Artemis is flying well

June 18, 2020 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

As the summer is upon us, our official fledge watch is now at an end. Artemis is flying well and confidently on his own. He has been sighted with and without his parents on higher flights.

On June 18, Karen reported that the peregrines had a wee visitor to the site: “…today while at the peregrine watch, Sandye and I witnessed a bird flying around the top of the CTV tower. We assumed it was Artemis as we had just seen him in that area and one of the adults was on the tower below him keeping an eye out. We witnessed a bird doing circles…maybe 4 to 6 times …around the top of the tower and thought that kind of an odd flying pattern for a peregrine and the adult especially not joining in. I did notice an odd flash of red but didn’t question it until all of a sudden it flew towards us and landed on a closer shorter tower…we both shouted…its an American Kestrel! (male) It perched there for at least 5 minutes while we observed it and the Peregrines made no move to try and get it out of the area like it does for turkey vultures etc. I assume there was no threat felt by either party.”

Hope is doing well, however her eye is pretty bad and the refuge centre is working with a veterinary ophthalmologist on that. She has soft tissue injuries to the shoulder and head and eye trauma. Unfortunately, she may not be able to be released anytime soon if at all.

Falcon fans in KW will still be keeping an eye on the skies hoping to see some more flight training of Artemis.

Empty nest

June 17, 2020 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

The CTV cam is now an empty nest. Artemis is getting the full attention of Mystery and Engima now that he is the only fledgling at the site. There is still no sign of Casey and Hope is grounded due to her injuries. Rudy took to a wildlife refuge today. She is eating pigeon which is good news that she doesn’t have to be force fed. They are attending to Hope and will let us know what they find.

Karen reported at 9:09: “I found Artemis on the King Street side of the tower on the level below the nest box. Both parents are either a level above and one below. Artemis was preening. No signs of any other bird.” The parents are being very protective of Artemis as Sandye reported at 11:51: “Artemis, Enigma and Mystery are all on the CTV tower. Artemis took a little flight a short time ago, accompanied by a parent and landed on the top level of the tower.” At 1:28, Karen reported: “Artemis had a flight earlier. Both parents have been around and both left for quite awhile. When Artemis flew from the middle he ended up landing on the top level. Just now one of the parents brought Artemis a package.”

At 5:09, Dale reported: “Not much activity this afternoon. Both adults encouraged Artemis to fly but he’s staying put on the top level of the CTV tower and just moving around a bit.” David reported at 6:28: “A bit of action. I had lost Enigma, not sure where he went. Suddenly at least one adult appeared, and after some noise and possibly 2 adults appearing briefly, Artemis took off, I think followed by Enigma. They did a couple of circles, then Enigma led him up very high, and I think past the Sun Life building, and higher yet. After at least 2 minutes Artemis seemed to tire of it, and flew, soared and descended to the top of the Kings Tower antenna. He sat there for about 20 minutes, then took off for another flight almost as high and far, finally returning to the CTV top platform where he now sits.” At 6:51: “Found Artemis, top platform, lounging on the grate, just in front of the corner closest to the hospital parking garage. Can see him from below.”

Tara and Randy ended the watch and reported: “Artemis took off for a flight on his own north and when he returned Mystery seemed to attempt to ‘herd’ him. He’s now on the Hospital roof where we have eyes on him.” Just after 8:00, all 3 were on the CTV tower. Randy reported: “At 8:30, Enigma flew towards downtown Kitchener and has not returned. Mystery is perched between the platforms and Artemis is tucked in for the night behind the big drum at the top of CTV tower.”

Photo courtesy of Karen von Knobloch

Casey is missing

June 16, 2020 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

The fledge watch started with Tony reporting at 7:32: “I am here now and can see Artemis still at the top of the Kings Tower antenna and one of the parents is on the west side of the upper red rung of the CTV tower. Can’t see the other parent or Casey.” At 8:25, Tony checked for Casey from the Sun Life Tower but there is still no sign of Casey on Kings Tower or anywhere.

The last sighting of Casey was around 4:15 yesterday afternoon by Heather, Martha and Paayal. Heather reported: “There was a bit of flying shortly thereafter and it was difficult to see who went where. We split up a bit to try to see the King Street side of the building. I’m not sure any of us saw both chicks at the same time after that.” A ground search began shortly after 9:00. One of the adults was on the CTV tower and Artemis was on the Kings Tower antennae.

