July 04, 2015 - International, National and Local News
CPF Postmaster Reports:
Saturday July 4th - 2015
A big thank you to Barb at Holcim Miss. after her Saturdays visit to their Colborne quarries,, and for sharing yet another great photo of their three newest feathered residents.
While somewhat typical of what you might expect to see in the far northern regions of Ontario where the vast majority of Ontario’s peregrines actually reside, (well at least the historical peregrine population),, this is something of a twist!
A man made cliff (but a cliff type situation with a ledge never the less), but with a stick nest base,, courtesy of the recently evicted occupants,, (the ravens), and you have a nest site that we refer to as a “near-urban“. Not quite an urban nest site under its true definition, nor a non-urban under its true definition. Unlike many of the other peregrine sub-species in Europe and Asia where some actually nest in trees, our three native / indigenous North American peregrine sub-species do not nest in trees, nor do they actually bring in sticks or any other nesting sub-straight. Historically, (and instinctually), peregrines here in North America are cliff nesters and dwellers.
That being said, a few stick on a ledge (as long as its on a cliff) is obviously not a deterrent at all. Quite a bonus I’d say! The picture tells it all!
So, like the two other quarry nests and the earlier Niagara nest site when the peregrines were nesting on the gorge ledge, the “near-urban” designation fits quite well indeed.
So back to the Holcim quarries nest site, one of the three hatchlings has fledged, (a male), with the two other hatchlings still yet to take their first flights. It might also appear that one, (if not both of the other siblings) might also be males now that we can see a good view them.. In any case, they are all looking pretty good indeed, with their “Taj Mahal” of all nest sites here in southern Ontario!!
Unfortunately, neither of the resident adults are banded so we have no idea of their history or origin - (urban, non-urban or near urban produced)? Thus will be the case with the three young produced this year, as there was simply not enough time to organize a banding within the appropriate banding age of the hatchling this season so we will never know their fate.
Next year we hope to on top of this one and looking forward to working with our new friends in Colborne!
Attached is a GREAT photo of the nest and the three young peregrines!
Photo credit to follow…
Thank you ALL for sharing this great story with us!!
Posted on July 6, 2015 12:54 pm
July 03, 2015 - International, National and Local News
Mark Nash Reports:
July 2nd - 2015
While a late posting, a great happening never the less! Over the past few months, we have speaking to Barb from the Holcim Mississauga plant about an exciting situation in the making at their Ogden Point Quarries in Colborne Ontario, (between Cobourg and Trenton).
Back in early April of this year, the quarry staff started to see what they though was peregrine activity around the quarry and sent in the first photos looking for us to identify their new resident birds. *(See photo of the two peregrines in the tree).
Not too long after this first photo, it had become very apparent to the quarry staff that the two adult peregrines had set up house in a large hole in the side of the wall within the quarry that had been used over the years by nesting ravens. (I guess its no surprise to figure out who won this battle) and eventually ended up nesting in the nest cavity)! Sorry ravens You know what they say, Location, Location, Location!
So as the story unfolds,,, you can probably figure out what has taken place. The next serious of reports and photos that Barb sent into us (reported to her and taken by the quarry employees over the three months that brings us up to July 2nd), clearly shows the net result of the peregrines activities.
While it would have been most unusual for our native North American peregrine sub-species to nest in trees and stick nests, we are clearly now seeing the result of the mixing and hybridization of our native peregrines with the addition of the many non-native peregrine sub-species that has been introduced into the gene pool over the past 40 years during the two national recovery programs in the USA and Canada, as it is clearly showing just how incredibly adaptable that the peregrine falcon can be!
While it is not that unusual for peregrines to capitalize on just such a great nest site, (being cliff dwellers / nesters), we obviously don’t have allot of high cliffs here in southern Ontario,,, (well until we started building and creating them) like all of the hi-rise office towers, and as with some of the quarries we now have. Man made or not, natural or not, they are cliffs never the less as far as the peregrines are concerned, and with cavities like this one out at the Holcim Ogden Point Quarry, both the ravens (and now the peregrines) have capitalize on an ideal nesting spot, one that offers some ideal nesting situation and an ideal surrounding habitat that both hosts and provides an abundance of avian food sources!
