graceful soaring and looping silhouette of a peregrine enjoying the slight breeze. The tight circles were occasionally interrupted my a few wing beats, which led me to believe this was Mandy and not Windwhister (because he usually beats his wings strangely). After a couple minutes of watching, this peregrine headed over closer to the area of the Eaton Center around Yonge and Queen, where I lost her. I've never noticed a peregrine at the Eaton Center either.

Wednesday September 18, 2002
Paul Marshman reports: 
Tonight I looked out my window about 6 o'clock and saw, to my amazement, a peregrine sitting on the weather vane on top of the St. James spire, where Kingsley
and Victoria used to sit. From the whiteness of its breast I took it to be Spike. It stayed there until after 7.  A couple of nights earlier I saw one of the peregrines soaring in front of the Scotia Tower, the first time I'd seen them fly in quite a while. I don't know if they're getting more active or whether I'm just looking more often.

Tuesday September 17, 2002
Harry Crawford reports: 
Today, Mandy was on the west side of the nest building (18 King East) and Spike on the north side at approximately 12:55pm.  The gang, Zoe, Neil, Paul and myself were in the square to the north of the nest building at 1:30pm and found Spike in the same location. Mandy, however, had moved over to the east fire escape of 8 King West.  Up we went, to find her 10 feet away from us this time.  She was totally relaxed, resting on one foot and closing her eyes from time to time.  We could not see her bands!  We are now almost at the point of opening the window, grabbing the damn bird, and getting her id!

Monday September 16, 2002
Harry Crawford reports: 
I arrived at the downtown site around 1pm, didn't see Mandy but found Spike on the north side of the nest building.  When I got over to the entrance of the square just off Adelaide, Spike started to make a sharp barking call.  This was quite similar to what Kingsley did when he tried to find Trillium last year.  It's weird, not like the normal peregrine attack call.  Shortly after, Mandy was heard making the same call but coming from somewhere north of Adelaide. About 5 minutes later, Spike took off in quite a hurry, north above Victoria.  Neil and I spent some time searching the area to the north to see where they were but didn't find anything. 

Zoe arrived around 1:30pm and had already noticed Spike on the east side of the nest building.  We all went around the square north of the nest building and found Mandy on the top of the east fire escape of 8 King West at 20th floor level.  She remained there until Zoe and I left around 2pm.  Neil fetched Paul with his binoculars and camera and went up to the 19th floor of 8 King West.  They remained there until 3:30 but were unable to read the bands on Mandy's legs. She spent most of the time snoozing on one foot and the other leg was covered with feathers.

As an aside, Neil and I discovered a spot, just west of the entrance to the square north of the nest building, on the south side of Adelaide, that has a complete view of the south side of the Sheraton
Centre!  The complete logo is visible as well as the nest ledge. Either something has been demolished recently to provide this view or it was never discovered.

Sunday September 15, 2002
Linda Woods reports: 
0930-1100:  One of the adults can be heard vocalizing as I walked along King St. this morning. When I arrived at Leader Lane one of the adults was sitting at the former nest ledge. It was still there when I passed the area again at 11:00. The salmon colouring is very visible from street level. Didn't see the second adult today.

Tuesday September 10, 2002
David Dean reports: 
4:20 Walking by the vacant nest site found Mandy sitting in the northern most, eastern facing cubicle. It's hot, I cant blame her for hanging out in the shade.

Monday September 9, 2002
David Dean reports: 
7:20AM Windwhister Spike is fluttering around like a 3 month old over BCE Place and Commerce Court. He is so easy to identify by his rapid, shallow wing beats.

Friday September 6, 2002
David Dean reports: 
7:10AM In the high winds, both Mandy and Windwhistler Spike are doing great stoops and swoops around the eastern base of Scotia Tower. I love the fact that the pair is more active in these more reasonable temperatures.

Thursday September 5, 2002
Harry Crawford reports: 
Nothing was visible from Leader Lane at 1:20pm so Zoe, Neil, Paul and myself made our way over to Yonge to see if there was anything on the west side of 18 King East.  Zoe suggested going up to the 18th floor of 8 King East to check the area out.  When we arrived, Spike was on the west side of 18 King East and Mandy had just arrived on the fire escape in front of us, no more than 12 feet away!  We reconfirm that the left band on Mandy is red and that the other one looks purple.  Unfortunately, Neil's binoculars were too close to focus on her.  I've never been this close to this bird ever -- she is so magnificent!  I'm sure we will get to identify her sooner or later.

