March 24, 2015 - Burlington - Lift Bridge
Sue McCreadie Reports:
As of Sunday Or Monday full time incubation is underway. Cirrus is down in her usual spot at the back of the box.
As of Sunday Or Monday full time incubation is underway. Cirrus is down in her usual spot at the back of the box.
March 23rd - 2015
A quickly update to Bill and Sue’s earlier observation and suspicions based on the peregrines behaviour that the Burlington Lift Bridge peregrines have laid eggs.
We have just moments ago had a confirmation from the staff down at the Burlington Lift bridge that the peregrines are in fact currently on two eggs!
Congratulations are in order for sure for all!
Sunday March 8, 2015
+1 C / 33 F 12:30 PM Sunny and clear
Monday, March 9, 2015
+4 C / 39 F 10:00 AM Sunny and clear
Finally, above zero degrees for 2 days in row. The canal is no longer frozen over. Just the odd ice flow is making its way out to the lake. The water birds are once again busy diving for food and the Trumpeter Swans are visiting daily so they can drink and bath. YAH!!!
Cirrus and Mackenzie are very busy in and around the nest box. Cirrus is not straying too far. Mackenzie is in the box working on the scrape while Cirrus is standing watch from the corner of the nest box. There is a fair bit of calling going on between the two and lots of mating taking place. When will be have our first egg???
We were able to confirm Cirrus’ band number but have not been able to confirm that Mackenzie is the male. We are working on it. Cirrus is now 9 years old being born in Dayton, Ohio in 2006 and Mackenzie was born in Etobicoke, Ontario in 2009 making him 6 years old this year.
Keeping our fingers crossed for a successful nesting this year.
February 16th - 2015
Well, if you ever thought that the resident peregrines at the Burlington lift bridge nest site were not aggressive at this time of year, think again! A call from the Burlington Lift Bridge staff yielded some updated news on their resident adult peregrines that have been quite active over the winter months.
Today, despite the record bitter cold temps and blustery winds, there were battles going on down in Burlington at the Burlington lift bridge. Sadly, a Red-tailed hawk ventured toooo close to the territory and the resident peregrines acted with lightning speed in dispatching the poor Red-tailed hawk.
As a result, the Red-tail hawk was injured and grounded by the resident peregrines, and the quick action of the Bridge master in getting emergency help from the local Animal Control may have resulted in saving the Red-tails life. The Hamilton Animal control responded and retrieved the injured Red-tail despite it being a provincial holiday.
While we have not had any news as yet as to injured Red-tails disposition and fate, it was rescued safely due in part to the quick action of the Burlington Lift Bridge - Bridge master and the local animal control! These guys are great!!!
Despite the cold windy day, Bill took himself off to the Lift Bridge to see what he could see. Both Cirrus and Mackenzie were very visible. We have not been able to positively identify them as yet this year but we are working on it.
The mating ritual has begun. Mackenzie seemed to be working on the scrape inside the nest box while Cirrus watched from the corner. I guess he is trying to prove to her that he will be a good provider again. You can see the tip of his head and his yellow beak in the photo below.
There appeared to be something in the area that was upsetting them and both birds took off and climbed until they were just specks in the sky, kakking as they went. Nothing could be seen with the naked eye. Several times they took off towards Burlington in hot pursuit of something that couldn’t be seen.
I’m sure there will be lots to report in the days to come.
Ghent is doing well. Flying high and landing pretty good. While I wasn’t able to go the Lift Bridge today, Bill was there a couple of times to check on Ghent. We have already witnessed some talon touching with Cirrus. Today, Mackenzie brought in lunch. Bill witnessed a food exchange with the first live prey that we have observed. Ghent was accurate with his catch and flew well with it. He took it to a cross beam on the Burlington Bridge tower to prepare and eat. Great Job Ghent.
Although I was set to attend the Burlington Lift Bridge watch today I was unable to get down there and so Bill, Sue, David, Rob and Barry have provided me with an update of Ghent’s adventures today. Bill and Sue found him this morning on the top of the lift bridge towers and throughout the day he made several flights back and forth between them. His flights are really strong and he is beginning to improve on his landings. No more smashing into mommy bird to stop! He received several feedings today and was really maintaining his altitude well. This evening he spent time again at the top of the lift bridge and it looks as though, barring any serious miscalculation on his part, that Ghent is well on his way. His next big step will be to return home to the nest box which is a challenging feat and will show us without a doubt that he has acquired the control and skills to successfully move on to some serious training with MacKenzie. Great job everyone and thank you to all the watchers today for the updates.
