!!! Reggie and Redbud fledge! Chroma’s 2nd rescue!!!

June 15, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

The watch started early again Monday morning with Rudy and Tony on the early watch. Fraser was on the watch at 7:45 and Reggie, Ginnie and Redbud could be seen from the metal platform. A bit of a late bloomer, Ginnie finally had made it down off the nest box onto the platform! There wasn’t a lot of action except for a little wing flapping from Ginnie. At a little after 9:00 the ‘grines’ began vocalizing and Fraser watched one of the falcons circle from the King Street side of the tower and landed on the top of the nearby CTV tower at 9:09. Fraser assumed it was one of the adults, but after scoping the bird and watching it for a while, realized this was not one of the parents, it was Reggie! At 9:29 Reggie took another flight and flew back onto the tower platform to the applause of his sisters. He landed well and quickly flew up onto the railing on the platform. Mystery and Caster were not around at this time to see their son’s confident flight.

Karen started her watch from the parking garage at noon. Reggie, Ginnie and Redbud were all accounted for. Mystery and Caster were not around. At 1:15 Redbud was on the edge of the nest box and joined Reggie on the platform where they wandered around for a while. Jumping up and down off the next box ledge. David and Miriam joined the watch at 1:30 as Reggie took a short practice flight over to Redbud. Karen left the watch at 2:00, Redbud and Reggie resting on the platform and Ginnie sleeping inside the box. Caster and Mystery were nowhere to be seen. Ginnie came out of the nest box at 2:10. Redbud and Reggie were on the platform. One flew to the north side of the platform and back again. At 2:30 one flew up to perch on the railing to the left of, and above, the nest box. It seemed confident and did not appear to teeter or falter and flew to the top of the nest box. This was most likely the little falcon Reggie! It flew back up to a higher railing, back to the nest box and then went inside. Just before 3:00, one of the parents came back and flew into the nest box, possibly with a food package. There was a great commotion and only one of the juveniles remained in the box.

Dale was on the watch at 4:15 and all three juveniles were located in or near the box. Redbud was flapping and stretching her wings. Mystery came in about 4:50 and dropped a pigeon on the upper platform. She stayed for a minute then flew north. The young were continually vocalizing until one of them, took off from ledge of the platform. It looked like she could have fallen off. She flew over the CTV building and then landed back on top of the top of the nest box. Mystery came by about 5:30 and dinner into the nest box. She took off again, as Caster showed up where he kept an eye on things from the top of the tower.

Meanwhile, Chroma was being examined by Rudy for injuries at 4:15. A few members of the fledge watch team were on board to help with the exam. A feisty bird indeed, Chroma grabbed onto Rudy’s hand and thumb as he took her out of the box. Rudy manipulated both feet and legs during the examination and could not feel any breaks. Chroma seemed calm once she was covered during her check and she was hydrated a few times. It was decided she was sound enough to be released.

At 7:00 members of the fledge watch team started to gather for Chroma’s release which was to take place at about 7:30 from CTV’s rooftop. At 7:15, Mystery flew to the hospital antenna and Redbud took flight and circled around the tower from the nest box to the King Street side but didn’t go far. She landed awkwardly on one of the steel round metal pieces and was hanging almost upside down. Flapping and struggling she managed to right herself. Redbud again ended upside down on the tower in between the microwaves but managed to right herself much easier this time, and finally ended up flying up to the top of one of the microwaves by the platform. At 7:45 Rudy arrived with Chroma and 10 minutes later Caster flew in to deliver a food package to Ginnie in the nest box. Much noise and flapping was made by Redbud who was trying to figure out how to get to the food drop. The fledge watch team positioned themselves around the CTV building for Chroma’s release. At 8:25, she was released on top of the CTV rooftop. She got oriented with her new surroundings for a few minutes and then managed to hop onto the roof ledge and started flapped her wings. A few minutes later she flew towards the Pine Street medical building and again just missed the top of the building by inches! She fluttered down about 10 feet but managed to fly towards 900 King Street and the construction zone on King Street. Again, she just missed landing on the top of this building but this time she fluttered and then fell to the ground! Fortunately, she did not fall hard. She then started to move into the construction zone and towards traffic on the ground! I slowly moved along the orange fencing and into the construction zone to get between Chroma and the road. I distracted her with a towel and as Rudy came down from the rooftop. We cornered her on either side of the bucket of an excavator in the construction zone, a few metres away from the road. Rudy quickly towelled her and gently packaged her up, feet first into the crate and moved her out of the construction zone. She would have another night of rest and another exam tomorrow. The construction taking place on King Street for the LRT is a good thing for these young falcons as the traffic is down to a bare minimum and cars must drive very slowly through all of the pylons that are lined up and down the street.

At 8:40 Redbud took a second flight, and ended up in the middle of the tower about halfway down. Mystery flew in to keep her company and give her encouragement a few feet away. Caster was on the western corner of the tower keeping an eye out on the children. All the while, Reggie was on the northwest side of the tower perched on top of the railing looking very calm as he watched his sister’s flights. Ginnie was moving around the middle of the platform. Just before 9:00 Reggie flew back to the next box. At about 9:05, Mystery flew out to the hospital antenna and vocalized a bit. At 9:15 Caster flew south to do some hunting. At the end of the watch Ginnie and Reggie were back in the nest box and Redbud was still halfway down the tower but in a good place for the night. She preened and looked calm as we left her for the night. Well done fledge watch team!! And a big thanks to CTV for their continued support during the fledge watch!!!

Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch & Lisa Reh

Reggie flying Chroma Redbud Redbud Redbud Reggie Caster