July 25, 2015 - Burlington - Lift Bridge
CPF Postmaster Reports:
June 27th - 2015
I have continued the monitoring of the three peregrine fledglings, Wellington (red), Lucifer (blue) and Stella (silver). Stella removed her yellow tape before fledging, but it is easy to identify by her larger size, compared to her two smaller brothers.
I have seen two of them, Lucifer and Stella right up to yesterday June 25. I have not seen Wellington since June 23.
They are in hot pursuit of the pigeons but have not been successful yet in catching one on their own. They still rely on food being brought by the two adults, either by air to air food transfers or food drops. That helps them get use to carrying and flying with food.
I have attached some images that were captured this past week as examples of a food transfer from the adult female and a food drop from the adult male. The food drops are the most exciting because the juvenile must successfully try to catch the falling food item.
In the food transfer from the adult female, Cirrus, you will see the juvenile, Lucifer, closing in on her and ready to grab the food. Then Cirrus keeps an eye on the juvenile while he makes off with the food and hopefully does not drop it.
On the food drop image the adult male, MacKenzie, dropped the food for the juvenile, who catches it.
Posted on July 2, 2015 1:23 am
June 14, 2015 - Burlington - Lift Bridge
CPF Postmaster Reports:
June 14th - 2015
Yes, I was down at the Burlington lift bridge today to see how the three kids, Wellington, Stella and Lucifer were doing and hopefully not getting into any trouble. It didn’t look like there was any activity at my start at 9:45, and all were visible and accounted for.
At 10:45 I was able to catch a Canada Goose and free it from fishing line that was wrapped around both legs. That event went well and it was freed from the entanglement of the line.
Around 2:40 after the rain the three juveniles were chasing both adults around. Then the juveniles were in pursuit of one another as if playing tag your it! Then just after Paul the fishing friend and peregrine enthusiast arrived the watch got exciting. The resident adult male peregrine, MacKenzie, had a fancy for some squab from the lift bridge, and for 45 minutes he was in hot pursuit of this fancy. He was perching on the railing of the lift bridge roadway and up in the bridge girders. It was fabulous. He was dropping the squab for the juvenile to catch but it had ended up into the water which is how I got the image with the very dark background as he was attempting to retrieve it. He usually does this up at the skyway but that is mostly sectioned off for his hunting.
I managed to be ready just after he entered one of the nesting holes and came out with one of the sought after squabs. It is like nature’s version of “pigeon Macnugets”. No fuss, no work and ready to eat.
After a day that didn’t look too promising I was happy at the outcome. Never give up hope. He who stays the longest usually gets rewarded.
Posted on June 15, 2015 2:22 am
June 11, 2015 - Burlington - Lift Bridge
CPF Postmaster Reports:
June 10th - 2015 (9:30am - 5:10pm)
All three juveniles still accounted for with Wellington being the most active. He even mastered a very difficult landing on the cables, with ease. Located Stella around 1:45 as she was inside a beam half way up the Hamilton tower.
This is the stage where the unexpected can happen, especially with the males.
If any of you out there are able to and willing to help out at this watch, it would be much appreciated. The close up views of the adults hunting and bringing food back to the juveniles is spectacular.
Remember this peregrine watch location is the NO FRILLS location, without any fan fare or the press coverage, but the views of their daily activities up close and breathtaking.
We are no longer allowed to park in the main lift bridge parking lot, so I have to park at the lot on the lake side closest to the lift bridge. Then walk along the Lake Front Trail towards the canal.
Posted on June 13, 2015 4:48 am
June 12, 2015 - Burlington - Lift Bridge
Mark Nash Reports:
June 11th - 2015
A huge thank you to Rob who was able to get down to the Burlington lift bridge to see what’s happening with the three fledglings and get back to us with some updates and news.
Some great news to report in that it appears that the three fledglings are all still very visible and holding their altitude!!
It was quite tense for us all having been so short of resources and manpower to cover this and many other fledge watches this year, and with all of the construction and restricted accesses, overlapping bandings and other ongoing fledge watches and demanding work schedules outside of the foundation,, we were all expecting the worst.
We went down to the lift bridge tonight to do some watching. Both adults were quickly found, but no juvies. We listened for annoyed small birds, and did a search of what areas we could see, but found nothing for a while. After some time I heard some faint calling, and eventually one juvie popped up on the top of the Hamilton tower (was probably up there the whole time), and it made some short flights. Then the next juvie appeared, and finally we saw the third as it was starting to get lower light. All three made strong flights, maintaining altitude, and at least two seemed able to make good landings on the upper tower roof edges, and in the hydro towers.
