July 05, 2014 - Toronto - Don Mills
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 5, 2014 12:02 pm
July 02, 2014 - Toronto - Don Mills
CPF Postmaster Reports:
July 2rd - 2014
Saw our 3 at Don Mills/Duncan Mill site today. Pretty active up until the heavy rain around 3:45pm (lots of screeching, fancy flying and eating). Didn’t see much of Quest, only Sky dropping in food and watching the kids. At one point it looked like all 3 were nibbling away at something on separate ledges
Posted on July 2, 2014 10:05 pm
June 29, 2014 - Toronto - Don Mills
Mark Nash Reports:
Sunday June 29th - 2014
A quickly update from Ann B. who texted me at 9:30am this morning, all three fledglings were present and accounted for at the Duncan Mill nest site.
Posted on June 29, 2014 10:45 am
June 28, 2014 - Toronto - Don Mills
CPF Postmaster Reports:
Saturday June 28th - 2014
Don is going into work for a bit tomorrow - (Sunday June 29th) and will check on the gang at Don mills. This morning (prior to yellow pages watch) the Duncan Mills juveniles were very noisy up on the Hqn building. I may be able to pop by Don mills again tomorrow to check in on them.
Bye for now!
Posted on June 28, 2014 10:42 pm
June 26, 2014 - Toronto - Don Mills
CPF Postmaster Reports:
A fairly quiet day. Little bit of play chasing early evening. Debbie and Murray had stopped by this afternoon and were there again for a bit when I popped down after work (Bonnie joined us). Richard popped by as well. Bonnie and I left the Duncan mill watch around 9:20pm. One juvie on 240 ledge and the other two on 225 roof. Quest brought in food to one Corner of 225 and all was pretty quiet they looked settled for the night. Bye for now!
Posted on June 26, 2014 11:02 am
June 26, 2014 - Toronto - Don Mills
Mark Nash Reports:
A big thank you to Ping, one of the new fledge watch team members that had joined us at the Duncan Mills fledge watch for sending in one of the many photos that he took of Rainbow Dash earlier on in the fledge watch.
As you may recall, Ping was one of the team members that got a very introduction to why we are doing a fledge watch, as he jumped into action and rescued little Cosmo from the ground.
Thank you again Ping for being part of the team.
Posted on June 26, 2014 10:32 am
June 24, 2014 - Toronto - Don Mills
Mark Nash Reports:
June 24th - 2014
Sorry for the delays in posting as we have been dealing with some glitches and challenges with the posting system on the CPF web site at the server where the CPF web site is hosted, and I have not been able to get my postings up to the CPF web site.
A huge thank you to Matt, the CPF web master who has been working overtime to deal with the challenges we have been experiencing with the reporting system on the CPF web site over the past 96 hours. Fingers crossed that the problems are finally fixed. Unfortunately , we have lost some of the most recent postings and observation reports that some of the fledge watch coordinators have posted, but at least its seems that we are back up and running with the reporting system again.
That being said, I am sorry to have to report that we have lost one of the young fledglings at the Duncan Mill nest site. Sadly, little Rainbow-Dash collided with one of the building windows and died instantly on impact.
It is quite sad, as I had only just sat down to get eat a toasted western sandwich and fries in the restaurant at 225 Duncan Mills road when my mobile phone rang with the bad news. One of the young fledglings had just collided with a window on the east side of 225 and was laying on ground outside of the shipping and receiving doors. This terrible news comes only minutes after I snapped a photograph of the four fledglings with my cell phone while they were on the upper roof elevation on the east corner of 225 Duncan Mills road.
I was quite excited that I was able to catch all four fledglings in the same frame, all at the same time, and relished in the moment that all four were doing so well and that I was able to catch them all together. Also, knowing only too well that in a few weeks, this type of shot would likely not be possible as they will become more independent and competitive, and will rarely be all together in such close proximity.
Although not a good photo at all, it was the happening that was quite heart warming to see.
Well, Rainbow Dash’s death is a very grim reminder that although the fledglings are all flighted and now able to hold their altitude, (and no longer in need of our assistance to be rescued from the ground),, they are still inexperienced immature young birds, and they are still going to make allot of mistakes and make some bad decisions, especially when it comes to judging speed vs distances vs braking.
Now over-confident with their new flight skills - (or better said, the lack thereof flight skills), it is historically at this time of the fledge period that we see a higher percentage of mortality, most often as a result of the young fledglings colliding with windows and automobiles as the juveniles are now building up allot of speed and get really careless that usually results in accidents. Hmmm, sound familiar?
