!!! Sadly, No hatch again this year!

May 29, 2015 - London - TD Tower

Mark Nash Reports:

May 29th - 2015
Its been a long time since we have been able to get back to the London City Centre nest site, but we can finally provide an update on what’s been happening. At the request of the building management, I was able to combine two visits today, one in London Ontario to the London City centre to gather an update on the status of the resident peregrines.

We have good new and not so good news to report.
First the good news,, in that we can confirm that there is still resident adult peregrines on the London City centre, and they are still very territorial and very protective of the nest building rooftop and still very much occupying and utilizing the old nest ledge. Upon our arrival, both adult peregrines were observed on the nest ledge. I was also able to photograph both resident adults, and can also confirm the adult male is dawning a solid Black band - (indicating that he is a Canadian produced peregrine),, and that the resident adult female is dawning a Black over Red leg band - (indicating that she is a USA produced peregrine). I was not focused at this time trying to get an identification or trying to ID their leg band numbers, but will return again in the next two weeks in an effort to get a positive identification of the two. See the attached photos of the adults.

The not so good new:
I was able to lower the new CPF wireless colour camera down from the upper roof elevation to gain a peek at the nest ledge. Sadly, it would appear that the resident pair have not been successful in producing any chicks this season. While we can not confirm if they did in fact produce any eggs this season, it was quite obvious given the recorded video footage that the camera captured that there is no eggs or hatchlings currently present on the nest ledge or in the nest tray.

Some detailed close-up footage of the nest tray clearly shows that the volume of pea-gravel in the old nest tray is almost all but gone and there isn’t much left in the nest tray for the peregrines to hollow out a nest bowl to allow them to properly incubate eggs. Remembering that this nest tray was installed sometime way back in 1995-1996 and has never been serviced or had its pea-gravel topped-up or cleaned to our knowledge. The old nest tray is also showing signs of rot and it may not be very long before its starts to fall apart.

Over the past three years, we have been involved in replacing all of the old CPF installed nest trays and nest boxes with the newer poly-composite materials that have a much longer life span and shelf life, in addition to replacing and/or topping-up the pea-gravel at each of the nest sites. Aside of the obvious, (providing new and improved materials and renewed nesting conditions), the new composite material does not delaminate or rot, their water resistant and UV protected, thus minimizes the liability of nest box and nest tray materials from rotting with pieces falling off and down to the ground where it could injure people or cause damage to automobiles at the ground level.

Most of the older nest boxes and nest trays that the CPF has manufactured and installed (now at some 19 different active peregrine sites), were originally installed way back in 1995 to 2000, and although served all quite well, these older pressure treated wood materials have succumb to rot and delamination due to the harsh Canadian weather conditions they have been exposed to for the past 15 to 20 years, and as such needed to be replaced.

We have posted some of the video footage taken of the nest ledge and old nest tray that confirms that while the resident pair of peregrines are still very much demonstrating territorial behaviour and still very active on the nest ledge, there is no evidence of eggs or hatchlings again season.

We hope to be back in the next two weeks to check out the other ledge elevations around the building just to ensure that they peregrines have not deceived us and decided to go to another ledge to produce. We know that the peregrines always have a second and third choice to nest on/in in the protected territory and want to ensure that the up and coming London City Centre events and window replacement projects will not be met with any surprises that could hamper or risk human activities.

You can see the London City Centre video footage of our nest ledge inspection at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZl7kLEEj5A
The video (and still photos taken from the camera video footage) were taken of both the left and right of the nest tray on the next ledge itself, and of the nest tray.
Sorry for the shaky video footage, but the wind was quite blustery and it was very difficult to control the camera on this day. :-(
Stay tuned……..

Another Amazing Update from Michigan!!! Mystique!!!

May 10, 2015 - London - TD Tower

Tracy Simpson Reports:

For the first time in her history in Michigan, Mystique has hatched a full clutch of chicks!!!!!

Mystique was hatched in London, Ontario in 2006 and banded along with her two siblings.  She made her first appearance in Detroit in 2008 near the Fisher building but was not nesting at that time.  She established herself in the territory by 2009 but still no nesting.  Since her arrival in Detroit she has laid several clutches of eggs that failed to hatch and has only hatched one chick so far…   …until now!!!  She has hatched at least three eggs with her mate who is still believed to be Horus from Akron, Ohio (same nest and parents as our O’Connor at Islington and Bloor).  Please enjoy this update from Barb Baldinger and Chris Becher from the Southeast Michigan peregrine monitoring team and the Michigan DNR as this news and their efforts make for one amazing story of our girl Mystique!

