February 10, 2016 - Etobicoke - Sun Life Centre
Mark Nash Reports:
February 10th - 2016
Quickly update,,, as a result of the on-going work above the nest ledge elevation as the contractors are involved in the installation of the new signs, the dome camera housing has been bumped and the camera was slightly put off its target. We have been in contact with Daymar Security and they will establish their remote connection with the camera and re-position it back on the nest tray very shortly. Bear with us.
As a foot note,, despite the human activity above the nest ledge elevation with the new signs being installed, O’Connor (the resident adult female) was observed via the nest ledge camera sitting on the nest tray this morning roosting quite contently during the brief early morning sun. She looked quite good actually. While we really haven’t had a bad winter at all, (actually record setting mild and warn temps in comparison to past winters here in Toronto),, our urban peregrines still have to deal with the typical challenges of the winter season.
Despite the human activity,, you can regularly see at least one of the resident adults on the nest ledge early in the morning before workmen arrive on site,, and after they have finished at the end of the day.
Real Winter is although back with a vengeance this week with bitter artic cold freezing temps well below the norm in addition to and bitter wind chills expected for the next few days!!! They are talking close to minus -30 with the wind chills!!!
We’re all looking very forward to spring!!!
Posted on February 10, 2016 7:52 pm
January 11, 2016 - Windsor - Ambassador Bridge
Marilyn Weller Reports:
There was a posting on Facebook out of Ohio, about a female Peregrine from Windsor that perished from injuries sustained from what may have been an encounter with power lines. I am sad to report that Gwennis has died from her injuries which included multiple fractures and burns. The Facebook group is for “Back to the Wild” from Castallia, Ohio and they have posted a couple photos on their group site. The link to their Facebook group is: https://www.facebook.com/Back-To-The-Wild-Castalia-Ohio-119099281488306/
She had a great start and a couple of great years in the sky. Sure wish she had longer to enjoy the skies though.
Gwennis was a hatchling from the nest of Voltaire and Freddie in 2013. At the time of her banding, she was estimated to be 29 to 30 days old and weighed 1016 gms. She was always a big female and we here in Windsor, certainly enjoyed hours of watching her learn to fly with her hatch mates, Hercules and Tecumseh.
She was named in honour of Windsor Watch Coordinators Gwen and Dennis Patrick. We are very sad to learn this news and wanted to pass this on to you all.
Posted on January 12, 2016 7:19 pm
December 27, 2015 - Toronto - King Street
Tracy Simpson Reports:
Bruce and Linda have spent time watching the 18 King St nest site closely for changes in behavior and sightings of Ivy. As of this past Thursday, Erin, who was identified by her band through scope views, is still the resident female at the site and is regularly seen bonding with Stormin. Ivy continues to be seen on occasion on the edge of the territory and Stormin is now taking offence to this. He has flown out to her roosting spots several times in an attempt to drive her off and Bruce witnessed one occasion where he forced Ivy to flip over in the air to fend him off. He is being very stern and staying the course in his decision to defend his 17 year old mate Erin who is also taking calculated opportunities to make it clear to young Ivy that this is her home. On Thursday, both Stormin and Erin were very active in the area hunting until late afternoon when Erin decided a nap on the nest ledge was called for. Stormin took up position on the top of the nest building above her and stayed for 45 minutes watching the area closely while she slept.
We will continue to monitor the activity in the area and report on any news.
Posted on December 28, 2015 12:34 am
December 27, 2015 - Toronto - Don Mills
Bruce Massey Reports:
I attended the Duncan Mill Road site on Saturday to check in on Quest and Skye. I found Quest in the nest box doing some house cleaning, moving several pebbles around as I watched. She stepped out into view on the porch and I was able to confirm her band number at that time in my scope. A male was perched on 240 Duncan Mill Road and I turned the scope on him for a view. My initial look caught red tape on the USFW that he bears on his right leg. Knowing that this is not consistent with Skye, I called Tracy for a consultation. I continued to focus my attention on the male and was finally able to get a read on his band number. This male is donning a solid black recovery band marked W over 78. This is McKenney from the Amexon nest site hatched in 2014.