I attended the parking lot moments after receiving the telephone call, meeting up with Sally and others that had gathered around Rainbow-Dash. She was collected and will be delivered to MNR on our next meeting with them.
Posted on June 26, 2014 10:05 am
June 25, 2014 - Toronto - Don Mills
CPF Volunteer Reports:
June 25th - 2014
We have hardly heard any screaming for food/play etc today. Karen heard some activity this morning but other than that, it’s been pretty silent which is strange after all the activity going on the past week.
Walk/check at 1-2pm:
-Karen and I took a walk around a few buildings and could see two juvies over on the roof of 220 (nest box building) and when we met up with Bob and Sue outside Harlequin just now, they said they could see another juvie so that’s good to hear if all 3 are on the 220 roof.
-One adult over on Thales building and another adult on the roof (north side edge) of 225 Duncan Mill. Sue says it looks like Quest on our roof so that must be Sky over at Thales.
-I’ll take another look after work and hopefully the black sky I see from my window will pass over by then!
Posted on June 25, 2014 11:45 pm
June 23, 2014 - Toronto - Don Mills
Mark Nash Reports:
June 23rd - 2014
Last nights adventures and Cosmos collision is a grim reminder that although it would appear that the fledglings are now able to hold their altitude and stay off the ground, they are still immature inexperienced juveniles with absolutely no life skills. They are solely dependant on their adult parents for food, protection and support for the next 30 to 90 days. They are still being beak fed by Quest a it will take weeks for some of the fledglings to even figure out that its actually other birds that they been eating, let alone having no clue as to how these birds actually end up on the diner table.
While it may also appear that can all now fly, (well, sort of) , like most young, they is still allot of opportunity for them to get into all kinds of trouble as they investigate their new world. We equate this period as the young 16 year old, one that has just got their drivers licence, and been given the keys to the family car for the very first time. Only in this case, the family car is a Ferrari!!! Speed does kill!!!
Remembering that these young fledgling peregrine falcons are still learning to fly,, with allot of learning to coordinate their tails and wings for elevation and direction, and equally as important, the tail and wing flare to slow down and break!! Landings are a real skill that is only mastered with lots and lots of practice, and as many of you have already observed, lots of bumps and grinds throughout the learning period.
The big difference with these birds compared to all others, is the speed. Peregrines are able to build up incredible speed almost from the get-go and its the speed along with the inexperience that usually leads to their many injuries and mortality. This in addition to having no life skills or fears, and we find them getting trapped behind glass balcony’s unable to understand why they can’t escape through the glass and get back into the air.
We rescue many fledglings each year that have been trapped behind balcony’s, pulled them out of chimneys, air conditioning chiller units and pools, air ducts, out of mechanical rooms of hi-rise buildings, garbage dumpsters, and a host of other things that get trapped in, some times weeks after they are actually flighted. And in Cosmo’s case, unconscious from the ground after colliding with windows.
So, the day at the Duncan Mills nest site was for the most parts uneventful today. Actually really boring with absolutely no activity for most of the day. Quest and Sky were inactive roosting on various elevations on 240 Duncan Mill building, with the fledglings lounging around on the upper roof of same all day! Very few flights and no teasing by the adults.
Sue joined me for a couple of hours today and was able to help keep me stay awake. Oh my goodness, what a boring slow day indeed,, (although very welcomed, as I was able to do some necessary recharging of my own batteries, relax and de-stress,, and I actually took a minute to eat). I’ve forgotten that you can actually eat during the daylight hours! Eating is good!!
With the support of Bob, Sally and Don, little Cosmo was examined once again before his release. Some great photos were taken by Sally with her camera phone of the examination. A feisty attitude indeed, with lots of energy and an aggressive fighting sprit! Rather nasty as a matter of fact, completely unappreciative of all of our efforts to care for him. This is such a thankless job as far as the peregrines are concerned. lol
Cosmo was again re-hydrated with some water prior to his release and cleared for release.
With Bob, Sally and Don in position at the ground level with towels and a two way radio in hand, I attended the nest building roof top and Cosmo was successfully released without innocent. See photos at roof.
