June 12, 2013 - Burlington - Lift Bridge
Sue McCreadie Reports:
Photos compliments of Jim Nelson, Burlington, Ontario.
Photos compliments of Jim Nelson, Burlington, Ontario.
The Burlington Fledge Watch was official dialled down to spot checks this past Sunday June 9th and what a great adventure it was. Three rescues were performed by Bill and Barry over the 9 days of the watch; two for Hadfield and one for Sarah. Lancaster was the first to go and has been somewhat of a superstar earning the nickname “Rocket Man” for his efforts. Cirrus and MacKensie were quite outstanding in their assist flight escorts of the juveniles and put on an amazing show of parenthood. With this Watch now closed for the season, I wanted to thank everyone who made this such a success. I would like to offer up a big thank you to the Burlington Lift Bridge staff for all of your support in the rescues and releases. I would also like to thank Bill and Sue, Barry and Linda, David, Rob and Paul for your time and efforts as well as Sean for alerting us to Hadfield’s flight out of the beam to the roadway. Bill’s recent spot check of the foursome sounded like an awesome experience with Mom, Dad and three kids “ripping up the skies” and Sarah watching from a tower roof until it was her turn. Congratulations Burlington on a job well done!
I have attached some pictures from last Sunday but there are many more photos to come!
Bill just returned from the Lift Bridge and was happy to report that the kids are just tearing up the sky. Even though it was raining, the kids were loving it. Playing tag and trying to learn to talon touch with Mom and Dad. With 5 birds in the sky it was very difficult to determine who was who. One, assuming it was Sarah, was just watching the action from the roof of the Hamilton Tower.
Bruce Massey arrived at dawn and was able to locate all four juveniles. Sarah was still in the nest box where she was placed last night. Hadfield was on the Burlington Tower Cable Arm. Isabelle was on the front face of the Hamilton Tower just below the counter weight. Lancaster was on the roof of the Hamilton Tower.
Except for Sarah and Isabelle, there were some good flights and fairly good landings.
Hadfield and Lancaster were quite comical. A couple of times throughout the day, both juveniles were on the roof of the Burlington Tower. They had come across a dried up piece of lunch. A tug of war and game of tag ensued. They chased one another back and forth along the roof edge. These two seem inseparable. Where one goes the other will follow. From the roof of the Burlington Tower to the very top arch of the Skyway and then back to the roof. I think Hadfield at one point was saying “Hey sis if I lay down here will you scratch my back” and she definitely did. LOL
When we left for home around 4PM, Hadfield and Lancaster were still on the roof. Isabelle was on the Burlington Tower Cable Arm and Sarah was still in the nest box.
When Bill arrived at the bridge this morning around 8am, the gang from Rochester were there to greet him. The girls from Rochester beat the locals. How about that!
Bill found Hadfield on the top arch of the Skyway. Isabelle was still in the nest box. Sarah was found in the trees on the lake side of the Burlington pier being dived on by Red Wing Blackbirds. Lancaster was on the Bay Side Cable arm of the Burlington Tower. It’s always a relief to find them in the morning.
Now, I cannot begin to report on all the important and successful happenings of the day, so this just a quick recap.
1. Isabelle fledged and had a strong flight between the two towers.
2. Sarah got herself out of the tree and on to the top walkway of the Lift Bridge which she walked until 6:15pm. Being dive bombed by Red Wing Blackbirds once again, she left the top of the bridge and flew around both towers. Unfortunately with the Red Wing Blackbirds in hot pursuit, she came to the ground behind the fence under the Hamilton Tower. Rescue protocol into place. We Contacted the Control Tower for assistance in opening the gate. After another safe recovery, a call was placed to Tracy Simpson of CPF. She would be down to do a health check and make sure Sarah was not hurt. Early this evening the Rochester Gals arrived to lend a hand and stayed with us until Sarah was released back into the nest box.
