July 09, 2014 - Scarborough - Yellow Pages
Mark Nash Reports:
July 9th - 2014
At 11:45pm last night my cell phone range out and had my scrambling to locate my phone. I must admit, I hesitated to actually answer the phone once I found it as calls that come in at this hour of the night are not usually attached with good news. This is the time of year when the fledge watches are over and we’ve already had to deal with the fledge mortality that is typical of the fledge watch period.
While the young fledglings are now able to hold their own altitude and no longer in need of our direct assistance rescuing them from the sidewalks and other ground dangers, it is the time when the we see the mortality increase again as the young fledgling peregrines are now way toooo over confident and get careless with the incredible speed that they have built up. If they haven’t already learned about windows early on in their first flights, making contact with windows at this stage of their flight development usually spells disaster and the mortality numbers increases yet again.
Well, the call came from the security desk across the street from the Yellow pages nest site, with security telling me that one of the young peregrine falcons was lying on its side on the ground out in the corner of their parking lot at 305 Milner and asked if someone was available to attend and could help the bird. They had one of their other security officers out in parking lot guarding the bird concerned that the bird wold be at risk as there were a number of wild cats and raccoons in the area.
So, it was back in the car out and on the road at midnight rushing to the Scarborough Milner business court location. I was met in the darkened parking lot by one of the Milner business court security officers who lead me out to where the bird was laying. As I approached , I prepared myself for the worst and remembering taking a deep breath in an effort to deal with what I was expecting to see.
Well, much to my surprise, the bird turned out to be a young fledgling pigeon, one that had obviously hit one of the office buildings and had sustained server injuries as a result of the impact. I was able to retrieve the bird and placed it into the rescue carrier wrapped in one of the towels for safe transport. Sadly, the bird died prior to arriving back home.
Posted on July 10, 2014 1:11 pm
July 09, 2014 - Scarborough - Yellow Pages
Mark Nash Reports:
The best is yet to come!!! Photographers get your camera’s!!!
Remember that the family rearing process is far from being over, as its now dads turn. Over the next 30 plus days, the adult males will be doing most of the flight and hunt training with the fledglings, leaving the resident adult females some time to themselves to catch up on some most needed sleep and de-stress time. WE often see the adult females on the nest ledges doing some est box or nest tray rearranging and sleeping.
The fledglings will still be completely dependant on the adults for food, protection and support for the next 30 to 60 days as they will be staying very close to home around the nest buildings.
We often forget that the fledglings (I guess we can call them juveniles now, as they are the equivalent of teenagers in their mind set), still have no idea that they have actually been eating birds, as their food has been prepared by their parents. Many of the food packages have already had their heads removed, and with many of the feathers already having been removed, and as such, the juveniles have had no idea what they have actually been eating!
Of course its birds and only birds, but the young peregrines must be taught this!
They must be taught how to chase, stoop and dive for things and encouraged to chase their parents for the food. They must be shown what to hunt, how to hunt, how to catch it and how to kill it and then how to prepare it. The fledglings still have a long way to go before they are actually able to catch food themselves!
For the next few weeks, its all fun and games (at least for the fledglings),, but they are actually be taught important life skills that will prepare them for survival on their own this fall.
The fledglings, (juveniles) will succumb to a couple of thousand years to migrate in the fall and they will be on their own.
Most all of the resident territorial nesting adults at our southern Ontario urban nest sites will NOT migrate, and they will stay on territory all year. The adults have learned that you they can survive in the city all year long, (urban adaptation), and have figured out that there is an abundance of food around all year long, ideal habitat, no predation and lots of warmth from the buildings, especially from that of the illuminated signs that they roost on.
But the young of the year will go! Being creatures of habit (almost to a fault), what they know, they deal with,,, what they don’t know, they avoid! So its up to the parents to teach them as much as they can over next two months so the fledglings have the necessary life skills to be able to survive on their own. The fledgling juveniles typically migrate south to central and southern America for the winter months and have a very long trip south with many dangers.