April 23rd Update

Last November, Chris Becher and Barb Baldinger installed a nest tray in one of the window wells at the Fisher Building that Mystique (black 20/W) and Horus (b/g 89/P) unsuccessfully attempted to use in the past. Today, we were happy to find Mystique incubating four eggs! This week, we also witnessed nest relief at AT&T in Pontiac, at UD Mercy in Detroit and at Parklane Tower in Dearborn. All good news!

May 6th Update

Update from the Fisher Building, Detroit: Chris Becher and Barb Baldinger were happy to see a pile of babies in the nest tray we installed last fall. Great news for Mystique and her mate! (Possibly still Horus, but not confirmed.)

Great News for London - Mystique from 2006 Hatches Her First Offspring in Michigan!!!!!!!

July 12, 2013 - London - TD Tower

Tracy Simpson Reports:

This news came to me from Barb Baldinger, falcon watcher and volunteer extrodinaire in Michigan, about Mystique and Horus.  Here is her report;

Great news! We have not had a successful Peregrine Falcon nesting in the Fisher/New Center area since 2007, when Alpha and Maumee had three young. This year, Mystique and Horus have produced a male offspring! Mystique arrived in 2008 at WSU and later moved to the Fisher Building/New Center. Horus also arrived in 2008, after being displaced by Nick at the Macomb County Building in Mt. Clemens. They had several failed nesting attempts over the years, so we are thrilled that they succeeded this year! The young male fledged prematurely on Sunday evening and was rescued by the Michigan State Police. He is at a rehab facility now and should be ready to rejoin his parents in about a week. This is a photo of the adult female, Mystique. She is originally from Ontario. Horus is from Akron, Ohio.
Mystique was hatched along with her two sisters in 2006 at the London TD Tower nest site and was banded when she came to the ground after fledging.  She arrived in Michigan in 2008 and has attempted to hatch eggs every year since.  Her mate Horus, who was hatched in Akron, Ohio in 2004 to Bandit and Chesapeake, arrived in 2008 as well and the pair have stayed together and continued to try and achieve success together.  Well this year after several failures they managed to hatch a single male chick!!  This is amazing news for Mystique and Horus as well as the peregrine fans and followers in London.  Along with Buffy at St. Mary’s Cement, Mystique is the second offspring produced in London to be discovered nesting elsewhere.  This is an enormous success to celebrate and just goes to show that anything is possible!!   Thank you Barb for keeping an eye on her and sending us this update!  
Photo of Mystique courtesy of Barb Baldinger with our thanks.


Thunder and Dougal Going Strong in London.

April 19, 2013 - London - TD Tower

Tracy Simpson Reports:

Last week I attended the London TD Tower nest site to check in on Thunder and Dougal and the progress they are making towards nesting this year.  At first when I arrived on Wellington, I couldn’t see a bird anywhere.  After just a few minutes, in comes Dougal to the south corner of the ledge where I often found him last year.  He roosted and preened for a while and kept looking into the nest tray.  Finally, with one last look, he took to the air and was off like a shot to the west over my head.  Out of the tray comes Thunder and she is on a mission in the same direction as well.  Thunder circled back towards the nest building and disappeared behind the building to the east.  I caught her swoop up so she must of landed there and Dougal was now above me circling.  All of a sudden he is joined by a third falcon, a male, and the two boys get into an aerial brawl.  It didn’t last long and Dougal returned to the territory looking for his girl.  He found her on the east side of the building and the pair did some tandem flying before Thunder flew back up and into the nest tray.

I will be back this week on my way home from Sarnia to check in on the pair and attempt to discern whether they have eggs this year.  Thanks to the London City Centre for once again being such a great host!

Dashing Dougal Thunder to the Ledge

!!! Buffy from London in Bomanville

July 30, 2012 - London - TD Tower

Marion Nash Reports:

Today Mark Nash and Tracy Simpson identified the resident adult female Peregrine at St. Mary’s Cement as Buffy an offspring of George and Colypso hatched in May 2000 in London at the Canada Trust Tower, she was banded July 6th 2000 at 45 days old.

Buffy and her mate produced at least 1 chick this year story and photos to follow.

London Peregrines May 17th Part 2!!