Last year, Skye migrated in late fall and Quest spent the winter with a visitor then as well. Lucky, at the time a one year old and also from the Amexon site, spent time around the territory with Quest until spring when Skye returned. Lucky then moved on to take over the Etobicoke Sun Life nest site territory where he is currently the resident male.
It is quite possible that this is the same scenario as last year. Skye has migrated for the winter and Quest has chosen to remain. A young male finds his way into the territory and spends the winter until the man of the house returns. We do believe that this is the case and we will look for Skye’s return in the spring. This is the exact same situation that we see at the William Osler site every winter now so it is not extremely out of the ordinary. The best news that comes out of these observations is that McKenney has come a long way from the young fledgling watched over a year ago by the Amexon team and is looking very much a dapper little man.
Posted on December 28, 2015 12:07 am
December 13, 2015 - Toronto - King Street
Tracy Simpson Reports:
The observations made both in the field and through the web camera since mid-October at the 18 King Street East nest site have lead us all to believe that something was not quite the norm there. Starting back in October, there was an increase in visits to the nest ledge by both a male and female adult with serious conversations between the two dominating their time on the ledge. They would both arrive and engage in intense bowing sessions behind the pillar where the traditional nest bowl is located as well as at the far end of the ledge. The courtship/bonding sessions would go on for several minutes at a time and when one bird would leave the other would quickly follow. This had us wondering whether a new adult was present in the territory which incited the frequent activity we were witnessing.
Attempts at capturing an ID image of bands often eluded us as the adults would be facing the wrong way, they were too far down the ledge or the bands were covered by feathers. The images were wonderful and perfectly clear, if only the birds would turn just a little more towards us. In a few of the screen captures taken, the solid black on the left and silver on the right of the male coupled with the very distinct head markings made us all feel rather confident that this was still Stormin. That has since been confirmed through field observations of his band. The female on the other hand still remained elusive.
A few screen captures of the female on the ledge appeared to have dark bands on both legs but this in no way was a certainty. It did prompt us to get down to the site and attempt to make a visual confirmation of bands through our scopes. On Sept 8th we have a screen capture of Erin’s band colors and on Sept 9th I photographed her at the site confirming her presence then. On Sept 22nd she was seen on camera at night sleeping behind the pillar and as late as Oct 14th was laying down in the sun during the day in her scrape. The last confirmation I had of Erin on the nest ledge was on Nov 15th when I photographed her on the nest ledge sunning. In between all of these captures, photos and observations, we have had a very different bird stopping in periodically and briefly. We can’t confirm who this was but we believe this was Ivy.
After Ivy’s spotting in Downsview Park on Nov 19th it appears that she made her way back down to the Toronto lakeshore area and is sticking around. Last Saturday Dec 5th, Bruce spent the day at King Street with his scope and was able to partially identify a female banded black over green with a dark USFW on the King Edward Hotel on the east side. The bird was not interacting with any other, male or female, but rather just roosting. On Saturday Dec 12th, yesterday, Bruce again attended the site and spent the day observing the resident pair. He located a female on the northeast corner of a building at King and Jarvis eating a pigeon at around 10am. I checked the web camera and we had a bird at the end of the ledge at the same time. I called Linda and she was now observing a bird on a condo to the north. Three birds in view, all at the same time. Bruce was then able to confirm through scope observation the black 79 over green AN band that belongs to Ivy. She did not move from the building on which she sat for the entire 6 hours that Bruce attended. Bruce is there again as I write this and has observed two birds on the west side of 18 King Street East and is now attempting to confirm the band numbers of the female on that west ledge.
