Chroma is flying well!

June 28, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

On Friday at 9:30 a.m., Caster was perched on the top parapet on the Sun Life building facing east. One of the juveniles, probably Reggie, was perched on another parapet mirroring his Dad as they surveyed the territory. At 9:45, an adult and juvenile were seen flying circles around the building for about 15 minutes. A second juvenile joined in the chase!! Office workers on the top floors could hear the juveniles vocalizing and they were seen as far down as the 14th floor. From 12:30 to 1:00, Dale dropped by. Caster and Mystery were now on the hospital antenna and CTV tower. Two juveniles, including Chroma, were on the CTV tower, and one was on the hospital roof. The fourth juvenile could be heard vocalizing from the hospital roof while lunch was being prepared and feathers floated down from the rooftop! Caster and Mystery both did some fly bys and one juvenile followed. At 6:15, two of the juveniles, could be seen on the top of the hospital that supports the tower. In a blink of an eye, in typical “grine” fashion, both disappeared out of sight. At 7:00, Karen and Janice could account for all four juveniles. Kings Towers was the preferred perch that night which they haven’t been frequenting for the last week or so. Redbud and Reggie were doing most of the flying. Redbud, a.k.a.Redbutt, did a beautiful little song and dance landing on top of the red light on the Kings Towers antenna to end the evening!

Karen and Chris stopped by on Saturday morning at 10:00 before it started raining. One of the adults was on the CTV tower, while three of the juveniles were seen chasing each other. The rain kept the fledge watch team away. On Sunday at noon, one of the juveniles could be seen from Central Fresh Mart, flying around Kings Towers and landing on the roof. At 7:30 p.m., Karen and Chris stopped by after the rain stopped. One was sighted on the roof of Kings Towers and one on the antenna. Two juveniles were in the flight chasing one another. Shortly after an adult did a flyby with a juvenile in tow. Ginnie and Redbud did over 15 minutes of flying and acrobatics. Ginnie dashed off at one point looking like she was on the hunt after some prey! After the adult left, Chroma landed on the CTV tower and eventually joined in the falcon follies! Her flights were strong and she landed well, on top of the Kings Tower antenna. Thanks to Karen, we finally have confirmation of Chroma in flight and she seems to have recovered from her misadventures.

I stopped by at 9:00. The sky was brilliant for a few minutes but very quickly the light faded as the temperatures dropped. One juvenile was hunkered down behind the drum on the CTV tower, and a second one flew in beside it. One landed on the other CTV tower and then a few minutes later flew on top of the nest box and was joined by a sibling. Just when I thought they were all settling in for the night, they started flying again! One to the hospital, one to Kings towers, and one remained on the CTV tower. At least 3 were in sight but it was getting too dark to do a full count. All of the juveniles are flying well and their flying skills are getting better and stronger each day. Reggie and Redbud are at the top of the class, while Chroma is making a great comeback after her rocky start. Ginnie, the last one to fledge, is keeping up with her siblings.

Caster and Mystery are permanent residents of Kitchener-Waterloo and have been sighted year round from BMO in Waterloo, to Sun Life and CTV to the buildings downtown and both St. Mary’s and Grand River hospitals. The kids now need to learn how to hunt in order to make it on their own and establish their own territories. The skills they are learning now will last them a lifetime. From what we are seeing from their parents, they have the very best teachers. Too soon, we will have to say goodbye to these youngsters as they leave their parents’ territory, but for the next month or so we will continue to watch their progress as long as they give us a show!

Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch

Rebud Redbud Redbud & Chroma Redbutt Redbutt Chroma

Reggie is flying far & soaring high!

June 25, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

At 10:00, Janice saw one of the juveniles fly from the front of the Sun Life building and back to the hospital roof, vocalizing and flapping like crazy. Karen at 10:15, sighted one adult on Sun Life, 3 juveniles on the CTV tower and one on the H level of the hospital roof. It looked like Chroma as Karen got a glimpse of her yellow tape.

At 12:30, Caster was perched in his favourite spot on Sun Life and took off a minute later on the hunt down over the parking lot close to Park St. He flew over the parking lot on the Mount Hope St. side with 4 tiny birds chasing him! I could hear some juveniles screeching when he got towards the hospital. I only sighted one juvenile on the CTV tower on the Pine St. side. It was standing up and was holding it’s right wing down over the platform. This behaviour of drooping wings is often observed when they are resting. It was hot out and likely the kids are all hunkered down during the hottest part of the day. The juvenile on the tower went out of site on the platform when I left at 1:00.