They did some screaming for food, and the male did make one trip out for a while, but did not return with anything, and they were all quiet and tucked about when we left (only one visible to us though).
It looks like basic flight skills are good at this point, first test passed. I hope they don’t run into any more trouble….as they get more adventurous, the next stage of risk comes on, but for now they seem quite competent.
Posted on June 12, 2015 2:51 pm
June 10, 2015 - Burlington - Lift Bridge
CPF Postmaster Reports:
June 10th - 2015
This is a late report for what happened at the Burlington lift bridge peregrine watch yesterday, as it was a long day, 9:45 to 6:00 p.m.
As I arrived at 9:45am, I first noticed that the nest box was empty, OH CRAP. The day before there was still two in there when Linda and I left at 6:00 p.m.
I started an immediate search, then a passer by came up to me and asked what this bird on the path was ? and why didn’t it fly when he walked right past it ?
I looked behind me and thought, HOLLY CRAP! I now had to walk past Wellington to get back to my vehicle to get the box and a towel, to try to capture him. I did and returned to him and to my surprise he cooperated without a fuss as I put the towel around him and picked him up and into the box. I was glad because I was a crew of one at this point. I delivered the box with Wellington inside, to John, the lift bridge worker, as he has the carrying cage in his building.
Later that night Wellington would be released back up on the Burlington tower roof by a C. P. F. member after it is examined for injuries and trauma that can often manifest after a hard grounding. This protocol of a short hold-over is a mandatory policy to ensure that a downed fledgling is examined before it is released back to its parents. At this particular site, a night (under the cover of darkness release is also much safer for all given the situation and conditions as the only release option is the flat top roof of the towers).
This was like deja vu all over again, we did this same manoeuvre with Lucifer the previous day.
It took till 3:00 to notice Stella on a horizontal beam halfway up on the Burlington tower. She had been hiding from us for most of the day until then.
As we left at 6:00 p.m. all three juveniles were accounted for.
Posted on June 10, 2015 4:28 am
June 09, 2015 - Burlington - Lift Bridge
Mark Nash Reports:
June 9th - 2015
Never a typical day or a dull moment during what we commonly refer to as peregrine season! Up early for work and out the door in time to drop Marion off at the Duncan Mill fledge watch and get on to work in time.
Prior to even being able to get our first Timmy’s coffee, my mobile phone was ringing,,, (and we all know only too well that its never the tooth fairy calling).
It was although, in part, some good news mixed in with not so good news, in that the call was from the Burlington Bridge staff to pass along an update on the birds status. One peregrine reported to them as being on the North Tower roof, (sadly one missing), and the third having been already rescued from the ground and turned-in to the Bridge staff by Barry. Way to go Barry!!! 2 for 3 so far!!
Way to go Barry for what would add up to be yet another successful rescue!! This time, the little grounded fledgling is a peregrine named “Wellington”,, Banded Black B over 10 with Red tape. *(See attached photo”).
While we are unsure a to how and where little Wellington came to the ground and how he was rescued, another huge thank you to Barry for doing the rescue.
This time, the little grounded peregrine fledgling was a little male.
For me, it was off to the CPF office after a long day at work to grab a net for Marion that she asked I drop off to assist her and he fledge watch team facilitate the rescue of yet another fledgling that has lost way too much altitude on its maiden flight.
Then back on the road and headed back down to the Burlington nest site to examine the young fledgling that they had rescued earlier and if uninjured, get it back to a safe elevation and the care of its parents.
Another 240 kms round trip this go round, and a second visit to Burlington in less than 24 hours, (work to the CPF office, then to the Duncan Mills nest site to Burlington and back to home in Toronto) and with the support of the Burlington lift bridge team and the Public Works Government Services Canada, I was able to get little Wellington back up to the north tower roof to release him back to the care of his parents! Under the cover of darkness, his release went text-booked success.
Oddly enough although, unlike yesterday even, during Lucifer’s release, neither of the resident adults were around to scold us about being in their air space.
Finally, back home by midnight, eat,,, file my report and get to bed!! Early morning again tomorrow, work, than the Canada Square banding, back to work.
Despite the access challenges, so far, the two successful rescues that have already taken place, have been outside of the restricted areas! Another thank you to both the Bridge staff and the PWGSC who have been very supportive. (Hmmmm, perhaps the fledglings know something that we don’t know?
Wellington was successfully released back to the roof of the North Tower under the cover of darkness looking no worse for where.
Stay tuned,,, as we know that if’s not over!
Calling on all fledge watchers for your support, as the more eyes to the skies watching, the better!!
