!!! Chessie photographed in southwest Caledon! November 2014 through January 2015.

January 17, 2015 - Etobicoke - William Osler

CPF Postmaster Reports:

January 17th - 2015
A big thanks to Bill Newhook who sent in some of his photographs of a pair of peregrines that he has been watching for the past few months, starting out in November of last year out in Caledon Ontario. The serious of his most recent photos taken of the two peregrines this month in January, yielded some good identifiable views of one of the birds leg bands.

After a closer look, he discovered that one of the peregrines was banded, and a quick check of the nest site database and a reconfirmation with Tracy, and the Black 49 over Green AD band number turns out to be non other than Chesssie, the resident territorial female from the William Osler Hospital in Etobicoke.

You may remember, that Chessie is a 2011 peregrine, produced at the Buffalo Central Terminal nest site in Buffalo New York USA. Unfortunately, her travelling companion didn’t give any identifiable views of his legs, so we have no idea if he is banded or not, and as such, we have no idea of his history or origin.

Bill writes:
I photographed this banded bird Saturday, January 17th, 2015 — in Southwest Caledon - on Torbram Road and just north of Old School Road. I didn’t notice the bands until I was able to download my photos and get detailed close-up views on my computer.

I saw the PFs Nov. 5 & Nov. 29, 2014. Between these dates I saw two PFs flying together. The size difference made it clear I was seeing male and female birds.
Location: North east corner of Dixie and Old School Road - west of Bramalea Road, Caledon ON. The land is open farm field with farm buildings and small copses of trees. Presently, corn is being harvested in the area. RTHs and NHs are quite common.
I hope this helps,
Bill Newhook


!!! Territorial battles lands Surge with some injuries. He is expected to have a full recovery!

January 24, 2015 - Etobicoke - Sun Life Centre

CPF Postmaster Reports:

Saturday Jan 24th - 2015
While many of us may have settled in for the duration of the cold snowy winter months, there are a number of battlefields still very active much closer to home than you would expect!

Just after 9am this morning, we received a call from the Hamilton Animal control that explained that an injured adult black banded peregrine falcon was observed on the sidewalk near Eastwood Park, a short distance from the HMCS Haida. Moments later, we were receiving e-mail from Sue McCreadie in Burlington, along with photos of the injured peregrine in an effort to learn its identity.

It didn’t take but a few moments to check the banding database to get an identify on the injured peregrine,, and sadly must report that injured peregrine is non other than Surge, Black banded 7 over 8,, who is the resident territorial adult male from the Hamilton Sheraton hotel nest site. See photos attached, courtesy of Shaena who was able to snap some identification shots before and after his recovery. While his injuries didn’t appear to be life threatening, it was obvious that he had been involved in a full contact dispute with another raptor, and as a precaution, he would be taken to the Owl Foundation for a further more detailed examination and treatment if necessary..

Sue e-mail explained that he was on his way to the TOF

By 12:30pm, we had received a serious of e-mail communication from the Owl Foundation with an initial diagnosis of his examination and some photos, and again at 6:00pm with a more detailed diagnosis of Surge’s injuries.

While there were no witnesses to Surge’s grounding, most of his superficial injuries are very consistent to that of squabbling with another bird of pray, with some punctures and some damage to his cere that is also consistent with injuries having been sustained as a result of fighting with another raptor and making some hard contact with concrete. (Concrete always wins) :-(

The better news is that none of his injuries are life threatening, and failing any complications of infections, the current routine of antibiotics and worming meds he is being given should have him back to good health in two weeks time. Other good news, is with regards to his intake weight. He weighted in at 751 grams. After checking his 2002 banding records, we know that he was 669 grams (empty crop weight) at his banding when he was 28 days old.

At almost 15 years of age now, Surge is still of very good weight (and although this is his heavier winter weight), it is, never the less, a very healthy weight for a wild male peregrine adult. The lack of external parasites is another very good indication of his overall health and body condition.