David was on the watch at 6:30 and sighted two juveniles on the hospital roof above the H sign. One juvenile circled the hospital then flew towards the Sun Life tower and out of sight. A little bit before 7:00, a mallard flew by. A juvenile landed on the hospital antenna. About 10 minutes later the juvenile flew off of the antenna and joined its siblings above the letter H. Karen and Chris, were on the watch by then and Chris sighted all 4 juveniles together on the hospital roof. One of the adults was on the Sun Life building. The fledge watch team have not observed any flights from Chroma this day to assess her flights.

At 8:45, Karen and Chris watched Reggie take off and fly towards the Sun Life building! He landed on top of Sun Life and took off and landed a few times!! He knows how to put on the brakes by holding up his wings. Reggie soared around the top of the building a few times and then he flew over to Belmont Avenue and even did a dive towards some seagulls! This little guy’s flying skills are getting stronger and more confident each day. Eventually he came in and joined his siblings at the hospital. After a little while, he flew back to the CTV tower. A few times a parent came in during all the action but there were no food drops. Little Reggie is the superstar on this day!!

Photo courtesy of Karen von Knobloch

The gang

Chroma’s big flight

June 24, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

Just before 9:00 this morning, Tony was alerted that Chroma was on top of the 19th floor balcony at Sun Life, where Merry was trapped for a few days last year. Janice and Tony checked on her at various times during the morning. A Sun Life employee on that floor reported that Chroma was on her side. When Janice investigated, Chroma was lying down against the glass and it did look like her left wing was sticking up in an awkward position. She was alert and looking around. At 11:30, I saw an adult circling the upper tower and went up to see how Chroma was doing. When I got there, she was hopping back and forth along the ledge where the mirrored glass is and was trying to jump through, hopping up into the glass. The window is very confusing for young falcons as they can see through it to the landscape below but they can’t get through to the other side. They also see their reflection in the glass and it looks like another falcon so they try to reach them. Luckily, Chroma figured it out and hopped over to the open balcony away from the mirrored glass and the reflections. She seemed to be holding her right wing down lower than normal. She hopped onto the metal ledge under the railing and sat there for a few minutes looking down. Tony and Janice were at street level on Union Street and could see her from there. Just before 12:00, she dropped off the balcony out of my sight. Tony saw her drop and Janice was pretty sure she flew towards the hospital, and the flight was strong. A minute later there were two juveniles flying high above the hospital roof. In the blink of an eye, things change quickly and it’s easy to miss what is going on. With no one completely sure whether Chroma flew or dropped down, we did a rooftop scan. Tony took a walk on the 5th floor roof, as I scanned from the higher floors to see if she fell down to a lower level. Chroma could not be seen anywhere. We put out an alert to the fledge watch team to try and find her.

David arrived at 1:00 and was joined by Kim at 1:30. One juvenile was on the top platform of the CTV tower. Reggie, landed on the top too, and started preening. Karen arrived shortly after that and had sighted a third juvenile tucked into the hospital roof on a lower level. It was pretty quiet other than an osprey flying by at 2:00. At 3:15, Caster flew by with Ginnie hot on his heels. Ginnie and Redbud played tag for a bit. One bird was above the H, one was on the Kings Tower antenna and Reggie was on the CTV tower. Karen checked her images and could see that it was Chroma on the hospital ledge! What a feat for this tough girl! Not only did she make it up to the top of the Sun Life building, but she managed to fly back with, let’s hope only some sore wings and perhaps some bruising. Chroma’s crop looked empty so she probably hadn’t eaten for a while. One of the adults came in with a package and Redbud got it. Mystery was around and Ginnie was trying to fly over the moon!

At 7:00, Janice was back on the watch and saw one juvenile on the CTV tower and one on the hospital antenna. Rudy joined the watch at 7:10 just in time to see one of the adults come in with a food package. The juvenile on the hospital antenna pursued the adult with the food package and caught it in mid-air! Nicely done!! There was some vocalizing from the hospital roof but no one else was in sight. At 7:40, one of the juveniles flew down from to the emergency entrance roof and out of sight. Another juvenile was sighted at the front of the hospital.

Karen was back on the watch at 8:00, and sighted three out of the four juveniles. At 8:30, Mystery and Caster were on top of Sun Life on the Union Street side, Caster in his favourite perch. I joined up with Karen a few minutes later and all 4 juveniles could be accounted for. Reggie was on the CTV tower, Ginnie on the highest part of the hospital antenna, Redbud on the rooftop with the big H, and Chroma on the lower level of the hospital roof below Redbud! It did look like Chroma was holding her right wing down a little lower than normal, her shoulder lowered. She stretched out her left wing over the hospital ridge. At around 9:00, the 3 other juveniles all went back to the CTV tower. Chroma took flight a few minutes later. She looked like she was struggling and couldn’t get the height that she needed to make it to the 2nd level platform to join the others on the tower, so she circled back and landed a little higher than she was before, mid way up on the hospital antenna. Reggie joined her there shortly after as if to give her some encouragement. With her back to us, again she held her wings down and stretched them out again. Reggie flew back to the CTV tower to the very top to join the others. At about 9:30, one of the adults flew onto the antenna below Chroma with a food package to try and entice her to leave her perch for a bite to eat. From Karen’s observations today, she hasn’t eaten for a while. The adult flew back to the CTV tower, dropped the food off for the others and then flew off towards the Sun Life tower. Chroma remained on the antenna when we left her at about 10:00. Hopefully, all she needs is a good nights sleep and some rest for her tired wings.