Also remember, that the peregrine has more than an 80% mortality rate until it reaches breeding age (typically between two and three years of age), with the higher percentage of this mortality happening in the first year of their lives.
For all of the photographers out there, this is the best opportunity for some incredible photos of the adults training the fledglings over the next 30 plus days!! This is the time to really enjoy your peregrines,, so get out there with your cameras and spend some time with them!
Posted on July 9, 2014 11:34 am
July 07, 2014 - Scarborough - Yellow Pages
Mark Nash Reports:
Monday July 7th - 2014
A quickly spot check this evening of the three fledglings couldn’t have been better timed!! Just as I arrived and drove around from the south side to the north side of the building, I could see at least one fledgling roosting way up on the upper most part of the Yellow Pages illuminated sign on the south elevation, and what appeared to be another juvenile in the centre portion of the very top of the triangular roof where Ruben usually sits to over see his territory. As I drove around to the west side, then to the north side and parked my vehicle, one of the fledglings took flight from the upper most portion of the YP roof where I had earlier spotted it. It was vocalizing as it took flight, and seconds later, Ruben - (dad) flew past this upper roof elevation with food in his clutches.
The airborne juvenile flew underneath dad and turned and rolled sideways,,, and proceeded to grab the food package from dad while they were both in flight!!
It was a spectacular and truly an amazing thing to see given that the fledglings were having difficulty just holding their altitude only a few days ago!!! The juvenile, now with food in hand - (must have Lorne - Blue tape), flew around upper portion of the entire building, (directly over my head and was illuminated by the setting sun),, gaining altitude, and eventually landed (after its second revolution around the upper portion of the building), on the very top of the peak of the YP most upper rooftop where it had taken off from.
Suddenly, a second juvenile appeared in my view, standing on the very same spot where its sibling had taken off from - (from the same upper peak rooftop, obviously hidden from my view by the white pipes that run up the slopped roof edges). Seconds after the fledgling landed with the food, I watched in amazement the two fledglings share the food in quite a tender family moment. MURPHY’s LAW,,,, NO CAMERA!!!!!! Yes, I didn’t bring my camera this time,, one of the only days throughout the bandings and fledge watches over the past 4 weeks that I didn’t bring my camera !!!!!!!!
Unfortunately, I can’t tell you which juvenile it was, as without the zoom lens and the digital enhancement to blow up the photos or a scope, the height is way tooo high to identify who is who other than being able to identify them as juveniles or adults.
Oh well, I did get to see this with my own eyes, first hand never-the-less, and couldn’t wait to get home to tell Marion that all three are doing just fine!!!
I have attached some CPF stock photos of the Scarborough Yellow Pages building so you have an idea of the height of the building and the actual rooftop peak.
I will NEVER again leave my camera at home when doing site visits!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted on July 7, 2014 11:27 pm
July 06, 2014 - Scarborough - Yellow Pages
Marion Nash Reports:
July 6th - 2014
Al three fledglings were seen on the nest building when we arrived, with Lorne and Tormey on the upper north face and Petra on the upper west.
Food was dropped off to Tormey and Lorne at 3:00 PM by Linn.
Petra took flight at about 4:15 and flew around to the north face of the building just as one of the parents flew in with food. She must have seen it coming and decided that this one was hers. She grabbed the food in the from adult in the air but with a fist full of food and the added weight, she missed the landing and hooked back west and again. In an effort to try and make the upper concrete ledge, she struggled to gain altitude and eventually lost her altitude and did a face plant into the glass and fluttered down to lower concrete overhang. It didn’t take her long to recover, (only a second) and she started to eat her prize!! There was no way she was sharing any of this with anyone!! Tormey flew in to see if Petra might share but was soon disappointed with her sisters attitude of non-sharing and flew back to the north face pretty upset. She screamed and vocalized the entire flight back!!
After Petra ate, she flew off and got herself up to the upper glass pyramid level on the north east side.