Sally further writes:
RECAP: Soon after you release Cosmo on the roof, he did a lovely flight over 225 Duncan Mill, circling back to land (nice landing) on the top of 220 Duncan Mill. As he was circling back, Sky flew in and did some territorial warning dives after Cosmo landing, until Cosmo started his screeching, then Sky screeched as well and flew off to the roof of 225 to keep watch. Then you were back with Bob and I and we observed Quest bring in food to 225 roof - two of the three juvies flew over screaming for food while the other remained over at 240. As I had to leave Cosmo was doing the funny lurching run, pacing and flapping towards the east corner of the 220 roof.
It looked like Cosmo had taken flight over to 240 when I was leaving work? Or maybe 225? I saw two of the juvies on the 240 roof as I was walking down Moatfield. Hope all was OK after I left.
bye for now!
Shortly after 9pm, Bob and I were joined by Kathy K and her dog to check up on the happenings and spend a few minutes with us getting an update. By 10pm when I finally departed for the evening, all four fledglings were accounted for - (all in view), high on the rooftop of 240 and 225 and both parents were in view watching over the kids. It was so peaceful and quiet, you would have never known that anything had taken place.
Another typically day on the fledge watch. Back tomorrow, stay tuned………
Posted on June 24, 2014 1:59 am
June 22, 2014 - Toronto - Don Mills
Mark Nash Reports:
June 22rnd - 2014
Just when you though it was safe to come out of the house!! Well, during the fledge watch times, its usually not!
My day started teamed up Marion down at the Canada Square fledge watch to fill in for Lyn while she had to attended to other commitments. Remembering that both Marion and Lyn have been typically doing the entire Canada Square fledge watch by themselves over the years, spending 12 to 16 hours a day in the streets, 7 days a week all by themselves for the most parts. There was no way that Marion could deal with this situation by herself this morning with two of the three young hatchlings revved up and ready to go.
We set up at the usual place on Duplex street just south of Eglinton down the street form the Metro police station where Marion and Lyn usually man the fledge watch. Finding parking is always a challenge (and very costly) and its always both a very frustrating time consuming stressful experience.
Oh god, I don’t how Marion and Lyn have been dealing with this fledge watch alone all of these years, as it became very evident as to how lucky I have been on fledge watches in suburbia!!! I have to admit, the stress was almost overwhelming, with the traffic, smog, volume of people, and the noise!!! The diesel fumes and exhausts coming out of the busses constantly coming and going from the bus terminal across the street was terrible!
The stress was all compounded by the fact that when we arrived, one young hatchling has already fledged - (and already missing), and the second chick took its first flight only minutes after we got set up!!
By the time Lyn arrived, I must admit, my nerves were fried, I was soaked with perspiration after doing 3 - 2 kms - 10 block radius walk-arounds while trying to avoid all of the traffic and volume of people while searching for one of the missing fledglings.
My stress was further compounded as I was absolutely horrified to see their resident adult female hunting pigeons a waist level in the centre of all this congestion right in the middle of Yonge Street as she weaved in and out of traffic chasing pigeons. On two occasions, I thought she was going to fly right into pedestrians walking on the side walk as she chased three groups of pigeons!!!
And this was after I had already witnessed their resident adult female fly straight into the windows of the RioCan building, bounce off the glass, lose a floor of elevation, recover, and fly back to the land on the north west corner of the Canada Square nest building across the street!!! What’s up with this??????
Marion simply fluffed this event off, siting that their resident adult female (named Haven) often flies into the windows!!!! No big deal!! She has a very hard head!
Well, I know that kids will make most parents crazzzzy nuts, but holy-cow batman, this is almost unbelievable!!! This type of event is usually followed by a not so good outcome, especially with a large heavy adult hitting windows!! I gotta get out here!!!! This watch is simply not for me!!!
Sadly, just before I left, I received a telephone call from Bruce with some bad news, in that he received a call from security at the Amexon nest site - (Don Mills and Eglinton), that there was a banded peregrine down at 150 Ferrand Drive. Unable to do much from this location, I called Kathy Kerr who was able to get down to the other Don Mills nest site much quicker than I given that she was at the Duncan Mills fledge watch and much closer. Cathy called me back after arriving at the Don Mills nest site to report that one of the young fledglings named Zeballos (nick-named Zee by the fledge watch team) was found dead on the ground below the office tower by security doing their rounds earlier. Cathy was able to recover the Zee we will be sending her off to the MNR along with the other deceased later. Very sad news indeed. See Cathy’s report on the Amexon Don Mills nest site page.
Back at Duncan Mills nest site, the fledge watch team really rallied together as they once again were on site throughout the day to be therefor their peregrines. With Bob arriving around 5:30am in the morning to focus his attention on little Stormy who was left the night before perched very low on a lower ledge elevation just over the entrance of 255 Duncan Mill. He found the fledgling lower yet again, on the lip of the glass overhead canopy only several feet from the front ground at the front entrance.
Over the course of the early part of the morning, he was joined by Sally, Cathy, Luci and Richard and Debbie, followed by Tracy and I think Bonny and her husband. When I arrived, they were all poised out on Duncan Mill waiting to spring in action for little Stormy to come to the ground. By the time I arrived in the later afternoon, there was a full fledge watch team pretty much prepared to deal with anything!!!
Throughout the morning and afternoon, the other three fledglings were observed in several short flights from various roof tops to roof tops doing not too bad. Although terrible landings for the most parts, they all were holding their altitudes and staying off the ground!
By 7pm, it was quite evident that little Stormy was simply not motivated to take flight and both Quest and Sky were not giving her any incentive to get back to a safe altitude. Given the deadness of the traffic and the available fledge watch volunteers on hand, the decision was made to capture Stormy up while we had opportunity. Knowing that the automobile traffic will be back to the usually road-rally race status tomorrow morning as everyone rushes into work Monday morning, and the huge volume of people that will be coming into this building, this was an ideal safe time to capture her-up and get her back to a safe elevation on top of the nest building roof. Bob went home to get a step ladder and an incredible long extendable painters pole, and Tracy went to her vehicle to get one of the rescue nets. With the net attached to the painters pole and the fledge watch team positioned on both sides of the street to the east and west of the front entrance in anticipation that we may not be able to get her in the net and she if she came to the ground, we were all ready.
With the ladder in position only feet below her, and the super-doper net in hand, I took the first step onto the ladder, and before I cold even look up, she took flight. We watcher fly low around the west site of 255, into the back parking lot of 225 where she was able to get enough air and altitude to make a landing on the top elevation of the above ground parking lot at the rear of 225 Duncan Mill road lot. Yaaah!! At least now she has some elevation and away from traffic!
Less than 30 minutes later, and with Quest and Sky (her parents) in flight offering some motivation, Stormy flew again, this time catching some moving air and gained enough altitude to eventually land on the upper rooftop of 240 Duncan Mill road where she joined her siblings! A very good long flight indeed!!!
You could have probably heard the cheering from all of us several blocks away!
By 8:30 pm, the falcon follies were in full swing with both resident adults flying around teasing the fledglings with food and it was chaos in the streets again trying to keep track of the four, no, six peregrines bolting and flying all over the place from rooftop to rooftop, with fledglings chasing the adults, the adults teasing with food, it was incredible.
By 9:10pm all had settled, several fledglings had been fed and darkness was closing in and pretty much everyone settled down for the evening and everything got really quiet. Most of the fledge watch team departed for home after a very long day in the streets. By 9:20pm, with Sally, Don, Sue and myself saying our good-byes, there was one last flight.
Suddenly, the quiet silence was disrupted with a loud thump and our attention and eyes were each drawn overhead to the 7th floor window of 225 directly above our heads. A spread-eagle like peregrine falcon juvenile floated spiraling down thumping on the concrete literally three feet from where we all sitting. At this very same time, Sue yelled out, oh my god, it just hit the window!
It was non-other than Cosmo, the little super-star flyer! I had only to stand up, grab my towel and walk less than four feet to pick him up. Cosmo was completely unconscious, dead looking, wings spread out, legs stiff, eyes completely closed and no movement at all. I gently wrapped him in my towel, and immediately started to massage his chest with my thumbs while I held him in my lap. What seemed to be an eternity, Cosmo finally started to breath and eventually there was movement! Minutes later, there was hissing fighting ball of fire in my hands!!!
Cosmo was later examined for other injuries and other than a small minor laceration that he sustained as a result of biting his tong as a result of his impact with the window, he checked out ok. To be safer than sorry, Cosmo spent the night in the rescue carrier, in a quiet cool environment so he cold be observed and monitored more closely. He will be released tomorrow in the daylight once he has had a final examination and cleared to be released.
A huge thank you to everyone who spent a good portion of their day out in the streets on the watch,,, (when I’m sure that most everyone would have rather been with friends and family BBQ’ing somewhere enjoying this fantastic sunny day)!!!!!! What a great team!!
By 10:00pm, I must admit, I was spent, and finally departed the Duncan Mills nest site and proceeded to the Canada Square at Yonge and Eglinton nest site to pick Marion up from her watch.
Posted on June 23, 2014 11:40 am