Photos courtesy of Janice Newton, Tony Bergauer & Karen von Knobloch


Chroma and reflections Ginnie & the moon

Riding the winds

June 23, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

Fraser was on the watch at 8:30 Monday morning. All was quiet except for the construction noise. He located three of the juveniles and was able to identify Ginnie who was on the top platform of the CTV tower with one of her siblings. The third one was on the hospital tower while one of the adults could be seen atop Sun Life. At 9:20, I stopped by and observed some baiting games led by one of the adults. The parent flew circles around the hospital emergency entrance with all four kids in hot pursuit. They flew north on King Street, a little above the roof tops and then on towards the Sun Life parking lot. It looked as if the adult was trying to teach them how to chase prey. They all few back to the hospital roof where breakfast was dropped on top of the hospital. The adult took off while three of the juveniles fought over breakfast, with the fourth watching nearby. David was on the watch at 10:30 and saw a few flights, one from the hospital roof over the CTV tower, and another landed on the ledge of the hospital roof and then dropped out of sight. Possibly the same bird, popped back up on the flashing and then went out of sight again. At 12:45, Kim and I observed quite a few flights back and forth between the hospital and the CTV tower. A few of the flights were much lower like what Karen observed the night before. One juvenile flew between the wires and another bumped into the red siding underneath the hospital antenna, dropped down and flew around the antenna, then landing. At 1:15, all were together on the hospital roof and one of the adults came in.

Just before 5:00, I found a decapitated pigeon on the sidewalk on King Street. Partially plucked, it was probably dropped by one of the kids when they were being baiting by one of the parents. David was back watching again at 5:00. At 6:00, Caster and one juvenile circled the hospital antenna a few times and then flew towards Sun Life. Caster landed on top of the building and the juvenile went out of sight as it started to rain. By 6:30, it was it was thundering and raining really hard. Two juveniles could be seen on the hospital roof by the blue H sign as David left the watch. At 8:30, I sighted all 4 juveniles flagging the H sign and one of the adults was on Sun Life. There was a little bit of flying back and forth between the hospital and CTV. One of the adults came in, perhaps with a food drop, as there was a bit of squabbling amongst the kids. The second adult was perched on the hospital antenna watching over the kids on the roof. At 9:15, Sandy could see all four juveniles hunkered down behind the big drum on top of the CTV tower as the storm approached. One adult flew away and the other was perched on top of Sun Life.

Tuesday morning brought high, gusty winds and at 9:30, I saw one falcon riding the winds around the Kings Towers antenna. It had to sail around the tower three times before it was able to land. David reported that the winds were about 60 km/hr at 1:00. Kim and I were out at 1:00 as well and could see three out of four hunkered down on the rooftop under the big H and out of the wind. At 2:30 Karen sighted all four siblings in the same place. At 2:40 Mystery brought a package and landed on the roof just above the juveniles. One took off and joined the adult right away and shortly after another joined them. It looked like Redbud and Chroma had a good lunch and played a bit of tug of war with each other. Reggie and Ginnie could be heard but were out of sight and didn’t join the feeding. One of the parents rode the winds for quite a while and then landed on Sun Life against the wall where the previous nest box was. It was probably Caster, as when Dale arrived at 4:15, Caster was perched on his favorite roof ledge on Sun Life. Mystery came in from Kings Towers and two juveniles followed her over to the hospital roof. The wind was still quite brisk and Dale could see two of the juveniles on the south ledge of the upper level of the hospital. At 4:30, from Sun Life I saw one adult flying around the Bauer lofts playing baiting games north of the building. It was too far to identify the second bird but if it was a juvenile this was the farthest away from the nest site observed so far. I lost sight of them as they headed north towards uptown Waterloo. A few minutes later one of the adults rode the winds back onto the Sun Life building.

Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch


Flying games

June 21, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

At 6:30 Saturday morning, Janice started the watch along with Caster on the CTV antenna and Mystery on the hospital antenna. Two juveniles flew around the hospital, one more graceful than the other. At 6:45, two walked around the hospital roof ledge, vocalizing loudly while the parents watched. Two juveniles took flight around the hospital again. At 7:00, Caster and Mystery flew off. Shortly after, Mystery landed back on the hospital antenna while one juvenile relaxed on the highest hospital roof. Another flew over the hospital from a different level. Just before 7:30, one juvenile flew to the roof on the Park Street side and one was perched on the antenna. Just before 8:00, all four juveniles were on the hospital, two sunning themselves on the black rooftop below the antenna, one on the rooftop over the hospital’s main entrance as one did a fly by around their siblings. Mystery remained on the antenna supervising, while the kids started vocalizing loudly. At 8:00, Caster flew by the hospital with a breakfast package and took it to the CTV tower to clean. One of the juveniles joined Caster on the platform for breakfast but accidentally dropped half of it on to the lower platform railing. Caster is vocalizing loudly. The three on the hospital roof seemed to ignore him and remained where they were. When Janice left the watch at 8:30, Caster and one juvenile were on the CTV tower, breakfast remains were hanging over the railing and only one other juvenile was visible on the hospital roof.

At 9:00, Kim and I were on the watch and could see the Caster and Mystery flying from the tower to the hospital and to the Sun Life rooftop and back again. Two juveniles were visible on the hospital rooftop. David was also on the watch along with some new watchers from Waterloo Region Nature. Mystery was perched on the hospital’s antenna with one of the kids. Mystery left and two of the juveniles took her place on the antenna. There were many flights to the hospital and back. Mystery went back to the CTV tower and then left again. One of the juveniles flew to the hospital roof. Ginnie was there and Reggie flew across to join her. Ginnie then left with Reggie following her. They went back to the corner of the hospital to finish some food that was left there earlier. Karen also joined the group at 10:45. Just before 12:00, Reggie did another flight to the hospital tower, Ginnie was still on one of the corners of the hospital and both Chroma and Redbud did flights to the top drum of the CTV tower.

At 7:30 that evening, Kellie was on the watch and all six birds were accounted for. The kids were flying back and forth between the hospital and the CTV tower for quite some time. Two siblings were playing ‘chase’ around the hospital. Only one juvenile never moved from the corner of the H hospital sign until one of it’s siblings looked like it was about to crash land into it and then it did put up its wings briefly but never did fly off. Caster was circling the Sun Life building, and Mystery was perched on the nest tower half way up. She flew off for a bit, then returned to one of the lower level railings. These juvenile falcons are all doing really well and have passed all their initial flight tests!

Kellie observed, that their landings are still very awkward. Their flights are now deliberate, but often they are going a little too fast to make a safe landing and have to circle back around to try landing again and again. Both adults make the Sun Life tower part of their regular perch and it is only a matter of time that the juveniles will follow them to the glass tower. The juveniles will need to experience what glass windows are and we’re hoping they will only brush the windows and not injure themselves in doing so. The fledge watch team will still be keeping an eye on the sky while they start to explore new areas and their range opens up.

On Sunday night, Karen arrived on the watch at 8:00 p.m. to some loud vocalizations from the kids on various parts of the CTV tower. Mystery also was making lots of noise and eventually took off into a very low swoop over the smaller buildings that line King Street. A couple of the kids followed over the low rooftops! Karen held her breath while they flew at that low level towards the Sun Life parking lot but then lost sight of them. Perhaps, Mystery is teaching them where the little birds are? At 8:30, one of the juveniles took off and seemed to pursue a couple of small birds inflight but missed and landed on the hospital roof. The setting sun made it difficult for Karen to identify the juveniles but they all returned to the tower eventually. One juvenile then flew again at a lower level between the two hydro wires across from the tower! Mystery and Caster were perched on the Sun Life tower. One of the juveniles was at the hospital but by the end of the watch just after 9:00, all four kids were back on the tower at the end of this longest day of the year!

Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch


Chroma Redbud Redbud & Chroma

Turkey vultures snooping around

June 19, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

Marg and Sarah were on the watch at 9:30 on Friday morning to find all 4 kids on the CTV Tower, 1 on the nest box and the other 3 on the top platform. The action started at 10:00, as the adults arrived and then left again with lots of flights back and forth from the tower to the hospital roofs above the H. Briefly, the entire family was sighted together but with all the action, it was too hard to keep track. By 11:00, Caster and Mystery were back on the Sun Life tower. Martha and Dale joined the watch and by 1:00 all 4 kids, were resting on the hospital roof behind the blue letter H.