Rudy gave an update on Hope around 11:00: “Hope is still favouring her left wing this morning. No release today. The good news is that I gave her a half a pigeon and she ate it on her own with no force feeding required. I will be trying to get an avian vet to check her today if possible.”

Karen reported at 11:26: “Artemis flew along with an adult back to the CTV tower. He landed on the top level on his second attempt. We can’t see him now but Randy has checked and can see him on the middle of the platform near where the hole is. One adult is on the Mount Hope side of the next level. Can’t locate the other adult at present. Still no sign of Casey.”

In the afternoon, the team continued searching for Casey on ground, on the tower and roof tops. Dale reported: “The adults were trying to get him to fly all afternoon. I’m still not sure if he actually did. I looked at the tower from all angles about 3 p.m. and could not spot him. He must have either had a quick flight and come back when I was walking around the buildings and not looking up or he was hidden on top platform the whole time. I also did another check of the grounds around Sun Life, 18 Pine and the apt bldg at 75 York for Casey–no luck.”

Tara and I biked around Strange, Park, Glasgow and surrounding neighbourhoods. We also biked around some of the parking lots around Graffitti Market and the commercial buildings in the area. No sign of Casey.

Artemis was out of sight and Engima went in and out of the nest box a few times. He also perched above the nest box. Artemis showed up at 4:00 on the corners of the top platform, flapped a bit. He was just having a lazy afternoon lying around on the platform. Mystery headed south past Kitchener Collegiate Institute towards a crane and was seen flying with another bird with the same flight pattern of a peregrine. Could it be Casey? Enigma flew in and out and was squawking and calling for the kids from the north side of the tower for quite some time. Tara and I took a look through Mount Hope Cemetery on our separate way homes. A neighbour also searched the sports field perimeter.

More people were on the watch in the evening. At 6:46, Kim reported: “Artemis is still on the tower. Mystery delivered a package about 10 minutes ago. Enigma is back on the nest box platform (where he has been most of the evening). Short flight for both parents. Enigma is back on the CTV tower and Mystery on the Kings Tower antenna. Artemis just took a flight accompanied by Dad, and is now back on the CTV tower. Did not see anything in Mount Hope cemetery.” I walked back through Mount Hope Cemetery just before 7:00, and searched some of the perimeter, no sign of Casey. Still a few watchers out while Enigma flew in and out and Artemis back on the top platform.

The team alerted the Humane Society, Wildlife Haven in case Casey turns up. CTV was going to do a check below the locked up area of the platform.

Photos courtesy of Rudy Kruppa

!!! Artemis back in the air

June 15, 2020 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

The watch was quiet this morning with both Artemis and Hope resting from their big day yesterday. Casey was spotted by Paayal and Sandye on the Kings Towers roof. One of the adults was on the CTV tower and the other was keeping an eye on Casey from the Kings Towers antenna.

The release was scheduled for 11:00. Artemis was released with a crowd of fledgewatchers cheering him on. Janice reports: “Artemis did a couple of flights including landing on the antenna and is hanging out on Kings tower. Casey is hanging out keeping Artemis company. Both parents are very vocal and are trying to get the boys back to the nest box.”

Hope is being held for a while longer as her left wing is a bit droopy. Rudy thinks it is only a strained muscle. Let’s “hope” so!

Dale reported: “Casey and Artie stayed on the Kings Tower roof from about 12:30 to just before 3:00 p.m. Casey then flew towards the CTV tower and Artie followed. He tried to land on the antenna at the top but couldn’t so he went back to Kings Tower and made some good flights around the building before landing back on the roof. Both Casey and Artie made a number of good flights shortly after, with Casey dive bombing and urging Artie higher each time.They finally landed on the Kings Tower antenna where I left them around 3:30. Artie hasn’t made it back home yet but no doubt will try again. Casey has no trouble landing there now.”

Heather reported: “6:30 and all is quiet. Artemis is way up in Kings Tower after sharing a dinner with Mystery. One parent on CTV tower and the other left a bit ago. We think Casey is on Kings Tower building roof.”