So. It would seem that Ivy has selected a potential site for herself. Erin will not give it up. It’s hers and has been hers since 2003. Erin’s intimate knowledge of the territory gives her a distinct advantage in defending it. She is seasoned. She is a wise one. She is a very big girl. Ivy’s age, a one year old sub-adult, gives her an edge that Erin, at 17 years old, may not have. Ivy is a brave competitor. There has not been a quick and decisive turnover here, Erin appears to still be in charge, but it seems we may have reached a stalemate at the moment. Two incredible females both powerful in their own rights. Stormin has wisely opted to stay out of it.
We will keep you up to date as this story unfolds.
Posted on December 13, 2015 12:02 pm
December 13, 2015 - Toronto - King Street
Tracy Simpson Reports:
On September 12th, the raptor bird banding station at Tommy Thompson Park had a female peregrine enter their nets and the master bander shared his pictures and identification with me. He submitted her band number to the Bird Banding Lab but had hoped I might recognize her. She has a black 79 over green AN recovery band and a black USFW. This is significant as the use of black anodized USFW bands is something that we see on the east coast and this is the first time one has been confirmed and recorded for our province. I checked my records and found that this bird was a 2014 hatch from the 101 Hudson Street nest site in New Jersey where they named her Ivy. This was an important observation as she was here in Ontario now as a sub-adult and most likely looking for a place to call home. I contacted the folks in New Jersey about Ivy’s recapture, Kathy Clark, Zoologist with the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife and Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. They were both overjoyed to hear that Ivy had been seen and recaptured here in Ontario as this young bird became a superstar last year after her foster into the 101 Hudson Street nest.
At the 101 Hudson St nest site in Jersey City, Athena and Six had been raising young together for a long, long time. In 2013 and 2014, the pair were unable to hatch a single chick, possibly due to Athena’s advanced age. Wearing only a silver USFW band and with only a partial read, Athena was at the very least 17 years old as of the 2014 nesting season. Six, her mate, hatched in New York in 2003. A plan was set in motion last year after it was evident that the nest had failed again, to foster a chick into the nest box. The chick selected for this was one of three young birds hatched at the Ocean Gate AT&T coastal nest site that spring. The young nestling was removed from the Ocean Gate site after the adults at Hudson had accepted the “dummy” eggs provided for them indicating that they were still in a nesting frame of mind and on May 21st, the single young female was placed in the nest box. The foster was a complete success and Ivy successfully fledged without a hitch. Ivy would be the last young that Athena and Six would every raise as they were both replaced this year at the 101 Hudson St nest.
After her Sept. 12th capture in the mist nets at Tommy Thompson, Ivy continued to be seen in the area. She was obviously hunting the Spit, a shoreline that must look very much like the coastal view she grew up with in Jersey City. She was photographed again by Charmaine Anderson at the park on Nov 8th and again by Rob Mueller at the Downsview Park located at Dufferin and Sheppard on Nov 19th. She was on the move, getting around and making it clear she wasn’t leaving.
Between Sept. and Nov. we continued to monitor some of the most likely candidates for take over for Ivy. First and foremost being the Hearn Plant where Peter and Angela have failed to hatch eggs the past two years. Both Peter and Angela have been reconfirmed by several volunteers so they have managed to hold her off. Next on the list was King Street. Erin is now 17 years old and as noted in the previous post, is slowing down. Close monitoring of the web camera by several of us showed who we believe to be Erin (band colors matching Erin, behavior and other signs) on the King Street nest ledge up until mid-October. It was then that we noticed that the female seemed much more animated and active than before, not what we are used to seeing of Erin. We have all made several visits down to King Street since those observations and as of yesterday, December 12th, Bruce has been able to confirm the presence of Ivy in the King Street area for the second time in a week.
More details to come.
Posted on December 13, 2015 11:11 am
December 13, 2015 - Toronto - King Street
Tracy Simpson Reports:
There is an important situation developing at the 18 King Street East nest site that has drawn our attention there for the past month. Erin’s 12 year reign as resident female is now being challenged like no other time before. A very persistent female is not backing off. I’m going to post this in a couple of segments so as to include all of the pertinent details leading up to the present.
