August 04, 2019 - Toronto - Don Mills and Eglinton - Amexon

Cathy Kerr Reports:
Sally reports:
Cathy kindly picked me up to return to finish the final day of fledge watch. Cathy felt confident (and had consulted with CPF) that we could move to spot checks tomorrow. Well, we had no idea what we were in for.
As we arrived, Kepler was chasing Tardis and she vocalized for him to “lay off!” while she flew to a roof top (one reason we returned was to enjoy the usual evening flights, a possible food transfer as Kepler had succeeded the day before - but no photos captured the effortless manouver - and a window ledge landing for Tardis (although Bruce had assured us she’d be fine and figure it out. Her brother constantly attempts to engage in play though and it’s been hard for her to vary her flights).
Both juvies were on a roof and Jenna was approaching with food. Kepler screamed and flew out to greet her and Cathy got her camera ready for what we hoped would be a food exchange. Was it ever. a full pigeon. He did it! And with difficulty flew to the nest building. Not surprisingly he wasn’t able to quickly figure out landing while carrying prey. He dropped it. Damn! Jenna flew to the garage roof, looking down at it and I know you’re not supposed to anthropomorphize, but, she really did look deflated and “are you kidding me?!”. We really felt for her and as Cathy had done this before, she suggested we go and collect it and attempt a toss in the air? I ventured down the slope to the pigeon, and chickened out. I’m hopeless at picking up dead critters. Cathy gave me the camera, put on her gloves and went to retrieve it. A toss in the air but no response from Jenna. It landed near her on a grassy strip below the garage roof though, and we backed off, discussing whether or not to collect it again. She decided it wasn’t necessary by flying to the ground, and proceeded to tear into her pigeon urgently(peregrines do not eat or prep on the ground, too dangerous but it was heavy and she was trying to lighten it….and she had two very hungry babies to feed). A very hangry Kepler looked down, voicing his impatience (and ignoring his Mum’s previous calls to be quiet as we’d approached the prey).
After removing feathers, and the head, and eating a little, we could tell Jenna was now concerned with flying off with the prey. She attempted twice to lift off the ground but couldn’t. She then managed to hop and flap and gain some altitude, flying and rising, with the intention of turning and flying to the nest building. Kepler had other ideas. He wanted another food exchange. She wasn’t high enough and he grabbed it but it was too heavy, too low for him and he flew with it to the base of the parking garage.  Where he stood on it.   We walked around to get a better view and could not believe what we were seeing–Kepler, on the ground eating!  Not the smartest thing to do but he was so hungry.  We were worried and decided we’d stay until we saw him fly up and to safety. Sure enough a dog walker came through and understood our vocalizing to move away and keep the dog on a short leash (the alarm calling had also started). A curious gull came in close as well to see if it could get it but wisely heeded Jenna’s warning.
While all this was going on, Tardis decided to get closer to the action and flew over to the top window ledge of the nest building. Yes, a window ledge! What we’d hoped to see! She hugged the ledge watching her Mom and brother. Another check mark for Tardis!
Satisfied, Kepler flew off and left Jenna looking at what remained of the pigeon. Kepler joined his sister on the top ledge window. Jenna appeared unsure of whether to come to ground again and retrieve it. Cathy  was worried Kepler would come back and go to ground again , so she decided she’d go place it on the retaining wall of the garage . Possibly because Kepler had just been in that spot and wasn’t too far away, Jenna vocalized when Cathy picked up the food, and swooped over to a nearby light stand. Cathy placed the food on the wall and Jenna swooped again to settle above the food. We waited a good distance away, monitoring with binoculars and cameras. She’d gone to collect it, and accidentally knocked it into the garage. Kepler did come back on sat on the top of the garage watching his Mom. Determined to get it, she flew in to retrieve it and as she came out, Kepler shot in to finish off his meal. The two of them flew right up to the light stand near where I’d been watching. With me now almost below them, Jenna started alarm calling. Chester appeared, and I quickly realized he wanted me away from that light stand. I could tell he was diving to warn me and Cathy, who is usually very relaxed, was mouthing what looked to be “duck!” and “watch out!”. Yikes. We can add human to the list of escorts out of the area today! Chester backed off as I got to Cathy’s car where I took cover (thank god for the long distance range of the auto lock!), sneaking more photos from the window. At this point, all four of our falcon family were alarm calling, as employees were innocently walking to their cars, looking up but not realizing they were the cause for alarm.
Cathy and I talked a couple of familiar dog walkers to go elsewhere (they let their dogs off leash and throw balls for a half hour each day), and explained why the alarm calls had kicked up a notch (their dogs). They were very understanding plus they didn’t want their dogs to get hit by an angry peregrine!
Eventually all went quiet. Kepler settled in on the Sony Music “M” for the night, and Tardis settled on a corner ledge of the nest building after a couple of really good flights to the Sony Music and Intel building corners. Not easy but she navigated the corners with ease-way to go Tardis-another check mark. Dad was on the Intel sign and Mom was still eating lol as we drove away.
Hoo boy. What a day. God speed Kepler and Tardis.
This is Cathy:  What a fabulous end to a great watch!  Both the kids are doing great and I will continue to enjoy watching them pretty well every day as I am lucky enough to work a block away and can watch them from my office window!  I will update you all from time to time…they don’t have a long time to learn a awful lot of stuff before they head south but I am sure these two determined little ones will give it all they have.  I want to thank again , Sally, Lucie, Bruce, Mark & Marion for all their great help, support and great company on this, the latest watch I have ever been on but one of the best!
Can’t wait for next year!!

Our watch has ended….

WARNING:  Our pictures today are all of the transfer, Peregrines eating their prey, very close up.  Its what peregrines do :)  but if you would prefer not to look, I understand.  Sally & I took all these pictures