So as the story continues to unfold, as documented by the most recent round of photos and observation reports relayed to us, it clearly shows that the two unbanded resident adult peregrines have been successful in producing two young, that have successfully fledged!!
Unfortunately, we were not able to band the two young fledglings this season, as the nest location within the quarry is not easily accessible, and by the time that we received the updated photos and observations reports of the adults behaviours, there were already hatchlings that were too old to safely access the nest to band them.
Hoping that the pair return next season and we can get access in time to band any offspring that is produced.
A huge thank you to all of the Holcim quarry staff, and for sharing this great story and fantastic photos!!
Congratulations Holcim Ogden Point Quarry staff!!! Looks like a great situation!!!
Posted on July 4, 2015 2:59 pm
June 30, 2015 - International, National and Local News
Mark Nash Reports:
June 30th - 2015
I apologize for the late posting, but my day ended at 3am, (with yet another unplanned 20 hour day before I could actually get home). Just as I arrived back in Toronto and walked through the door, another call came in that had me rushing back out the door to yet another peregrine site in Pickering, doing a ground search for another downed fledgling in the darkness and fog until 2:30am in the morning. While successful in our efforts, having found the young fledgling before the raccoons and other night predators did, and returning it safely to the nest ledge and its parents, I have to admit, the 20 hour days were much easier to handle when I was 30 years of age. Now at 58, some of these long days are getting much harder to handle! Finally home by 3am, I just didn’t have it in me to get on the computer to do anything, let alone to start hours of editing of all of the camera footage and photos to make them ready for posting!
In any case, back to the Beachville peregrines,,, Some of the mystery unfolds!
With a third site visit having been completed today at the Beachville quarries in an effort to positively confirm what is actually going on with their resident peregrines, we no longer have to speculate. This time with the help of a 135 foot man lift and with Andrew at the controls, who was kind enough to give us some of his time this afternoon to operate the giant 135 foot man lift, I can confirm without any doubt that the Beachville resident peregrines are in fact incubating eggs!
With the additional help of a little modern technology, the new colour Garmin wireless camera, we can confirm after reviewing some the recorded camera footage that the resident adult female is in fact involved in full time incubation with at least two eggs,,, and another two very pale sun bleached eggs on a separate section of the ledge having been abandoned altogether.
A huge thank you also goes out to Lucie who has been travelling from Toronto to the Beachville site collecting and recording observations of the pairs activities, and we can confirm via her observations that the resident adult male is dawning a Solid black leg band identification, and that it is still Joe, a 2010 produced peregrine from the Hamilton Sheraton Hotel nest site.
His new female mate is banded with a Black over Green leg band, and we are currently checking the band numbers to get an identification and history on her. Last year, as you might recall, Joe’s female companion was a 2011 Scarborough Yellow Pages produced female peregrine named Rihannon - Black banded 53 over X, but it would appear that she has now been replaced by this new Black over Green banded female. Good solid investigating Lucie!!!
This might explain the two older abandoned eggs?
Stay tuned for a more detailed report, some photos and some of the camera footage once I have organized, colour corrected and edited the camera footage……
On another note, I was lucky enough to snap a few photos myself after my man lift, of a Turkey Vulture who literally dropped in and landed on a hydro pole 10 feet directly in front of me while Lucie and I were watching the peregrines from the side of the roadway. Ok, not National Geographic photo stuff, but quite a close-up rather intimate personal visit with the Turkey Vulture!
This event happened seconds after me explaining to Lucie that I had NEVER been able to photograph a Turkey Vulture up close (nor ever seen one on the side of the road actually standing),, and that my usual experience seeing them had always been at great distances, always soaring high in the sky, but never ever close up)!