May 17, 2012 - London - TD Tower

Tracy Simpson Reports:

It was another wonderful day in London delivering Project School Visit to local children in town.  After the visits, I paid a visit to Domenic Ripepi at Sifton Property Management Group and shared and update with the folks at 1 London Place.  They have been fantastic in allowing me to reach a higher elevation in a 23rd floor suite that has offered me a good look into the nest tray on 380 Wellington just beneath the TD sign.  When I arrived upstairs, both of the adults were sitting on the tray in the shade.  Shortly thereafter Dougal, the resident male, left the tray and Thunder, confirmed resident female, remained for another 20 minutes.  I could not see any eggs in view as the angle doesn’t allow me to see down into the tray but the nest tray itself was bathed in the afternoon heat from the sun.  As I was leaving the suite to head down to “the Peregrine Perch” on Wellington, Thunder had taken to the air and both adults were tandem flying just north of Dundas.

Down in the street, Frank was talking to many of the Londoners that were stopping to inquire about their peregrines and how they were doing.  It wasn’t long before Thunder returned to the tray and Dougal took off with purpose as if on a hunt.  I was able to get photographs that clearly show the females band colours and you can almost clearly make out the rotated 2 on top and the X on the bottom.  This was confirmed without a doubt as we also were watching through our scope and had the band perfectly in view.  We will continue to visit as often as we can to watch the progress of the resident pair and share the stories and adventures of these two with the local London community!!  See you soon London!!

Londoner’s Are Getting Excited!!

May 17, 2012 - London - TD Tower

Tracy Simpson Reports:

On Thursday May 17th, Tracy and I were in London again to deliver CPF’s Project School Visit. After the first school of the day, Tracy dropped me downtown to watch the nest and inform interested Londoner’s of the progress of their pair. I wouldn’t be exaggerating to say I spoke to 100 or more folks over the course of the day letting them know the information we have gathered over the past couple of visits to the London City Centre nest site. Several people approached enthusiastically asking what new news I had, while many more inquired about what I was doing. I offered some looks through the scope at either Thunder or Dougal when they were perched in view. It’s very encouraging to meet so many interested people, one lady even mentioning that she will have visiting bird enthusiast friends visiting from California that she will bring to see the Peregrines!

A special visitor dropped by for a nice long chat, Ron Gould, Ministry of Natural Resources Species At Risk Biologist from the Aylmer district. We chatted about the pair, some of Ron’s current and previous observations of Thunder and Dougal as well as trading stories of Peregrine falcon adventures from our pasts. We chatted about the importance of everyone working as a team to observe and help out this pair of amazing birds.

Dougal and Thunder were in and around the nest building all day and they both were at the ledge for prolonged periods. The warm weather allowed them a few extended absences from the nest tray. Ron mentioned that just as Tracy and I were arriving, that the pair had chased off a Turkey Vulture forcing it from the sky and into a tree. At least one egg is believed to be in the nest tray and we hope it will hatch very soon. As we are able, we will be back in the coming weeks to continue observations of the pair and create more local buzz. Fingers crossed for a successful season!

Check back as more photos and observations are to come!!

Another Fabulous Day in London; Incubation Continues!

May 10, 2012 - London - TD Tower

Tracy Simpson Reports:

Frank and I were back in London on “The Perch” on the west side of Wellington Street for another day of observation of Dougal and Thunder, the resident pair.  Frank stayed in the street while I made the rounds and visited with some of the fabulous people I have met in London.

First stop was to the London City Centre Property Management Group office to drop off some endangered species postcards and update everyone on the recent identifications made of the adult pair.  I must say that the London City Centre folks are absolutely amazing hosts and “parents” to the falcon family and I enjoyed sharing some of the stories we have witnessed as of late.  Thank you so much to all the folks that look after the Dundas and Wellington towers and I am so excited to see how much they embrace their birds.

Next, off to One London Place to share the news with Domenic Ripepi and Linda Machuk of Sifton Property Management Group who manage the building that faces directly towards the nest ledge.  I was able to meet up with Domenic and I can say the the local excitement regarding the pair is mirrored here at One London Place.  From a higher elevation I was able to see that the female was again lying down in the tray and was napping for the most part.  Dougal flew in to relieve her but she refused to budge and instead came and visited the suite above where I was watching at One London Place.  After updating Linda, I stepped outside to find Dougal on the top of one of the triangular ledges preening.

Back at The Perch, Frank had already witnessed a Bald eagle moving through and just shortly after I arrived, a pair of Osprey took a chance and bombed through between the towers.  They met with no resistance as Thunder was tight to the tray.  Dougal flew back into the ledge and tried to encourage her off but she refused to budge.  The only time that both birds took to the air was when another female peregrine entered the territory and Dougal immediately escourted her out.  There was a short battle between the two out over Wellington to the south before the male returned and Thunder came out for three short recon loops of her building.