Posted on June 10, 2015 2:47 am
June 08, 2015 - Burlington - Lift Bridge
Mark Nash Reports:
Monday June 8th - 2015
A quick summary of some of the days events, and hoping to recant it correctly as I only have bits and pieces given that I have been in the Kingston and Trenton area for the past two days delivering the Canadian Peregrine Foundations project School visit. A big thank you to Barry and his wife Linda for spotting the first Burlington fledgling and calling for support as Lucifer - (banded Black B over 11 with Blue tape) as he was named was discovered on the south side of the canal standing on the concrete pier during the bouts of the pouring rain, and for Bill and Sue for being able to get there in time to do the rescue and retrieval.
Another big thank you to the guys at the bridge for keeping little Lucifer safe and sound (and for getting me to the north roof tower to eventually do his release), until I could get there this evening to do an examination and release. I must admit, this was one of my longest days so far this season with having already completed three presentations at two separate schools in Trenton Ontario today, then rushing back to Toronto to drop off little Nova to the CPF raptor centre in Vaughan, and onto Burlington to deal with little Lucifer
With almost 400 kms and an 18 hour day logged for me today, it must be peregrine season alright! The best news, with the combined efforts of all, little Lucifer was successfully rescued and released back to his parents under the cover of darkness to the upper roof area of the north tower - (the nest tower). Despite the cover of darkness that allowed me to successfully release him - (and prevented him from bolting into a panic flight and off the roof), there was enough light to have both parents in flight overhead and quite aware of our presence on the upper roof area.
Thank goodness for hard hats and the protection of the roof hatch door that provided us with just enough protection to do the tower release and get away in safety, as both adults were quite aggressive in their efforts to convince us to get out of their air space!!
Little Lucifer was successfully released back to his parents care without incident. For me, back to Toronto and finally home after two very long days on the road and although its after midnight, finally a sit down home cooked supper!
Fingers crossed that his next flight has him staying off of the ground (and out of the water) and out of danger!
Posted on June 9, 2015 1:33 am
June 04, 2015 - Burlington - Lift Bridge
CPF Postmaster Reports:
June 4th - 2015
As we continue to work out a protocol and procedure for access to be able to rescue a downed fledgling, we desperately need your support for this fledge watch!
Again this year, we are still having to deal with overlapping bandings and ongoing fledge watches, and as you know, we’re always stressed at this time of year for both manpower and resources to cover all of the fledge watches.
Your assistance is most needed to help watch and keep an eye on the Burlington nest site, as its only a matter of time before the young peregrines start taking their first flights. Despite the access challenges, there are still plenty of spots outside of the restricted areas to watch and observe, and any eyes are better than no eyes at all!
In the interim, please come out and support your peregrines.
Posted on June 7, 2015 12:28 am
May 25, 2015 - Burlington - Lift Bridge
Mark Nash Reports:
May 25th - 2015
Banding Day - May 25th - 2015
Todays banding went very well indeed despite the feisty attitude of the three young hatchlings! While this is only the third banding so far this season, these three hatchlings were just down and outright nasty with LOTS of attitude!! Actually, just the way we like to see them!!!
The two males weighed in at 676 grams and 666 grams, with the larger female weighing in at 975 grams!
So we have the female named Stella - banded K over 24 with Yellow Tape,
Wellington banded B over 10 with Red Tape,
and finally little Lucifer - banded B over 11 with Blue tape - (guess who weighted 666 grams)
While up in the tower, I was able to get another close look at the resident adult male, and was able to reconfirm his band number Black 29 over Y
A big thank you to Clare and Jerry at the bridge and the PWGSC for accommodating and hosting the banding with all of the construction and limited access.
With the hatchlings clocking in at 26 to 28 days old, we can expect that they should be fledging and taking their first flights sometime in the next 6 to ten days.
Its going to be a very interesting watch indeed this year with 10 bandings still to complete and overlapping many of the fledge watches due to start between now and over the next three weeks.
Going to need lots of eyes and support as this site is going to be a huge challenge this year given that we are spread so thin with manpower and resources with all of the fledge watches and overlapping bandings!!
We are working with PWGSC and the contractors on site in an effort to iron out a site access protocol should any of the fledglings come to the ground in need of support.
Posted on May 28, 2015 10:33 pm
May 19, 2015 - Burlington - Lift Bridge
Mark Nash Reports:
May 19th - 2015
A huge thank you to Scott at the Burlington Lift bridge and PWGSC recent photos that they were able to capture through the nest box “beep-hole” and send to us. So we can officially confirm that there are three hatchlings in the nest box! All looks very well indeed!
Looking forward to banding and seeing them all on May 25th!
Posted on May 21, 2015 12:11 pm