Well, did I get a surprise today!! Hello!
Posted on July 2, 2015 12:25 am
June 21, 2015 - Toronto - Rogers Centre
Linda Woods Reports:
Sunday June 21st - 2015
I had two in view this afternoon. I left at 2:30 and returned at 5pm.
What an air show with at least 2 juvies in the air.
It wasn’t until 6:30 that I spotted another on the south side of the Centre close to where the release was. It stayed there for the longest time, and the adult weren’t in view. I wasn’t sure if the adults were ignoring it or didn’t know it was there. At 7:30 the adult female came in and it had a good feed. It stayed there and made no attempt to fly.
When I left at 8:15 and it was lying down on the south side of the Centre next to one of the light boxes. It could have been a third juvie not sure with two of them flying very well. Little Pop Fly likes to land on the window frames of the up structure of the CN Tower.
Posted on June 22, 2015 11:41 pm
June 22, 2015 - Toronto - Rogers Centre
CPF Postmaster Reports:
June 16th - 2015
Ok, this is getting a little much,, with three of the four Toronto Rogers Centre fledglings having been rescued in the past 48 hours.
Someone said, its actually raining peregrines, and they were right!
This short little clip shows the CPF’s Mark and Marion deep within the mechanical room of the Renaissance Toronto Hotel at the Toronto Rogers Centre successfully rescuing the little fledgling that was names “Pop-Fly”. See the CPF YouTube video at: https://youtu.be/MWmOR5b3hPE
Having been caught in the air duck on the upper roof, then falling down two floors within the hotel into a closed off mechanical room, it was lucky that he was actually spotted at all by one of the hotels engineers who just happened to hear an odd noise from behind one of the locked doors, and luckily he investigated! The engineer alerted Dave McCormick at the Rogers centre and he called CPF after investigating himself to confirm that it was a peregrine falcon.
So you can see by the video, there was simply no way out for this little guy to escape on his own and rescue came just in time!
It is worth noting that this is the exact same area of the hotel that we rescued another one of the Rogers centre’s fledglings last year!
Posted on June 22, 2015 1:13 am
June 20, 2015 - Toronto - Rogers Centre
Mark Nash Reports:
June 18th - 2015
All Three Rogers Centre Fledglings were successfully released back to their parents today with both resident adult parents in attendance!
With the added bonus,, we were also able re-confirmed that the forth fledgling is still very much alive, on site, quite visible and doing very well indeed!! It looks like another female by it size after looking at the photos, and is the only one of the four that has not come down that needed to be rescued. As such, the forth juvenile is NOT banded like it other three siblings.
So, their particulars are: 3 females and 1 male
1st- Female - 865 grams, banded K over 40, named “Striker” with Red Marker Tape
2nd- Female - 855 grams, banded K over 41, named “Chopper” with Yellow Marker Tape
3rd- Male - 682 grams, banded X over 02, named “Pop-fly” with Blue Marker Tape
*4th - Female - *Unbanded
The triple release went very well indeed despite my anxiety of having to put three fledglings back on the same roof and not causing them to panic-fly and bolt off a ledge or upper roof elevation by my presence, before I could get off of the roof area and out of their sight.
With Linda Woods in position on the ground with a radio and binoculars in hand, Lee, (one of the Rogers centre engineering staff) we made our way to one of the upper roof elevations on the south end of the Rogers centre where we found an ideal release spot, one that was protected with a 8 plus feet tall retaining walls on both sides and away from the tracks that allow the Rogers centre roof to open.
With the Blue Jays and Mets game only moments away from starting, (and while the Rogers dome/roof still closed), the large rescue carrier that containing the three fledglings in was put in position, the door was removed and finally the towel removed, I was able to escape their view to the man door where Lee was waiting and get out of their sight before any of the fledglings left the carrier!