The owl foundation was kind enough to sent along some of Surge’s photos that were taken during his intake, and other photos taken of him after a second more detailed examination,, (and a caution that some are a little graphic),, although no where near as bad as we have had to deal with over the 18 years. We have held off posting the more graphic shots.

For all those that have forgotten, Surge was produced in 2002 at the Etobicoke Bloor & Islington nest site in Etobicoke Ontario. Hi obviously was successful in his fledging (with only one rescue from the streets during the fledge watch), and ended up calling the Burling Bridge nest site his home in 2004 - 2005 for only that year.

As a very inexperienced young adult, he was unable to take and hold this territory and was displaced (a polite way of say, he was run out of town) from the Burlington Bridge nest site by another older more experienced male. The following year, Surge ended up coming to Hamilton and displaced the resident adult male at the Hamilton Sheraton hotel. Surge has been nesting and producing at the Hamilton Sheraton hotel since 2006, and has been the resident territorial male ever since. Madam-X - (A.K.A. - Run-around Sue as she was named by the Penn. USA falcon watch team in 1999, the year Madam X was hatched. She has been the resident territorial female at the Hamilton Sheraton nest site since 2001.

So as you can see by this one short story of only Surge’s events, the meek do not inherit the earth - (or in these cases, at least do not inherit the peregrine nesting territory).

Over the past month, we have documented seven other cases of territorial disputes with resident peregrines trying to defend and protect their territories here in southern Ontario from hostile takeovers. We have a few surprises to announce with regards to the successful “take-overs” that have already occurred,,, AND waiting for the results of other ongoing hostile take-over events. Stay tuned on this front, as its just beginning!!

As for Surge, we are very confidant of him having a speedy, successful recovery given the care he is receiving and we will report updated news as to his progress as it comes in from TOF.

This would be the time to get down to the Hamilton Sheraton to see “who” if any, is now on territory??? And the obvious question remain,, where is Madam X (a.k.a - Runaround-Sue)?? And if Surge was in fact injured during squabbles with another peregrine for the territory, who, if anyone, has replaced Surge??


!!! Territorial dispute and Surge ends up with some injuries! We expect him to have a full recovery!

January 24, 2015 - Hamilton - Sheraton Hotel

CPF Postmaster Reports:

Saturday Jan 24th - 2015
While many of us may have settled in for the duration of the cold snowy winter months, there are a number of battlefields still very active much closer to home than you would expect!

Just after 9am this morning, we received a call from the Hamilton Animal control that explained that an injured adult black banded peregrine falcon was observed on the sidewalk near Eastwood Park, a short distance from the HMCS Haida. Moments later, we were receiving e-mail from Sue McCreadie in Burlington, along with photos of the injured peregrine in an effort to learn its identity.

It didn’t but a few moments to check the banding database to get an identify on the injured peregrine,, and sadly must report that injured peregrine is non other than Surge, Black banded 7 over 8,, who is the resident territorial adult male from the Hamilton Sheraton hotel nest site. See photos attached, courtesy of Shaena who was able to snap some identification shots before and after his recovery. While his injuries didn’t appear to be life threatening, it was obvious that he had been involved in a full contact dispute with another raptor, and as a precaution, he would be taken to the Owl Foundation for a further more detailed examination and treatment if necessary..

Sue e-mail explained that he was on his way to the TOF

By 12:30pm, we had received a serious of e-mail communication from the Owl Foundation with an initial diagnosis of his examination and some photos, and again at 6:00pm with a more detailed diagnosis of Surge’s injuries.

While there were no witnesses to Surge’s grounding, most of his superficial injuries are very consistent to that of squabbling with another bird of pray, with some punctures and some damage to his cere that is also consistent with injuries having been sustained as a result of fighting with another raptor and making some hard contact with concrete. (Concrete always wins) :-(

The better news is that none of his injuries are life threatening, and failing any complications of infections, the current routine of antibiotics and worming meds he is being given should have him back to good health in two weeks time. Other good news, is with regards to his intake weight. He weighted in at 751 grams. After checking his 2002 banding records, we know that he was 669 grams (empty crop weight) at his banding when he was only 28 days.

