Full time incubation is well underway at the CTV Kitchener nest box!

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

Lisa Reh Reports:

Dale from Waterloo Region Nature, observed that after the 3rd egg was laid on April 2, Mystery seemed pretty intent on full-time incubation. The fourth egg was laid on Saturday April 4th and full time incubation likely started then. According to Dale’s calculations, the hatch could be around May 7-9 or about 32-35 days after full-time incubation started.

Thanks to our friends at CTV, it will be an exciting time this year to witness the activities in the nest box. Already, the expectant parents have been observed numerous times switching off incubation duties. On April 13th and 15th, Caster was observed taking the afternoon shift. Mystery switched off with him after a few hours at almost the exact same time of day at 3:30. On April 20th & 21st, Mystery was hanging around the Sun Life King Street sign at around 11:30, preening and looking around while Caster was in the nest box and he was on the eggs for at least a couple of hours. Both adults have been hanging about on the Sun Life signs and also have been seen on the King’s Towers media tower. This chilly week, the dutiful parents are keeping those eggs toasty warm!!

!!! Kitchener CTV live nest box camera is LIVE!!! Thank you Kitchener CTV!!!

April 10, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

CPF Postmaster Reports:

Friday April 10th - 2015

We have great news to report!!! The live CTV nest box camera is live!!!

I am delighted to report that I received news today from Jeff at the Kitchener CTV studios that they have the nest box camera producing a live real-time streaming image of the happenings and events from inside the new Kitchener peregrine nest box!!

Look to the below link and select the live peregrine nest camera

As you know, after a huge amount of planning and allot of local support by many, we were able to build and install a new nest box for Kitchener’s resident peregrine falcons. Having to deal with delays in the construction and manufacturing of the nest box itself, with delays in the delivery of the building materials and the unseasonal bitter cold conditions and record setting cold temps that we have been dealing with in Ontario during the month of February, we were all really stressed that we may not have gotten the new nest box funded, built, delivered and installed in time.

But a little luck and cooperation from mother nature with a few milder days allowing us to build and assemble the nest box, arrange to have it transported from Toronto to Kitchener, and finally being able to pick a decent day without the blustery bitter cold winds, the nest box was successfully installed without incident.

And, just in the nick-of-time with the peregrines moving into the new nest box and actually laying their first of four eggs les than a week of the nest box having been installed!!!

Please come back to get more updates as they are available! Enjoy

!!! 4 eggs have arrived just in time for Easter !!!

April 05, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

March 30 – Fraser was at the KCI parking lot at 8:25 and initially no peregrines were present on the CTV Bell Media tower. Just as Fraser was leaving, one flew in and landed on the box and within seconds the second peregrine arrived and perched on the tower. The first bird disappeared inside the box while the other remained on the tower. The birds were still there when Fraser left around 10 minutes later. At 5:30, Lisa was watching and saw one of the peregrines sitting on the balcony of the nest box. After about 15 minutes, the other grine flew into the nest box and both went inside. One flew out right away and cirlcled around to the media tower onto King’s Towers on the platform under the top drum and kept a watchful eye on the nest box calling from time to time. The other grine stayed inside the nest box for the rest of the time until Lisa left the watch at about 6:15.

On Friday, April 2, Dale was down at CTV and watched the live feed from the nest webcam. Mystery was hunkered down on the eggs and she has laid a third egg! Caster was off hunting from 12:30 to 1:30. Dale also observed with binoculars from the KW Hospital parking garage, Mystery in the nest box, not quite at eye level but still clearly in sight. Later on at around 4:00, Janice observed Mystery at the Sun Life tower having an early supper eating a fairly large bird. Full time incubation has not quite started yet judging by this observation.

On April 5, a post on the CTV News showed that there has been a fourth egg laid in the nest box sometime on Saturday, April 4! Full time incubation should be starting shortly! For video clips posted on the CTV site, copy the url below and search for “peregrine falcon” and all posted video clips will be listed.