A huge thank you to the Rogers centre staff for all of their assistance with both the rescues and releases, and for their consideration of keeping the Rogers centre roof closed for this go-round of these releases. It is nice to see that Rogers has consideration for Canada’s species at risk with both the birds and the public’s safety and health in consideration.
A big thank also you to Linda Woods for coming down and spending so much time on the Rogers centre nest, as this location is a very challenging location to deal with,, , with no affordable parking, a very congested part of the city and no local support to count on!
The Blue Jays and Mets game of course went on as scheduled, with a packed stadium of baseball fans completely unaware of all of the outside rooftop activity going on with their resident peregrines and their four babies!
Before I could get back to the ground and hook up with Linda, the little male “Pop-Fly” with the Blue tape, was already air borne and chasing his parents around for food!!! We watched Pop-Fly and his unbanded sister squabble on the Rogers centre roof for the food that their dad brought in, (hastily taken by the resident adult female) that was initially delivered to Pop-Fly.
We watched allot of flights and interaction with the two fledglings and the resident adult parents, and it was quite obvious that both resident adults were a little overwhelmed with the return of three of their offspring all at once. We did not although see either of the two banded fledglings leave the release site, and of darkness, they had not become visible to our view.
We departed at dusk.
Posted on June 19, 2015 12:20 pm
June 16, 2015 - Toronto - Rogers Centre
Mark Nash Reports:
June 16th - 2015
Ok, just when you think that it can’t get any more hectic, trust me,, it can! Remember, its peregrine seasons!!!
Rules of engagement and supplies needed, forget your social life, family and friends,, don’t bother to waste your money to shop for food, as you’ll never be home long enough to eat it before it goes bad, bring lots of extra change of cloths, (and a pillow) because your going to be sleeping allot in the car, don’t forget to pack several rescue carriers, several nets, a couple of brooms, your fall arrest harness, banding kit, safety boots and hard hat, plenty of gas money and credit cards and Oh yes, don’t make any other plans for about eight weeks, as your going to quite busy working, sleeping, eating in the field and on the road in your car as you will be making new feathered friends along the way! lol
Well OK, your new feathered friends won’t actually consider you to be their friends, so don’t forget to bring lots of alcohol pads and a box of band-aids, as your going to need them!
Shortly after making arrangements with Mark Heaton from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests, (who by the way had to rush off immediately after the Ontario Power Generation Pickering banding yesterday to travel to North Bay Ontario to attend a bear training course), to get his OK to petition Anne Yagi from the Vineland office of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for her support to band the two rescued Rogers Centre fledglings.
After tracking Anne on her day off and at the golf course, she agreed to finish up earlier than planned and we arranged to meet her at her district office in Vineland Ontario so she could band the two young peregrines. It was moments after the serious of phone calls with both Anne and Mark that the phone rang again with a very familiar name and number, (from non-other than Dave, the Director of Engineering at the Toronto Rogers Centre).
Thinking the worst (that maybe his little rescued little peregrine may have developed some unforeseen medical challenges), I braced myself for the worst as I answered the phone.
Actually not really bad news, as Dave explains that the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel had called to say the they had one of the adult peregrine falcons trapped in the mechanical room of the hotel and needed assistance to have it trapped and removed. He knew that it was not likely an adult, and figured that if it was a peregrine eat all, it would likely be one of the fledglings. As some may recall, Marion and I were called down to the same hotel last year, and successfully rescued one of the Rogers Centre fledglings from the same area of the hotel!
Fortunately, Dave was able to go over to the hotel and confirm his suspicions that it was in fact one of the young fledglings and not an adult.
So Marion and I were back off on a road trip to the Rogers Centre and the Toronto Renaissance Hotel to hook up with Dave and the hotel staff. Stopping quickly at the CPF storage locker to pick up yet another rescue carrier, several towels, brooms and nets, it was a race to get downtown before the traffic chocked the highways with the start of the evening rush hours traffic.
