!!! Chroma’s first flight & rescue!!!

June 14, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

The watch started early at 5:30 on Sunday a.m. All 4 kids were snuggled together in the nest box but soon started moving around and flapping out on the ledge of the nest box. Janice started her watch at 5:45 from the top floor of the hospital parking garage and at that time there were two juveniles out on the tower platform and two in the nest box. It was too dark to identify the birds. It started to downpour and thunder. At 6:15 vocalizations picked up and a food drop to the nest box arrived shortly thereafter. One of the falcons on the tower platform came into the nest box while the other stayed outside. Breakfast was pretty small so the three were soon outside on the platform calling for more. Rudy joined the watch at about 6:30 in the parking lot and another package was dropped off on the tower platform for the juvenile there. For the next 45 minutes the falcons went in when the rain got heavy and came out when it cleared up. Rudy and Janice left the watch at 7:15 as it was raining quite a bit by then.

At 8:30 a.m. it had stopped raining and was overcast as David picked up the watch. Ginnie was at the edge of the nest box appearing quite agitated. One adult landed on the deck but didn’t bring any food. There was loud and long vocalizations from the young but they weren’t sighted. Two double-crested cormorants flew over the nest site at 8:45. A few minutes later, the second adult came in landing on the top deck and delivered a small food package. Juveniles were on various parts of the tower, one to the right of the nest box, one to the left and one on the lower level. Only 2 were sighted at a time, so we couldn’t be sure they were all accounted for. After 9:00, Caster flew off and perched on the media tower on top of the King’s Towers apartment building. Mystery flew to the antenna with the drum to the right of the tower. One of the youngsters returned to the nest box. Caster returned and landed on the rail of the top deck with no food. It started to rain heavily again.

By about 7:00 p.m. a large number of the fledge watch team was back on sight. Karen, Kelly, and Mike noticed that there were only 3 of the kids on the tower. Chroma was missing! At some today, she took her first flight. Unfortunately, no one on the team observed the flight. The team scanned the area and Jon sighted her on the roof of a small house on Mary Street, at first thinking she could be a Coopers hawk. She appeared to be limping and hopped along the roof of the ridge and made it up to the chimney. At 8:30 she flew from the house up Mary Street and back towards the tower. She attempted to land on the roof of the CTV building but wasn’t able to grasp the ledge of the roof with her talons missed by inches and fluttered to the lower level CTV rooftop. She was limping on her left leg but still managed to hop her way onto the tower and slowly made her way up the slippery metal cross pieces until she was about 20 feet off the ground. There she remained until the fledge watch team could assemble the rescue equipment and wait until it was dark enough so that she would be calm and quiet. At 10:15, Rudy climbed up a ladder and smoothly scooped her off the tower with a fishing net. He carefully took her out of the net and towelled her up into the animal carrier to be held overnight for observation and to assess her injuries. The rest of her siblings were all safely in the nest box by the end of the watch.

Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch & Debbie Leung

Chroma Chroma