When I arrived at the lift bridge, the first thing I did was do a sweep of the CCIW area looking for Ireland. Today is the fifth day that he has been away from the bridge. My scans yielded no sign of him so I headed over to the bridge to meet up with Bill, Sue and Barry to watch Ghent. Now that he is out of the house our attention is going to watching him and making sure that he is safe. In the morning he was found on the top of the lift bridge tower looking really good after spending the night in the scaffolding. We watched him as he hopped out to the arms of the lights and back again while Cirrus sat in the hydro tower and MacKenzie hung out on his beam on the Burlington side. Without a peep Ghent took off of the tower and flew directly over to the top of the Skyway bridge arch and the only reason we realized that he did this is Cirrus was over there giving him a lecture. She wasn’t too fond of him being there and really let him have it. He had landed on a horizontal beam that crossed over the road of the Skyway and was weaving his way through the girder. Just then another watcher arrived and after we exchanged greetings, we turned to point out his location but we couldn’t see him. Barry looked up at the tower and sure enough Ghent had made another silent ninja flight over to the Burlington tower of the lift bridge and was now on the top of the elevator shaft. Little stinker! He stayed there for a while and then decided to try for the Hamilton side but had way too much of a head of steam and overshot his landing slightly using the elevator shaft on that roof as a back stop. He stayed there for a while and then made another flight over to the Skyway arch as this seemed like much more fun. At this point Cirrus went to retrieve a pigeon that she stashed earlier and things got a little crazy. MacKenzie followed her and tried to sneak in and swipe the lunch off of her that she now gave to Ghent. This did not go well in MacKenzie’s favour. The three sat on the Skyway and snacked for a while just as the rains now came in. This settled everyone down as Ghent enjoyed his first rainbath, Cirrus went off to the Hamilton tower for her own shower and MacKenzie landed on the cable arm on the Hamilton side. A short 15 minutes or so later, the whole family was asleep.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, MacKenzie woke up and began kakking…. …at nothing! He looked around and found his mate and offspring both sound asleep where he left them and so back to sleep he went. Just bizarre!! Dreaming of pigeons perhaps. As the rains began to taper off Ghent became active and decided to go for the hydro tower where Cirrus was sitting. First he went to the Burlington tower roof and then off to the hydro tower with quite the speed! He came in way too fast and this time used Cirrus to stop crashing into her and sending her into the air as he hit. I bet Cirrus never thought being an airbag for Ghent was a part of the deal. He stayed in the tower for a while and then did several more flights, always maintaining his height and landing kind of well considering this was his second day out. He finished off the day back in the Hamilton hydro tower with Cirrus looking on and MacKenzie now under the Skyway for the night.
Ghent is doing incredibly well and is on his way to skilled flight. Unfortunately Ireland remained unaccounted for today and after 4 days of extensive ground searches we now consider him missing in action. As with all fledge watches, we take the good with the bad and do the absolute best that we can. I can say for certain that there is no better crew out here and their efforts on behalf of this family have been outstanding. Thank you to Bill and Sue, Barry and Linda, David and Rob, Bruce, Margaret, the Rochester girls and all those that have been down attending, watching, searching and supporting the Burlington Lift Bridge pair. This watch could not be going as well as it has without you!
0500 Hrs. Arrived @ bridge, set up and found Ghent in nest box and Mom in the Hamilton hydro tower.
0600 Hrs. After an hour of activity and then inaction Dad caught what appeared to be a starling and took it up to Ghent for breakfast.
0645 Hrs. All of a sudden Mom & Dad, especially Mom, went crazy alarm calling & stooping the harbor side of the Burlington side of the Bridge. This action, and considering Ghent was fairly quiet, I figured needed to be checked out. As I got over to the Burlington side of the Bridge I witnessed the female stooping what looked like a cat, (At least this the closest thing I can think it was) over on the bike path and even into the bushes. In fact there was a unsuspecting bike rider coming over the hill as the female peregrine did a 90 degree stoop on the cat.
0705 Hrs.- For the umpteenth time, Ghent flapped wings, bobbed his head, outstretch wings,……we finally have fledge. Without supervision and quietly Ghent did a classic flight to the top of the Hamilton Bridge. He then spent the next hour & half or so sleeping, eating & trying out his balance on lights over the “CANADA” sign.
1100 Hrs. In a quick happening series of events, that only got sorted out after Bill, Sue and I sat down and debriefed the incident we figured out that Mom had caught a pigeon & she used the Burlington Hydro Tower as a “Butcher Block”. Dad and Ghent were over on the Hamilton Bridge Tower and whether intentionally or otherwise flew around the tower and towards the scaffolding. Dad aggressively pursued him and managed to have Ghent land on the top.
1200 Hrs. Mom & Dad working collectively managed to move Ghent over to the bridge abutment, but as soon as he finished his food he went to “Play” on the scaffolding.
1230 Hrs. Ghent flew back in the direction he came, heading back to the Hamilton side of the bridge. He maintained height but just missed landing on a horizontal beam and dropped down out of sight. His perch must have been precarious as he came out from where he had disappeared and being lower he ended up in one of the holes in the vertical columns of the bridge.
1500 Hrs.- Ghent finally extracted himself from the above situation by flying to a horizontal beam just above the bridge traffic. He then spent the next 2 or so hours hopping around & meeting some of his future dinners (Pigeons).
1700 Hrs.- Ghent finally flew off and after several attempts @ landings came to ground behind an 8′ fence by one of the bridge abutments. Both of his parents knew his location. His next flight was over the fence (Not as easy as you think for a peregrine) and landing on the top of a shipping container. From there it was what turned out to be his last flight of the day (Final Total-8) which was around the bridge abutment, through the scaffolding and finally perching on it about 30′ up. In spite of repeated fly by teasing, one amazing flight by the female into the scaffolding to beak feed Ghent one single morsel and then trying to show him the way out, that was where he remained when I closed,the watch @ 0930 Hrs.
On Friday I was out to do the closing shift at the Burlington Lift Bridge and not a lot had changed with the status of both boys. Ireland was still not in our sights after his flight earler in the week that ended up with him in a tree on the Burlington side of the canal near to the CCIW building. Every day watchers have been searching for him since he left the tree but without any luck seeing him. He could very well be moving through the area and yet we haven’t been able to catch sight of him due to the thickness of the trees on that side. Today was no different in that we continued to check around in the hopes of getting an angle on his location.
Ghent was still in the nest box when I arrived and although he was flapping up a storm he was still hanging on to his home turf. The adults weere not as active as I am used to seeing at the bridge so they are clearly weaning him to encourage that first flight. At dusk he was still in the box but looking really ready to get going. I suspect that he will be taking off some time over the weekend and I will be back tomorrow to help on site.
Thank you to Bill and Sue, David and Rob, Barry and all of the other watchers that have been out and around to help out. I think we’re in for it tomorrow!!