!!! Despite the bitter cold, home is still home!

February 20, 2015 - Toronto - King Street

CPF Postmaster Reports:

Friday February 20th - 2015
A quick peek at the web cams this morning and we found the Toronto King street nest ledge active with both resident adult peregrines hanging out on the nest ledge despite the bitter cold temps that we’re been experiencing here in southern Ontario. With daily high temps only reaching -22, and with the blustery winds bringing the temps down to the -30’s, I can’t understand why our resident urban peregrines aren’t flying south to some warmer temps, (at least not for a short holiday until the cold artic air loosens it grip on us). We have already broken record low temps here in southern Ontario that date back to the 1930’s in addition to the several sustained cold temps for days (weeks) at a time!!

Well, I guess home is still always home regardless,, a safe place to be, and the peregrines see it the same way! Spring is in the air despite the cold, as the days are getting longer, with longer periods of light, and we will soon see some intense pair bonding between the adults.

With that being said, we have not been able to confirm who the resident adult is at the Toronto King Street nest site this year, with earlier reports of Windwhistler having been replaced by another adult male. Windwhistler, (a.k.a. Spike) who was produced at the Etobicoke Bloor & Islington nest site back in 1998, some 16 years ago, is / was the longest standing resident adult male on any occupied nest site here in Ontario. He is also the oldest resident adult male peregrine occupying a nest site that we have on record.

It is also interesting, that CPF’s original video / DVD presentation, “Life on the Ledge” that features the life of a peregrine family raising offspring on an urban hi-rise ledge was filmed via the CPF web camera the same year that Windwhistler was produced. We see him as young nestling growing up on camera. This is the same video presentation that we use and distribute to all of the schools for our Project School Visit program.

In any case, only time will tell as we get closer to spring, when both resident adults will be spending far more time on the nest ledge and we may be able to get a band ID to identify the Who’s Who’s at the nest!


!!! Ok, who’s realy peeking at who here? Tag, your it!!

February 09, 2015 - Toronto - King Street

CPF Postmaster Reports:

February 9th - 2015

A huge thank-you to Laura Cote for sending in her photos and observation report of the resident peregrines from the 18 King Street nest site. Despite the bitter cold record temps, its still life as usual on the urban nest ledges and surrounding buildings that make up a peregrines territory.

Taken from # 1 Toronto Street, one of the typical roosting and eating spots of the 18 King Street peregrines,,, (with the King Edward Hotel in the back ground), one of the local resident peregrines was photographed by Laura roosting on the upper elevation shortly after it finished its breakfast.

Unfortunately, the photos weren’t quite close enough (and of course the subject was cooperating nor staying around long enough) to get a band identification and an ID on the peregrine,,, but now that Laura is focused, she just maybe able to get an ID when the bird(s) return.

The one Toronto street building has long since been a regular roosting and eating spot of the 18 King street peregrines, and the balcony itself has garnered some incredible opportunities to view and photograph the resident peregrines over the past 20 years.

Remembering back in the early days, way back in 1995 when the peregrines first came to the 18 King Street nest building and successfully nested and produced Toronto’s first peregrine falcon hatchlings making history and causing global excitement, the building management of the day allowed the CPF to utilize the then same vacant office suites as a fledge watch command post, where we watched and documented Toronto’s first nesting/producing peregrines!

Today, some 20 years later, the 18 King Street nest site is still occupied by a resident pair of peregrines, and has produced peregrine babies each and every year since 1995!!!! It remains Toronto’s oldest continuously producing peregrine nest site, still making history as of today!!

While it is true that several different adult peregrine individuals have occupied and produced offspring at the 18 King Street nest ledge since Pounce-Kingsley and Victoria’s arrival back in 1995, this nest site remains a historical nest site! Each and every year since 1995, we have been banding the offspring at the King Street nest site, hosted by the various building management groups and even the King Edward Hotel in their old grand ball room,,, (which by the way has seen royalty and many very famous people in years since past)!!

