January 20, 2014 - Brampton - Courthouse
Tracy Simpson Reports:
I received a recent update from Toivo that Midnight is still being seen in the Brampton area along the Hurontario corridor. While she is not always at George St. and not always seen daily, she is still making appearances in downtown Brampton and its environs. Toivo has been keeping an eye on our Brampton pair this winter and he has noted that he has not been able to get eyes on Striker since November but that Midnight is still sporadically visible. Thank you so much Toivo for the update and as we march towards spring we hope to see where Midnight settles and whether Striker returns.
Posted on January 20, 2014 11:51 am
May 26, 2013 - Brampton - Courthouse
Tracy Simpson Reports:
Bruce and I spent several days over the past few weeks at the Brampton nest site to check in on the resident adults and their progress towards a hatch. Our goal was to confirm two important things; whether a hatch had occurred and the identities of the resident adults. While we knew that Midnight and Milton started off this season’s nest, our watchers Toivo and Grace in Brampton have noticed odd changes in behaviour and roosting sites of the resident male Milton and so we added confirmation of identities to the checklist.
On Friday May 18th, Bruce attended the site in the afternoon to check things out. When he arrived, he had both of the resident adults in view for prolonged periods of time which is uncharacteristic of adults with young. Neither of the birds entered the nest cavity where the eggs were believed to be laid on the George St condo for more than a few minutes and clearly they were not brooding or incubating. As they had already surpassed the projected hatch date of May 15th, it looked as though the nest had failed. Their chosen perch on the condo overhang is very high and therefore confirmation of the adult’s identities would take time and effort to achieve. We had to wait for the pair to come down to a lower perch for a view and we had to hope that while they were on either the BDC building or the Canacord building that they would expose their bands for us to read. That was not meant to be on Friday and so we made plans to return on Sunday May 20th for another try.
Bruce was on site in the early morning and was getting set up in Market Square when the adults came low. While the pair were on the BDC sign and quite visible, Bruce was challenged in getting set up for a view as the long weekend activity in the square was extremely busy. Once set up, as peregrines always do (to me anyways), the pair took off of the sign and returned to the high ledge of George St where they took up roosting positions for the afternoon. I arrived by midday and found the pair right where Bruce left off seeing them on the condo. I joined Bruce in the parking lot to the east of the condo where we set up camp for a good days watch. For several hours the birds slept and preened while we sweated and hoped they would soon spring to action. We talked with many of the local residents about the pair and the community is really excited about their presence. The adults moved very little from their chosen spots on the ledge with the male occasionally trying to encourage the female into the recess next to where she laid her first clutch. She was only vaguely interested and didn’t follow him in on the several attempts that were made by him to draw her in. Finally at about 4pm, the male took off on a hunt and disappeared from view. This drew off the female and the pair was airborne. I wandered over to Market Square to take a look and found that the male was hunting over by the BDC building. He landed briefly on the sign and I was able to take a few shots of him in the hopes of catching his band in the pictures. He flew off low toward the northwest and I was able to get a single shot with legs exposed but the band was not legible. After he took off I headed back over to the parking lot where Bruce was and he told me that both adults went whipping through to the northwest on a low trajectory. I know that Midnight often hunts over at the Go Station so off I went in pursuit. I struck it lucky and found the female on a low lamp standard of the Go train platform and I raced around and up the stairs to get a view. I was able to capture several shots and can confirm that Midnight is still the resident female in downtown Brampton bearing a black over red band marked 98 over E. I couldn’t find the male and so back I went to the parking lot. We waited anxiously for the return of the adults to the territory and after several hours, we finally gave up. They both had taken off to the south out of our view and we decided that the male’s identity would have to wait for another day. We headed south on Hurontario in search of the pair but did not succeed in finding them so we closed the day with both success and work left to do.
I went back to the site on Tuesday afternoon and found the pair doing what they love to do most; roosting on the George St condo overhang. They were like a pair of bookends with one on each corner. I decided that I wasn’t going to wait out the afternoon but instead wait for at most an hour and I was rewarded for my efforts. The male came off of the condo and landed on the BDC sign! He was only there for a few minutes but enough for me to get a few pictures of him while he roosted. Again the photographs only served to confound me more than confirm his identity. He took off of the sign and flew back up to the high overhang on the condo and at that I took my leave.