Wednesday September 4, 2002
Harry Crawford reports: 
I arrived at Leader Lane at 1:10pm to find John Brett had been there for a half an hour already.  Spike was on the east side of 18 King East when he arrived.  We then made our way over to the west side of Yonge north of King, collecting Zoe on the way.  Mandy was on the west side of the same building.  Zoe then took us up the the 18th floor elevator lobby of 8 King West.  We could view Mandy directly across from us.  With John's binoculars we could see that Mandy had a red band on her left leg and the one on the right appeared to be purple.  We returned to Leader Lane by 1:30pm and Spike was where we left him.

Wednesday August 28, 2002
Jan Chudy reports: 
I visited Leader Lane at the end of today and between 5:30 and 5:45 I saw two birds several times floating in circles around Victoria/King/Yonge/Adelaide.  A couple of times I saw the start of stoops but saw no end result.

Tuesday August 27, 2002
David Dean reports: 
6:25 I just arrived at the vacant nest site and one of the new pair is in the northernmost eastern facing ledge with prey, plucking up a storm. Not sure who it is and I didn't see him/her enter the area. Just as I typed that, Windwhistler Spike landed on top of the nest building, vocalizing quite a bit. I can see him looking down toward Mandy having dinner, but he is staying put. Nothing has changed as I leave at 6:50.

Thursday August 22, 2002
David Dean reports: 
11:50 Walking by the vacant nest site, I found Mandy and Windwhistler on the ledges. One of them (I think it was Mandy), was sitting right below the old camera hook-up, and Windwhistler-Spike was about 3 ledges south. At 1:20 when I walked by again, Mandy was still seeking shelter from the rain in the hook-up ledge, but Windwhistler had moved on elsewhere. Wonder if he went to Kingsley and Victoria's old rain hang-out, the church? Funny how this pair behaves so much like the pair we will never forget.

Thursday August 15, 2002
David Dean reports: 
7:25AM Once again, I was treated to an ideal start to my day. Walking south down Bay St, I noticed Mandy circling around the eastern base of Scotia tower. She was doing broad and loose circles, extending almost an entire city block. It was not long before she was joined by Windwhistler, who was seemingly enjoying the cool drafts coming off the bottom of Scotia as the circumference of his circles was considerably smaller. 

Thursday August 8, 2002
Harry Crawford reports: 
When I arrived at Leader Lane around 1pm, both Spike and Mandy were on the east side nest ledge in separate areas of 18 King East. They were still there when I left an hour later.

Saturday August 3, 2002
Harry Crawford reports: 
At 10:05am, Mandy was on the west side of 18 King East, at the nest level.  She was still there 15 minutes later.  She appears to spend a lot of time on the north and west sides of the building.

Thursday August 1, 2002
Marcel Gahbauer reports: 
In response to the mounting demand for them, we have designed memorial certificates for both Pounce-Kingsley and Victoria.  Each features a selection of five of the best photos we've accumulated over the years, plus a brief written profile of their history and contributions to peregrine recovery.  These certificates can be ordered through the Project Adoption section of the website, and will be personalized and laminated for you.  If you select the "full adoption" package, you will receive the CPF newsletter Talon Tales for the next year, the November 2002 issue of which will feature a "Peregrine Profile" on Victoria.  All funds raised through the memorial certificates will be used to help us pay for the costs of caring for Pounce-Kingsley and Victoria's final brood - Viking, Majesty, Hope, Spirit, and Valour.  Thank you for your support! 

Harry Crawford reports:  Mandy was on the north side of 18 King East around 1pm.  She was on one of the louvered ledges.

Wednesday July 24, 2002
Linda Woods reports: 
08:40 Mandy is seen on the louvered ledge south of the former nest site. She is still there when I passed the area again at 09:20. Walking west towards Bay St. Windwhistler is seen on the south-west roof-top of One Financial Place.

Paul Marshman reports:  I walked by the nest site at 1:50 p.m. and as I passed, Mandy appeared from the back of the nest ledge. When I returned a few minutes later, she was out of sight. About 7:15 I came out again to look and found a peregrine -- Spike, from what I could see -- sitting on the northeast corner of the nest building, plucking and then eating some prey. I haven't seen them with prey on the nest building before.

Tuesday July 23, 2002
Harry Crawford reports: 
Mandy was on the nest ledge when I arrived at Leader Lane at 1:00pm. After about a half hour, she hopped down to the floor of the ledge and remained out of view.  Spike flew in just after and landed on one of the louvered ledges, same level and same side as Mandy.  He jumped down to the floor out of view a few times before taking off to the north east shortly after 1:00pm.  Paul and I walked up Church to see if we could see where he went but we couldn't find him.

