Buffy and Legacy at St. Mary’s Cement

March 27, 2014 - Bowmanville - St Mary's Cement

Tracy Simpson Reports:

On the road with Project School Visit I had the pleasure this week of spending time in the Bowmanville area.  Yesterday I finished early and took a moment to stop in at the St. Mary’s Cement nest site to check in on Buffy and Legacy after this long hard winter.  I met up with staff who helped get me out to the site and when I first arrived, I couldn’t see anyone.  It wasn’t a minute when Legacy came bombing in with food and Buffy was hot on his tail.  She almost landed on top of him, snatching the prey and taking it up top to dine.  Legacy sat one level below her and watched her eat, vocalizing occasionally, and cleaning his talons.

Thank you so much to the staff at St. Mary’s for taking a moment with me to check in on the pair.  I will be back soon to see what progress they are making towards nesting.

St. Mary’s Resident Adults Both Visible

May 10, 2013 - Bowmanville - St Mary's Cement

Tracy Simpson Reports:

I stopped in at the St. Mary’s Cement plant in Bowmanville on May 9th to check in on Buffy and Legacy and whether they were still attempting to nest this year.  When I arrived, I checked in with Ruben and then travelled out to the silos where the pair is most often and most readily seen.  When I arrived I found Legacy on the very top of the building that spans the silos preening and sleeping.  I searched the silos to the west where Buffy often will roost and was unable to find her.  I checked the top of the silos beneath where Legacy was perched and still no luck.  This area has a ledge where Legacy and Buffy successfully raised at least two offspring last year and was their ledge of interest this season as well.  With no sign of Buffy in the ledge I started to search the ladders and platforms of the silo on which Legacy sat and found her roosting the day away.  She was initially tucked out of my view behind a pipe and was well concealed in her position.  If I moved just a few feet to the left or right she was completely hidden.  I spoke to a few of the St. Mary’s staff that indicated the pair are clearly still defending these silos as their chosen site but the presence of both adults in view meant that eggs were not being incubated at this time.  I stayed and monitored for an hour and a half to see if either adult entered the ledge at the top of the silo but neither of them made a move towards it.  Both resident adults preened and slept during my entire observation period and showed no interest in the ledge at all.  As I was reading myself to check out, Legacy left the top of the span on a hunt to the north and out of my view.  Buffy did not follow but instead remained on her perch preening and sleeping enjoying the cool breeze coming off of the lake.

Given that both resident adults were present and visible for an extended period of time, we can safely say that they are currently not seriously incubating eggs.  During my visit they did not mate nor enter the ledge but still remained close to each other and near to their chosen site.  As with several other sites this year, this resident pair have also had to deal with the disruption of a pestering juvenile / sub-adult in their territory that may have affected the nesting season for them.  It is still not too late to re-clutch and we will continue to monitor the pair throughout the remainder of the spring.  A huge thank you to St. Mary’s Cement for being such great hosts to this peregrine pair and we look forward to Buffy and Legacy’s continued progress here.

More Pictures of Legacy and Buffy

May 10, 2013 - Bowmanville - St Mary's Cement

Tracy Simpson Reports:

Here are a few more pictures of the St. Mary’s resident adult male Legacy that I was unable to post before.  After a few trims and adjustments they are ready for you.  Enjoy!

Buffy and Legacy Currently Not Incubating

April 27, 2013 - Bowmanville - St Mary's Cement

Tracy Simpson Reports:

I visited St. Mary’s Cement in Bowmanville yesterday to check up on the resident pair and whether they were in fact incubating eggs.  I met up with Ruben and we headed out to the area where the peregrines were expressing interest in possibly nesting.  On our way through the plant, we found Legacy tucked up on a ledge on the east side of the main structure.  There he sat preening away and I must say that he looks so much like his father Tiago.  He has that full helmet head and is incredibly dark.  We continued around to the coal silos and stopped to look for Buffy in the spot that I located her on my last visit.  She was not in the cavity at the top of the silo and we turned our attention to the clinker silos to the west.  Of the two silos in the complex that we can fully see, the one to the east which has an external stair is where I have seen the adults roosting and eating on each occasion that I have been monitoring.  A quick check revealed Buffy on the platform railing halfway up the height of the silo.  With both adults in view they are clealy not in any serious full time incubation at this moment.  Ruben and I discussed the likely possibility that the juvenile female that was out here on my first monitoring of the season may in fact have contributed to the pair not incubating at the moment.  A second attempt was possible as it was not too late in the season for another try.  I will be back out again to St. Mary’s to check in on the pair and I would like to thank the excellent staff at the plant for being such a great host site to Buffy and Legacy.  We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Legacy Chasing Juveniles Buffy

Resident Male at St. Mary’s Identified!! It’s LEGACY!!