We have confirmed based on the resident adults behaviour that the clutch of eggs on the George St condo has failed. Sadly it may have been due to the cold and damp weather we have experienced this past April that has caused many other sites to also have one or two eggs fail to hatch. As a first time nester Midnight is still very young and that may have contributed as well. During our time observing coupled with the reports from Toivo and Grace we can also confirm that the pair is not mating at this time and therefore a re-clutch will most likely not occur this season. The only remaining question to answer is the confirmation of the identity of the resident male.
Yesterday, May 25th, Bruce and I again headed to Brampton to confirm the male’s identity. By hook or crook I was determined to get it as this little male was vexing me now. He teased and taunted with brief looks at his legs and finally… …eureka!!! I got it!! The resident male in downtown Brampton with Midnight is none other than Striker, banded solid black 97 over Y with blue tape that is still visible, who hatched in 2011 at Yellow Pages to Linn and Rueben. We are unsure where Milton is but we hold out high hopes of his discovery elsewhere as he is a tough old guy and quite tenacious. One thing we can say is that Striker is now the resident male in the downtown core. A huge thank you to all that have assisted and watched the pair with a special thank you going out to Toivo and Grace for their time and efforts. It is greatly appreciated and we are very pleased to see this pair so well supported.
Posted on May 26, 2013 10:51 am
April 16, 2013 - Brampton - Courthouse
CPF Postmaster Reports:
We would first like to thank all of the watchers that have been keeping an eye on the pair in Brampton and their progress. Toivo and Winston are an invaluable part of the Brampton watch team as well as Bruce and Tracy making forays to help out on weekends. Both Toivo and Winston have been watching Milton spending time not only at the George St. condo with Midnight, who is currently incubating an unknown count of eggs, but also monitoring his activities at the Brampton Courthouse as well.
Over the past several weeks, Milton has been spotted on a regular basis at the Brampton Courthouse investigating the old nest ledge on the southwest corner of the building. He has not been alone! Both Toivo and Winston witnessed him at first hanging about with an unbanded adult and then later with an unbanded female juvenile from last year ( now a subadult ). During the past week, the frequency of these sightings have been less but it looked as though Milton might try to run a second nest with another female. A recent check of the ledge did not reveal eggs or an incubating adult and so, for the moment, it looks as though Milton’s nesting attention and energy is focussed downtown.
At George St., all of our watchers have been seeing both Midnight and Milton but for the most part it has been the male who has been out and about. Midnight is clearly incubating something on her chosen ledge and changeovers have been seen between the adults highlighting the fact that they do indeed have something that they are attending to.
Thanks to all who have contributed to the monitoring of the pair and we will keep you updated as to the progress that they are making.
Posted on April 19, 2013 12:07 pm
April 01, 2013 - Brampton - Courthouse
Tracy Simpson Reports:
Bruce and I were in Brampton on Monday to try and sort out just who is where and with whom. As you know, Milton is the territorial male and seems to be running two areas; the Courthouse and a condo on George St. Here is what we were able to ascertain.
Bruce and I went to the courthouse first. We found Milton on the backside of the courthouse on the ledge that he prefers. He had flown in with food, disappeared to the back of the ledge, vocalized and then reappeared. He wiped his beak off and then remained roosting for about 30 minutes. He preened and occasionally vocalized but other than that, he was alone. He took off to the east and then swung back around to the west side of the building. We went looking for him but couldn’t find him. We went over to Second Cup and watched from the windows there and after 10 minutes, he returned to the south ledge of the courthouse, again alone. He stayed 5 minutes and then flew west over the parking lot of Second Cup but I lost him as he banked around back behind the courthouse. Looked like he was hunting or chasing. He returned to the same south ledge briefly and then flew back around the courthouse and off in a stoop to the north. We left the courthouse for George St. and when I got there, I circled John St, east to the BDC, around the Rose Theatre and then to the George St. parking lot. No sign of Milton or Midnight. When I got to George St., Milton flew in and landed on the overhang of the condo on the south end and roosted. He was there for a good 10 minutes staring at the centre pillars. He flew off, circled and then came flying in to the pillar area of the overhang. That’s when Midnight waddled out from between the south and centre pillars and they mated. Milton then took off on a hunt and Midnight remained on the overhang edge watching. He must have been successful as she became very animated and excited. She finally took off east over downtown in pursuit of him and I lost sight of the pair. A few minutes later, they both came bombing back to George St; her in the lead with prey and Milton following. She tried for the overhang but fell short by a full storey. She had to circle around and then back up to try again. She has never had trouble flying to that ledge with prey before and makes me think she’s heavy with eggs. Both birds ended up disappearing between the south and centre pillars with much vocalization.