At 5:30, Martha and Lisa were watching from various vantage points. There were at least 12 turkey vultures soaring over Mount Hope Street between the hospital and the Sun Life parking lot. One of the peregrines was soaring and screaming. Higher and higher it went and then started to dive bomb the turkey vultures. The other adult came out to go after the vultures but went out of sight shortly, probably to make sure the kids were all right. The remaining peregrine zoned in on one poor vulture and dive-bombed him again and again, making at least 4 or 5 direct hits. The vulture flew overtop of the hospital roof, close to the H and out of sight towards Park Street. On further inspection of the nest sight, at least 2 of the kids were on top of the tower, feeding on a gull which what was attracting all the vultures! The other vultures soared way up high and out of the peregrines attack zone. I left the nest site around 6:15 and the vultures were still snooping around. At 7:00, I saw one of the adults hunting over the Mount Hope Street cemetery, it circled higher and higher over the neighbourhood and went into a deep dive over the cemetery and I lost sight of it in the tree line.

I went back to the site at 7:30 and joined Martha. Chris joined us a little while later. From 8:15 - 9:00 there were lots of flights back and forth between the hospital and the tower. The adults came back and forth from the Sun Life tower and Caster brought a food drop in at 9:00 and flew back to Sun Life. All of the young ones returned to the tower, one landing a little awkwardly on the King Street side and another landed right on the drum right beside another and they snuggled in together. We left the watch at 9:15 knowing that all were safe and accounted for.

Hide and seek

June 18, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

David was on the watch at 10:15. Mystery and the four juveniles were on the tower. One was eating and Mystery was vocalizing. Caster was on top of the antenna on King’s Towers. At 11:10, two juveniles took flight, landed briefly and took flight again. Both returned to the platform where the nest box is.

Kim and I visited the site at 12:30 today. Two or three juveniles were lounging on the northwest corner of the top platform. Caster was on the concave microwave dish on the King Street corner. We did a walk around to see if we could see them all at once, but could only see two at a time. As usual, we were about to leave when all the action started. Mystery flew in with a food drop to the top platform and the kids started vocalizing like crazy. Mystery then flew out with the food as one of the kids followed her. She dropped it in the air for the youngster while as Caster flew with them. Two of them remained on the platform, while another joined Mystery. The other juvenile swooped around the hospital, landed unsteadily on the antenna, then dove off and flew again, landing on the hospital roof and back onto the antenna. Caster soared up really high and kept an eye on things and then flew back to the east corner of the tower to keep an eye on the others. We left around 1:30 with two still hanging out around the hospital.

Dale was on the watch between 4:30 and 5:30. Only two were sighted on the tower on the upper platform. Mystery came by trying to entice them for a flight. One flew towards the hospital and returned with a morsel to share with a sibling. Just before 6:00, I was heading home and stopped in. I spotted two kids on the ledge of the hospital roof above the H, on the Mount Hope Street side. Chroma was on the very top of the tower railing on the east side preening. One adult was on the hospital antenna watching over them. Karen was back on the watch at 6:30 and confirmed that three of the kids were on the hospital roof.

Karen, Martha and I were watching from 7:00-9:15. When I got there, Chroma was still on the top of the platform. Caster flew around while Redbud & Reggie came from the hospital and flew around the tower. Ginnie remained on the hospital ledge above the H. They flew around a bit and then Reggie and Redbud joined Chroma on the top of the platform, tucked in behind the drum. Mystery was on top of the antenna watching over Ginnie. It started to rain lightly for a little while. As it stopped and the sun peered out a bit, the falcons held out their wings to dry. At 8:15 Caster flew in with a food drop. He flew into the tower platform first and landed on the railing in front of the drum as the kids screamed behind it. He then took the food to Ginnie on the hospital roof. After tucking into her meal and having another rest, Ginnie decided to try and head back to the tower. She headed straight across and was trying to swoop up in the “j” formation that the adults so eloquently do, but she misjudged and lightly “bumped” into the top platform head first. She dropped down a little bit but didn’t really falter much and flew back towards the hospital and out of sight. Martha and I went down to Mount Hope Street to see if we could find her but we had no sight of her. Mystery was still on her perch. From the parking garage, Karen saw Ginnie fly back to the tower and when she tried to land, she accidentally knocked one of her siblings off their perch. They both fell down but landed on the platform. Ginnie did another flight and landed on the top of the drum. We left the watch at 9:15.

Flight training begins!

June 17, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

All four juveniles were back on King’s Towers as Tony and Rudy started the watch this morning. There were a number of flight and at one point all 4 were in the air. At one point, they could only see 2 ‘grines’ from the City of Kitchener parking lot. Tony went over to Central Fresh Market and could see the other 2 along the edge facing the store. When Rudy left, all of the kids were over on King’s Towers. I dropped by at 8:5 and saw many good flights and landings! Too many to count! They would go out together and separately, would circle and catch the winds. They practiced taking flights back and forth from the nest site and back again. Chroma’s flights are a little unsteady compared to Reggie but given her falls to the ground (and her size), she is doing terrific! At 8:30, the construction workers started walking around the top of the roof which created quite the commotion among the kids. They got on their scaffolding and the teenagers quieted down.