April 09, 2013 - Bowmanville - St Mary's Cement

Tracy Simpson Reports:

After completing my Project School Visit presentations in the Bowmanville area, I travelled to St. Mary’s Cement in the hopes of gaining further insight as to the activities of the resident adults.  I met up with Nick and then headed out to the silos for another round of observations and I was initially unable to locate any falcons on the structure.  I scanned the area and even without binoculars I had no trouble in locating Buffy on the ladder of the west silos.  She really is an impressive presence!  I continued to scan the ladder that runs up the side of the silo and located the resident male two levels above Buffy.  Both adults sat preening on the railings for 20 minutes before the male took to the air.  He flew over towards my location and disappeared behind the east silo before coming around and swooping up to the ladders at my location.  I managed to snap several pictures of him and it would appear, with 99% surety, that the resident male has a solid black Ontario recovery band that reads 39 over Y.  This male is Legacy who was hatched at the Toronto Sheraton Hotel in 2010.  He had come in with food and moved to the top of the east silo and was calling for Buffy to come.  When she didn’t arrive, he ate the really small package himself and then moved back to the east silo ladders.  This is the same location that I photographed Buffy at yesterday and it looks like this is the site they have chosen this year to attempt nesting.  After a few minutes Legacy flew off of the east silo ladder to the side of the structure where he located a second cache of food.  Off he went over to Buffy who was already full to the brim.  He landed above her and began to eat his prize and that’s when the oddest thing happened.  Another female peregrine falcon arrived on location and was flying circles above the resident adults. Neither of the adults moved to intercept or showed any aggression towards the third bird and this had me perplexed.  I started snapping pictures like mad and upon review I was able to see that the third bird was a juvenile female.  The most likely explanation was that this was the female hatched here last year that must not have migrated but instead remained in the territory throughout the winter with her parents.  That female, named Madison by the staff at St. Mary’s, was rescued last year when she entered one of the buildings and became disoriented.  I watched her doing figure eights around the distant silos while Legacy continued to eat his meal.  Occasionally he would vocally scold her but made no move to attack or intervene.  After his meal, Legacy took to the air and met the juvenile over the silos and again, no attack was in the offing.  Instead he flew circles with her and vocalized his displeasure at her interruption of the nesting process.  Legacy escorted the juvenile female out to the south towards the lake and just then appeared what looked like another falcon.  The birds were dipping in and out of my sight and so I cannot be sure of this but I believe there may have been a fourth, this one the size of a male.  Buffy didn’t move from her perch until all the falcons were past me and down by the lake.  She flew over to the east silos up to the roof area and perched there for about 10 minutes watching to the south.  Legacy returned 5 minutes later and flew up to the west silo stairs and Buffy took off to join him.  There the pair remained for another 10 minutes before they both took off east through the plant and out of view.

Back in the office I had the pleasure of speaking with Ana for quite some time about arranging for the construction and installation of a nest box for their pair.  Ana, Fabio, Nick and Rueben are all very excited about the prospect and we will keep you updated as to the progress of the nesting season and the potential for a nest box at St. Mary’s.  Again I must thank the great staff at the plant for taking time to speak with me and helping me to gather further observations of the resident pair.  While there is no confirmation of incubation or eggs at this time, we look forward to a productive and exciting nesting season at St. Mary’s and I will be back to visit again very soon!

Pictures to follow soon!!

St. Mary’s Peregrines Still Active and Buffy is Still Present.

