May 26th

May 26, 2012 - Stoney Creek

Sue McCreadie Reports:

We just came back from Fruitland and I don’t think we are done there yet.  Bill and I ran into Barry this morning at the Lift Bridge and he told us he had been to Fruitland yesterday and one of the birds was in the drum. 

 
Ummmm we thought, better take a drive down.  When we arrived Athena was sitting in the Communications Tower and we couldn’t find Craig.  A short time later Athena left the tower and went to the drum and we witnessed a shift change.  Athena went in and Craig came out.  They both took flight and both landed in the drum and there was a big racket (perhaps copulation???).  Dad stayed in the drum and Mom landed in the Communications Tower, then they switched again.  We went down the road and watched for a bit and saw what looked like Mom trying to lay an egg (I’m only guessing).  Wings out and squatting down.  They changed again and we watched as Dad was pulling at the lining of the drum, perhaps trying to  make a scrape.  (Again I’m only guessing.)   When we left, both birds were in the Communications Tower.
 
I definitely think something is up again for this site.
 
By the way, there is a large portable communication tower fenced off in the parking lot.  That is new since we were there earlier in the week.
 
We won’t be able to get back to the site until maybe Tuesday.

May 21st

May 21, 2012 - Stoney Creek

Sue McCreadie Reports:

When we arrived no one was home.  A short time later Mom flew in from the south and landed at the very top of the tower.  She only stayed a short time and then was off again to the south.  About 15 minutes later they both returned, Mom carrying a beautiful white pigeon.  They sat on the same arm Dad patiently waiting for a bite.  He eventually gave up and went to the hydro tower close by.  As he was leaving the tower he hit the structure twice, losing feathers in the process.  We witnessed several more flights and he appeared to be okay.  When Mom had her fill as of the pigeon she took the remains and dropped them on a flood light on Taylor Steel.  She then joined Dad on the hydro tower.  He immediately went to the light and took off with what was left of the pigeon.   When we left he had not returned and Mom still sitting in the hydro tower.

May 12th and 14th

May 12, 2012 - Stoney Creek

Sue McCreadie Reports:

Bill and I were at Fruitland on Saturday and again today.  The birds are still using the tower as their home base.  When we arrived today, no one was home.  About a half hour later, both birds flew in and Mom went to the tower and Dad went to the drum where he sat chirping and looking down at Mom.  I was hoping that they might copulate and try for a second clutch of eggs.  Didn’t see it happen.  They are out of the drum for long periods so I think it is safe to say that the nest has failed.  Mom doesn’t seem to go to the drum at all.  It’s only Dad.  He sits on the edge looking out and surveying his “Kingdom”.  Another interesting thing we have noticed is that they never hunt around the tower.  I don’t know where they go, but we have never seen them hunt.  They have brought prey in and eaten it in the tower.

May 10th

May 10, 2012 - Stoney Creek

Sue McCreadie Reports:

When we arrived this am, our first stop was down the road and no one was visible in the drum.  We carried on down to the Fire Hall and found both PEFA’s in the communication tower.    We hung around for a while and no one was moving so we carried on down to St. Catharines.  On our way back we stopped in again.  From down the road, we could see Athena sitting on the outside edge of the drum preening.  We headed down to the Fire Hall and she was visible on the edge of the drum from the parking lot.  She finally took flight and a short time later returned with Dad in tow.  He went into the drum and she went into the tower.  There was lots of e-chupping and screaming back and forth.  They took off again together.  We hung around for about 2 hours and when we left at 3:30 neither bird had returned.  I’m afraid to say it, but I think this nest has failed.  The whole time we were there today, there was no incubation posture, no mantling and very little time spent inside the drum.

May 3rd

May 03, 2012 - Stoney Creek

Sue McCreadie Reports:

Just came back from Fruitland.  Athena was in the drum when we arrived and Dad was in the tower.  He made a couple of feeble attempts at a Crow that was too close for comfort.  He then joined Mom inside the drum and there they sat for the next hour.  Finally Athena came out of the drum alarm calling and settled into the tower.  A few seconds later she took off in a hurry to chase off a juvenile Bald Eagle who was leisurely soaring through.  She then disappeared to the North and for the rest of our visit she never returned.  We checked the drum from down the road, but nothing was visible except Dad down in incubation mode.

April 28th

April 28, 2012 - Stoney Creek

Sue McCreadie Reports:

We arrived on site around 9:30am.  We stopped at our usual spot down the road and had a look with our scope.  Dad was in the drum and seemed a little restless.  He got up a couple of times but we were not able to see any little white heads.  We headed up the road and found Mom sitting down low on a railing on the roof of Taylor Steel.  She was making a big fuss but we were not able to see anything that would be upsetting her.  After a while she took off and for the first time, we watched her land on the Hydro tower to the North East.  This is the first time we have seen them roost anywhere but on the Communications Tower.  (When they leave the Tower, they are out of site in about 5 seconds and we have no idea where they go.)  After about 20 minutes she returned to the drum and we witnessed a shift change.  All of a sudden we saw 2 birds in the air and it was Dad being chased by an Interloper.  Dad disappeared inside the drum and the other bird landed on top of the drum.  As Dad went in Mom came out and the chase started.  It was very aggressive with loud e-chupping with talons extended.  All quieted down and Athena returned to the drum and Craig took over the watch from the Communications Tower.  We did not see any hunting or food delivery during the 3 hours that we were there.