At almost 15 years old now, Surge is still of very good weight (and although this is his heavier winter weight), it is, never the less, a very healthy weight for a wild male peregrine adult. The lack of external parasites is another very good indication of his overall health and body condition.

The owl foundation has sent along some of Surge’s photos during intake, and other photos taken of him after a second more detailed examination,, (and a caution that some are a little graphic),, although no where near as bad as we have had to deal with over the 18 years. We have held off posting the more graphic shots.

For all those that have forgotten, Surge was produced in 2002 at the Etobicoke Bloor & Islington nest site in Etobicoke Ontario. Hi obviously was successful in his fledging (with only one rescue from the streets during the fledge watch), and ended up calling the Burling Bridge nest site his home in 2004 - 2005 for only that year.

As a very inexperienced young adult, he was unable to take and hold this territory and was displaced (a polite way of say, he was run out of town) from the Burlington Bridge nest site by another older more experienced male. The following year, Surge ended up coming to Hamilton and displaced the resident adult male at the Hamilton Sheraton hotel. Surge has been nesting and producing at the Hamilton Sheraton hotel since 2006, and has been the resident territorial male ever since. Madam-X - (A.K.A. - Run-around Sue as she was named by the Penn. USA falcon watch team in 1999, the year Madam X was hatched. She has been the resident territorial female at the Hamilton Sheraton nest site since 2001.

So as you can see by this one short story of only Surge’s events, the meek do not inherit the earth - (or in these cases, at least do not inherit the peregrine nesting territory).

Over the past month, we have documented seven other cases of territorial disputes with resident peregrines trying to defend and protect their territories here in southern Ontario from hostile takeovers. We have a few surprises to announce with regards to the successful “take-overs” that have already occurred,,, AND waiting for the results of other ongoing hostile take-over events. Stay tuned on this front, as its just beginning!!

As for Surge, we are very confidant of him having a speedy, successful recovery given the care he is receiving and we will report updated news as to his progress as it comes in from TOF.

This would be the time to get down to the Hamilton Sheraton to see “who” if any, is now on territory??? And the obvious question remain,, where is Madam X (a.k.a - Runaround-Sue)?? And if Surge was in fact injured during squabbles with another peregrine for the territory, who, if anyone, has replaced Surge??


King Street Update. Third Bird In the Area

January 19, 2015 - Toronto - King Street

Tracy Simpson Reports:

This morning shortly after 10am Linda Woods was looking at the King Street East nest site area and had activity in the air.  A third bird entered the territory from the southeast and engaged one of the adults.  She believes that the two interacting were both males and that the female remained out of the fray on the south side of the Dynamic building.  The interaction continued for almost 45 minutes and included chases and vocalizing but no talon to talon contact.  Who this third bird is is unclear at this time but the flight pattern of the second male was distinctly that of Windwhistler and Erin was not reacting to this bird at all.  Could it be that Windwhistler is still around?  Further observation will be following this week.

!!! Important Message. A Different Male On Site. Not Windwhistler.

January 18, 2015 - Toronto - King Street

Tracy Simpson Reports:

Every once in a while I have news to report that I struggle to put into words. In trying to put my observations down in print, I will write and delete many times as no matter how I say it, it just sounds wrong.  This is one such post.  Please bear with me as it is a long post but it is important to include all observations leading up to this point.

Let me start at the beginning.  On January 11th, I tuned into the King street cam as I do every morning and captured an image of the male on the ledge. It looked as though he had just landed there and immediately my eyes focused on his legs. Black recovery band, yes. Silver USFW band, yes. But…   …the orientation was wrong. The black band was on his left and the silver on his right. After watching Windwhistler for, well, ever (so it seems) this was so very wrong. Windwhistler is one of 3 resident adults that we are aware of in Ontario whose bands are reversed. That is to say the black recovery band appears on his right leg instead of his left.

