December 17, 2014 - Etobicoke - Sun Life Centre
Mark Nash Reports:
December 15th & 17th - 2014
While the weather has not been very cooperative with rain, fog, rain and more rain, it obviously hasn’t prevented the local resident peregrines from carrying on with their day to day routines.
Painting has been held up for the past two days because of heavy fog and constant rain and we have not been able to proceed since Monday of this week. I guess we shouldn’t complain, as it has been seasonally mild, almost warm in comparison to the past to weeks and thank goodness its not been snowing!
While both of the peregrines were not seen on Monday when painting resumed, today, (Wednesday Dec. 17th), I had a brief opportunity to take a peak through one of the web camera’s via my smart phone, and snapped and saved a photo of one of the resident peregrines roosting on the nest tray. Sadly, I couldn’t tell who it was - (O’Connor or Jack) due to the small screen shot on my older smart phone.
For those of you e-mailing us regarding the other camera, we still have it covered with protective plastic to protect it from the second coat of paint that still needs to be applied to the elevations around it.
Stay tuned, I will back with the painters tomorrow if the weather improves while they finish up the painting at this elevation, and will remove the plastic camera covering from camera number two.
Posted on December 17, 2014 3:09 pm
December 13, 2014 - Etobicoke - Sun Life Centre
Mark Nash Reports:
Saturday Dec. 13th - 2014
Finally, the bad weather let up, gaving the painters an opportunity to get back to their painting tasks (at least for a few hours today) and they were once again hurrying along to get paint applied. Moments after getting to the lower roof elevation where the swing stage was waiting, it was quite obvious that both the resident peregrines - (Jack and O’Connor) were already very actively involved in a territorial dispute with a pair of Red-tailed hawks.
High above the Bloor & Islington centre office towers, we witnessed both resident peregrines diving and stooping on a pair of Red-tailed hawks as we watched the Red-tails twist, turn and rolled up side down in an effort to avoid being struck by the two diving and stooping peregrines. This is NOT a good neighbourhood to be flying around at any time of the year, especially if your another raptor!!
It didn’t take long for O’Connor and Jack to force the two adult Red-tails out of the territory and out of sight! That being said, this provided an ideal opportunity for us to get into the swing stage and allowed the painters to get on with the painting given that both the resident peregrines were distracted and obviously very busy to the south west while chasing off the two Red-tailed hawks. For the next four hours we had a peregrine-free time frame that allowed the painters to carry on with their painting activities at the upper elevation.
Sadly, just when all was going well, the paint compressor failed and ceased to function that ended their peregrine-free opportunity to carry on with their painting activities.
After more than a hour trying to get the paint compressor to function properly, the painters had to call it a day and we returned to the lower level and quit for the day.
Back on Monday next week.
Posted on December 13, 2014 2:10 am
December 08, 2014 - Etobicoke - Sun Life Centre
CPF Postmaster Reports:
December 8th - 2014
Just a quickly update to let everyone know that everything is well out at the Etobicoke nest site with both the building painting activities and the peregrines. For the past week, the Canadian Peregrine Foundation has had a staff member on site working with the painters to ensure that both the painters and the birds are safe. Mark Nash from the CPF has been on the window washers swing stage providing cover and protection for the two painters and ensuring that the peregrines are not hurt during the painting process. As many of you have been watching both locally and on the CPF’s nest camera, the entire exterior of the three office towers of the newly renamed Bloor and Islington Place are being painted, including that of the upper elevations,, including the nest ledge itself.
Other good news is that the nest tray has been serviced - (in part), with some additional pea-gravel having been added to the nest tray, and allot of the old debris has been removed. We also took this opportunity to take critical measurements so that the new nest tray can be manufactured and will be installed next year. While the nest tray has served the peregrines well, it is in much need of replacement. Remembering that we installed this nest tray back in 1997!!
It is worth noting that we have now seen both Jack (the resident adult male and the resident adult female - O’Connor throughout). O’Connor was on hand today to express her opinion of our activity in and around her nest ledge. In typical O’Connor fashion, and with the silence and stealth we have known to expect of her, she appeared out of nowhere, stooped and dive-bombed us a half a dozen times this afternoon, with several toooo-close for comfort dives, making contact with the broom on several occasions.
As you know, the straw broom is utilized to provide an elevated target, one that allows the peregrines an easy soft target allowing them to vent their aggression out on, while protecting the other humans on the swing stage, thus allowing them to carry on with their work activities throughout any attacks.
While the use of a straw broom worked quite well as we expected, O’Connor still managed to have us all ducking below the safety of swing stage rails throughout most of her aerial assault, as she is simply just toooo fast to get out her way!!!
She was convincing enough to have the painters hurry along to get the nest ledge area completed in record time and quickly move out of the nest ledge area!! As you may have also noticed, both cameras were covered up and wrapped in plastic to protect them from any paint over-spray that might have got onto the camera lens.