April 08, 2013 - Bowmanville - St Mary's Cement

Tracy Simpson Reports:

I had the pleasure of delivering our Project School Visit program to students in the Bowmanville area this week and made a point of stopping in at St. Mary’s Cement to check in on the nesting progress there. Last year, after assisting in the rescue and banding of a juvenile female that the plant staff named Madison, Mark and I went out and spent some time monitoring the resident adult pair.  We were able to identify the adult female by her solid black recovery band bearing the markings rotated Y over O.  Of note was that her recovery band was on her right leg instead of her left.  This female is Buffy who hatched in 2000 at the London TD Tower to George and Calypso and was raised by George alone after Calypso was fatally struck by lightning .  We were delighted to see that a juvenile from that nesting season had survived and has gone on to breed highlighting the great job George did on his own.  While we were successful in getting an identification on the female, the male was more elusive and all we knew was that he was also wearing a solid black recovery band indicating he was hatched in Ontario. 

I arrived on site in the morning and met up with Nick who graciously took the time to assist me in investigating the silos that the resident adults were interested in last year.  A full search of the silo area initially yielded evidence of the peregrines presence but they were not readily visible.  At the base of the east silo, I took a picture of the crevice that had evidence of whitewash and to my astonishment, I found the resident female, Buffy, at the far right of the ledge.  From the angle that we were standing at it was difficult to see whether she was fully lying down or not but the displacement of the feathers on her back led me to believe that she was in fact lying down.  The spot that she has chosen is completely inaccessible and only viewable from the ground level and so we cannot be certain whether she has an egg yet or not.  During our observation period, the male did not make an appearance and a scan of the area didn’t reveal his location.  We will be keeping a watchful eye on the St. Mary’s pair for signs of nesting and further monitoring will be conducted to determine if Buffy and her mate, who has yet to be identified, will be nesting this year.  My thanks to Nick, Fabio, Ana and the excellent staff at St. Mary’s Cement for their help today and I look forward to our next visit.

Pictures will be posted soon!

!!! Both adults still on site, but no fledglings visible.

July 22, 2012 - Mississauga - Holcim

CPF Postmaster Reports:

July 21st-2012
Thanks for your reply. It was a very busy season and HOT!!! So I bet everyone needs a well deserved break in the action.
Photos taken Sunday July 22nd at approx 7AM on the eastern side of the plant. Slow start to their day.
I did a drive by on Friday the 31st and saw one in flight over the plant but when I tried to get to a better viewing point it had disappeared and I didn’t pick it up after that. I do volunteer work around the corner on Winston Churchill twice a week so will try to get more observations to you.
I’m not an expert but thought they were both the adults.
Thanks for all the updates. It’s been fascinating and I didn’t realize there were so many nesting sights.

By all means you may use my photos. Thanks!

Marg Nelson

St. Mary’s Cement Peregrines; The Nest Page is Now Up and Running!!

August 01, 2012 - Bowmanville - St Mary's Cement

Tracy Simpson Reports:

These observations were made back in the spring and were not posted until now as we did not have a nest page for St. Mary’s Cement.  With the nest page now up and ready, we will be catching you up on all of the latest news regarding the pair of peregrines nesting here.  All of the observations that follow were written at the time they were made and are therefore a little dated but no less important.  Enjoy!!

In the early spring, I had the pleasure of delivering our Project School Visit program to children in the Bowmanville area and decided one day, on my way back, to stop in at the St. Mary’s Cement location to talk to them about their peregrines.  A pair of peregrine falcons has nested at this location for at least 5 years now but they had chosen to nest in an inaccessible location that we could not monitor or approach.  I stopped in to see how the pair was doing and whether they were still in that location.  When I arrived, I immediately caught sight of the resident female who was roosting on a section of the plant located next to their administrative offices.  I went inside to find out more!

I met with the Environmental Manager for St. Mary’s Cement, Rueben Plaza, and we had a fantastic discussion about the location and success of their peregrines.  For several years they had celebrated the production of young up until last year when at least one clutch of eggs failed to hatch.  They started off 2012 with a clutch of four eggs and again, a lack of success.  Rueben and his staff were concerned about the birds and he remarked that just recently the pair had changed locations and were now attempting another clutch.  They are currently incubating an undisclosed number of eggs and, talons crossed, the pair will indeed hatch their eggs during this second round.

We discussed the possibility of a nest box and where one might be placed that would be a perfect location for the birds.  It looked as though there were two potentially good locations and Rueben was very excited about the idea of a nest box installation.  Thanks go out to St. Mary’s Cement staff for doing an outstanding job looking after their peregrines to date and we look forward to helping them achieve future success at the plant! 

More to come…