Saturday at William Osler

June 12, 2016 - Etobicoke - William Osler

Tracy Simpson Reports:

The time has come to switch gears again to our final west end watch at William Osler and we began our full time monitoring this Saturday. Both of the juveniles are looking quite ready with very little down remaining. The female is more advanced than her brother yet both are energetically bouncing around the nest ledge building up their courage and flight muscles. Chessie was very on edge today and I thought it might be the pending flights of her young but this was something more. When I got a look at the resident male through the scope, which is confirmed again to be Casper, I can now understand. He has clearly been fighting as there is a line of feathers on the back left side of his head that are missing so that the down is now exposed. He is flying well and attentive but this evidence of a territorial battle may now explain the loss of two chicks just prior to banding. With Hurricane no longer here and this site being so desirable, the fights have continued well into nesting and chick rearing. The remaining two chicks are looking amazing and Chessie is taking a strong lead in their care. We look forward to first flights any day now.

!!! William Osler Banding - 2 very healthy hatchlings sucessfully banded and sadly 2 were found dead!

May 26, 2016 - Etobicoke - William Osler

Mark Nash Reports:

May 26th - 2016
Banding day

Two bandings again today, back to back,, William Osler this morning at 10am and Duncan Mills this afternoon at 3pm! :-)

Despite the not so good news this morning at the William Osler nest site, we still have two very healthy hatchlings that were very feisty and in fine form!
A big thank you to Todd and his security team, and to the William Osler Hospital for all of their support, we were successful in banding two very healthy peregrine hatchlings that were very feisty and in fine form!!

It might appear with all of the recent activity in the form of competition from other peregrines trying to take over the William Osler nest site, (and there has been some very aggressive squabbling among the peregrines), two of the hatchlings have succumb to the fighting among the adult peregrines and have been killed. Sadly, we had to pull two dead hatchlings out of the nest tray. The two dead hatchlings were every bit as large as the two surviving siblings, and it appears that their demise has been a very recent happening indeed!

The security staff that have been monitoring the CPF nest camera on our in-house live monitor said that all four hatchlings were all quite alive and well 2 days earlier (as of last Tuesday May 24th), so this has been a very recent event!

The two surviving hatchlings were very closely examined for any signs of illness and other injuries and were deemed by all to be quite fine!

We were fortunate to have both Mark Heaton from the OMNRF and Kim Fernie from the Environment Canada and the Canadian Wildlife service with us today to get a second and third opinion on the two surviving hatchlings. The deceased bodies were removed from the nest tray and handed off to the Mark and Kim. Given the high heat and humidity, the deceased hatchlings were not in the greatest shape.

Peregrines do not cannibalize themselves nor do they typically feed their dead to their other hatchlings as some other birds of prey do (as with Bald eagles in particular),, and unfortunately the two deceased hatchlings were way too large and too heavy for the resident adult female to remove them from the nest,,,, which would be quite typical as we have documented via the live cameras over the past 20 years.

With well over 600 peregrine hatchlings having gone through our hands in the past 20 years from nest sites all over Ontario, (excluding that of the 100 plus hacked out and fostered peregrines that we parented, raised and released back to the wild through our hack release and satellite tracking programs), I can assure all that the two surviving hatchlings are very healthy indeed!!!

That being said,, we can not although do much about the territorial squabbling between the resident adults and the other peregrine intruders that have obviously caused the problems in the first place,, as they themselves must work out these problems on their own. We can only do so much. We will although be monitoring the nest site as closely as possible.

The two surviving hatchlings at we banded,, one male and one female were in fine form,,

- a male, named Ramses weighing in at 690 grams, 23 days old, Black banded 05 over Y with Blue tape. (This is an older band, and the reason why it is out of sequence and different from all of the other bands being used this season).
- a huge female, named Sahara weighing in 985 grams, Black banded S over 53 with Red tape

We are waiting for the William Osler staff to provide us with names for the two hatchlings, and will post them as soon as we have the names.

The two hatchlings were successfully banded and returned back to the nest ledge with the resident adult female “in waiting” on the nest tray!!!

Please bear with us with regards to photos, as we have MANY photos to go through from the two bandings today. We are out on the road and in the field again all day today and not able to get much office and computer / internet time. Its that time of year again!!!!

Stay tuned……..

!!! We need your help!

May 06, 2016 - Etobicoke - William Osler

Mark Nash Reports:

May 2016
We are in desperate need of your assistance!

We are looking for someone that has in-depth hands-on experience with WordPress.
There are several major changes needed to both update some portions of the CPF web site, in addition to some design changes and in need of an experienced WordPress person that has some spare time to donate to the CPF.