At the end of the watch, Fraser reported: “When I left at 9:10 pm Artemis was still on the tower at Kings Tower and one of the parents was beside the L on the Sun Life Building. I assume they were staying in those locations for the night. Casey was never found and had not been seen since sometime in the afternoon. Both parents spent about 20-30 min near the top of the CTV tower near 8 p.m. and both flew at the same time to the Sun Life building. One later returned to KT for a brief visit with Artemis and then departed.”

Sandye reported: “Earlier today when I couldn’t find Casey, he was hunkered down behind the nest box. I only figured that out when Wayne saw him jump onto the verandah and then into the nest box.”

Double rescue of Hope & Artemis !!!

June 14, 2020 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

The watch started early as the search for Hope continued. Heather reported:” Karen, Tim and I have been here for a bit. Casey has flown a couple times. He’s probably hungry. We think Hope is in the same place on the hospital as last night. Parents have been over there trying to call her back. Artemis is on the platform behind the box.”

Others joined the hunt for Hope. Heather reports at 8:35: “Artemis is flapping a lot on the orange platform. Casey has been flying a fair bit. He’s becoming a pro! Casey and the adults have continued to fly over the hospital periodically.”

At 9:49, Sandye reports: “Kim, Karen, Christine and I are here. Casey has been doing some flying and is now back in the nest box. Artemis is hunkered down on the Pine Street level of the nest box level. The parents have both been flying around. Still no sign of Hope. Kim was able to get a contact of hers to look out the windows at the roofs of the emergency level. No sightings.” Paayal also contacted her unit at Grand River Hospital and convinced one of the nurses to help look for Hope.

Karen reported at 11:05: “Still no sign of Hope. Kim and Sandye are doing a ground search. Both parents have cruised over the same area as last night. No food drops that we are aware of. A short while ago, a food drop was made to the nest box and Casey is still eating it. Artemis has been out of the box all morning and making lots of wing slapping. No feeding. Girls are back and no luck. Saw an adult once again come out from the lower area at the hospital. Randy is here now and headed to the garage top and going to use his scope.”

After some searching and some help from a security guard, Paayal found Hope on the ground in the courtyard. Paayal and Rudy worked with security to rescue Hope. By 1:45 Hope had been rescued and examined by Rudy and she appeared to be in good condition.

Joy reported at 2:38, that: “Casey just did a short flight and had an awkward landing on the scaffolding above the platform and fell down to the platform.” David reported at 5:14: “I just stopped for a quick look, Casey was on the top platform. He suddenly took off, towards an adult soaring on the Kitchener side of Kings Towers. He flew around and past Kings Towers for a bit, finally landing on the antenna, half way up.”

Micah reported at 5:20: “In case there wasn’t enough excitement today, Artemis went down about 25 minutes ago, and we got Rudy to come down and rescue him. He could have been a bit banged up, but he should be okay. He had a pretty decent flight, circling around the tower a few times. Unfortunately, he did hit the tower a bit on his way down. After wandering around the parking lot, he made a beeline towards King Street, but we cornered him in some bushes before he got there. As I said, Rudy came and got him and everything is all right now. Surprisingly it’s been Enigma in the nesting box for a while now, just hoping that Casey isn’t too lonely tonight, provided he gets back from his perch about halfway down the tower okay.”

Rudy will examine Hope and Artemis more thoroughly and will hold them overnight. They will be released at some point tomorrow. Great teamwork and dedication from the Kitchener-Waterloo fledge watch team!!

Photos courtesy of Jim Bowman, Kim Woods, Randy Fowler, Paayal Burman & Rudy Kruppa.

!!! Hope fledges!

June 13, 2020 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

Around 9:00 this morning, Sandye and Christine observed that Hope had fledged too! Casey and Hope took a little flight around and landed on the tower. Lots of vocalizations. Enigma had flown off while Mystery was on the top of the tower. When Karen arrived, just before 10:00, two of the siblings were in the nest box and one kid was on the tower.

In the afternoon, more fledgewatchers arrived to keep an eye on Hope.Dale reported at 4:00, “Hope is pacing back and forth on the struts below the box. Not much activity this afternoon after the one o’clock feed except the adults doing some flybys to entice Hope. The boys are hunkering down in the box.”

