Suspense and mystery in K-W!

April 15, 2014 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre

Lisa Reh Reports:

There have been many sightings of the K-W pair all winter and this spring, in downtown Kitchener and on the Sun Life tower in Waterloo. They became very active in March around the Waterloo tower. They have also been sighted on last year’s nest on the CTV tower. Presumed to be Caster, the male was observed using the nest box on the tower many times and enjoying lunch on the east side of the Sun Life sign visible from the ladies washroom on the east side. According to Rudy, everything appeared to be normal the week before Tracy and Bruce’s visit. They appeared to be a bonded pair and they were frequently sighted coming to downtown Kitchener to hunt together. Then Rudy noticed that their behaviour changed. Caster was going out of his way to impress the female, trying to coax her into the nest box but she seemed uninterested and irritated by his attentions and flew off to the CTV tower.

After Tracy and Bruce’s visit, on April 1, at 9:15 a.m. two peregrines were flying in tandem around the top of the tower. One of the grins flew straight into the nest box, the other landed on the north side of the tower. On April 2, Caster was sighted at 9:30 a.m. perched on the nest box balcony. He was also sighted perched above the nest box on the adjacent parapet. On April 3, the pair was again spotted sparring for food from the tower. One was flying east carrying a late lunch at 2:30. The 2nd peregrine flew directly at the other grin and then sped north far into uptown Waterloo. A turkey vulture was also spotted an hour later in the afternoon almost bouncing off the corner of the north side of the tower. No peregrines were sighted at the time. There has been much activity around the building this week, but no copulation has been reported.

On April 6, Tony captured the ‘mystery’ female posing for the camera flaunting her unbanded legs. The reported activity this week has been mostly single sightings which is likely the ‘mystery’ female. On April 8, there was a lot of activity sighted by Wendy who has a ‘bird’s eye view’. One flew past her sight with breakfast in it’s claws at 8:30 and a few minutes later feathers were floating down. But alas, there have been no sightings of activity around the nest box like the week before.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Caster, our “ladies” man, is going to be successful securing a mate this year!


Mystery female Mystery female Look no band Mystery Mystery

Site Check in Waterloo Reveals a Different Female On Site

March 30, 2014 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre

Tracy Simpson Reports:

Today Bruce and I made our way out to Waterloo to check in on the resident adults progress towards the nesting season.  When we arrived we initially didn’t have any birds in view so we started a walkabout of the nest building looking for the pair.  On the north side of the nest building we located a roosting adult sitting in the lee of the wind which we believed to be the female.  We left her there roosting while we went to get the scopes and upon our return, we found the male flying around the west side sign.  He flew out over the parking lot and up into the nest box with the female right behind him.  The two of them entered the nest box and were there for a good 5 minutes before the male emerged and flew around to the west side sign.  The female remained in the box and we made our way over to check him out.  As we re-positioned, the female came out of the box and flew around to the north side parapet that she had just recently left.

We caught up with the male roosting on the west side sign and here we split our resources; Bruce stayed on the male and I went around to the north to watch the female.  Given that the pair were both out for a prolonged period, we suspected that there were no eggs present and we now set to trying to ID the adults.  Just as we were setting up the scopes the male takes to the air and retrieves a cache of prey.  He flies out towards the west drawing the female off of her roost.  She then meets him in the air and literally fights him for the prey.  He squealed at her and refused to let go so they both made away with a portion of their own.  She returned to the north side parapets to eat and he went back to the west side sign.  This was pretty strange for a bonded couple ready to lay eggs.

Then things really got weird.  After eating, the female took off of the north side parapet and flew around to the west side sign landing on the “U”.  The male was quite annoyed with this and made 5 or 6 passes at her seemingly trying to get her off of the sign.  He was alarm calling as he did this.  He finally settled on a parapet above and to the right of her and she decided to now roost and rest for a while.  This afforded us looks for identification and we confirmed two things.  The male bears a black over red band that is consistent with Caster, the male that has been present for the past two seasons.  We couldn’t say for sure if the band read 16 over B as the winds and his height made that very difficult.  The female was facing in towards the building and during her preening we were able to see, and photograph, her un-banded legs.  This was not Statler.

Where Statler is we can’t say.  We do believe that this is a recent event as Caster seems very confused by this and copulation did not occur once during our entire visit of several hours.  We met up with Rudy and he watched with us for a while and agrees that this is a recent event.  The Waterloo team will be watching to see how this all shakes out and although the nesting season for the site is moving forward and the pair are focusing their attention on the nest box, it looks like it will be somewhat delayed.

!!! Miss Fran in Indiana!!!

August 21, 2013 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre

Lisa Reh Reports:
MISS FRAN IN INDIANA!!!! Thanks to Marty Jones, Indiana birdwatcher, who captured this picture and shared the story. The Kitchener fledge watchers are celebrating her success today!! This was posted on an Indiana birding Facebook page. It’s amazing this PEFA has traveled this far in her young life already!
“I thought I’d share an interesting story about this juvenile peregrine falcon I photographed last week on August 24th at Goose Pond in Greene County, Indiana. The falcon had legs bands on both legs. The right leg band was all yellow and the all black left leg band read S over 29. With the band information, John Castrale, Non-game Bird Specialist with IDNR was able to help track down the origin of the falcon. It was found that when only 23 days old the bird was banded on May 30, 2013 at Kitchener Ontario (about 30 miles west of Toronto). The bird was determined to be a female and weighed just 866 grams on May 30th and she was one of three chicks in the nest. I calculated that this peregrine falcon flew approximately 552 miles and was only 106 days old when I photographed it on August 21st.”

Miss Fran in Indiana

Miss Fran Spotted on Migration in Indiana!!

August 29, 2013 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre

Tracy Simpson Reports:

Marty Jones, a birdwatcher in Indiana, posted this story about a juvenile peregrine that was passing through her area.   It turns out that the juvenile is Miss Fran from the Kitchener CTV tower nest on her way south!!  Her is what Marty wrote;

“I thought I’d share an interesting story about this juvenile peregrine falcon I photographed last week on August 24th at Goose Pond in Greene County, Indiana. The falcon had legs bands on both legs. The right leg band was all yellow and the all black left leg band read S over 29. With the band information, John Castrale, Non-game Bird Specialist with IDNR was able to help track down the origin of the falcon. It was found that when only 23 days old the bird was banded on May 30, 2013 at Kitchener Ontario (about 30 miles west of Toronto). The bird was determined to be a female and weighed just 866 grams on May 30th and she was one of three chicks in the nest. I calculated that this peregrine falcon flew approximately 552 miles and was only 106 days old when I photographed it on August 21st”

It shows how important the act of banding these juveniles is as we now have not only a resighting of Miss Fran on migration but we also know how far she has travelled, the route that she is taking and so much more.    The bands will also readily identify her as part of a recovery program and protect her as she travels.  Way to go Miss Fran and thank you to Marty Jones for this awesome story!!!

It’s tough sometimes being a peregrine! Nobody likes you!

August 05, 2013 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre

Lisa Reh Reports:

On August 5th,

Kelly and John Schiedel reported that: “We were sitting in our high rise condo on Willow St. in Waterloo this morning, when on the next building, we noticed a juvenile Peregrine being harassed by a very brave Robin. The Robin flew all about the Peregrine, chirping loudly and getting in its face. When the Robin left, we saw that the falcon was mid-meal - looked like a white pigeon that it was ripping apart. At that point, 2 adult Crows appeared on the scene, followed by their 4 young. The adult Crows flew all around the Peregrine, who followed their progress by swiveling its head. Meanwhile the young crows perched atop the building, watching intently. After several fly-pasts, the crow family left, and the Peregrine made a very short flight to another part of the building, settling in on a ledge close to the wall, finally hunkering down into a rest mode. The juvenile Peregrine had the largest bulging crop we had ever seen on a bird - looks like he made quite a meal of it. One of our watchers reported a yellow band on one leg and a green on the other - though the yellow band might have just been the yellow claw of the bird being eaten.

The juvie actually stayed resting on the ledge for about 3 hours after its feed- it appeared to be sleeping, closing its eyes for a bit, and then opening them to gaze around, then closing them again. We did not see it fly away, which is too bad, as I wanted to see whether it flew to the tv station or the Sun Life building. I took a picture of the peregrine eating its meal, but not a very clear one, unfortunately.

Our daughter and son in law live in Thunder Bay and have been watching a family of peregrines who have nested on the mountain behind their home- we compare sightings…
You are welcome to share our information and to post it to the nest site.

John and Kelly Schiedel


A short training observed.

July 14, 2013 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre

Lisa Reh Reports:

Between 8:00-8:45 p.m. on July 14,
Karen reported that “Big Al was on the King’s Tower’s aerial, Arnie was on the top rail of the CTV tower closest to Pine Street and Miss Fran was on the next level below him. Eventually we located Statler on the same level as Miss Fran but at the other end. Eventually they all took off for some brief flight training but that didn’t seem to last long.”

Peregrines seem to own the KW area! They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere!

July 11, 2013 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre

Lisa Reh Reports:

Rudy also reported on July 11th that:
“I noticed the guys on the Kings Tower today too. I’ve driven by a few times in the past and only saw 2 or 3 birds. I have been seeing 1 or 2 here in Kitchener quite often. There was one on the RBC building yesterday as well as this morning, but couldn’t tell who it was.”

Lots of activity!

July 10, 2013 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre

Lisa Reh Reports:

On July 10th
at 10:00 there were 2 on the south facing wall and parapets and one flew into the little cubby hole were Sunny a.k.a Junior hung out a lot last year facing south. On July 11th, at 9:00 p.m., I saw 2 of our young falcons back on the King’s Tower aerial. One of the young birds was noticeably larger (perhaps Miss Fran) than the other, and they were sitting very close together. On July 15, I heard our peregrines and saw one swooping around the Sun Life building around 9:30 a.m. This evening between 8:30 and 9:30 there were 1 and then 2 peregrines on the small CTV aerial across from the nest site. A little later on we saw another 1 or 2 adults peregrine hunting in Mount Hope Cemetary a little closer to 9:30 - a flock of starlings high tailed it out of there. 2 were also spotted flying around Louisa and Shanley Street in Kitchener.”

In uptown Waterloo, on July 10th,
Debbie and Jon observed: “…a falcon on a ledge on the wall of the BMO building (facing what used to be the police station, where Statler and Caster spent much time in the winter). Then there were some usual calls and a second falcon. The two interacted for a short while. One landed on the ledge again, and the other on the roof at the corner closest to the Atrium. After some time, the one on the ledge took a few flights, and it looked quite brown underneath (a juvenile we believed). It eventually flew a long way south, in a way consistent with being juvenile. The one at the corner was an adult, and it was still there when we went home.”

Sun Life building an active place

July 08, 2013 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre

Lisa Reh Reports:

Monday, July 8,
one was sighted swooping around the 14th floor from the inside of the Sun Life building. I also have seen them the week before taking off from the building. On July 9th, I saw 3 at least - there could have been a fourth as there was a bit of mayhem at the time. That was between 12:45 and1:00. They were swooping around the building. I left that day at 5:30 and saw one take off west towards Belmont St. and flew quite low so could have been an adult hunting. There were at least 2 on the east facing parapet at this time as well - side by side.

Kids will be kids.

July 05, 2013 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre

Lisa Reh Reports:

On July 5th,
Michael reported: “I was over there on Friday around noon for half an hour and found Statler on her usual post on the antenna on the King’s Towers, one of the boys on the antenna beside the TV station and Miss Fran on the TV tower making a lot of noise. After a while, she flew over to annoy her brother for a while before going on a brief flight and then back to the tower. There she continued to make noise and then flew over to join her mom at the

King’s Tower. Statler eventually decided she’d had enough and departed for downtown Kitchener while Frannie made a couple of short, noisy flights and finally alighted back on the drum at the tower.”

Lisa reported: “I’ve seen them at Sun Life quite frequently in the last few days.