This individual should also have in-depth hands-on experience with the technical side of web site management.

Please if you can help, and some spare time, we would love to talk to you!

You can contact us at the Canadian Peregrine Foundation via our telephone number at: 416-937-7226 or by e-mail to

!!! William Osler hatch,, 3 hatchlings confirmed!

May 03, 2016 - Etobicoke - William Osler

Mark Nash Reports:

May 3rd - 2016

Just getting caught up on all of the recent news and hatches as its flowing in faster than we can keep up!
It was reported as of May 3rd, that there was three of the four eggs hatched, with the forth egg now looking like its not going to hatch. That being the case, we believe based on the review of all of the observation reports, that the first hatched around April 30th.
Congratulations are in order!!!
:-) :-)

William Osler. On Track But Off the Rails

April 17, 2016 - Etobicoke - William Osler

Tracy Simpson Reports:

I have been out at the William Osler site several times over the past week attempting to identify the resident adults that are currently incubating 4 eggs in the nest tray.  This has not been an easy task as there have been too many birds to try and identify!  My first check in was late in the afternoon on Friday April 8th.  I pulled into the parking lot and found one peregrine on the eastern H, one peregrine on the ledge, one peregrine in the air.  I didn’t hesitate.  I jumped out and grabbed my camera.  I photographed anything the moved in the hopes that I could later come to understand what I was seeing and who these peregrines were.  The interactions continued for almost 40 minutes with birds in and out and all over the place.  The male finally zipped back into the tray and resumed incubation while another bird landed on the nest ledge to the north of the tray.  I could clearly see the bright blue tape on his USFW.  Wait…   …what?  Male in tray and male on ledge?  Just then the second male (blue tape) made an approach to the nest tray that got him almost in behind the sign when WHAM, out comes the resident male and the two take off to the north.  Then the resident female returned to the tray to cover the eggs. Blue tape boy is bold as brass and wants this nest all to himself.  I was sure he wasn’t going to give up easily after challenging the incubating male like that.

When I got the photos home for a look I was running through my head the events that I witnessed.  The first time I saw the three birds together there wasn’t a whole lot of aggressive attacking, instead it was the resident female that simply escorted the bird out.  The photos were able to answer why an attack was not more intense; this was a juvenile from last year.  The bird is banded and may have red tape but not clear shot could be had.  This young female was directed out of the area by the resident female before I could get anything definitive.  I was able to photograph the resident females bands and it is Chessie, black 49 over green AD, hatched in 2011 at the Central Terminal nest site in New York.

The resident male remained more elusive and I wasn’t able to get a band read on that Friday.  Bruce went out on the Saturday April 9th in an attempt to get the ID of the male and witnessed a similar scenario to what I had seen.  The only exception was that the juvenile female did not come around.  The male with blue tape on his USFW band was back and this time continuing with his bold behavior by landing on the southern H sign and eating the resident adults stash of food.  The fact that he got away with this act made me believe that our Hurricane, resident male for the past decade, has not returned and/or successfully taken back his nest site.  This intrusion would never have been allowed to occur under his watch and yet here was this intruding male eating a meal that he swiped off of the resident pair.  Where was the resident male?  Why was he allowing this?

The following day, Sunday April 10th, both Bruce and I attended the site in the hopes of an ID on the male.  Things were much more quiet this time and with little action, it made the task difficult.  We had a changeover that allowed us to get a clear view of the males bands and he is Casper, solid black 35 over Y, hatched in 2009 at a private residential site in Etobicoke.

Casper has been the resident male at the Viscount Road territory with his mate Claire from Michigan for the past 4 years producing young at a nest location we have struggled to discover.  Each season they begin nesting late and so we are busy with other sites by the time they are well hidden and incubating.  They are late nesting each year because Claire, like Hurricane, migrates for the winter and when she returns she finds her mate has slipped off to another location; William Osler.

So here’s how it works.  Claire leaves on migration from Viscount leaving Casper alone to deal with the winter influx of Red taileds and Snowy owls to the area on his own.  Hurricane migrates shortly after Claire has left, around late November, and that leaves Chessie on her own at William Osler.  Casper comes up from Viscount to Osler for the winter and hangs out with Chessie until Hurricane returns and kicks him out around the end of March.  Casper then goes back to Viscount, re-establishes his territory and waits for Claire who shows up around the first to second week of April.  It took us awhile to sort THAT out.  Phew.