I would be willing to bet she has eggs already. I had that ledge in my sights for a full 30 minutes with no sign of her at all. She might have been lying down. When she did emerge, she looked a little dirty lending more credence to the idea that she might have an egg or more. So without seeing eggs firsthand, I would say with 99% surety that Midnight is with eggs on the George St. condo east overhang between the south and centre pillars with Milton. They are still copulating and she is still willing to leave the ledge for short periods and therefore the clutch is in the early stages and is not complete as of yet. Milton seems to be going down to the courthouse to hunt and roost away from the nest site and has attracted other females who he might be nesting with as well. I think this is an area for more observation. At George St., I didn’t get band numbers but can confirm the colour configurations as those of Milton ( black over green, silver USFW ) and Midnight ( black over red, purple USFW ). I have confirmed their numbers recently when they were low on the BDC. At the courthouse, I did confirm that it is Milton for sure. Winston and Toivo, our Brampton watch team members, have also confirmed the presence of an unbanded adult female and a sub adult female who was nosing in on the territory at the Courthouse. Is one of these females on eggs or in the old nest ledge scrape? Something worthy of investigation. I think the courthouse is the place to watch now and sort out whether we have a second nest on the go.
Posted on April 5, 2013 7:53 am
April 02, 2013 - Brampton - Courthouse
CPF Volunteer Reports:
I arrived around 3:45 on Saturday and waited until 4 when both Milton and the unbanded female (the adult who we thought could be a male) arrived at/in the nest ledge. Milton stayed a minute or two before leaving. The female continued chupping for a good ten minutes, then total silence for the next 30 minutes. I started worrying that maybe she managed to leave without me seeing but I was pretty certain she didn’t. Soon she popped up on her ledge and began to preen. She then flew to the NW corner where she began to feed on spaghetti (see the pic). This is the first cache I found on the CH since Courtney in 2011. She ate but only for 10 minutes or so. She didn’t totally get her fill when she took off south with the kill. By the time I get to the SW corner I see two peregrines zipping around low over the CH parking lot. Then as the two were flying away from me (neither one with the food) they started flying together and exposed their talons to each other. At the time I thought it was Milton and the adult female but after looking at the pictures it was a female sub adult and the adult female. The adult female returned to the nest right away after fending off the sub adult and returned into the nest ledge and began to chup. At that point I saw Milton return from the general area of the fight which led me to believe they were the two up in the air. He probably came along for the show. He didn’t stay though going NW over the police station. I left around 5:30 and the female was still in the nest ledge. She could be in there most of the time for all we can tell from the ground.
Posted on April 2, 2013 9:34 am
March 19, 2013 - Brampton - Courthouse
CPF Postmaster Reports:
The CPF volunteer nest site monitor team was out on Saturday doing nest site checks and decided to cruise the Brampton corridor and look in on the happenings. Excellent reports and photos have been coming in from Toivo and Winston, our local watch team members, and it looks like things are as confusing as ever!! Both Winston and Toivo have been seeing peregrines at both the Brampton Courthouse and the George St. condo! During March break at the courthouse, there appeared an unbanded male and an unbanded sub adult female that investigated the area. Milton and Midnight were both focussed on the downtown core at this time. Then the unbanded adult male took off and was replaced by Milton who was vocalizing with the sub adult female. By Friday, Tracy found and positively identified both Milton and Midnight in downtown and there were no peregrines present at the time at the courthouse. On Saturday, Bruce Massey was out in Brampton for the day and positively IDed Milton at the courthouse alone without a female and Bruce later watched him take off north. He drove to the downtown core of Brampton and found him at first on John St., then on George St and later flying over to the BDC building and the Rose Theatre. During this entire watch period that Bruce spent there was no sign of Midnight but he believes that Milton could see her wherever she was roosting.