Kim and I checked out the kids at 12:30. Three lazy teenagers were lying around on the northwest corner of the top platform. Two of them had their wings up in the air and looked like they were in a deep sleep even though the noise of the construction zone and the lunch-time traffic was quite loud. The fourth juvenile was a King Towers and was getting some extra pointers from Mystery and Caster as the three swooped and soared around the apartment building. At 1:15, David came on the watch and was there for a few hours. It was a quiet afternoon, with a few flights back and forth from the antenna. Caster was up on the top of the antenna. One of the adults flew in and circled a few times.

At 3:00 p.m., Kim was back watching from the King Street side of the site. Two or three were on the top platform on the northwest side. An adult was perched on the top rail. At 4:00 one of the adults came back and made a food drop to the top platform. A few minutes later, two falcons could be seen at King’s Towers. At about 4:30, one flew off and only one was visible on the platform.

At 5:00, Dale and Karen were on the watch and all 4 juveniles could be accounted for. At 7:00,Caster perched on the King’s Towers antenna and Mystery left. Reggie flew to the smaller CTV tower. Ginnie, was on the top rail facing Pine Street. Reggie remained on the smaller tower. At 8:05, one of the juveniles takes off for a flight towards the hospital antenna. They turn back and they have a close fly-by with another juvenile on their way to the hospital antenna.  The second juvenile turns back and tries to land on the dish on the tower but slides off and flies back right over Dale and Karen on the hospital parking garage roof! A few minutes later, Mystery and Caster take off to do some hunting. At 8:10, Caster returns with a food package. The package is left on the railing and the ‘grines’ vocalize loudly.  One juvenile jumps up on the railing and has dinner. The remaining three juveniles just hang out. They don’t seem to be too interested in the food

At 8:15, the juvenile drops the food onto the platform and gets into a bit of a fight with another over the meal. I joined the watch at 8:30, one adult could be seen on the antenna and flew off a few minutes late. At 8:30, all four juveniles were on the top platform just chilling. There was one short flight and a little bit of wing flapping. A pretty quiet ending to a busy day!

!!! Ginnie fledges & Chroma is back in the air !!!

June 16, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

Another early start to the fledge watch or did it ever end? Ginnie and Reggie were in the nest box overnight with Redbud perched on a lower level of the tower. At 1:30 a.m. it started raining and poor Redbud had no cover. At 6:00 a.m. Rudy and Tony were on the watch and Redbud at some point, successfully made it back up the tower. Redbud and Reggie were taking small flights to around the platform. At 7:00 a.m. Karen joined the watch and Ginnie, the homebody, took her first flight observed by the team!! She tried to fly back onto the tower, but she had some difficulty, so she flew down and around the north side of the tower and landed on a HVAC unit. A few minutes later, she flew from the HVAC unit and successfully landed onto the hospital, just south of the antenna where Caster and Mystery like to perch. She stayed there for a while, hopping and taking a small flight, up onto the ladder, then next to the roof below. Caster made a food drop at 7:10. At 7:15, Ginnie flew back home to the tower and landed on the very top of the microwave drum. Good job Ginnie!! She sat there for quite some time and then dropped to the platform below. At the same time, Redbud and Reggie were flying around getting more confident with their flights. At 8:15, Mystery was perched on the hospital antenna and Reggie tried to join her there. Mystery flew off and Reggie took her spot. Karen left the watch at around 8:30 with one ‘grine’ in the nest box, one at the back of the platform and confident little Reggie on the hospital antenna.

David was on the watch at 9:10 and could see two of the kids in the nest box and Mystery and Caster on the top deck. A couple of great blue herons flew over top at 9:25. At 9:45, Reggie flew confidently to the antenna tower with the drum and perched and preened there. Just before 10:00, Mystery flew off as Marg and Martha joined the watch. One juvenile was napping on the front of the nest box and another tail was sticking out the edge of the nest box. After a few minutes, the ‘grine’ on the front hopped off the ledge of the nest box onto the tower platform. At 10:05, the third juvenile flew into sight to the top of the platform. There was a lot of loud vocalizations. At 10:15 a turkey vulture soared over the tower, probably attracted to the carnage in the box, and both parents appeared out of out of nowhere as the kids screamed. After the turkey vulture left, one parent stayed on the railing close to the nest box and the other flew off. All of the commotion finally woke the napping falcon on the nest box. For the next 15 minutes, there was a bit more moving around, flapping of wings and jumping while the adult supervised. At 10:35, one juvenile, jumped off the porch of the nest box, hopped over to the parent and vocalized and the parent flew off. Two of the kids were on the platform, flapping, hopping and holding their wings out in the wind close to the edge. At 10:40, Redbud took a long and confident flight with an attempt at a little burst of speed. At 10:45, the third kid resting in the nest box finally came out and a whole lotta flapping was going on! Redbud joined Ginnie and Reggie and all siblings were relaxed and preening.