At 5:16, Micah reported: “Hope just left her perch about halfway down the CTV tower and took a decent (though quite wobbly) flight to the Pine Medical building roof. The others are flapping quite a bit as well.” At 6:15, Joy and Michal reports: “Hope flew again and is now on the CTV building. We are all in different spots so we can track her if she flies again! She does not get good altitude. Both parents were out trying to help her back for this last flight. At one point she was clinging to a balcony on the apartment building. She seems to start out okay but loses her height very quickly!”

David reported: “She did gain altitude on her flight from Pine St. over to Kings Tower. She had reached a level about 4 floors from the top, but got herself in a tizzy trying to figure out where to land, and ended up trying to cling to the vertical bars of a balcony railing, (one with blue tarp behind it) flapping wildly for a couple of seconds. When she let go, she tumbled vertically for about 2 floors, then regained flight, heading back towards the CTV tower. She barely cleared the roof of the Sleep Clinic building next to the Green Street lot, flew over the medical building, finally landing on the roof of the CTV building.

This is when I went to the Hospital roof, to keep an eye on her from that angle. She sat very quietly on the CTV roof parapet for quite a while, I’m sure she was pooped. Eventually she started walking along the parapet, gaining her bearings. She eventually started exploring the roof, hopped onto some of the equipment, and finally took a short flight over to the next building - the Grand River Hospital building next to the Green Street lot. She sat there for a bit, then eventually started exploring it, looking for something higher that she could launch from.

Then she finally took off, followed closely by one parent, and we think Casey, made a wide circle back around the CTV tower, and then across King Street to the Hospital, and must have landed there. I had my eye on her fairly consistently, and not the other birds so much, so I’m fairly sure of where she ended up.”

Karen reported: “I arrived just before 6 p.m. and left around 8:30 p.m Hope is on one of the lower roofs of the grey buildings at Grand River Hospital facing King Street. Both parents flew over a few times fairly low in that area. When I left one of the parents was on the top rail at that corner to probably keep an eye on her.”

It was a busy day for the fledgewatch team, and will be an early start tomorrow, looking for Hope.

Photos courtesy for Karen von Knobloch

!!! Casey successfully fledges!

June 12, 2020 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

Fraser and Lucie were first on the watch and at 7:37, Fraser spotted Casey taking a flight towards the hospital!! He circled around and flew out of sight past the hospital. At 8:20 Casey could still not be accounted for and the call for reinforcements went out. Just after 9, more fledgewatchers started to arrive to look for Casey. Around 9:45, Sandye reports: Mystery was in the box feeding Artemis and Hope. Enigma was below the box feeding. Artemis has been flapping a lot on the verandah of the nest box and getting some lift. At 10:06, Casey flew back into the nest box!!

Karen reports, “It was relatively quiet for the next little while, other than the adults coming and going and trying to entice the young ones.” Looks like Enigma has been hunting meadowlarks. Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch.

David reports at 7:50 “Casey on upper platform, Hope and Artemis in the box. While we were there, we assume it was Casey who had a short flight (around 6:00 p.m.). We didn’t catch him leaving, or where he went, just saw him coming back accompanied by one of the parents. He at first landed on the inner white bars above the nest box, between the platforms. He hung out there for a while, periodically moving around. This while Mystery (we think) was on the upper platform, Kitchener edge, preparing (and/or eating) a fair-sized meal.

I think Casey knew it, as he kept moving around, and eventually flap/jumped to a slightly higher spot, then flew out again, a brief circle, and then up to the upper inner orange rail above the upper platform. No issue gaining altitude it seems. But he wasn’t satisfied there, watching his mom, fidgeted/moved around a fair bit, until he finally got up the nerve to fly down to the upper platform and joined his mom. Some sharing & some tugging away and back & forth ensued.

Eventually Mystery took the meal away, flew with meal first to Kings Tower, looked like she was going to land on the roof, disappeared briefly, then reappeared, flew to the Hospital roof, looked like she was going to land there, didn’t, then flew to the Sun Life tower and landed on the sign. Enigma was on the tower the whole time, on the outer railing of the upper platform.

