December 29, 2013 - Mississauga - Executive Centre
Tracy Simpson Reports:
This morning one of our volunteers was watching the cameras and managed to catch Sante, the resident adult male at Mississauga Executive Centre, visiting the box.
This morning one of our volunteers was watching the cameras and managed to catch Sante, the resident adult male at Mississauga Executive Centre, visiting the box.
Yesterday Bruce Massey and I were out in the west end of the city and stopped in at the MEC nest site to check in on Rogue and Sante on a beautiful spring like day. Bruce arrived before I did and located the pair on MEC 2 where they were both roosting the day away. Rogue then flew around to the south side of MEC 2 out of Bruce’s view. I arrived shortly thereafter and drove around to the back parking lot of building 2 and found Rogue in the kitchen/cache that Sante always uses on the south corner of the building. She sat roosting in the sunshine but all the while she was keeping a sharp lookout to the south. She wasn’t there for more than 15 minutes when she took off heading southeast and set up a flock of pigeons that were trying their best to get out of her way. She continued to circle to the south and disappeared behind a building on Mississauga Valley Blvd., one of her favorite hunt sites. Sante remained on the west side of MEC 2 but he was also hyper vigilant watching a few flocks of his own to the northwest. It was great to see the pair together and we look forward to seeing more of them this coming spring.
This is an important update on Rogue, the MEC resident female that was injured in 2012 on May 21st and has been in rehab up to this point. She was injured in battle with Cass, the resident female at MEC during this nesting season who was sadly found deceased on July 16th across from the nest building.
Since the loss of Cass, our volunteers and I have been watching the MEC site closely as Ashley, the remaining juvenile from this season, was still very dependant on her parents for care and protection. On August 7th, everything changed.
We have recently just found out that The Owl Foundation and Anne Yagi from the OMNR released Rogue, the 2012 resident female, back on August 1st in the Niagara Area. This would explain a great deal with regards to the discovery of a new adult female in the MEC territory by August 7th at the latest at which time I was able to photograph her and her curious identification feature.
The single silver band placed on her left leg instead of the right
definitely ruled out the possibility that The Masters female had moved
over into this void territory as her silver band is on her right leg.
As I sit back and consider all that I witnessed on August 7th and the
weeks that followed, many factors point to Rogue as a strong candidate
as the new MEC female.
1. An adult showing up out of the blue prior to the start of migration where a void just happened to exist. At this point the male was laying low and not advertising his presence or availability due to having a dependant juvenile still on site.
2. An adult banded with a silver band only and consequently on the
wrong leg it is supposed to be applied. A common configuration in the
Niagara district where peregrines are banded and may be indicative of
that locale as her banding site.
3. Child like behaviour from the female. Its like she’s a kid again or
just won the lottery. I would expect an adult female that has been held
captive for so long to have mentally given up and to be home and free
would bring out this behaviour. The mundane things in the territory
have now become novel and to find her mate still available, her box
still there, her previous challenger gone and now coupled with her
freedom would definitely bring out this kind of response.
4. Sitting in the EXACT same perch spots that Rogue used so often.
5. Almost instant familiarity with the territory.
6. Almost instant acceptance by the resident male.
7. This female currently on site is a larger than average female which
is consistent with Rogue. While all of these things don’t specifically
ID this bird it collectively points us in the right direction towards
an ID. Leading up to this discovery, no adult females were present in
the entire Hwy 10 corridor that displayed this band configuration. Due
to the changes in Brampton and renewed activity at Mississauga North
this corridor was being heavily monitored from Dundas in the south up
to Main Street in North Brampton and this bird was in no way present in
the corridor prior to her discovery on August 7th. Of note, the
remaining juvenile female at MEC from this season’s production was
regularly being seen up to the arrival of this new female. She was
behind in her training for independance as the result of the loss of
her only sibling followed by the loss of the resident female. Losing
her sibling created a situation in which her experiential growth slowed
dramatically due to lack of competition and not having another juvenile
to challenge her made her more complacent than active. Losing the care
of the resident female, who was found dead on July 16th, now put
pressure on the male to complete all of her training, defend the
territory, feed her and himself. Once again her training was slowed by
this event and therefore by the time this new female arrived on site on
August 7, the juvenile was not ready for independence at that time. She
has not been seen since and the fate of this young peregrine is unknown.
We will keep you updated on the events at the MEC nest site as they continue to unfold but we strongly believe that the female now holding the MEC territory is in fact Rogue.