Mark Nash reports:  Daniel Brauning of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has provided us with the following background information about Victoria:

Victoria's history is nothing short of remarkable, representing extraordinary human intervention in order to restore the Peregrine Falcon population in Pennsylvania.   In short, she started as an egg on the Commodore Barry Bridge (Rt 322 crossing the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey).  Because of poor nesting success on interstate bridges, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and New Jersey Division of Fish Game and Wildlife combined forces during the 1990s to increase production of young peregrine falcons.  This was done by removing eggs from active bridge nests, rearing those young in captivity and releasing them at suitable small cities in each state.  Productivity was increased in several ways:   More eggs hatched in a captive setting than on 'wild' bridges;  more of those young fledged at release sites; more young survived on buildings in small cities than on the hazardous bridges; and, in some cases the bridge-nesting birds replaced the clutch removed and raise one of their own, in a
process known as 'double-clutching.'   Victoria was reared by Alan Pollard, a licensed raptor propagator in Dillsburg, PA, and she was released from Eisenhower Apartments in Reading, Pennsylvania.   Funding for this project came from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, New Jersey Division of Fish, Game, and Wildlife, the William Penn Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Wild Resource Conservation Fund.    This was a remarkable coalition of wildlife
agency personnel, falconers, private foundations, and the general public. 

Monday July 22, 2002
David Dean reports: 
7:20 am - I can think of no better way to start off a week than by an early morning sighting of a peregrine in flight. In this case, Mandy was soaring around the 15th to 20th floor level at the east side of Scotia. She was circling in the hot drafts coming off the bottom of the tower, gaining height each go around.

6:10 pm walking by the vacant nest site after a very wet afternoon, I found Windwhistler-Spike sitting on the South Eastern steps of One Financial Place, looking pretty wet himself.

Sunday July 21, 2002
Harry Crawford reports: 
Mandy was on the north side of 18 King East at 9:56am, vocalising loudly.  Perhaps Spike was nearby but I couldn't locate him.  She was still there when I passed the area again at 10:14am.  There were four or more kestrels playing above Scotia Plaza then as well.

Paul Marshman reports:  A peregrine was sitting in front of the louvres next to the nest ledge about 6:30 this evening. When I returned at 7:30, there was a peregrine on top of the First Financial building, southwest corner. These birds haven't been around as much the past few days, but I have spotted them at the nest from time to time.

Wednesday July 17, 2002
David Dean reports: 
6:00 PM There is a lone Peregrine sitting in the middle of the lowest east facing step on Scotia, and no apparent falcons in the area of the vacant nest. I have visited the nest site a few times over the last few days and been skunked each time.

Tuesday July 16, 2002
Jan Chudy reports: 
Between 9:15 and 9:45 one adult was sitting way at the back of the Sheraton ledge.  It was somewhat in the shade so I couldn't guess who it was.  At 10 a.m. as I checked the ledge, one bird was soaring between First Canadian Place and the Sheraton and a few minutes later was back on the ledge.  At 10:30 the bird was still there.  On checking at 10:45, the ledge was empty but I realized there was a bird soaring between the Sheraton and First Canadian Place just above my line of sight (61st floor, north side).  As I watched, it flew lazily east and then closed its wings and went in to a terrific stoop.  I lost it low down somewhere around Yonge and Adelaide.

I didn't have a chance to check the Sheraton again until 12:35 and there was a bird again at the back of the box.  While in an office on the north east corner of 61, I saw a bird come around the corner of First Canadian Place and settle on the 2nd step on the right of the west side of Scotia Plaza.  On checking with my binoculars, it seems to be Spike - very white chest and diminutive in size (I know Mandy has a "peachy" front, based on info from Harry).  I left the office at 2:50 and he was still there, preening and looking upwards every so often.

I saw no bird at the Sheraton until 4:35 and although the bird is at the back of the ledge, I think it is Mandy since the front seems slightly "peachy".  As I get ready to leave at 5 p.m. the bird is still there but turned towards the west so I can't confirm who it is.

Harry Crawford reports:  I was down at Leader Lane with Linda and Zoe between 1 and 2 pm and didn't see anything.  This more or less confirms that there is 1 pair, alternating between the two locations. 

Saturday July 13, 2002
Harry Crawford reports: 
At 10:00am Mandy was on the west side of 18 King East, facing in on the louvered area which would have been below the nesting ledge. There was no sign of Spike around and nothing on the east or west side of Scotia Plaza.  There was, of course, the obligatory kestrel on the church spire.

Zoe Berger reports:  At 1:30 Spike was on the east side in Kingsley's spot in the 2nd to last louvred area.  The streetcar was going too fast for me to see if Mandy was there.  Coming back at 4:30 they were both on the east side - Spike had moved over two squares and Mandy was on the most northerly one.