Meanwhile, Chroma was examined and was fit for release after another night of rest. At 3:30, with members of the fledge watch team stationed around the nest box site, Rudy released Chroma from on top of the CTV building. Kelly reported that she was still favouring her left leg, but it was much better after being grounded for another day. Shortly after Rudy took her out of the towel, she took flight. She first headed towards the tower and then flew in the direction of  the hospital parking garage and then turned towards Kings Towers apartment building where she made a successful landing on the rooftop to the applause and cheers of people watching! A much higher point than the nest box this was quite accomplishment for the largest of the young falcons! It was not long after that Reggie flew over and joined Chroma on top of the apartment building and they had much to say to each other! Reggie took another flight around the building encouraging Chroma to fly and he landed a second time. Shortly after, Reggie and Chroma took flight together around the apartment building and landed on top of the building! How touching to see such support from her little brother! Kelly continued the watch until 5:00 and saw observed Chroma making several attempts to get back to the nest site but seems to be still lacking the confidence in her flights.

At 6:30, Karen and Dale were still observing Chroma on the Kings Tower apartment building. Reggie was there for quite some time and went back and forth from the nest site to the apartment building. The police checked in with Karen to see that she was indeed taking pictures of falcons, not of residents in the apartment building. Janice joined the watch and reported that at 6:45, Chroma was doing a lot of flapping. At 7:10, Mystery drops off a food package to the nest box and at 7:15 she is on the antenna of the apartment building supervising the kids. A few minutes later, Redbud flies over to visit with Chroma and Mystery flew off shortly thereafter. Reggie and Ginnie then join the party on the roof of the apartment building.

At 8:30 p.m. Karen, Janice, Sandy, Kelly and I were a little bleary eyed but were still waiting for the kids to go to bed. All four were on top of the roof of Kings Towers. It is so good to see all of the siblings reunited again! Reggie flew onto the antenna on the media tower on top of Kings Towers. He took another flight and lands higher on the tower. He then took another long flight back towards CTV and back to his sisters. At 8:30, Redbud goes out for a flight over King Street and lands back on the antenna. Mystery flew in with a small food drop. Caster then flew in to Kings Towers with a very large bird, probably a gull. At 8:40, Chroma takes flight and loops around the building and lands on the top microwave drum. Chroma takes flight with her dad and lands where Caster has brought in the gull and has her first real meal since she came to the ground. There is lots of flying by both kids and parents, too many for the tired crew to figure out who is who. The youngsters flights are getting stronger and they are all getting a good handle on their landings too! Ginnie landed on one of the guy-wires at the base of the media tower on the apartment building and started walking up it and then took another flight and landed back on the tower. She then went for a flight back towards the nest box but instead flew all the way to the hospital antenna where she landed a bit awkwardly but managed to steady herself. At 9:00, Reggie and Redbud went back to home base on top of the tower. Finally, the kids are going to bed! But no, they’re not as Ginnie takes another flight back to Kings Towers. At 9:30, Chroma and Mystery were still on the tower on top of the apartment building close to the top microwave drum. A few minutes later, Mystery flew off leaving Chroma full and resting on top of King’s Towers for the night. A happy ending to this very long day to see a reunited family of falcons!!

Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch

Chroma's release Chroma & Reggie Reggie Redbud Caster & gull Chroma Chroma's big meal

!!! Reggie and Redbud fledge! Chroma’s 2nd rescue!!!

June 15, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

The watch started early again Monday morning with Rudy and Tony on the early watch. Fraser was on the watch at 7:45 and Reggie, Ginnie and Redbud could be seen from the metal platform. A bit of a late bloomer, Ginnie finally had made it down off the nest box onto the platform! There wasn’t a lot of action except for a little wing flapping from Ginnie. At a little after 9:00 the ‘grines’ began vocalizing and Fraser watched one of the falcons circle from the King Street side of the tower and landed on the top of the nearby CTV tower at 9:09. Fraser assumed it was one of the adults, but after scoping the bird and watching it for a while, realized this was not one of the parents, it was Reggie! At 9:29 Reggie took another flight and flew back onto the tower platform to the applause of his sisters. He landed well and quickly flew up onto the railing on the platform. Mystery and Caster were not around at this time to see their son’s confident flight.