The big change this year is that by April 10th Hurricane has still not been located and identified at the William Osler site leaving Casper in charge.  We have watched Casper leave the site and head southwest towards his old territory and a visit to the Viscount area revealed two adults courting around the bridge abutments of the 409 overpass.  So.  Is Casper trying to run two sites?  That would explain how little mister blue tape was able to get away with eating all the William Osler stashes for free.

While I did get a shot of the band off of the blue taped bird it is not a clear and complete read of the alpha numerics and so he remains a mystery at this time.  What I can tell you is that he is a solid black Ontario banded bird and the partial read has narrowed the possibilities.  I will hopefully have an ID on him soon for you.

I will be out for more observations this week.

William Osler Has Four Eggs

March 30, 2016 - Etobicoke - William Osler

Tracy Simpson Reports:

After MEC, I headed down to the William Osler site to check in after CPF received a report from Ross Bartlett of three eggs in the nest bowl.  When I arrived, the resident female was on her favorite corner on the southeast side of the ledge watching her mate in the nest tray incubating the eggs.  I left her there preening to hook up with Ross and security for access up to the mechanical room and the camera monitor.  When we arrived upstairs, the male was in the tray incubating and four gentleman who have been working inside the mechanical area for the past week said that the fourth egg was laid today completing the clutch.  According to these gents (sorry I didn’t get your names) the first egg arrived last week on Wed Mar 22nd.

What makes this all interesting is that I was on site last week on Friday attempting to identify both the resident adults and whether eggs were present yet.  Security was very busy that day so a trip upstairs was not great timing.  I opted instead for observations from the ground.  On Friday during the two hours I was there, neither adult was anywhere near the nest tray and while the female looked ready (puffy abdomen with a dose of egg lethargy in the afternoon sun) I wasn’t sure and made mental note to return.  So instead of focusing on the nest tray, they were instead focused on something out to the east.  This had the male very agitated and active and I suspect this is due to the return of Hurricane from migration.

Each winter for the past three years, Hurricane the resident male, has migrated for the winter.  After he leaves, Casper, the resident male of our Viscount territory just 5km away, comes and spends the winter with Chessie as his mate Claire also migrates.  When Hurricane returns, he drives young Casper back out to his territory and life for Chessie and Hurricane returns to status quo.  Add to that reports from Ross over the past two weeks of three falcons on site I believe that Hurricane is back and disruptions were ongoing right up to and including last Friday.

Who is the victor this year?  Don’t know yet.  What I can say for sure is that the male is banded with a solid black recovery band and silver USFW consistent with a Canadian born bird and the female is wearing a black over green recovery band and silver USFW consistent (but unverified) with Chessie.  I will be back this week to try and find out.

!!! Three eggs at William Osler!!! :-)

March 28, 2016 - Etobicoke - William Osler

CPF Postmaster Reports:

March 28th - 2016

We have received additional good news from Ross out at the William Osler hospital,, that his last check of the web cam monitor, that he had three eggs very visible in the nest tray!! While we can’t confirm the “who’s who” yet as far as who the resident adults actually are,, there is a resident pair for sure!!
We’ll have to wait for the results of a site visit a little later on in the week in an effort to start identifying the resident adults.
Stay tuned………..

William Osler Spot Check. All Four Juveniles Doing Great and Sven Puts on a Show!

July 21, 2015 - Etobicoke - William Osler

Tracy Simpson Reports:

I stopped in last night to check up on our Osler family and had all four juveniles on site.  Benny and Winston were on the eastern H and both had enormous crops.  Sven was roosting in the tower and Peggy was on the nest ledge napping.  After about 15 minutes on site, Sven decided he was bored and it was flight practice time.  He was encouraged to the air by a passing pigeon that he took a run at.  Not successful but a great effort.  He spent the next 30 minutes by himself on the west side stooping everything that moved and playing in the wind.  By the time the sun was beginning to set, all four youngsters were in the air and playing tag.  Sven is now as rough as Benny in his playing and gave his cocky brother a run for his money!  Twice Sven grabbed Benny by the tail which had Benny squealing like a baby to be let go of.  Sven also took on the “Peggy Tank” in flight play with her keeping up so well and being clearly the bigger of the two, she tried to take it easy on him.  Note I said TRIED.  Sven was certainly up to the challenge that Peggy presented and had fun being chased by her and trying to evade.  Winston was in the mix several times but was more content to digest the massive crop he now had than playing.

By the end of the evening, all four juveniles were playing, soaring, stooping and practicing their finesse in the air.  Such a wonderful sight.