When we arrived at the hotel, Dave met us with the CPF rescue carrier containing the young juvenile fledgling that he has rescued earlier. We stowed the bird safely in the car along side its sibling that had been rescued from the Baton Rouge restaurant and we proceeded to the upper hotel mechanical room to investigate. Armed with two nets, two brooms and a flash light and another rescue carrier, we were directed to an enclosed area where the young peregrine fledgling was last observed roosting on a pipe close to the ceiling.
Yes, this area was very familiar indeed, the same place that Marion and I had in fact attended last year and rescued a young peregrine fledgling that was produced at the Rogers centre. Utilizing a tall latter, broom and two nets, Marion and I were successful in catching the young fledgling and quickly had it in safely in the rescue carrier without further incident.
Back to the car, now with all three Rogers fledglings in rescue carriers, we headed out to meet with Anne Yagi from the Ministry of Natural resources at her Vineland office. I guess we missed the opportunity to dodge the evening rush hour traffic, as the it took almost three hours to get from the Rogers centre to the MNR Vineland office!!
Meeting with Anne at the OMNR Vineland office , we were able to band the three fledgling juveniles in record time and headed back to Toronto.
So, their particulars are: 2 females and 1 male
1st- Female - 865 grams, banded K over 40, named “Striker” with Red Marker Tape
2nd- Female - 855 grams, banded K over 41, named Chopper with Yellow Marker Tape
3rd- Male - 682 grams, banded X over 02, named Pop-fly with Blue Marker Tape
A huge thank you to Mark Heaton, Anne Yagi, Dave McCormick and the Rogers centre staff, the hotel staff and Marion from the CPF for all of their efforts again in assisting and supporting both the CPF and their peregrines!
What a great team of fabulous caring people!!
All three fledglings will be will be released back to the Rogers Centre and their parents tomorrow.
Stay tuned for more tomorrows release details……..
Posted on June 17, 2015 12:34 am
June 15, 2015 - Toronto - Rogers Centre
Mark Nash Reports:
June 15th - 2015
While it might appear to many to have been a more than crazzzy 18 hour day today for most, believe it or not, it was actually just a typical day for us at the Canadian Peregrine Foundation. We simply just refer to it as being peregrine season.
The day started out with two scheduled banding events, one in Oshawa at the Oshawa Lake Ridge hospital at 9:30am this morning, and the second banding event out in Pickering, at the Ontario Power Generation Nuclear facility at 1pm.
Between the two banding events, we received a call from the Director of Engineering to request support and assistance, as one of the their four young fledglings had come down to the ground and was on the street level outside gate 5 and in front of one of the retail entrances obviously in need of help.
In typical peregrine form, the young fledglings often don’t do well with their maiden flights, being too heavy - (laden with baby fat), uncoordinated, unskilled, and lacking the confidence they need to fly, they end up on the ground confused as to why they simply can’t fly like their parents. It looks so easy!
You’ve got to think of them as an infant child learning to walk for their first time, where their trials and errors have them standing and falling many times before they get it all coordinated and eventually learn to actually stand upright and eventually walk.
Its not much different for many of the young peregrines, in that they too take a little longer to coordinate all of the body parts, their two wings and their tail,, loose some of the heavy baby fat that weights them down, and a hole lot of practice to be able to actually hold their altitude and stay aloft.
Landings are another story altogether!! It is one of the most difficult things for a young peregrine to learn to do, land as opposed to crash and land that many end up doing in their first dozen or more attempts!
Mastering sustained flight is a real learning experience for most large falcon young!
In any case, a quick rescue lesion 101 with Dave over the phone, and with a towel and the CPF rescue carrier on hand, Dave McCormick jumped into action and was successful in his efforts to rescue the young fledgling!! Great going Dave!!!
Given our situation, with still one banding still yet to do, and with the time lines and staff support at the Rogers centre to be able to get up to the roof to do a release, it was decided to hold the young fledgling over until the morning when the young bird could be properly examined for any traumas that it might have sustained as a result of a hard concrete grounding, and be safely and be released back to the upper roof elevation back to its parents.
