Resident Male at St. Mary’s Identified!! It’s LEGACY!!

April 09, 2013 - Bowmanville - St Mary's Cement

Tracy Simpson Reports:

After completing my Project School Visit presentations in the Bowmanville area, I travelled to St. Mary’s Cement in the hopes of gaining further insight as to the activities of the resident adults.  I met up with Nick and then headed out to the silos for another round of observations and I was initially unable to locate any falcons on the structure.  I scanned the area and even without binoculars I had no trouble in locating Buffy on the ladder of the west silos.  She really is an impressive presence!  I continued to scan the ladder that runs up the side of the silo and located the resident male two levels above Buffy.  Both adults sat preening on the railings for 20 minutes before the male took to the air.  He flew over towards my location and disappeared behind the east silo before coming around and swooping up to the ladders at my location.  I managed to snap several pictures of him and it would appear, with 99% surety, that the resident male has a solid black Ontario recovery band that reads 39 over Y.  This male is Legacy who was hatched at the Toronto Sheraton Hotel in 2010.  He had come in with food and moved to the top of the east silo and was calling for Buffy to come.  When she didn’t arrive, he ate the really small package himself and then moved back to the east silo ladders.  This is the same location that I photographed Buffy at yesterday and it looks like this is the site they have chosen this year to attempt nesting.  After a few minutes Legacy flew off of the east silo ladder to the side of the structure where he located a second cache of food.  Off he went over to Buffy who was already full to the brim.  He landed above her and began to eat his prize and that’s when the oddest thing happened.  Another female peregrine falcon arrived on location and was flying circles above the resident adults. Neither of the adults moved to intercept or showed any aggression towards the third bird and this had me perplexed.  I started snapping pictures like mad and upon review I was able to see that the third bird was a juvenile female.  The most likely explanation was that this was the female hatched here last year that must not have migrated but instead remained in the territory throughout the winter with her parents.  That female, named Madison by the staff at St. Mary’s, was rescued last year when she entered one of the buildings and became disoriented.  I watched her doing figure eights around the distant silos while Legacy continued to eat his meal.  Occasionally he would vocally scold her but made no move to attack or intervene.  After his meal, Legacy took to the air and met the juvenile over the silos and again, no attack was in the offing.  Instead he flew circles with her and vocalized his displeasure at her interruption of the nesting process.  Legacy escorted the juvenile female out to the south towards the lake and just then appeared what looked like another falcon.  The birds were dipping in and out of my sight and so I cannot be sure of this but I believe there may have been a fourth, this one the size of a male.  Buffy didn’t move from her perch until all the falcons were past me and down by the lake.  She flew over to the east silos up to the roof area and perched there for about 10 minutes watching to the south.  Legacy returned 5 minutes later and flew up to the west silo stairs and Buffy took off to join him.  There the pair remained for another 10 minutes before they both took off east through the plant and out of view.

Back in the office I had the pleasure of speaking with Ana for quite some time about arranging for the construction and installation of a nest box for their pair.  Ana, Fabio, Nick and Rueben are all very excited about the prospect and we will keep you updated as to the progress of the nesting season and the potential for a nest box at St. Mary’s.  Again I must thank the great staff at the plant for taking time to speak with me and helping me to gather further observations of the resident pair.  While there is no confirmation of incubation or eggs at this time, we look forward to a productive and exciting nesting season at St. Mary’s and I will be back to visit again very soon!

Pictures to follow soon!!