!!! Full time incubation may have started??? Looking for your reports to upate us!

March 31, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

CPF Postmaster Reports:

March 31st- 2015

While we are still waiting to see if CTV and Bell Media will be hooking the live camera up to the internet so we can get a live feed or link to display to you, local observation reports are suggesting that full time incubation MAY have actually started?? If that is in fact the case,,, we could start the countdown to an anticipated hatch date,, which would be 33 to 35 days from when the female actually started her full-time incubation duties.

Remembering that the eggs are laid approx. every other day. This gives the pair time to copulate and fertilize, and then gives the female enough time to actually produce an egg, ( then actually lay it). It takes allot of resources from the females to actually produce and lay an egg, especially that of a peregrine falcon as their huge demands for calcium that makes up most of the mineral content of the egg shell itself. Unlike other birds, peregrines get all of their calcium from the actual bones of the other birds that they eat, and as such calcium is always at a premium!

The female peregrine will only do part-time incubation during the usual egg laying period (which typically last a week for 4 to 5 eggs to be produced and laid). This part-time incubation is just enough from preventing the eggs from cooling tooo much or from freezing, and typically under normal conditions, the female will not start her “full time” incubation until the second last egg is laid, (regardless of the amount of eggs that she actually ends up laying).

This type of normal incubation routine has the eggs all hatchling at approx. the same time (given the actual time it takes for her to lay the first egg to the last egg), as that could be more than a week apart depending on the amount of eggs that she actually produces.

The only time we would see the females go down into full time incubation sooner (or full time cooking as we say), is if the whether, (in particular) colder temperatures persist and there is a risk of cooling or freezing the eggs,, then the female will be forced to start her full time incubation right away - from that point on. When the female is forced to start her full time incubation early on in her egg production, this is where we see a much wider spread of hatching and the age of the chicks will very dramatically from the oldest to the youngest.

This makes for a challenging time for the peregrine adults to raise their young given how quickly they grow and fledge.
Stay tuned………

!!! Second egg in the new nest box!!! CTV Kitchener Video Clip!

March 30, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Mark Nash Reports:

March 30th - 2015

I guess it would be an understatement to suggest that we got the new nest box installed just in time? I think by viewing the peregrines actions of late, that they BOTH like the new nest box!!
Wow, I think we have a very active full fledged occupied nest site!

CTV Video clip - http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=581432
Stay tuned……………..

!!! Caster and his mate have laid their first egg in the new nest box!!!!

March 29, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

CPF Volunteer Reports:

March 29th - 2015

Good morning All!
I have yet to back to the nest site but should today at some point. It was apparently on the news last evening with a video clip that our little lady has laid one egg…I missed the clip myself and can’t find anything on the CTV Kitchener new site…just wanted you to know if you don’t already :)
Seems we may have been just in time.

***Also, a clear photo of the un-banded female’s lets. Great shot Karen!!

***Found the CTV video clip - http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=580585

CTV Kitchener video screen shot - 1st egg - CTV Kitchener

!!! Video of Caster and his mate inside of the nest box for the first time!! A little surprised and maybe even amazed would be an understatement!

March 26, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Mark Nash Reports:

March 26th - 2015

While I was engaged on the telephone this afternoon, I was receiving a message and e-mail from Jeff Turner from Bell Media at the CTV studios in Kitchener.
He was simultaneously recording some of the live nest box camera footage when Castor and his mate first entered the new nest box. Oh my goodness, you should see the body language on the two peregrines and the chatter between the two!!!
I thing aside of their total amazement, they are pretty excited about the new digs!!!!

Sent to us courtesy of Jeff Turner from Bell Media from the CTV studio in Kitchener, a live recorded first look at the two peregrines as they enter the nest box for the first time!!! Thank you Jeff!!
The body language of Caster is just choice!!
Enjoy…… Stay tuned!!!!!!

Materials have been posted for review on the Bell Media Review System on March 26th, 2015 15:05. Please use the link below to retrieve it, and note that the files and link will expire on May 25th, 2015 15:15.


Note from sender:
Recorded today at 11:26 am - March 26th - 2015

Castor photographed on the CTV tower and investigating the new nest box with his gal!!! Oh, and a little hanky-panky tooo!

March 26, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Mark Nash Reports:

Thursday March 26th - 2015

At 8:58am, I received a text message from Karen that said that she had received an e-mail communication from one of the fledge watch group that a peregrine was seen both flying around and screeching at the new nest box that we had just two days installed on the CTV communications tower.

By 12:30pm, I had received several other text messages from Karen, along with several incredible photos of two peregrines being observed on the CTV tower, both on top and inside of the new nest box!!! The next text’s from Karen were of peregrine mating on the tower just above the new nest box!!
***See attached Karen photos!!!
With her great photos, and close-ups of the male’s leg band numbers, we were easily able to check some of previous observation reports that the Black 16 over Red B leg band number is confirmed to be non other than Castor,, and the un-banded female companion currently with Castor is likely the dame female that he was with last year while they were nesting in the nest box at the Sun Life building down the street.

Well, I think that the pair are somewhat excited about the new nest box! What do you think???

!!! Nest box delivered, intall date set, a break in the wheather and a “not-so pleased surprize visitor” ! LOL - Lets getter-done!!

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

Mark Nash Reports:

March 24th - 2015

With the coordination and support of Zeljko at the CTV studios in Kitchener, along with Rudy, the install date was finally set, and we all assembled at 11am on March 24th at the CTV studio’s on King Street in Kitchener.

Alone with Dale & Karen, and a host of other CPF volunteers and fledge watch team members assembled, we began.

With the added support and help of CPF’s volunteer rock climber along with Matt Falkiner - Field Supervisor / Project Manager and Chuck Schask from Trylon who all actually climbed the tower and did the physical nest box install on the tower platform, the entire operation and install was completed in less than four hours!!

Early in the day upon our arrival, Rudy and Dale helped me assemble the nest box components in the CTV Studios, while Karen took all of the still photos throughout the day from the ground.
*** See attached photos of the days events from Karen

Chuck from Trylon took most of the photos of the nest box installed at its elevation, and Jeff Turner from CTV manned the video camera and filmed pretty much the entire event from start to finish. ***See attached tower top nest box photos by Chuck.

With Rudy and Dale manning the ground guide ropes, myself and Matt working the electric winch, and John and Chuck up the tower on the lower platform, the nest box was hoisted up into position. The final roof section was then hoisted up into position the nest box camera was attached onto the inside roof, and than it was finally attached to the nest box itself.

Lastly, the five bags of pea-gravel was eventually hoisted up the tower platform and dumped into the nest box and nest box landing platform.

What an incredible team!!!!

One last incredible bonus and surprise visitor!!
At almost the end of the install, we had a surprise visitor soar around overhead vocalizing and scolding the guys in the tower. Karen bolted across the parking lot, camera in hand and managed to get some great photos of our loud overhead visitor. It was non other than Castor, the resident territorial adult male, with a fresh kill in his clutches. I suspect that he might have wanted to come down into the tower to properly prepare his fresh kill, but decided that there was simply tooooo many up in the tower to share his lunch with! LOL !

Karen got a great photo of him! *** See attached photos of Castor by Karen

March 11th - 2015
Because of the timing and the availability of the crane and other manpower and resources needed, the first of the three nest box installs had to be another, (the first we installed successfully out in Pickering).,,, and thank goodness, I t got installed BEFORE the resident peregrines returned from their wintering grounds. One of the resident adults has since returned and seems by all reports, absolutely delighted with its new nest box!!

March 9th - 2015
Rudy was kind enough to make a trip from his home in Kitchener early in March to the CPF Raptor centre in Vaughan to pick up the nest box and deliver it back to Kitchener and the CTV studio’s so Zeljko from CTV could have the nest box in hand to install their new colour IP camera!