When we left, Dougal was on his favourite perch at One London Place and Thunder was back in the tray in incubation mode.  Thanks to our supporters at TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, we will be back in London on May 17th delivering Project School Visit and Frank will be back on The Perch on Wellington Street for more observations of the pair.  Stop by and visit!!

More photos to come!!

!!! A Wonderful Day in London Yesterday; Female Identification Made!!

May 04, 2012 - London - TD Tower

Tracy Simpson Reports:

Frank and I enjoyed a wonderful day in London yesterday sharing information on the history and happenings of the London nest site with members of the community. During the past two days we have met hundreds of inquizitive folks and we were overjoyed at the interest that everyone showed.

We set up at the site at around noon and immediately got views of the female on the edge of the nest tray.   In the scope I could clearly see that her recovery band was black over red with a 2 on the top that was rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise and the lower letter is an X. The band was covered with a small amount of debris on the lower letter and so we will be back on May 10th to reconfirm but I can say with very little doubt that the resident female is Thunder, hatched in 2005 in Syracuse, New York.  Back in 2006, Thunder was spending time in Kitchener, Ontario with a Canadian male named Dundas who was famous for surviving to hunt and breed while missing one leg.  The last sighting of her was in December of 2006 and Kitchener to London is a coffee run for a peregrine.  The London territory was taken over by a new female in 2007, right around the time that sightings of her and Dundas stopped and by a female with the same band configuration of black over red so it was likely Thunder since that time. 

It is very exciting to have found Thunder here in London and as the daughter of the famous Fancy and Groucho in Syracuse, its all the sweeter a story.  We still need to reconfirm the “X” on the bottom of the band but we are incredibly confident of it being Thunder. 

The day continued with Dougal leaving the antenna on the Dundas tower at around 1:15pm and returning shortly with a snack for Thunder who was out of our sights in the nest tray. Dougal returned to the antenna while the female took the gift of food up to the TD sign where she consumed some of it and stashed the rest. Just before 2:00pm there was a shift change between the adults and the male took over the duties of caring for whatever they had in the tray. At 3:00pm, an American Kestrel got scared out of its wits when the male left the tray in hot pursuit! By 3:50pm an adult Bald eagle was making lazy circles close to the nest under the watchful eye of the male as the female had resumed her tray duties. After all of this excitement, it was time for me to head up to meet Domenic Ripepi of the Sifton Property Management Group who takes care of 1 London Place. The meet wasn’t meant to be but his administrative assistant, Linda Machuk, contacted him for me and graciously granted me access to a higher elevation to see just what they were working on in the nest tray. As reported earlier, by the end of my time in the suite I was 100% sure that at least one egg was being incubated in the nest tray.

Back down on Wellington St., the excitement continued when a Turkey vulture soared through past the nest tray which rousted both adults. Dougal took one good stoop at it and made contact with the vulture and Thunder came in right behind him. The vulture made a hasty retreat while the adults returned to the ledge. The female then took off, cycled around the building and then landed on the southwest corner loudly whining. Dougal came out of the east and flew in for mating!! More eggs in the making!! The female then returned to incubation duties while Dougal returned to his antenna perch on the Dundas tower.

I can’t say enough how many amazing people we have had the pleasure of meeting over the last two days. It was most pleasing to see the interest of the younger generation and hear their own stories of the falcons of London. A most important thank you to Domenic Ripepi and Linda Machuk of Sifton Property Management Group for access to elevations that allowed for the confirmation of at least one egg. I will be back in London again next week for an afternoon of falcon watching and community engagement; something I love to do!! I will also be reconfirming the identity the female as Thunder so come out and join us at the Peregrine Perch ( park bench on the west side of Wellington, look for the scope!! ) on May 10th!!

!!! At Least One Egg For London!!

May 04, 2012 - London - TD Tower

Tracy Simpson Reports:

Today Frank and I were in London again for the day and were treated to a day of falcon watching on Wellington in between delivering Project School Visit in the area. To get an idea of just what the pair were attending to in the nest tray, I visited 1 London Place for a better view. Although the angle still didn’t allow me to see right into the depths of the tray, it was clear that during the hour that I watched the female in incubation position that there had to at least be one egg. At the close of my observation hour from the higher elevation, the female stood up, looked down intently at something in front of her and then gently with her beak she turned it before settling back down. During the turning, I was able to see the top of the egg as it rolled to the right and she adjusted down on top of it. Excellent news for London!! Congratulations to all!! Check back tomorrow for the full story on the amazing day in London and more pictures!