Tormey flew around to the back of the building and Lorne flew to the Kitchen and back to the nest building on the north side with some good strong flights!
Looks like all three fledglings now know how to get altitude from the lower levels. Although the landings are still pretty clumsy, (OUCH),, it would appear there is little worry about them being stranded and in need of rescuing on the ground at this point. Lets hope that they have learned about bumping into windows and will stay clear when the high speed flying and hunting lessons start.
The girls have some catching up to do as their brother Lorne in so far as their flying ability, as Lorne is flying much stronger, but remembering that the girls are younger and heavier. But look out Lorne, as in a few days the sisters will soon catch up, and if there is food involved,, Petra just might give you a very good run for the pigeon
At this point, we have finished the dawn to dusk fledge watch at the Scarborough nest site, and will be only spot checking the site from here on in. The rest is now up to Linn and Ruben. We will be back next week with the cameras and tripods for some “relaxed watching time” to get some decent photos of the best that is yet to come!!
We would encourage any and all watchers to visit, and remember to bring your cameras!!
Posted on July 6, 2014 11:19 pm
July 05, 2014 - Scarborough - Yellow Pages
Marion Nash Reports:
Saturday July 5th - 2014 - Day 10 on the Scarborough Fledge watch
When Mark and I arrived Petra - (Yellow Tape) and Tormey - (Red Tape) were still on the west face of the Yellow Pages building, with Petra on the upper concrete ledge and Tormey still on the middle concrete ledge where we had left her yesterday.
Petra was somewhat active walking back and forth across the ledge but Tormey looked like she was going to sleep all day. After about and hour and a half Petra finally took flight and made it to the glass pyramid flapping to try to balance on the point which she managed to do. I guess she felt a little uncomfortable there with the wind so she hopped down to the ledge below the pyramid and there she stayed for several hours.
Little Tormey had us concerned as she just walked back and forth across her ledge on and off all day, not showing allot of energy. By the end of the day she was starting to show some energy and started playing with some dried up scrap of food looking bored out of her mind but still had not taken flight.
I walked around the building late in the afternoon as Petra had been out of our site for some time and found her on the opposite side of the same ledge and found Loran on the North side upper concrete level. As soon as I got back to our sit spot one of the parents flew in and gave food to Loran who ran off into the corner with his prize to have his lunch. Tormey and Petra got none.
At 6:30pm, Mom flew in with and made several circuits around the building and flew off. That was enough to finally get Petra off her feathered butt and she flew off to the north hooked back and landed on the upper elevation of Yellow Pages just making it.
She looked quite excited and proud of herself. Soon after Mom come in with food and flew to the kitchen and Petra - (Yellow tape) immediately bolted into flight and flew right after her This is one meal she was determined to beat her brother to!!
She made a clumsy very hard landing on the top of the glass arch, but got her lunch. Minutes later Loran - (Blue tape) flew in to squabble with his sister over what ever leftovers she had but it looked like Petra had eaten everything so they sat together for a while.
Tormey - (red tape) finally took a short jump and sort of a flight up to the upper level concrete ledge, approx. 1 floor up and landed just fine. She then walked to the leading edge of the North West glass ledge just below the glass pyramid and a few minutes later Mom finally came in with her food reward.
Everyone has now been fed and seem to settle down for the evening - (including both of the adults), so we left the family high and safe.
Our biggest concern is still Tormey - (Red tape) as she has clearly not taken her second real flight from the Yellow Pages nest building and actually been able to return to any altitude. She is now 44 days old as of today, so she should be flying tomorrow.
Lets hope tomorrow is the day that she will be able to get some real flight time and demonstrate that she is no-longer at risk from coming to the ground and in need of rescuing.
While the photos are not the greatest, (remember that the peregrines are a very long way up, and we are some distance away from the building itself so we can get a decent view of them given the angles involved without succumbing to the serious affects of “Falcon-Neck” as we all refer to it as),, the photos show the coloured tape that we put over their USFW silver leg band to help us identify them at distance.
I have also included a photo of Mark and I, as we have now been in the streets on the various fledge watches and running to the various banding events from Toronto to Windsor to Stoney Creek to Burlington to Kitchener to Mississauga to Pickering to Scarborough for over 8 weeks now. You can see that we are starting to show the affects of the 14 to 16 hours a day - seven days a weeks while in the streets on the fledge watches.
So if you one of us looking a little “odd”, or someone that looks similar,, have pity, its likely one of the CPF fledge watch team
Posted on July 6, 2014 1:14 pm
July 04, 2014 - Scarborough - Yellow Pages
Marion Nash Reports:
June 4th - 2014
I can’t think of a slower day, especially for fledglings that are now 50 plus days old!! Its been over a week now on the Scarborough fledge watch and we don’t seem to be any further ahead :-), at least with the two young female fledglings, - Tormey and Petra-Fire!
Petra was released back on the roof top today as she checked out healthy and fit after being rescued from the ground yesterday by Marion and Michael. Given that there were other fledglings on the upper roof elevation and fearing that we may spook the others into a panic flight if she was released at this time, Petra spent the evening in a carrier at security. A wise decision anyway, so she could be observed much closer to ensure that she had not been injured in her hard meeting with the concrete. A hold-over is always a wise idea to insure that undetected traumas don’t manifest. A final examination was completed prior to her release.
After her release, she decided to have a restful day sitting up on the roof top all day long. Her sister, Tormey also sat like a gargoyle most of the day having not left the ledge she had flown to yesterday. Even Loran spent a lazy day with only a couple short flights, but for the most parts all three juveniles and both parents didn’t do allot of flying at all. Can’t figure it out, it was a great day, much cooler from the debilitating heat and humidity that we have all been through this past few days!
There were constant cool breezes all day and what we would have expected to be perfect flying conditions for all, but this was not the case today. While the little fledgling male (named Lorne) is flying very good, the two girls have yet to take their first real flights away from the building.
Linn - (Mom) went after a gull today with some spectacular stoops and dives seemingly without any provocation and chased it clear out of sight to the south east of the nest building. Don’t know what was up with that, as over the past week while we have been on the fledge watch out here at Yellow Pages, both adults have not given any of the gulls any attention, even the ones that were flying only several feet above the building rooftop.
At one point earlier on in the week, a gull repeatedly stooped one of the young fledglings right in front of the adults, and they didn’t give it a second look and just watched the gull stoop the juvenile.
Otherwise it was a very quite an uneventful day on the watch for all of us. It was so slow today, we are all starting to count windows on the building to keep us occupied and awake We’re all going to compare window counts later on this weekend. Oh my goodness, HELP US STAY AWAKE!
We were joined by Patty for a couple of hours this afternoon who was able to get a few photos with her new 500mm lens. Michael also joined us for a short time today who brought out his 800mm lens to snap a few photos of the fledglings.
By 8pm, it was quite apparent that everyone was tucked in for the evening and absolutely no activity was observed by the time we closed the fledge watch shift down for the evening. We all departed by 9:05pm and departed fro home.
A big thank you to Dave and Bonny for coming out and helping us at the fledge watch today, and to Paul from Petra for getting us to the upper roof elevation to release little Petra-fire back to her parents.
Stay tuned, we’ll be back out again tomorrow…..
Posted on July 5, 2014 11:29 am
July 03, 2014 - Scarborough - Yellow Pages
Marion Nash Reports:
When and I arrived this morning Tormey way low on the 2nd floor canopy over the front of the Yellow Pages building on the north side so I set up on the grass across the street to watch her. Dave came shortly after and set out to look for her brother and sister.
Dave found both a few minutes later and both were high and safe so we settled in to keep an eye on Tormey while she walked back and forth on the overhang flapping and looking like she was not too happy to be there.
In the afternoon Petra decided to take flight and she flew out and hooked back to the building but missed the landing and fluttered down the front of the windows and landed on the opposite 2nd floor overhand to the one her sister was on.
Tormey walked around to see her and the 2 looked across at each other while people came in and out of the front door oblivious to the drama the fledglings were feeling above Oh my how do we get back up there to Mom and Dad???
Dave moved to the North west to watch Petra and I stayed with Tormey and there we sat all afternoon.
At about 1:30 Mom and Dad took off and flew to the south parking area to escort 2 Turkey vultures out of their territory otherwise it was a quiet all afternoon.
Just after 5 PM a new volunteer watcher came to help and I gave Michael a crash corse falcon rescue 101 and set him up on the south west side just in case Petra flew off in that direction and that way Dave and he could watch her and Loran while I keep an eye on the ledge wandering Tormey who could not seem to decide if she preferred the north side of the overhang or the south.
While she was at the south end of the overhang a cuckoo landed just feet from her and scolded her and flew off only to return and do it again twice more, I see why being called cuckoo is not a compliment to ones intelligence.
I was just after 6:00 PM when I heard Michael say that one of the adults flew off to the west after something and asked Dave if he saw what it was. It had a long neck said Dave I think it was a swan.
I began to get quite cold and Dave decided to head home so Michael and I positioned ourselves in the best place we could to keep watch over the 2 girls and not more than 20 minutes after Dave left Tormey took flight from the south end of the lower ledge heading west to the Investors Group building and almost made it but was just a few feet short of the top. She grabbed hold to the top window frame and did the bat manoeuver holding on until mom flew over and batted her off and got her to fly. She hooked back to the Yellow Pages building and kept her altitude landing safely on the 12 floor ledge on the west side that a girl Tormey I thought now stay the heck up there whilst I deal with your sister.
I walked over to her sister Petra who looked down at me standing below her and I said ok kid fly and as if in response she flapped her wings and her feet left the ledge a fer inches and she settled bank sown so again I said good girl fly and she repeated the process. Michael who was watching this came on the radio and said I think she is teasing you so to which I replied I think your right so this time I shouted FLY and I am still laughing because she did. She took off and hooked around the building to the south with both me and Michael in hot pursuit around to the back parking.
Michael said I think I found her and I looked up to whare he pointed and there was a falcon with her back to up high at nest ledge level. Great we had her and «I was happy but after a better ;look that was mom so I backed up a little and had a closer look at the east side and found her walking along the ground on the east side of the building heading north towards the street.
I asked Michael to get circle around to the right of her and get in front of her while a sneak up behind her so he could approach from the front and me from the back so that she would not be flushed into the street. This worked out perfect and within minutes I had her wrapped in a towel and In the rescue carrier.
I called Mark and we decided to hold her over in security and will release her on the roof tomorrow when there is more light.
I will try to get some pictures of her and the release and post them for you tomorrow!
Posted on July 4, 2014 9:43 am
July 02, 2014 - Scarborough - Yellow Pages
Marion Nash Reports:
There was not much action today until the afternoon feeding when mom and dad booth brought in food, each had a pigeon and dropped them off for the fledglings who were all lined up on the same ledge.
Shortly after Lorne took a short flight around the building landing on the upper level ledge and his sister Tormey flew up to try to land on the point of one of the pyramid shaped skylights on the west elevations as she has seen her mom do over the last couple days. Although she did get there she slipped off and caught the ledge just below.
A rain storm came in later in the afternoon and that along with a full tummy kept the chicks quiet and there was no more flights until the evening. At 8:00 PM Lorne flew off to the north almost to SHEPARD then hooked back to the Yellow Pages building roof top. His sister Petra then took flight and circled the building landing on the west side keeping her elevation. Lorne then took off again and headed for the Investors Group building where we watched him land on the top elevation where he spent a few minutes and flew back to the west side of Yellow Pages for a few minutes and them back again to the Investors group very well done.