Karen started her watch from the parking garage at noon. Reggie, Ginnie and Redbud were all accounted for. Mystery and Caster were not around. At 1:15 Redbud was on the edge of the nest box and joined Reggie on the platform where they wandered around for a while. Jumping up and down off the next box ledge. David and Miriam joined the watch at 1:30 as Reggie took a short practice flight over to Redbud. Karen left the watch at 2:00, Redbud and Reggie resting on the platform and Ginnie sleeping inside the box. Caster and Mystery were nowhere to be seen. Ginnie came out of the nest box at 2:10. Redbud and Reggie were on the platform. One flew to the north side of the platform and back again. At 2:30 one flew up to perch on the railing to the left of, and above, the nest box. It seemed confident and did not appear to teeter or falter and flew to the top of the nest box. This was most likely the little falcon Reggie! It flew back up to a higher railing, back to the nest box and then went inside. Just before 3:00, one of the parents came back and flew into the nest box, possibly with a food package. There was a great commotion and only one of the juveniles remained in the box.

Dale was on the watch at 4:15 and all three juveniles were located in or near the box. Redbud was flapping and stretching her wings. Mystery came in about 4:50 and dropped a pigeon on the upper platform. She stayed for a minute then flew north. The young were continually vocalizing until one of them, took off from ledge of the platform. It looked like she could have fallen off. She flew over the CTV building and then landed back on top of the top of the nest box. Mystery came by about 5:30 and dinner into the nest box. She took off again, as Caster showed up where he kept an eye on things from the top of the tower.

Meanwhile, Chroma was being examined by Rudy for injuries at 4:15. A few members of the fledge watch team were on board to help with the exam. A feisty bird indeed, Chroma grabbed onto Rudy’s hand and thumb as he took her out of the box. Rudy manipulated both feet and legs during the examination and could not feel any breaks. Chroma seemed calm once she was covered during her check and she was hydrated a few times. It was decided she was sound enough to be released.

At 7:00 members of the fledge watch team started to gather for Chroma’s release which was to take place at about 7:30 from CTV’s rooftop. At 7:15, Mystery flew to the hospital antenna and Redbud took flight and circled around the tower from the nest box to the King Street side but didn’t go far. She landed awkwardly on one of the steel round metal pieces and was hanging almost upside down. Flapping and struggling she managed to right herself. Redbud again ended upside down on the tower in between the microwaves but managed to right herself much easier this time, and finally ended up flying up to the top of one of the microwaves by the platform. At 7:45 Rudy arrived with Chroma and 10 minutes later Caster flew in to deliver a food package to Ginnie in the nest box. Much noise and flapping was made by Redbud who was trying to figure out how to get to the food drop. The fledge watch team positioned themselves around the CTV building for Chroma’s release. At 8:25, she was released on top of the CTV rooftop. She got oriented with her new surroundings for a few minutes and then managed to hop onto the roof ledge and started flapped her wings. A few minutes later she flew towards the Pine Street medical building and again just missed the top of the building by inches! She fluttered down about 10 feet but managed to fly towards 900 King Street and the construction zone on King Street. Again, she just missed landing on the top of this building but this time she fluttered and then fell to the ground! Fortunately, she did not fall hard. She then started to move into the construction zone and towards traffic on the ground! I slowly moved along the orange fencing and into the construction zone to get between Chroma and the road. I distracted her with a towel and as Rudy came down from the rooftop. We cornered her on either side of the bucket of an excavator in the construction zone, a few metres away from the road. Rudy quickly towelled her and gently packaged her up, feet first into the crate and moved her out of the construction zone. She would have another night of rest and another exam tomorrow. The construction taking place on King Street for the LRT is a good thing for these young falcons as the traffic is down to a bare minimum and cars must drive very slowly through all of the pylons that are lined up and down the street.

At 8:40 Redbud took a second flight, and ended up in the middle of the tower about halfway down. Mystery flew in to keep her company and give her encouragement a few feet away. Caster was on the western corner of the tower keeping an eye out on the children. All the while, Reggie was on the northwest side of the tower perched on top of the railing looking very calm as he watched his sister’s flights. Ginnie was moving around the middle of the platform. Just before 9:00 Reggie flew back to the next box. At about 9:05, Mystery flew out to the hospital antenna and vocalized a bit. At 9:15 Caster flew south to do some hunting. At the end of the watch Ginnie and Reggie were back in the nest box and Redbud was still halfway down the tower but in a good place for the night. She preened and looked calm as we left her for the night. Well done fledge watch team!! And a big thanks to CTV for their continued support during the fledge watch!!!

Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch & Lisa Reh

Reggie flying Chroma Redbud Redbud Redbud Reggie Caster