Many thanks go to:
MAK, Joyce, Carol, Kathy, Dana and Lisa from Rochester.
Bill McCreadie for the rescue.
Bruce Massey and Barry Cherriere for the assist.
Tracy Simpson for the scary release to the nest box with Mom and Dad attacking and Rocky Raccoon climbing the bridge structure.
Also, the Lift Bridge PWGSC employees for their assistance.
Photos courtesy of MAK from Rochester.
I apologize for the delay in posting, but it has been very hectic. Four young fledgelings can run you off your feet.
When Bill arrived at the Bridge this morning Hadfield was still on the roof of the Hamilton Tower where she was released last night. Around 9 am, the bridge had a full lift and when it came down she was on the bridge sidewalk just out of the way of traffic once again. Back into rescue protocol we go. It must have looked pretty funny to see 3 grown men (David Williams, Barry Cherriere, and Bill McCreadie) chasing this little brown bird down the sidewalk with the traffic whizzing by. Rescue complete. With Hadfield in the rescue cage, she was placed in the work shop for peace and quiet. A call was placed to Mark Nash of CPF. A release would be arranged for later in the day. Around 2:30pm Tracy Simpson from CPF arrived, and so did the rain. It was only 12 degrees. Tracy checked out Hadfield and all appeared well. She was very feisty and not happy to be in the rescue box or the second time and Tracy had the wounds to show for it. Around 7:30 pm tonight she was once again taken to the roof of the Hamilton Tower and released. She immediately started running and flapping along the edge of the tower and jump/flying from one light to the next. We packed up and headed for home around 8:30pm. We felt with all the rain, limited visibility and cold that there wasn’t much more that we could do. Around 8:30 Tracy called to say that Hadfield had taken off once again and was sitting on the highest arch of the Skyway, a good flight and a pretty good landing. Where will she be in the morning???
While we were waiting for Tracy to arrive, Lancaster took to the air. It was an amazing flight with the assistance of Mom and Dad. He landed safely on Burlington Tower Cable Arm bay side. When we left around 8:30pm he was still there.
Unfortunately through the rain and mist we must have missed Sarah’s first flight. After a thorough search, we decided that we had to give up for the night.
Isabelle was still in the nest box.
Photos will follow.
Oh my goodness, it has been an unbelievable 36 hours. Yesterday morning (June 4th), when Bill and David Williams arrived at the Lift Bridge, it was very difficult to figure out what had happened in the early morning. They determined that Hadfield was in a very dangerous spot walking a large beam on the Hamilton Tower directly above the roadway. What was a very dangerous spot turned into a heartbreaking situation. By the time I got to the Bridge around 10am, she had fallen into a hole in the beam where she was trapped. We watched her all day as we tried to figure out a way of getting at her. Could we phone the Fire Department? Could we get the Construction Company working on the Skyway to volunteer their Scissor Lift? Could we get at her with a net and a very long Pole? Would the Lift Bridge stop the traffic while we tried the rescue? Tracy Simpson from CPF arrived around dinner time to assess the situation. It was decided that we couldn’t do anything more last night. Mark Nash from CPF was going to get on it and see if he could get a Scissor Lift and approach the Lift Bridge about good time and if they would stop traffic. When we arrived this morning (June 5th) she was still trapped. It was very hard to watch her as she walked back forth inside the beam looking for a way out. Well, around 4pm this afternoon, she managed to get herself out and was on the roadway just under the guardrail with cars and trucks passing within inches of her. Shawn (sorry I don’t recall his last name), who had spent the last couple of days with us watching and photographing the family noticed her on the road. He ran and notified us and rescue protocol was started. First it was up the stairs to locate her, then down the stairs to the Control Tower to get the traffic stopped. Finally back up the stairs for the rescue. She was just barely clear of the traffic, but once the traffic was stopped, Bill and Barry Cherriere, were able to grab her, get her into a rescue box and moved her to the safety of the Control Tower. A call was placed to Mark Nash. Mark and Marion arrived around 7pm. Mark went over Hadfield with a fine tooth comb and it was determined that she was fit to release. So Mark took her up to the roof of the Tower and released her. Mom and Dad were circling and alarm calling as they don’t like you on the roof. Mark retreated and within minutes Dad arrived and delivered a meal. So awesome. When we left at dusk, she was still on the roof and after a meal we hoped she would stay there for the night.