After some time Mystery came back, Enigma took off and the two flew around for a couple of minutes, seeming to try to coax the others to fly. No dice, so they both ended up back on the CTV tower eventually, with Casey still on the upper platform and the other two still in the box, very active and vocal, but not ready to fly.

When I left the Green St. lot, Casey was still on the upper platform, the other two in the box, Enigma (I think) on the outer railing of the upper platform, almost directly above the box, and Mystery was perched on the middle of the cross-beam directly below the lower platform, on the King Street side.

As I was driving past the tower, I heard what seemed like an unusual racket, and pulled into the public lot behind CTV off Pine Street and got out to look. It looked like both adults had taken off, and chased each other around a bit. Finally one adult returned to the tower, and one disappeared. I think one ended up on the railing of the upper platform, above the nest box, (south corner) Casey was still on the upper platform, and the other two still in the box.”

A hot & windy day

June 10, 2020 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

It was a hot and windy day today, starting off fairly quiet with Casey continuing to hang out on the orange platform. Christine, Sandye, Donna and Martha were watching in the morning. I arrived around 12:00 and relieved Martha and Donna. All 3 were chilling in the box and peering outside from time to time. Only one adult was on guard when I arrived and then disappeared not long after. The wind was quite strong and it was quiet for the most part.

Dale arrived around 1:00. When one of the adults flew back into the box and launched off again, they struggled to land lower down on the tower. So much so we thought it might be one of the juveniles. The other adult arrived at the same time. No food drops. Because of the strong wind we were worried that a first flight might happen if one of the juveniles was blown off. I left at 1:30, leaving Dale on the watch. David took over later on in the afternoon with Heather, Micah & Joy showing up later. We were under a severe thunderstorm watch. Checking the CTV cam from time to time, all 3 juveniles were accounted for.

At 7:30, I walked around the site from the east, Casey still hanging over the edge of the platform, and met up with Karen & David. Around 7:45, Mystery brought in a gull and prepped it on the top of the tower, with Enigma watching and the chicks waiting. She then flew with the heavy meal out over the hospital parking garage and over to one of the rooftops of the buildings facing Green Street continuing to prep the gull. The skies were really dark and just as it was starting to downpour, Mystery flew back into the nest box with the gull. All of the juveniles were feeding well as the lightning started and the skies opened up. Karen and I left to escape the storm. Safe and sound for tonight, it looks like the wind will be brisk again tomorrow, but not so hot. We may have a first flight from Casey tomorrow as she looks the most eager to go!

Photo courtesy of Karen von Knobloch

Sunday morning pics

June 07, 2020 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

A few more pics of the falcon family compliments of Jim Bowman.

A first flight is coming soon!!

June 09, 2020 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

All hands on deck today by the KW fledgewatch team! A first flight could be within the next day or so.

Fraser reported: “All was quiet this morning from 6:55-8:05. Both parents were present on the tower most of my stay. Two young were easily seen on the porch early but then retired to the shade. The third youth was barely visible. Tony was with me there before heading to work. Very little wing flapping or vocalization even when dad flew nearby.”

Martha Christine and Karen were watching in the morning and Karen reported: “…we heard some squawking and realized one of the young is outside of the nest box on the orange platform to the left closest to King Street. Both parents were in the tower for the whole time but can only see one now. We think Mystery just left headed to Waterloo and we have located the other adult on the tower. I left around 1:30 p.m. and at the time the grine out of the box was behind the nest box in the shade. Hope did a lot of flapping today and for sure she is not the one out of the box.”

Heather reported at 3:07: “Casey is on the orange platform flapping from time to time. Hope is flapping a bit in the box. We think the kids haven’t been fed in quite a while. One parent just came back without food.”

In the evening, there were a few more watchers out. Kim reported: “Got here about 5:15, Rudy was still here. He said they ate about 4:30 and the parents took off about 5. At 6:00 one of the parents dropped a package in the box. Two were in the box and the third was on the platform. The third one then jumped back into the box. All quiet on the outside now.”

All 3 fledglings have been bopping around on the platform, and managed to get back into the nestbox. Janice reported at 9:00 p.m. that all 3 fledglings were safe on the front porch when she left. At 9:30 they could all be seen on the video cam in the nest box, but at 10:00 only one was visible in the box.

Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch