March 31, 2015 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre
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.
Posted on March 31, 2015 11:51 am
March 30, 2015 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre
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
Posted on March 31, 2015 2:36 am
March 29, 2015 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre
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
Posted on March 31, 2015 2:25 am
March 26, 2015 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre
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
Posted on March 31, 2015 2:17 am
March 26, 2015 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre
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???
Posted on March 31, 2015 1:59 am
March 24, 2015 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre
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!
Posted on March 31, 2015 1:29 am
February 06, 2015 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre
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!
Posted on March 30, 2015 11:39 pm
January 27, 2015 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre
Mark Nash Reports:
January 27th - 2015
I am delighted to report that after meeting with the CTV - Bell Media group at the CTV studios in Kitchener, that they have agreed to allow the CPF to install a small nest box for the peregrines on the lower metal platform of their communications tower!
A big thank you again to Rudy from the CPF for all of his efforts and the many recent site visits, and for both arranging and attending the meeting with me at CTV, and of course to the great folks down at the CTV - Bell Media studios for both taking their time to meet with us, and approving the project!!
While there is remains a few logistical details and minor challenges still to be worked out (in addition to a new custom sized nest box built to suite, one that will both fit, easily lifted up to the lower platform of the communications tower, and one that will not be too heavy),, its a green light!!!
Over the past two weeks, numerous reports have been streaming in with increased observations of both peregrines being sighted on the rooftop of the Sun Life building and the CTV communications tower.
So the next step is to find the financial resources and funds to purchase the nest box materials,, get it build, get it transported down to Kitchener and get it installed in time BEFORE Castor and his mate disappear to places unknown.
Posted on March 30, 2015 9:27 pm
January 19, 2015 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre
Mark Nash Reports:
January 19th - 2015
We have just had communication from Tony at Bentall Kennedy that they have decommissioned the Sun Life nest box and the pressure is really on now for us to secure a new location for a nest box for Castor and his mate.
While we know that the they will find another location easily enough all on their own, (they always do),, we also know that peregrines don’t often demonstrate the greatest judgement in selecting their nest site in the “urban-jungle”,, and given that this is already pretty late in the season for peregrines that have not migrated and stayed around together all winter on the same territory, we know that they have long since selected their nest site and were pretty set on returning to the Sun Life nest box given their recent activity in and around the Sun Life building.
With the fact that the nest box is no longer an option or available to them, (and being so late in the season), this doesn’t leave Castor and his mate allot of time to find and select and a brand new nest site,, (one that may not be as accommodating or safe for both the birds, and for a fledge watch team to deal with downed fledglings).
God forbid that they should end up nesting in the middle of another downtown core where the traffic and busy congested streets make for a very difficult environment for young fledglings to survive! Or worse, end up nesting on a residential apartment or condo, where the results of a peregrine family and human families trying to live in such close of proximity, (as we have already had to deal with in in three other occasions), has historically turned out to be a absolute nightmare for all!!!
Fingers crossed that we are successful in securing a new home for the peregrines!
Posted on March 30, 2015 9:00 pm
January 09, 2015 - Kitchener - Sun Life Centre
Mark Nash Reports:
January 9th - 2015
We all just may get lucky finding a new home for Castor and his new (un-banded / unidentified mate). My investigation began with taking a close look at the CTV communications tower just up the street from the Sun Life building on King street. If you remember, Castor and his then mate, Statler, were successful in nesting and producing offspring in a microwave drum on the lower platform of the CTV communications tower in 2013. The CTV station folks were very accommodating, and very welcoming to both the CPF and the peregrines. Given that Castor and his new un-banded mate are still very actively using the CTV communications tower both as a hunting and roosting platform, this is a given as to a familiar place for the peregrines, one that is obviously still in their “chosen territory”, and one that they are no strangers too, and both still utilizing off and on.
Another quick call to Rudy Kruppa in Kitchener to see if he could get an opportunity to get down to the take some photos and take another close look at the CTV communications tower and microwave drums to see if either of the drums could be retrofitted to accommodate and offer the birds a new home to nest in this season!
Sadly, Rudy’s visit and photographs yielded news that I hadn’t expected, (actually forgotten), in that the old microwave drums had in fact removed last year in 2014 as they were no longer being used and an obvious liability of having them remain on the communication tower!! Crap!!! Another dead end!
That being said, after another close look at the photos of the CTV communications tower and the two steel platforms, did although offer some renewed hope.
Yet another call to Rudy the following day to ask if he would call the Station manager and our good friends at the CTV studio’s in Kitchener to inquire if they would entertain conversation with us with regards to putting up a small nest box in the tower, on one of the two metal platforms? And if so, could he set up a face to face meeting so we could talk to them further about the possibility and feasibility of installing a new nest box on the lower platform in their tower.
Posted on March 30, 2015 7:26 pm