Lyn flew in at about 8:30 and the other 2 chicks seemed to take that as a signal to settle down for the evening and they ducked out of site and went to bed, Lorne seemed to want to stay with dad at Investors Group so we left them high and finally dry and called it a night.
Posted on July 3, 2014 8:49 am
July 01, 2014 - Scarborough - Yellow Pages
Mark Nash Reports:
July 1st - 2014
All three high and now flying!!!
Well, its been a very busy 24 hours and apologize for the very late posting and update on my part. I actually fell asleep at the computer on Tuesday night and woke-up with the telephone ringing at 6:30am from one of the other fledge watch teams. Its been a long time since I’ve actually slept sitting upright hung over my computer!!! Talk about aching!!! I don’t recommend that you try this !!
Well, there is not much I can say at this point as its really old news now that a day has passed since this outdated report, and the fact that I actually missed the best of what happened with my having been called away from the Yellow Pages fledge watch to go and do another rescue of a down fledgling from another nest site out in Pickering.
The three hatchlings have now all fledged and aside of the usual bumps and grinds, they are all out of the nest! The two girls, (Petra-Fire and Tormey) have only taken one flight each - out and immediately turned and returned back to the building ledges), have both survived their maiden voyages!
Lorne, the little male is doing short flights from the various elevations on the nest building and starting to build allot of confidence. It won’t be long before he starts doing some much better flights. Linn, their mom, is withholding food from the two girls and Lorne is getting the lions share of the food for sure, obviously being rewarded for all of his efforts. The two sisters are constantly screaming for food, not two days without food!!
Talk about motivation by the parents!! Despite their withholding food, both Linn and Ruben are keeping a very close eye on all three fledglings, and I must say that they are really an experienced well tuned parents! They have really got their act together and really working well together in comparison to some of the other less experienced pairs that I have watched this season. As you know, some of the other nest sites have new mates (along with experienced mates), and although they all have been outstanding in their efforts at family rearing, you can still see a huge difference with an older experienced pair at family rearing.
A big thank you to Cathy, Dave and Marion for all their efforts today as they were the ones that were going a little crazzzy with most of the activity this evening during my absence at the other nest site.
I have attached some of the other rescue photos from this afternoon just to let you all know that I really was called away for another rescue. Sadly, we can say where the nest site is as we do not have permission to make the nest site public. The photos have been cropped to cut out the backgrounds to protect the identity and location of the nest site.
Stay tuned, more to come………
Posted on July 1, 2014 11:54 pm
July 01, 2014 - Scarborough - Yellow Pages
Mark Nash Reports:
Sunday June 30th - 2014
Well, today was one of those watching the paint dry days! It was hot and humid, and thank goodness for the constant breezes that persisted all day, right up to 8pm. Had it not been for the constant winds to keep us cool, we surely would have melted in the streets today.
The two young female peregrines spent all day again in the nest ledge again today with the occasional flapping and allot of screaming to their parents to food when ever they were in sight. Lorne, the little male fledgling who had finally been able to return back to the nest building yesterday after his disappearance, spent all day on the next column ledge over from the nest itself watching his two sisters. He spent most of his time sleeping, and getting two feedings by mom.
Much later in the afternoon, he was able to get one level up and ran the retaining wall ledge around the north side of the nest building. He visited his two sisters on several occasions and eventually got the nerve and dropped down back into the nest ledge itself and finally joined them! He never flew at all today.
By 9pm, the light was disappearing along with the overcast that was moving in, the winds died out and the three disappeared from our view down into the nest ledge for the night. Both adults were visible roosting on the upper north side of the nest building keeping a close eye on the juveniles in the nest ledge and they tooo bedded down for the evening.
Just to recap, neither of the two young female babies have taken their first flights yet. Please all, keep your eyes to the ground, as they were heavy at banding and most likely will end up very low or come to the ground as some point during their first few flights!!!
We closed the fledge watch down for the day and departed for home.
Posted on June 30, 2014 11:51 pm