We have several more days (weather permitting) to complete the painting at this elevation. Remembering that there are still two other ledges at this elevation that heed to be painted, in addition to the areas above the nest ledge level. The remaining ledges are the ledges that Jack uses as a regular butcher block to prepare food and a roosting spot. I expect that we will also receive an additional scolding when we are at this elevation.
The great news, is that the nest ledge looks good, and the pale white colour is not intrusive at all.
Posted on December 9, 2014 11:18 am
December 05, 2014 - Etobicoke - Sun Life Centre
The Bloor Islington center is currently doing building maintenance which involves water proofing and painting the exterior of the buildings - including the nest ledge area. You will notice today that the nest box is being covered up - don’t panic, this is just to protect the box from any paint residue. The cams will also be covered up and may be offline for a few days as they complete their work.
CPF staff are currently on site and will be monitoring the falcons during this time to ensure that there are no issues.
Posted on December 5, 2014 11:19 am
August 02, 2014 - Etobicoke - Sun Life Centre
Marion Nash Reports:
Adult-pic web cam image shot from today.
Posted on August 2, 2014 4:31 pm
July 08, 2014 - Etobicoke - Sun Life Centre
Both Sunni and Skyla are home on the nest ledge for the night. If you’ve been checking the web cam the past few days, then you’ve noticed they’re suddenly spending much more time there.
Now that the window washing activities have completed over on the adjacent condos, mom has encouraged them to come back home over the past week. The past few days I’ve observed them flying to and from the condo rooftops as well. Great to see them doing so well!
Posted on July 8, 2014 9:12 pm
July 05, 2014 - Etobicoke - Sun Life Centre
Mark Nash Reports:
The best is yet to come!!! Photographers get your camera’s!!!
Remember that the family rearing process is far from being over, as its now dads turn. Over the next 30 plus days, the adult males will be doing most of the flight and hunt training with the fledglings, leaving the resident adult females some time to themselves to catch up on some most needed sleep and de-stress time. WE often see the adult females on the nest ledges doing some est box or nest tray rearranging and sleeping.
The fledglings will still be completely dependant on the adults for food, protection and support for the next 30 to 60 days as they will be staying very close to home around the nest buildings.
We often forget that the fledglings (I guess we can call them juveniles now, as they are the equivalent of teenagers in their mind set), still have no idea that they have actually been eating birds, as their food has been prepared by their parents. Many of the food packages have already had their heads removed, and with many of the feathers already having been removed, and as such, the juveniles have had no idea what they have actually been eating!
Of course its birds and only birds, but the young peregrines must be taught this!
They must be taught how to chase, stoop and dive for things and encouraged to chase their parents for the food. They must be shown what to hunt, how to hunt, how to catch it and how to kill it and then how to prepare it. The fledglings still have a long way to go before they are actually able to catch food themselves!
For the next few weeks, its all fun and games (at least for the fledglings),, but they are actually be taught important life skills that will prepare them for survival on their own this fall.
The fledglings, (juveniles) will succumb to a couple of thousand years to migrate in the fall and they will be on their own.
Most all of the resident territorial nesting adults at our southern Ontario urban nest sites will NOT migrate, and they will stay on territory all year. The adults have learned that you they can survive in the city all year long, (urban adaptation), and have figured out that there is an abundance of food around all year long, ideal habitat, no predation and lots of warmth from the buildings, especially from that of the illuminated signs that they roost on.
But the young of the year will go! Being creatures of habit (almost to a fault), what they know, they deal with,,, what they don’t know, they avoid! So its up to the parents to teach them as much as they can over next two months so the fledglings have the necessary life skills to be able to survive on their own. The fledgling juveniles typically migrate south to central and southern America for the winter months and have a very long trip south with many dangers.
Also remember, that the peregrine has more than an 80% mortality rate until it reaches breeding age (typically between two and three years of age), with the higher percentage of this mortality happening in the first year of their lives.
For all of the photographers out there, this is the best opportunity for some incredible photos of the adults training the fledglings over the next 30 plus days!! This is the time to really enjoy your peregrines,, so get out there with your cameras and spend some time with them!
Posted on July 5, 2014 11:58 am
July 04, 2014 - Etobicoke - Sun Life Centre
Thanks to Tracy who alerted to me to the fact that both Sunni and Skyla were at home on the nest ledge this afternoon. I managed to grab this capture of the two of them. I’ve been hearing them more than I’m seeing them when I’ve been out checking. Both seem to be doing well!
Posted on July 4, 2014 4:47 pm
July 01, 2014 - Etobicoke - Sun Life Centre
Baylie Kastner Reports:
We just had a deluge. I looked out of my window and saw a very wet juvenile on the roof of the nest building and Mom perched on the camera keeping dry.
Posted on July 1, 2014 10:31 am
June 27, 2014 - Etobicoke - Sun Life Centre
Beautiful day here in the city. Saw and heard both Skyla and Sunni flying around with Jack and yelling their heads off. He’s giving them some flying lessons up over the rooftop. Great to see them both doing so well, may it continue!
Posted on June 27, 2014 11:42 am