Theories… …there are many. It would appear that migrant peregrines are making their way through and checking out potential nest sites. The Hwy.10 corridor has always been just that, a peregrine highway that they jet through on their way to nesting. We are unsure who will stay and maintain a territory but it would seem that Milton and Midnight prefer the downtown area and yet Milton is still trying to hold onto the courthouse territory as well. Will he succeed? Will Milton run two nests at the same time? We will continue to watch and update you with the latest news from Brampton as everyone begins to settle in for the nesting season. A big thank you to CPF volunteers Toivo and Winston for your observations and photos!! Pictures to come!
Posted on March 19, 2013 8:54 am
January 12, 2013 - Brampton - Courthouse
Tracy Simpson Reports:
Our last stop this weekend was over at the Brampton Courthouse to check in on the happenings with Milton and his new girl Midnight. When we arrived at the courthouse, there were no peregrines to be found and so Bruce and I headed up to Shoppers World to look for Midnight. She has been see almost daily hanging out on the roof tops of the apartments behind the plaza and she is actively hunting the abundance of pigeons in the area. When we entered the parking lot we indeed found Midnight perched high on a building and digesting a crop of food. Many pigeons were swirling around her chosen perch and one nearly landed beside her before realizing what she was and veering off. Although interested in watching the activity, Midnight made no move to hunt any of these foolish daredevil pigeons that were flying around her as she clearly had already done that earlier and was satisfied. As we haven’t seen Milton in a while, we decided to drive north to the downtown area and look about. Bruce and I did a walk about of the area but were unsuccessful in finding any peregrines. Milton may have a new hangout and Midnight was sure interested in something to the east of Shoppers World. We will be back to check in on the pair and keep you updated as spring approaches.
Posted on January 15, 2013 9:02 am
January 07, 2013 - Brampton - Courthouse
Tracy Simpson Reports:
The new female identified recently in Brampton, Midnight from Ohio, has been seen regularly hanging out behind the Shoppers World plaza at Hwy 10 and Steeles where a sizable flock of pigeons roost. I have seen her there several times over the past week and today she gave me a show stopping flight demo!! She was roosting on the top of a building and then went from roost to pursuit in 10 seconds flat!! I grabbed my camera and had no time to adjust for lighting. Take the picture!! Wait… …put car in park… …OK now TAKE THE PICTURE QUICK!!! I was able to snap a few shots of Midnight amongst a chaotic swirl of pigeons and I was amazed to see that she was not successful in singling one out. Merely browsing I guess. Sightings have been reported over the past month of the unbanded female in the area but I have yet to see her around. She may have found a location that I have yet to discover. I will be back again to look for Milton, the resident male, and follow up on the progress of who is who, where and when as we head towards nesting season in Brampton.
Posted on January 7, 2013 10:44 pm
November 26, 2012 - Brampton - Courthouse
Tracy Simpson Reports:
I have been writing an enormous report on peregrine activities and have not been out and about for weeks. Bruce decided to “kidnap” me for the day ( I was all too willing to get out ) and head up to Brampton for a check in on Milton and his girl. We learned today that Milton is one of two things. He is either a cheating cad or he is in fact the real James Bond. Let me get you up to speed here.
In 2011, Milton nested successfully at the Brampton courthouse with Truss from Burlington producing one offspring. In the spring of 2012, he showed up around the courthouse with a new young lady on his wing; an un-banded sub-adult female still in juvenile plumage. They toyed with the idea of nesting but eggs were not forthcoming. They were still seen together off and on all summer. A month ago, I was in downtown Brampton and reporting seeing two females going talon to talon over the core of the city; one girl was the un-banded female and the other… …all I knew is that she was banded with a purple USFW band and was possibly wearing a black over green recovery band. A week ago, Winston of the Brampton Fledge Watch team photographed and confirmed Milton at the courthouse with an unbanded adult female peregrine hanging out. OK. You’re all caught up.
