Holcim Has a New Male; Not What I Expected

April 07, 2015 - Mississauga - Holcim

Tracy Simpson Reports:

After hearing of the recovery of the resident adult male Storm yesterday I was  intent on visiting the Holcim site today to check in on Caspian and how she is doing.  The last time I was out there the adults were getting ready to put down the first eggs of the season and I was sure that they would have their first by Monday March 3oth at the latest.

Today when I arrived there wasn’t a bird in view so I set up on Avonhead Road and waited for an appearance by, well, anyone.  After 20 minutes of nothing I decided to head over to the roadway that parallels the west side of the plant and found a bird on the south silos.  It took off and headed for the nest ledge so I headed back and found a male sitting on the east side of the nest ledge looking in.  I had no doubt he was looking at the female laying on eggs.  After about 10 minutes of this he reacted to movement on the ledge by bowing and taking up a defensive posture.  It was mere seconds and the female jumped up and was on the attack.  She chased the male off of the ledge and through the plant for a few minutes and was right back into the ledge and down.  He persisted and she went at him again driving him out.  Moments later she was back on the nest ledge and on her eggs.  The male finally gave up landing there with her and decided to patrol the plant for about 15 minutes.  He then landed on the short silos along Avonhead Road and I was able to get the scope on him.  The first thing I noticed is that this bird is in juvenile plumage; last year’s hatch.  The second outstanding feature was the yellow tape over the USFW on the right leg.  Finally, I was able to clearly see a solid black recovery band on his left.  I was unable to read the band due to wind shake and distance and will have to come back for another try.  There are a few males that were banded last year in southern Ontario that were given yellow tape, the most notable being Trout from the Toronto Sheraton Hotel nest site who has been seen overwintering in Florida.  Could it be that Trout has come home to Ontario?  I will have to go back and confirm the band number before I can say for sure who it is.  What I can say is that Caspian, the resident female, wants nothing to do with him at this time and this new male will have his work cut out for him if he hopes to participate in this nesting season with her.  Should he stay with her and the eggs hatch, he will be helping to raise the final brood from Storm as eggs were laid well before this young male took over.