!!! Some big challenges overcome! A few more to go!

February 06, 2015 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Mark Nash Reports:

February - 2015

Despite our recent successes with regards to finding a new home for the peregrines and gaining approvals to install a new nest box at same, we were faced with a serious of new challenges, (some known, and others expected, and others simply thrown at us out of left field).

After sitting down and crunching the numbers in an effort to come up with the financial resources to purchase more special order composite building materials to build yet a third nest box this spring BEFORE nesting season, (and get it build, delivered and installed in time), it became very apparent that the CPF simply didn’t have the financial resources available given everything else that was currently on plate, (resources already budgeted and spoken for)!

Simply just not allot of time to petition for new sponsors or partners.

It has been a recent new policy for the CPF, that any and all new nest boxes and nest trays that we build and install, (including that of all of the old existing nest boxes and trays that we are already committed to rebuilding and scheduled to replaced over the next two years), will be made out of the new marine composite building material. Some of our original nest boxes and nest trays are 16 plus years old, (and although they have served both the peregrines and us very well, they are now starting to rot and deteriorate and are becoming a liability to all.

While this new composite materials are space-age and revolutionary given their properties, (and in comparison to wood products that we have used in the past for the nest boxes and nest trays), this new composite material is water proof, UV resistant, pre-coloured during its manufacturing process, doesn’t rot and won’t fad,, and, its is really tough!!! Virtually maintenance free in comparison to the wood products we used!!

On the down side,, the composite material is three times more expensive than the equivalent sized wooden board (and twice as heavy)!! It is also difficult to work with, as every hole needs to be pre-drilled and it requires special (rather expensive) screws & fasteners to connect it together the way we build our custom nest boxes and nest trays.

At this point, it became very obvious that we simply didn’t have the financial resources given our current commitments and the fact that you have to pre-pay in full to be able to order this special-order material. And of course, no one has it in stock, (no retailer wants to carry this expensive material in their inventory), so the minimum turn around time is 10 days to 14 days for delivery after ordering the product - and only if they have it in their warehouse!

As we quickly scrambled and looked around to see what we could sell or liquidate in an effort to come with the money to be able to pre-pay and place the order for the building materials,, an e-mail came in from Dale, a member of the Kitchen-Waterloo Field Naturalists, (now to be known as the Waterloo Region Nature).

After several days and several e-mails later, Dale was successful in his efforts to speak with the KW Field Naturalists / Waterloo Region Nature club executive and membership, and I am delighted to say the they came to both our and the peregrines rescue!!!

The club approved sponsoring the funding support that we needed and allowed us order the nest box materials and forge ahead with the project!!!!!

The next big challenge came at us out of left field, (so to speak). Given our existing commitment to build two large nest boxes and a nest tray, (now with the KW nest box added),, all had to be built and installed before nesting season - (historically, less than 4 weeks away). Given the enormity of the three nest boxes, and a huge nest tray, and the sheer size and length of the 12′ foot long composite boards, (and the space needed to undertake such a mass manufacturing project), we had to do the building and manufacturing at the CPF Raptor Centre in Woodbridge Vaughan. While idea given the open spaces in our flight centre, (the barn),, it remains unheated.

Throw in the -20 to -30 degrees below zero, with flesh freezing wind chills, and the vast majority of February was simply tooo cold for even me to carry on with the building. While all of the outer shell of the new nest boxes are of the new composite material, the inside inner structural frames are manufactured out of a more conventional pressure treated type lumber and cedar.

We must then stain this material with a premium commercial outdoor deck type staining.

Well good luck trying to get the stain dried and cured in the - 20 plus degrees temps that we had to deal with during the month of February!! Flash freezing was an understatement!!!
Can you say - “Stain-cycles”,,,, LOL ,,,, I have pictures to prove it!!!

The long and short of it,, a huge disaster timing wise to get any of the nest boxes and nest trays physically built in a timely fashion, but I did get them completed!

Stay tuned…………………