Bruce pulls into downtown Brampton and finds Milton, confirmed by his band number, sitting on the east sign of the Brampton Plaza building with a female. I get an excited phone call that she is banded and I better hurry up and get there before she finishes her pigeon!! OK. Like lightning I race along. Check the courthouse, no one. Checked Shoppers World, the Kaneff buidlings, Gage Park area, the church, George St…. ….no peregrines to be had. I pull up onto Queen Street, pulled over and… …here’s Milton on the sign sitting just to the left of a female peregrine. She appears to be in adult plumage, she’s picking away at a pigeon and I could clearly see that she is banded. Milton sat about 5 feet away from her hoping for a tasty treat but she knew better. She filled her crop and then fell asleep standing right on top of her prey. Milton shuffled a few feet closer. She woke up, ate a bit more and Milton settled back down roosting nonchalantly. She fell asleep again. Milton shuffled closer yet again. This time she woke and ( I can’t believe this ) pulled off a teensy little piece and fed him!! Yes, fed him like a child!! She clearly told him that this little crumb is yours, and this big pile… …yeah, that’s mine!! He made one last attempt at the food, she flew off and landed on the SW corner of the BDC building to finish in peace. By this time Milton was showing off his prowess and taking out his frustrations on a local Red Tailed hawk flying to the west. The female then cached the remains on the SE corner of the BDC roof and took off to the east and out of our view.
Moments later, who should sneak in but Milton. He flew straight over to the BDC, grabbed her cache and flew back to the Brampton Plaza sign to eat. He kept looking nervously over his shoulder to the east hoping to plow it down before he got caught and when he finished he was off to the John St apartments to roost. By this time, the female had returned and was looking for her cache on the SE corner of BDC… …cad!! Stole my goodies!! It was there that she stayed to digest her enormous crop of pigeon and it was there that she told us who she is as Bruce and I were able to get a good scope view of her as she preened. Her recovery band read Black 98 over Red E with a purple USFW band on the other leg. This bird is Midnight, a 2011 hatch from the Chase One nest site in Canton, Ohio. She is daughter of the late, great Maverick and is from his final brood with Mystic; this dashing 12 year old male having been tragically lost last year.
So. Questions begging to be answered. Is Milton really a cheating cad or is he just an innocent bystander in a turf war? We’d prefer to think he’s the real James Bond; irrestable, charming and dashing 007. Will Midnight be his lady love this coming spring or will the un-banded female win his affections? Tune in soon for another thrilling episode of “As The Brampton Eyrie Turns”.
Posted on November 26, 2012 10:09 am
November 13, 2012 - Brampton - Courthouse
CPF Postmaster Reports:
Tuesday Nov. 13th - 2012
At around 2:30pm today I found Milton at the top of one of the communication towers above the courthouse.
As I got closer I could see him moving about on his perch. Today I forgot the camera at home but did have my bins so I pointed them at Milton and after a few seconds he was off. I tracked him for a second with the bins when I noticed a second PG!
I brought down the bins long enough to see a cop a few feet from me, staring at me and probably thinking I was crazy but I didn’t have time to explain since I saw the two Pefa’s chasing after a flock of about 7 pigeons.
The flock split and well amid the chaos I’m not sure who went where but there was some serious diving going on by both Pefa’s and fastest of all, one pigeon. I had to look twice as I’ve never seen a pigeon dive for its life before; super fast! Neither PG wound up catching anything and the two flew east BVR.
If I remember correctly there were pigeons on the courthouse as I approached and when it was over there was but one. All the attacks and diving took place over the courthouse parking lot with nobody but myself paying any attention to all the drama above.
Aside from being super lucky to have witnessed two Pefa’s hunting ‘together’ I am most surprised at Milton. This is the first time I’ve ever seen him go after pigeons. It is also notable that they hunted the pigeons from the courthouse which I have not seen since the Courtney’s fledge watch and that was Truss, not Milton.
Unfortunately, everything happened so fast that I don’t even have a clue if the other Pefa was a juvenile or adult let alone banded. I hope I would have recognized if it were a juvenile but seriously, I wasn’t expecting to see two Pefa’s in my bins at the same time!
Can’t wait for tomorrow!
Posted on November 14, 2012 2:16 pm