By 8pm, with the two banding completed, we were finally able to get back at the CPF office, trying to weigh through all of the photos and observation notes and reports in an effort to get them posted, and then get back out to the field to the Don Mills Amexon nest site to meet with Cathy and Irma by 9pm to release their rescued fledgling that they recovered from the parking lot the night before.
Once again, our plans were somewhat foiled as the phone was ringing again with yet another downed fledgling from the Rogers nest site in downtown Toronto.
A huge thank you to the staff at the Baton Rouge restaurant, and two out of town patrons who were dining at the Baton Rouge restaurant on Front street in downtown Toronto, just a block over from the Rogers centre.
As the story is told by all, one of the young fledglings apparently dropped in for diner (obviously without a reservation) and ended up coming down into the outdoor patio area of the restaurant in the middle of all of the restaurant patrons. With the quick action of the restaurant manager and staff, they were successful in scooping up the young peregrine and getting it into a cardboard box.
At this time, two of the out of town restaurant patrons, Brianna and Katie Johns quickly jumped into action to their smart phones and Googled peregrines Toronto and found the Canadian Peregrine Foundation web site and contact telephone numbers.
After talking to the both Brianna and Katie, (and having received their video clip and e-mailed photos), it was easy to identify their un-invited, party crasher peregrine diner guest and I was back into the car on route to the Baton Rouge restaurant to pick up the bird.
With this young fledgling now secure in a rescue carrier, and having been able to examine the fledgling, it was obvious that there were no injuries and the bird was deemed releasable. On the road again to join Cathy and Irma at the Don Mills nest site, see security to arrange roof top access, and with Cathy and Irma’s help, their little downed fledgling “Lilly” from the Don Mills site was back to the roof and to her awaiting parents.
A very successful text-book towel type of release under the cover of darkness!!
So back to the rescued Rogers Centre fledgling, who will be released back to its parents tomorrow - (along with its sibling in waiting in Dave’s office that he had rescued earlier this day).
Stay tuned for updated information and photos to follow…..
Posted on June 16, 2015 12:08 pm
June 09, 2015 - Toronto - Rogers Centre
Mark Nash Reports:
June 9th - 2015
A huge thank you to Linda who has trying to keep a eye on the Toronto Rogers centre peregrines. As you know, they been very difficult to get a handle on, now back to the south east ledge where they nested three years ago.
With a very deep drainage trough that runs down the centre middle length of the nest ledge it has been impossible to see what the adults have been hiding. While we know that they have been incubating an undisclosed amount of eggs, by virtue of seeing both adults, but only one at a time (and with shift changes going on at the nest ledge), it was only a matter of time before something else materialized.
Well, a week ago, Linda was down watching just at the right time, when three advanced age hatchlings were finally old enough (and actually capable to get out of the drainage trough up to the ledge where we they can actually be seen from the ground) and finally came in view!
While we were well aware of a hatch after seeing food going into the nest ledge by both parents on different occasions, we had no way of getting to view down onto the nest ledge and then down into the drainage trough to be able to see anything.
So now the best news,,, in that Linda’s visit today yielded the sight of FOUR hatchlings!! Sadly, although, three of them are ready to take flight with virtually no down, while the smallest hatchling still has about 30% down.
Oh my goodness, four ready to go ……………..
Posted on June 12, 2015 5:42 pm
June 11, 2015 - International, National and Local News
Mark Nash Reports:
June 11th - 2015
Again rushing around to several areas of the province this week, we have not had a lot of time to get all of the updates posted, as there has simply not been enough hours in the day (or night as its working out) to get any time at home, let along on the computer.
Full time incubation continues, with a very shifty sneaky resident territorial pair of peregrine!!!! We were almost fooled!!!!
Stay tuned for the Beachville peregrine updates and photos………
Posted on June 12, 2015 3:18 pm