Monday at William Osler. Flying Extravaganza on First Day of Flights for Both!!

June 14, 2016 - Etobicoke - William Osler

Tracy Simpson Reports:

I arrived at the William Osler nest site just after dawn and found that Ramses had already taken his first flight. He had landed smartly in the hydro tower but was in a precarious position as he was on a diagonal beam. Casper flew into the nest tray and woke Chessie up as the sun was beginning to rise. She immediately went on a hunt and came back with a fresh kill that she stashed on the north side. Moments after she returned Sahara wound up and took her first flight. She flew out and over the parking lot and tried to circle back to the nest ledge but the winds were not helping her this morning. She banked once again and turned towards the hydro tower, flew up and landed neatly in the tower not very far from where her brother sat. Neither chick was rewarded with food after their flights. Ramses was the first to fly next and made his way back towards the nest building. He headed straight towards the east side, banked around to the south and landed on the retaining wall of the roof without any problems. He jumped down onto the roof and that is where he spent the next few hours napping out of my sight.

The second flight for Sahara was a long one. She attempted to fly back to the nest building and was too low for the ledge. She circled south over the parking lot and headed back to try again. Still too low, she tried to circle out towards the north. That didn’t work out either. She finally flew back to the hydro tower where she landed on the lowest level. Ramses continue to nap on the nest building roof when Sahara took her third flight. This flight, again a long one, had her making several circles out over the parking lot and she finally ran out of steam. She headed towards the low Medical Centre roof where she landed safely and spent the rest of the morning roaming the rooftop. She wasn’t alone though as all of the resident robins and goldfinches came out to greet her as she sat preening on the edge of the roof.
One thing became very clear after this mornings round of activity and that was that Chessie was pretty much on her own. Even though Casper was around, he wasn’t involved in anything. Chessie was doing all of the hunting, escorting, defending and providing for the chicks. When Casper was on site, he spent almost all of his time in the nest tray sleeping or on the southern H sleeping. He was very inactive throughout the day and on two occasions disappeared for over an hour. Could this be due to his injury? It is unclear at this time. One thing is for sure though, he is not participating and appears to not be invested in these young birds success at this time. Whether he is still in recovery from his fight I can’t say but he is flying very well.
By 11 o’clock Ramses received  a feeding on the nest building roof and that sparked a new round of activity. He took a flight out over the parking lot and circled back to the hydro tower where he landed and stayed, albeit briefly.  He quickly flew back-and-forth between the nest building and the tower which garnered him yet another food reward. Up to this point, Sahara had yet to receive her first taste of anything. Sahara finally tired of the low Medical Centre roof and made a huge flight out over all three parking lots that ended up with her landing in the tower. This was a fantastic flight with an excellent landing. Even so, this wasn’t the best place for a nap. She made her sixth flight over towards the nest building and with a little help from Chessie  she nudged her way in to the nest ledge. She was home. This sparked a nap time that lasted for both fledglings until around 5 PM when things got really crazy. Ramses started making flights everywhere. He was driving me crazy because he kept landing on the edge of the chimney right at the top. While the chimney is not active, there still is a danger present for landing on that open topped chimney. Thankfully Sahara began to fly as well to the tower and back and that took Ramses’s attention away from the chimney. Both fledglings eventually ended up on the roof of the nest building and had a great reunion.  The flights by both of the fledglings continued throughout the evening hours and it was seeming to go on nonstop. By 8:30 PM both of the fledglings had made it back to the nest ledge and had each chosen a pillar to flop down against. By 8:45 both of the fledgelings were out cold having spent all of their energy in the last hour of the day flying back-and-forth from the tower to the roof and back to the nest ledge. Chessie did not provide a bedtime feeding for these two so I expect that there will be a big breakfast arriving first thing in the morning. I will be back early to check in on their progress and continue the watch for this family. A few photos from the day will be posted later.