While all this was going on yesterday (June 4th) we determined that Lancaster was no longer in the box. So the search began for him. He was located on one of the cross beams of the Burlington Tower. He spent most of the day walking the beams, exploring his new environment. Late afternoon he decided to make a move. He tried to step onto a ladder that he thought he could climb down. Not successful. He fell off and took a very short flight to the top of the bridge span. He could walk the beams of the whole bridge. When we arrived this morning (June 5th) he was still on the same beam as where we left him. Throughout the day he made a few short running flights. This evening he tried again. He made a good strong flight around the towers, with some failed attempts to land. His final attempt had him land back in the same spot where he was this morning.
So when we left at dark, we had Hadfield on the roof of the Hamilton Tower, Lancaster on the bridge and the two girls Isabelle and Sarah still in the nest box.
To Thank: Bill McCreadie, Barry Cherriere, David and Rob Williams, Shawn, Mark and Marion Nash and all PWGSC for all the assistance.
Whew, what a stressful day. What will tomorrow bring. I hope they behave as the weather forecast is calling for rain.
We will post more photos as soon as we get a chance to process.
As promised, below are the photos of the four beautiful chicks banded at the Lift Bridge on May 21, 2013
Bill and I arrived at the Lift Bridge just in time to catch Cirrus delivering a beautiful white pigeon to the nest box. The kids gathered around to be fed. With the scope you could see 2 of them fighting over a piece of lunch, one on one end and one on the other end. A tug of war ensued. There is some wing flapping going on, but not as much as I would expect at this time.
As per my previous post, we are still awaiting approval from PWGSC to post the photos of the little ones on banding day.
On Tuesday May 22nd, four beautiful peregrine falcon chicks were banded and named at the Burlington Lift bridge nest site. The OMNR, the PWGSC lift bridge staff, CPF and the community gathered around Isabelle, Sarah, Hadfield and Lancaster to acknowledge the significance of their hatching at a banding ceremony and celebrate the important role that one or more of them will play in the continued recovery of their kind. After the pictures were taken, stories shared, hands shaken and chicks returned to their parents Cirrus and MacKensie our minds turned to the weeks ahead at the Burlington Lift Bridge when these youngsters come of age to fly for the very first time. This is a dangerous and precarious phase in the lives of these chicks as they teeter, bump and land badly for the first few days of testing their wings. This is where you come in.
The Burlington Lift Bridge Fledge Watch program needs you. The Fledge Watch is set to begin on May 31st as the oldest of these chicks reaches 37 days of age. The Fledge Watch will run each day from dawn to dusk until each juvenile successfully achieves the necessary flight skills to stay aloft. The first flights are clumsy and awkward and juveniles will occasionally find themselves coming to the ground and in an urban environment that can have serious life threatening consequences. Once grounded, these youngsters are unable to return to a safe elevation without the positive intervention of someone like you and left open to predation, collisions with vehicles and many other threats to their survival. We are in need of watchers for the Burlington Lift Bridge nest site and the best part is you don’t require any special experience or equipment. The Fledge Watch program is open to all who have the gift of time to spare for Isabelle, Sarah, Hadfield and Lancaster and who would like to support their success through this period. Please consider spending some time with us, whether it is for an hour, a few hours or a day, as this family really needs you. We would like to hear from any and all that can help out at firstname.lastname@example.org as this Fledge Watch begins very soon.
Check back as more pictures of the Burlington Lift Bridge family will be posted soon.