At the beginning of this year, Erin and Windwhistler were the oldest pair of peregrine falcons nesting in southern Ontario, together since they took over the 18 King St E nest site in 2003. That changed when on Jan. 11 we noticed that the male on the ledge in the web camera image was not Windwhistler who was distinctly banded backwards; his recovery band on the right leg instead of the left. It was soon discovered that Stormin, produced at the Toronto Sheraton nest site in 2009, was Erin’s new suitor. They struggled this nesting season with the newness of the pair bond and Erin’s age. At 17 years old, she was showing signs of slowing down. During the winter leading up to this change, we would often turn on the web camera and find Erin laying down at the end of the ledge or in the nest behind the pillar, sometimes for hours. When we would go down to King and spend time watching her, she was still being quite self-sufficient and looking well, just slow. No other way to describe it. During spring observations at the nest site Linda, Bruce and I on two separate occasions witnessed a second female enter the territory and conduct a fly-by of the nest ledge. This would get Stormin on the chase in defence of his new territory and Erin would join in later. It never ended in a full contact fight as the intruding female always left quickly. Just testing the waters.
This spring Stormin and Erin courted and copulated but she failed to lay any eggs on the east ledge of 18 King by May. Shortly after that they began to disappear off camera for days at a stretch and so Linda and Bruce went on the hunt. They found the two hanging out on the west side of 18 King and other buildings to the west. We will never know if Erin did lay any eggs on the west side but by mid-summer it was clear that no chicks were successfully hatched. Into August and September, the pair were once again showing up on camera on the east side and Erin was occasionally laying down as we have known her to do for some time now. By mid-October that all changed once again. The visits on camera by the female were in and out, not long on the ledge, and the bird we were seeing was different; different enough to grab our attention. Linda, Bruce and I continued to pop down to the site and monitor the camera. Yesterday, Saturday Dec 12, Bruce was able to confirm the presence and identity of a second female on the fringe of the 18 King Street East territory and while he had her in his scope, Linda confirmed Stormin on a nearby condo and I had Erin on camera at the end of the ledge. In the post that follows this one, I will give you the details on Erin’s challenger and her time here in Ontario that we are aware of. Her name is Ivy.
Posted on December 13, 2015 9:24 am
November 05, 2015 - Stoney Creek
Marion Nash Reports:
I got a call yesterday from Rita Lampman about a dead peregrine found in Caistor Centre Niagara.
Rita sent me the band information and photos of the bird and I am sad to report that its Stoney Canadian Recovery band number B over 05 produced at the Vinemount Quarry Stoney Creek in 2014.
The bird looked healthy and there was no sign of injury so I assume he collided with something.
The Ontario MNRF will be sending someone out to pick up the bird from Rita.
Posted on November 6, 2015 10:52 pm
November 05, 2015 - Windsor - Ambassador Bridge
Marion Nash Reports:
With thanks to TCI Titan Contracting Inc for a lift to the nest ledge the Windsor nest tray was placed back on the nest ledge. One of CPF’s Windsor fledge watch team members Cathy Greenwell cleaned the nest tray, replaced the screen in the bottom and provided new pea gravel for the tray before it was returned to the ledge.
Thank you Cathy and Titan!
We are looking forward to a successful nesting season this spring.
link to story on CBC
Posted on November 6, 2015 10:37 pm
July 19, 2015 - Toronto - Sheraton Centre
CPF Postmaster Reports:
July 19th - 2015
Trying to catch-up with some of the back logged observation reports, we found this report from Lesley Togawa that got grabbed by the new anti-spam software - (along with allot of other mail)!
Thank you much Lesley for sharing these shots and observation report with us!!!
Some photos of Sandy(?) enjoying the beautiful weather today and putting on an amazing airshow flying right by our window. We can see the nest at the top of the Sheraton and have watched Sandy daily since she hatched.
Posted on September 2, 2015 2:59 pm