I contacted Linda right away as she is one of the most experienced people with the downtown nest sites and for the next few days the two of us watched King street like hawks.

I know you…   …as ridiculous as that sounds I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  It is almost impossible to distinguish one peregrine from the next based on markings alone as an individual bird can appear different depending on whether the bird is puffed up, slicked down, etc.  That said, this bird was just so unforgettable. I was in the area on Monday January 12th and made a point to do a site check. Erin was on the ledge laying down behind the pillar (she is doing this more often now as she gets on in age) and the male was on the southeast corner of the nest building.  He was roosting and looking south but I wouldn’t say he was comfortable. After a few minutes he began to vocalize and I watched him jet off of the nest building in a stoop down to Front Street where he disappeared low and west.  The female remained on the nest ledge.

Linda made a few trips out to check on activity in the area but the cold made the adults scarce and the viewing tough. We agreed to meet on Saturday the 17th along with Bruce to try and sort this all out.

This Friday January 16th I was able to save a series of web cam images of both adults on the ledge. The male was sitting in the sun for a few minutes and in that brief period the head markings brought one particular bird to mind immediately. Looking at the image it was as if the bird had been turned upside down and dipped in a bowl of black ink. A helmet head that was so distinct it was remarkable. No distinct malar stripe, just a thick, inky black hood.  Later that morning the female appeared at the far end of the ledge and laid down in the sun.  She was alone for a while then suddenly the male appeared on the ledge down by the camera.  I was able to capture several images of him approaching her, she stood and the pair briefly bowed at each other. This was not right at all.

Today, Saturday January 17th,  Linda, Bruce and I were determined to sort it out for certain. Bruce started out at King and Leader Lane with the male in sight on the nest ledge. I came in from the west and went down to the Queens Quay for some recon of the area around the lakefront. No sign of any birds to the south. I joined Bruce and Linda at the site but the pair had already disappeared. Bruce and I each took a recon walk around the area and Linda did recon to the south. It wasn’t until about 12:30pm that the male returned. He flew over to the northwest corner of the condos on Wellington where we confirmed his band orientation, black recovery band on his left leg. He then flew over to the east side of the King Edward to roost.

I KNOW YOU….  …I couldn’t stop thinking this!  We had him roosting on his right leg and waited for a stretch or preen. We finally got what we were looking for and the full recovery band came into view. We can confirm without doubt that the male currently hanging around the 18 King Street East territory is black 30 over black Y.  This is Stormin hatched at the Toronto Sheraton Hotel nest in 2009. Windwhistler’s grandson.

I had occasion to deal with Stormin quite personally during his brief evaluation with us after being found grounded back on December 1st, 2013. He is one of the most distinct looking peregrines I have ever seen and it was that head that I instantly recognized. This is the first confirmed sighting of him since he lost his territory at Canada Square to Malik, the new confirmed resident male on May 16th, 2014.

So what does this all mean?  The facts are this. Stormin showed up on camera on January 11th and has been making appearances ever since. He is courting Erin and we have not witnessed any other males in the area so far. This does not mean Windwhistler is gone, only that he currently is not on site. Spring mating season will be the true judge of which male will rule this territory. To all of you out watching birds along the lakeshore in winter, keep your eyes open as Windwhistler may be hunting these areas. Bruce will be down today, Sunday January 18th to try and confirm Erin’s band number and observe behavior.

Of note, both Erin and Windwhistler are 17 years old as of spring 2015.

Pictures will follow shortly.

Spring is in the Air

January 16, 2015 - Burlington - Lift Bridge

Sue McCreadie Reports:

Despite the cold windy day, Bill took himself off to the Lift Bridge to see what he could see.  Both Cirrus and Mackenzie were very visible. We have not been able to positively identify them as yet this year but we are working on it.