During our visit today, we spoke with a young man from Motorola who informed us that there was proposed work to be done on the Tower.  He said that they had been called off as a result of the nesting peregrines.

Mom Identified

April 20, 2012 - Stoney Creek

Sue McCreadie Reports:

I’m happy to report that we were finally able to get a reading on Mom’s band 23/X black band.

Tracy Simpson Reports:

Marion and I were in the office today and looked up the 23 / X band number on the female.  It is Athena hatched at William Osler Hospital in 2010 to Hurricane and O’Connor.  She’s kinda made my day since O’Connor has been replaced.  That would make her the granddaughter of Windwhistler who is nesting at 18 King St E in Toronto right now!  Pretty cool!!

While we were on site today, a fellow from Rogers showed up and we got the scoop on the tower.  It is used by Bell and Rogers and they were aware that the birds were nesting in the drum.  The fellow we spoke to had not been on site for over a month, but was aware of the nest.  The really good news is, the drum is not being used and they don’t have any intention of covering it or using it at the present time.  He said that there were no microwaves that would affect the birds.

Report #3

April 16, 2012 - Stoney Creek

Sue McCreadie Reports:

Bill and I arrived on site around 9am and parked immediately under the communications tower.  On our way we stopped in a parking lot about ½ km down the road and with our scope, we were able to confirm that there is definitely incubation in process.  Around 10:15, one of the PEFA’s took off alarm calling and returned a short time later landing inside the drum.  There was a long conversation between the two of them and for the rest of our time there, one PEFA was in and out of the drum sitting on a transmitter/receiver arm right in centre of the drum.  So, we had one bird in incubation mode on the bottom of the drum and one sitting above on the transmitter/receiver arm. 

We left at 11:45 for some lunch and returned at 12:45 to find them both still inside.  A short time later, one took off kakking after a Red-Tailed Hawk returning at 1:15 and landing inside the drum.  At 1:45 a third PEFA entered the territory and again the chase was on.  The bird had not returned when we decided to head for home around 2PM as the weather was turning bad once again.

We were able to get some photos today.  One bird has a 17/Y black band with the remnants of red tape on its right talon. 

A couple of interesting things we found today:

1.      There are NO pigeons in the area

2.     The drum had a cover on it until this past winter when it was blown off in the wind storm.

Tracy Simpson Reports:

I just looked up that band number as it was so familiar and I am very pleased to tell you that the bird is Craig from the Mississauga Exec Centre hatched in 2010 and yes indeed he had red tape!!  This bird, during one of his maiden flights, scared the poop outta Mark when he slammed into the face of MEC 2 and plunged to the ground unconscious.  Mark thought initially that he died on impact but when he picked him up (limp in his hands) seconds later the bird snapped to and hissed at him!!  If I remember correctly, both boys (Craig and Mark) were equally as shocked by the whole thing.  After that rescue, Craig and his brother Wade became star fliers and played a lot of tag around the MEC buildings.

Report #2

April 15, 2012 - Stoney Creek

Sue McCreadie Reports:

Bill and I tried to beat the rain this morning and arrived on site around 9am and it started to pour rain within an hour.  There was one PEFA hunting from the top arm of the tower.  Definitely a black band but it was too dark to read the numbers.  We introduced ourselves to the guys at the Fire Hall and told them that we would be around trying to identify the birds and to confirm incubation.  We walked down the road to try and get a site line into the drum, but no luck.

A New Nest in Town

April 14, 2012 - Stoney Creek

Sue McCreadie Reports:

On April 14th, Bill and I received a request from Mark Nash for our assistance in monitoring a new nest site in Stoney Creek.  While Tracy Simpson was doing a site visit in Nanticoke on April 13th, she ran into a fellow who asked her what she was looking at.  After a short conversation, he told her that there was a territorial pair nesting in a drum on a tall communications tower in Stoney Creek.  On her return from Nanticoke, Tracy side tracked to this position and was able to confirm both the presence of the pair and that they were in fact involved in incubation activities.  Sadly, Tracy could not stay long so Mark contacted Bill and I to do some follow up.  We headed out and arrived on site around 2 pm.  Unfortunately we did not find too much, other than there was definitely 1 PEFA visible.  We were not able to see inside the drum.  We walked around all the properties trying to get a site line inside but were unsuccessful.  We decided to just wait it out.  Eventually a PEFA kited in from South East and landed inside the communications tower.  Even though we saw it land, we were not able to find it amongst the beams of the structure.  As it started to rain we departed around 3:30pm.