David Dean reports:  3:00 I didn't know otherwise, I would swear that Windwhistler and Mandy were Kingsley and Victoria. When I dropped by the vacant nest site this afternoon, the two were there, sitting on the ledges exactly how I had seen Kingsley and Victoria do hundreds of times. Its eerie. I think it was Mandy who left the ledge to sit across the road for 5 minutes, vocalizing the whole way over and back. These two have really taken to 18 King and the immediate surroundings. I've been thinking that had neither of the pairs body not been found, nor were it not nesting season, then we could have gone months before we knew that this pair was not Kingsley and Victoria. I remember having a close encounter with Kingsley about 6 months ago and after telling Marcel about the experience, getting a request to verify Kingsley's bands should a similar situation come up again (to verify it was still indeed him). At the time I thought this was somewhat silly, of course its Kingsley! Now I can say with complete confidence that it would be next to impossible to realize Spike and Mandy are not Kingsley and Victoria if the events had of happened at a different time of year and neither of their bodies were found. In my opinion, the subtleties of their differences (and there are differences) would have been far outweighed by their similarities.

Friday July 12, 2002
Harry Crawford reports: 
From Leader Lane, Spike and Mandy arrived on the east side of Scotia Plaza at 1:04pm, one step-ledge apart.  Spike then made a few circles to the east of the building before returning to the same spot.  He disappeared from view at 1:18pm; Mandy was still there when I left the area at 1:32pm.  This time, Spike faced out while Mandy faced inward.

Wednesday July 10, 2002
David Dean reports: 
5:25 There is a falcon, I believe it is Windwhistler-Spike, sitting on the nest ledge facing outwards. No sign of the other. 

Paul Marshman reports:  I took a look about 8:20 tonight and saw Spike sitting on the southwest corner of 1 Toronto St., right across from the nest -- a new spot for him. I didn't see Mandy, but when I returned about 8:40 she was sitting in one of the nest squares looking across at him. These birds are really in residence now -- almost makes you wonder if they're still thinking about nesting belatedly. So far, I haven't seen any copulation.

Tuesday July 9, 2002
John Brett reports:  
I arrived at Leader Lane at 4:55, and saw an adult on the northernmost square of 18 King.  At 4:57, I began talking to a passerby and noticed that the bird had vanished.  At 5:06, the bird emerged from the square to the left, and was still there when I left at 5:45. 

Monday July 8, 2002
Paul Marshman reports: 
Spike and Mandy seem to have decided they like the Victoria St. nest after all. At 3 p.m. today I looked up and saw them both there side by side, Mandy in the nest ledge and Spike manning the louvres.  They were still there at 4 when I returned. Yesterday I saw Spike at the louvres about 11:30 -- combined with Harry's sightings, that means he spent the whole morning there.

Saturday July 6, 2002
Harry Crawford reports: 
9:50am found Spike on the steps of the west side Scotia Plaza.  At 10:03 he made a brief visit to the bottom step of the east side of the building.  He continues to spend time facing inwards.  There was no sign of Mandy in the area.

Friday July 5, 2002
Mark Nash reports: 
Here are some additional details regarding Victoria's death.  She was found on a low rooftop of Commerce Court East on June 27 and retrieved by Michael Mesure of FLAP.  She was inspected and photographed by myself, then frozen for delivery to Mark Heaton of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.  Although badly decomposed, she was otherwise still in great shape - feather condition, chest, neck, legs, head, wings, tail, primaries, etc.  She died on her back, face up, and was dehydrated.  No apparent signs of collision, or trauma were observed on the exterior of her body.  Post mortem, x-rays, and toxicology testing will be necessary to determine the cause of death.  There was no dried blood or blood soaked feathers, and her beak was in perfect condition; no damage of visible signs of any collision from the exterior on her back, head, front, or chest (though x-rays may of course reveal otherwise).

Thursday July 4, 2002
Jan Chudy reports: 
One adult on view for a short period in the morning.  From 3:50 - 4:50  bird moving between back of area and front ledge.  Based on my conversation on Tuesday in Richmond Hill with Harry Crawford on colouring, I'm pretty sure it's Mandy - quite a large bird with a peachy coloured front.  Check at 5:05 the bird has gone.

Paul Marshman reports:  From the few chances I've had to watch for them recently, Spike and Mandy seem to be spending less time in the Victoria St. neighbourhood. I've looked two or three evenings, and haven't found them on the perches they were frequenting in the days after the chicks left. However, a contact in the Scotia Tower has seen a lone peregrine circling around the building a couple of times in the past week, and last night I saw one briefly on one of the bottom steps of the tower, around 8:30. Today about 2 p.m. I took a look and found a white-breasted bird I took to be Spike sitting in Kingsley's old spot, in front of the louvres beside the nest ledge.

 

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