The mating ritual has begun.  Mackenzie seemed to be working on the scrape inside the nest box while Cirrus watched from the corner. I guess he is trying to prove to her that he will be a good provider again.  You can see the tip of his head and his yellow beak in the photo below.

There appeared to be something in the area that was upsetting them and both birds took off and climbed until they were just specks in the sky, kakking as they went.  Nothing could be seen with the naked eye.  Several times they took off  towards Burlington in hot pursuit of something that couldn’t be seen.

I’m sure there will be lots to report in the days to come.


Mackenzie works on the scrape Mackenzie takes off Cirrus surveys her domain

!!! Gull for lunch

January 13, 2015 - Port Colborne - ADM Mill

Marion Nash Reports:

Yesterday we went for our daily walk along Lake Erie at Gravely Bay in Port Colborne. My wife and I and our yellow Lab came across a Peregrine Falcon feasting on a gull. I spoke to a person who told me he has been watching him eating for about 20 minutes. My wife told me if you want to go home and get the camera go ahead , I said sure so I ran home in the truck got the camera and went back. Luckily he was still there I was very excited to photograph this beautiful creature.

John Borg


Enjoying the Sun

January 11, 2015 - Etobicoke - Sun Life Centre

Kathy Reports:

A rare sunny and warmer day today and both Jack and O’Connor are home enjoying the sun!


!!! Hmmm, looks pretty content despite the cold!

January 09, 2015 - International, National and Local News

CPF Postmaster Reports:

Jan. 8th - 2014
Thanks to John Little for sending in his recent photo of a feathered visitor that ended up in is backyard to dine. A good shot of a Sharpie, roosting after obviously dining on a fresh meal.

At this time of year, the CPF usually gets hundreds of phone calls and e-mail over the winter months telling us that they have another one of our peregrines in their back yard feeding on all of their winter birds that are utilizing their outdoor bird feeders. If this was actually the case, we would have thousands of urban peregrines around,,, (and that of course is absolutely not the case). At this time of year, most all of the Canada’s wild - (non-urban peregrines) are far to the south on their wintering grounds, with only the resident territorial urban adults braving the cold better weather. And even then, our urban adult peregrines don’t hang around backyards or hunt at these low altitudes below the tree canopies.

In this case, John Little identified his feathered visitor bang-on, as an adult Sharpe-shinned hawk - (which is usually the case with 99.99 % of all of the raptors that are incorrectly identified in peoples back yards at this time of the year, especially here in our northern hemispheres).

We do see a few Coopers hawks, a few Rough-legged and Broad-winged hawks, lots of Sharpies and Red-tails and even the odd Goshawk is being photographed and hanging around. Good gracious, if you could fly freely south to warmer weather with an abundance of free food, why on earth would you stay here in these freezing temps???,, but some do stay and tough it out as evident of the hundreds of photographs that are sent into us each year.

Photographer - John Little
January 2015, Meridian, Idaho USA


!!! Trout - W over 79 photographed in December 2014 on Honeymoon Island - Florida USA

January 08, 2015 - Toronto - Sheraton Centre

Mark Nash Reports:

Jan 8th - 2014
A big thanks to Connie Adams from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation for sending in some of the photos of Trout that were sent into her from Will Steele. The little male peregrine that was produced at the Toronto downtown Sheraton Centre hotel this past season. This update is a follow-up to our earlier posting of him being spotted in Florida this past December.

We’ve often commented, that peregrines, (specifically that of the juveniles) are not too smart. Hmmmm, Trout’s lounging around on in sunny Florida soaking up the warm mild weather on a sun drenched white sandy beach while most of us here in Ontario are freezing to death in -21 degrees Celsius or -30 Celsius considering the wind-chill factor, expecting another dump of 10cm of snow. Who’s the real dummy here? :-(
Please Trout,,,,, take us with you!!!!

Here Trout was photographed by Kim Begay last month at the beginning of December 2014 on Honeymoon Island. Nice shots Kim!
Kim writes: I have seen it for the last 6 weeks on and off and was finally able to photograph it on 12/31/14