Winston Found and Looking For Help From a Friend

July 21, 2015 - Etobicoke - William Osler

Tracy Simpson Reports:

Late last week I stopped in at the William Osler nest site to see if I could locate Winston as he was the only juvenile I had yet to set eyes on.  When I arrived, I had Chessie on the north side.  She quickly took off and was flying circles around the east emergency area of the hospital.  When she came around into full view, I could hear a juvenile screaming for Mommy but I couldn’t see it.  The strange part about it was that I could hear the call echoing down low.  I locked up the car and was about to follow the sound of the call when an ambulance attendant walked up to me and asked if I was the falcon lady.  He said that one of the young ones was down on the ground by the emergency entrance behaving oddly.  I looked over and saw little Winston on the ground and in the way of approaching ambulances.  I ran.  Fast.

When I got over to Winston and tried for a grab up he darted away and flew low up to a stump on the ground.  I went and tried again.  He evaded me a second time and flew up to a picnic table.  He was more than capable of flying but was not getting any height and making no real distance flights.  The third attempt was a success and having him in my hands I could see that he was a little on the thin side and needing some hydration.  He had also worn down the center talon on each foot so that the tip was smooth and rounded like they had been rubbed down.  Ok.  You’ve been stuck somewhere and just got yourself out and home.  I packed him up, thanked everyone for their help and took him up to the CPF Raptor Centre as it was too late in the day to take him anywhere else and I needed to assess him thoroughly.  I contacted the appropriate folks and told them that I had Winston for a brief hold over to assess whether there was any problem that required further attention or if he was just out of juice.

Back at the Centre, I put Winston in one of our pens and could see that he was really out of jazz.  Tired.  Mild dehydration (skin turgor test).  A little thin.  He struggled to fly from the floor to a perch but not due to any injury.  He had perfect symmetry, no drooping, a perfect keel and was bright, alert and responsive.  So I rehydrated him, fed him and let him have a good nights sleep.  By the next morning he was up on the highest perch and wanting to go home.  I made arrangements with everyone to set up a release time as there was no injury to Winston, only a little out of gas, and he was clearly good to go.  Bruce and I met up at William Osler.  He set up in the east parking lot and I took little man to the roof.  I called Bruce and gave him the 60 second warning; he was going out the door!  One last check and a squirt of water and he was unceremoniously returned to the care of his family.

Back on the ground it wasn’t more than a few minutes when Bruce had a bird come off of the roof, circle and land on the eastern H sign.  A little male juvenile sat on that sign and just howled for the parents attention!  Both Chessie and Hurricane were sitting in the east tower roosting and not really responding to this tantrum of sorts.  The juvenile didn’t stay long and took another flight around to the north side landing neatly on the nest ledge level where he found a pigeon.  Bruce confirmed through scope view that this was in fact Winston and he was now gorging on the pigeon leftovers that he had found.  After packing it all in, Winston took a break on the ledge and that was when Sven arrived; the first sibling to witness Winston’s return.  He flew circles around the hospital watching this juvenile.  It was like he recognized him but couldn’t place where he knew him from.  Sven then flew over to the hydro tower to tell Mom and Dad what he had found.  Benny and Peggy were now making their way home and Winston continued to vocalize to his family.  Chessie, Hurricane, Peggy, Sven and Benny were now all in the hydro tower together and Winston could not wait a minute more.  He took a brilliant flight over to the tower landing perfectly beside Sven who was playing it cool.  We now had all 6 falcons in the tower together.  The two boys were about 8 feet apart and Winston slowly over the next half hour inched closer and closer to Sven.  When they were about a foot apart, Winston flipped his head in play at Sven and after about a minute of considering what to do about this, Sven returned the gesture and the boys beak tapped.

Well!!!!  That was all it took!  One little beak tap showing acceptance set off a rip roaring evening of play.  The next two hours leading right up to dusk was full of play time with all four juveniles now performing aerial mock attacks with each other, roosting together and celebrating the return of Winston.  Chessie and Hurricane brought in food for all four of the kids and as we were leaving with very little light left in the sky, they were all still playing wildly around the hospital.  Winston was back with his family and filled to the brim with food.  Bruce and I can’t say enough how happy we are that Winston was found and is home safe and sound.

Monday at William Osler

July 14, 2015 - Etobicoke - William Osler

Tracy Simpson Reports:

I didn’t get there as early as I had intended so my hopes of seeing much I knew was pretty slim.  Even so, when I arrived I found Hurricane exactly where I expect to see him on a hot and muggy morning, asleep in the nest tray.  Chessie was not on site and after checking around the building the only two kids I could see were Sven and Peggy.  Both of them did short flights around the hospital and a few jaunts to the tower and back but they were happy to sleep away the afternoon on the north side in the shade.  I will continue to check back in when I can later this week.