Yesterday after visiting Holcim, I stopped in at MEC on my way back to the raptor center to check in on Ashley and Sante. When I arrived, I found a dark bird hanging out in the lower loop of the E in Desjardins on the south side. I snapped a couple of pictures and was able to confirm that this was Ashley. I scanned around for the resident male, Sante, and found him in the lower loop of the S of Desjardins on the west side of MEC 3. I found it odd that on a cool day that both birds were inside the letters and not roosting anywhere in the open. I am so used to finding them on the corners and the top of the letters that this struck me as strange. They were both focussed on Square One and watching the skies above the plaza. Since the loss of Cass, Sante has been much more vigilant as he is now the sole provider and defender of the territory. He is no stranger to this as he accomplished the same great task last year with his daughter Janet. He’s a great male and is doing a wonderful job.
I must thank Katherine and Shannon for continuing to spot check and keep an eye on the family, especially now after the tragic loss of Cass. This is the fourth female that Sante has lost as this site over the years, given that it is such prime peregrine real estate. It is so highly sought after by breeding adult females. Sante has continued to carry on and show what an incredible resident male and father he really is. He has our full support and we will continue to monitor the site closely as we progress towards the fall migration.
I apologize for the earlier posting but I didn’t want to leave things with Ashley out of the core of the territory. By July 1st Ashley had returned home and life with the MEC family was moving forward. Katherine and Shannon who both work in MEC 3, Margaret who lives locally and the many incredible folks we met and befriended at MEC 3 have been keeping an eye on the family. From July 2nd leading up to this most recent awful heat wave lasting 6 days, Ashley has been flying well with Cass and Sante and her training has been progressing rapidly. Not only has she been back to the nest box and all over the MEC complex, she has also made flights back to Morguard, Accenture, CIBC and beyond to the west side of Square One.
Last week during the heat, Cass was found deceased in the parking lot behind the CIBC building. She was found on Tuesday July 16th and security was alerted at CIBC. During the time we spent watching Ashley on this building, we spoke regularly with security there and we educated them about the family and the species. While they did not have our numbers to contact, on Tuesday they clearly recognized what bird now lay in their parking lot and called Mississauga Animal Services. They came and retrieved Cass and took her back to their nearby location for holding. They contacted our head office and I was dispatched yesterday to pick her up.
Given that she was fatally wounded prior to the violent winds this past Friday, I was surely going to examine her to try and determine what had happened. There were wounds on the top of her feet and neck that might be consistent with a battle of some sort. Although no such fight was witnessed, she was clearly wounded. When I returned to the center and was able to look her over more closely, I checked her wings for damage and her humerus of the right wing was broken. This is an impact fracture. I believe that Cass had somehow become involved in territorial defense or was distracted during a hunt. She then lost control and made a very hard sharp contact with something that then broke her right wing. On the ground in the parking lot, she could have collided with a light pole or been accidentally hit by a car. Given that she was found away from the building, a window strike is less likely.
After picking her up I went straight to MEC to look for Sante and Ashley. I had attended on Sunday, after the storm, and located Ashley on the Morguard building. I searched for both adults and was frustrated in that I couldn’t find either of them. I believed that they couldn’t be far and intended to return to account for them as this past storm wreaked havoc and has injured another two peregrines elsewhere. When I arrived at MEC 3 yesterday evening, I found an unbanded adult male in the bottom of the S of Dejardins. He was on edge. There was no sign of Ashley as of yet but I believed that this could be Sante. To be sure, I waited to see him interact with Ashley which would assure me that this was her father. He flew to MEC 2 to the cache site that he always uses and then flew over to MEC 4 under the Jevco sign. Ashley came flying in from the Square One area and met him on the ledge. He gave her the cache which she promptly dropped in her enthusiasm off the edge of the ledge. She remained on MEC 4 screaming at Sante for more while he sat watching out to the west. He left on another hunt shortly thereafter while Ashley remained on MEC 4.
I can tell you this. This is another sad loss for MEC and one that Sante is not unfamiliar with. Last year he defended, fed and trained his last remaining offspring, Janet, alone without a supportive female. He did an outstanding job and was able to take her right through to the fall. While this is not an easy task ahead of him, he will do it again. He will give Ashley all his attention and dedication and he is a remarkable male in his ability to succeed in this. He has our unwavering support as we will continue to check in and watch these two as fall migration slowly approaches.
Thank you for your continued patience as we try to catch up on the stories of the families at various nest sites. Dawn to dusk at the sites leaves little time for anything else and so our posting went by the wayside. Still, with that said, it is important to finish telling the tale.
Ashley was resighted this morning, Day 20 of the watch, by Margaret and Katherine on the west side of the Morguard building. She hung around that building off and on throughout the day and finally took the long flight back home. She flew straight over to MEC 3 and landed like a pro. She was home. The rest of the day was spent back and forth between the MEC complex buildings exploring her world at home and chasing the parents for food.
Why so long? Why so hard? We’ve talked about this amongst ourselves and we believe that a key factor in the length of her “getting it together” was the loss of her sister Catherine. Ashley has no competition for food and attention from her parents. Ashley has no other siblings to prompt her to fly and train. Her training could now be in her time and at her pace as there is no other juveniles to urge her on or compete with her. We have seen this scenario play out at several other single chick nest sites and it is very consistent. While it was not as long a watch in all cases, it certainly extended the training period well beyond the norm.
We are really pleased that Ashley has now returned home and is staying high. It is our hope then that the watch can offcially be scaled back as of this day, July 1st, to site checks and monitoring. The dawn to dusk at MEC can now slow down. Thank goodness as we are all exhausted and with other sites still requiring our attention, we can now breathe a sigh of relief. Congratulations Ashley, you’re a big girl now!!
July 22nd - 2013
It is with great sadness that we have to report that the resident adult female (named Cass - banded Black S over Green D) has been found dead. We received a telephone call form the Mississauga Animal Services that an adult female peregrine was recovered from the street today and the leg band identification has verified that the peregrine is in fact “Cass”, the resident adult female from the MEC nest site.
While we have no idea as yet what has been the cause of her death, this news comes to us on the eve of yet another two injured peregrines having been recovered this past weekend,, (Kendal, the resident adult male from the Duncan Mill nest site), and an un-banded (unidentified juvenile, believed to be a male).
As many of your know, we had a terrible storm pass through Ontario this past Friday - (July 19th) as a cold front moved in from the north west to replace the debilitating hot and humid weather that we have all been dealing with for the past week. The storm brought incredible high winds of 110 plus km hour gust winds and torrential rain off and on Friday night causing flooding and power outages, downed tress and other associated damage. Thousands of people in Toronto are still without power even as of today. We had Tornado warnings being given throughout the day and most of the evening on Friday.
It is interesting that Kendal and the other unidentified un-banded peregrine were recovered Saturday (the very next morning after the storm).
Sadly, it appears that we have yet another single parent (this time dad, the un-banded resident adult male)to deal and care for the one surviving young fledgling - (named Ashley) out at the MEC nest site!
Wow, not a good post fledge season, unlike the norm where we are usually picking up injured or deceased fledglings at this time of year, we are for the first time in a very long time, now picking up injured and deceased resident adults!
We will be retrieving her body later this afternoon and hope to have additional information.
Some history of Cass;
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich., June 22, 2009 – One of Macomb County’s new Peregrine falcons paid a visit to the 8th Floor southwest ledge of the Administration Building in Mount Clemens.
Cass, one of the two female falcons hatched this year, decided to show off her new adult feathers. The bird took after her namesake and posed for photos worthy of a governor’s oil painting portrait.
Cass was named after a Michigan’s second governor Lewis Cass by Macomb County Commissioner Frank Accavitti of Roseville.
The youngsters were hatched by their parents Nick and Hathor on a ledge on the 11th Floor of the County Building.
After leaving MEC last night without having Ashley in our sights, it was our first order of business today to ascertain her current location. As she had flown undetected, we were unsure whether she had crossed back over Hurontario to the MEC complex or not so we began the search with her last known location. I went around the CIBC and Accenture buildings with no luck and scanned across to the MEC complex as well. No sign of Ashley. I expanded my search south and circled the Morguard building and found Ashley on the west side on a ledge below the roof. There she sat looking as though breakfast had already been served and she was quite comfortable in her new location. She remained there for the bulk of the day moving along the ledge following the shade. At one point, Sante arrived with food for her, a small package, and landed on the ledge with her. She gladly took it from him and immediately claimed the prize. Not more than 10 minutes later, Sante returned with another small package and attempted to draw her off of the ledge and into the air. Instead of showing interest, Ashley mantled over the remains of her first snack and hid it from Sante who was attempting to offer her more. He finally gave up and left with the food, stashing it for another attempt later. When I left the site in the later afternoon, Ashley was still on the west ledge of the Morguard building napping away and preening her feathers relentlessly. Boy does this girl love to preen! We will check back with her tomorrow and see whether she has made any further progress in getting back home.
Wait what? Day 18 of the MEC watch? I must be dreaming! I pinch myself but still it is a reality. After Ashley extricated herself from the low tree at MEC 1 and crossed Hurontario St., we decided that the watch needed to be opened again until she was home and high up. I took the watch for Tracy as she was now at William Osler with three inexperienced kids in the air and one working on it. I checked the Accenture building which was her last known location and was unable to find her. Katherine arrived at 8am to help locate Ashley and after searching the buildings on the west side of Hurontario, we found her on the low overhang of the CIBC building. There she stayed for quite some time and I was joined by Margaret at my watch point shortly after 9am and Ashley was quite happy to stay where she was. Cass brought in a pigeon that she tried to tease her daughter off with but it was not working. She wanted her to fly for it and Ashley felt that her current location was the best eating ledge around. Cass finally gave in and delivered the pigeon to Ashley who chowed down quite happily. I received a call from Tracy that one of her juveniles was missing and that she had his location pegged but needed a hand (and a working set of eyes) to find him. At this, Margaret took over watching Ashley while I headed out to Osler to assist.
Ashley filled herself to satisfaction with lunch and reluctantly left her pigeon for some shade on the ledge. She flumped down for a nap and spent much of the afternoon there. As Margaret was packing up to go at 4pm, Ashley’s snoring could still be loudly heard and she texted the last known location to us all. Katherine arrived at around 6:30pm and checked the overhang where Ashley was last seen. She could not see her, only a large dark bird on its back whose wing was flapping up with the winds. Not having a good angle to see it was confusing as to what bird this was. As Tracy and I had located her missing young one, she headed down to give Katherine a hand at locating Ashley. Was this dark bird on its back her? Tracy arrived and having the benefit of a spotting scope, took a really good look at the bird on the CIBC ledge. It was the remains of Ashley’s pigeon that she had left behind. Phew! Now to find Ash. They searched everywhere. They looked on every roof and ledge, under every rock and bush and found nothing. Consequently, they also couldn’t find Cass either. Tracy was joined by Shannon and Adam and after an extensive search until dusk they convened at the back of MEC 3 to formulate a plan for the following day. Ashley was not on the ground. Ashley was not in our view. Cass was most likely either with her or near to her. It was decided that by morning she would either become visible to our watchful eyes or the parents would reveal her location. And so we wait.
This morning when Katherine arrived, she did her morning check on Ashley before going into work and found her on the south ledge of building three. All seemed to be calm and well in Ashley’s world as was typical for this young girl these days. All that changed by 9 AM when our head office received a “Downed Bird 911″ phone call from MEC security at building four that Ashley was down and on the sidewalk. I was called and dispatched to the site and on route I contacted Katherine and Shannon to see if anyone was available to go out and take look. In the interim security had gone and retrieved the rescue carrier from building one and made their way back to where Ashley sat on the sidewalk. The minute she laid eyes on that carrier she ran. She was not intending to go in that thing yet again. She took flight low over the building four parking lot to the east and landed on a residential roof four stories above the ground. Katherine and I met over at building four and spoke with security about Ashley’s whereabouts. From his desk in the lobby looking out the window he could clearly see her sitting on the residential roof and pointed her out to us. She was high and certainly dry, for now. She sat up on that roof, a little confused about how she got there but none the worse for wear. She spent the rest of the day running, flapping and preening on top of the residential housing to the east of building four. I stayed for the better part of the day and monitored her from the upper elevation parking lot behind building four until about 4 o’clock. It was at this point that I needed to leave the site for about an hour and Katherine came out to assist. When I returned to relieve Katherine, Ashley was still in the same position and had enjoyed several rain showers throughout the day. She was currently tidying up after her most recent shower and stretching the evening away when I was joined by Shannon and Adam later on to help continue the watch on Ashley until she made her next flight. But alas she did nothing. Stayed right where she was and so the evening hours for the most part were uneventful. It was at this that Shannon and Adam took their leave. They hadn’t been gone long. I knew it was coming. Ashley took that flight that was intended to get her home. If close counted in a juvenile peregrines flight then Ashley did an awesome job. She made it within feet of the nest building. Unfortunately she was about 20 stories below her intended target. I found her sitting comfortably in an evergreen tree right outside of the front entrance of the nest building. There she sat trying to figure out what her next move was going to be. She looked up at the buildings and you can see the look on her face,” Boy, that looks so high from here “. She didn’t move for a long time and it was almost dusk. I thought for sure she might stay in that tree for the night but oh no Ashley had other plans. She took flight from the tree, flew low over my head and across the street towards building two. She continued to fly low towards the back parking lot of building two and then banked right. My heart stopped. She was now out over Hurontario Street somewhere and she was low. I raced to the back of two with security following me and we scanned the horizon looking for her and to my surprise she was sitting on the rooftop of the Accenture building. She made it, good girl. There she stayed for the night and I quickly texted off her last known location to all of our watchers. My grateful thanks go out to the fast acting Garda security staff who were amazing at identifying Ashley and contacting us right away about her situation. Many thanks also go out to Katherine and Shannon for reacting quickly to Ashley’s situation, making sure that she was okay and helping me to monitor through the day. Excellent job everyone, but it’s not over yet.