Laura writes:
Hi there,
I work in the building across the street (1 Toronto St/top 15th floor) and the King St falcons often perch on our ledge to hunt pigeon. They often bring the pigeon back up here and eat it!
Yesterday I caught the first sighting of 2015 and it was amazing.
Thought I would share my photo. Hopefully this attachment opens, if not let me know.
Thank you,
Laura


!!! Pair bonding happening at the Toronto King Street nest site!

January 27, 2015 - Toronto - King Street

CPF Postmaster Reports:

January 27th - 2015

A big thank-you to Campbell who was able to snap this photo from the live web cam of two peregrines involved in a little pair-bonding on the nest ledge. While we’re not quite sure who the peregrines are given the recent news of the long standing resident male (Windwhistler,, a.k.a. Spike) having been displaced from the site by Stormin,, (who was the resident adult male from the Canada Square nest site at Yonge and Eglinton).

Stormin was displaced himself from the Canada Square Yonge and Eglington nest site by another male and disappeared off the radar altogether.

It is quite obvious by the photo that there is some active pair-bonding currently going on within the nest ledge!
The big question,,,, is it Stormin or Windwhistler?? Or perhaps, someone else altogether??

Campbell writes:
Good morning
I snapped this shot of the two yesterday afternoon. Can’t tell who it is. Spring is coming.
Campbell Barr


King Street Update. Third Bird In the Area

January 19, 2015 - Toronto - King Street

Tracy Simpson Reports:

This morning shortly after 10am Linda Woods was looking at the King Street East nest site area and had activity in the air.  A third bird entered the territory from the southeast and engaged one of the adults.  She believes that the two interacting were both males and that the female remained out of the fray on the south side of the Dynamic building.  The interaction continued for almost 45 minutes and included chases and vocalizing but no talon to talon contact.  Who this third bird is is unclear at this time but the flight pattern of the second male was distinctly that of Windwhistler and Erin was not reacting to this bird at all.  Could it be that Windwhistler is still around?  Further observation will be following this week.

!!! Important Message. A Different Male On Site. Not Windwhistler.

January 18, 2015 - Toronto - King Street

Tracy Simpson Reports:

Every once in a while I have news to report that I struggle to put into words. In trying to put my observations down in print, I will write and delete many times as no matter how I say it, it just sounds wrong.  This is one such post.  Please bear with me as it is a long post but it is important to include all observations leading up to this point.

Let me start at the beginning.  On January 11th, I tuned into the King street cam as I do every morning and captured an image of the male on the ledge. It looked as though he had just landed there and immediately my eyes focused on his legs. Black recovery band, yes. Silver USFW band, yes. But…   …the orientation was wrong. The black band was on his left and the silver on his right. After watching Windwhistler for, well, ever (so it seems) this was so very wrong. Windwhistler is one of 3 resident adults that we are aware of in Ontario whose bands are reversed. That is to say the black recovery band appears on his right leg instead of his left.

I contacted Linda right away as she is one of the most experienced people with the downtown nest sites and for the next few days the two of us watched King street like hawks.

I know you…   …as ridiculous as that sounds I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  It is almost impossible to distinguish one peregrine from the next based on markings alone as an individual bird can appear different depending on whether the bird is puffed up, slicked down, etc.  That said, this bird was just so unforgettable. I was in the area on Monday January 12th and made a point to do a site check. Erin was on the ledge laying down behind the pillar (she is doing this more often now as she gets on in age) and the male was on the southeast corner of the nest building.  He was roosting and looking south but I wouldn’t say he was comfortable. After a few minutes he began to vocalize and I watched him jet off of the nest building in a stoop down to Front Street where he disappeared low and west.  The female remained on the nest ledge.

Linda made a few trips out to check on activity in the area but the cold made the adults scarce and the viewing tough. We agreed to meet on Saturday the 17th along with Bruce to try and sort this all out.

This Friday January 16th I was able to save a series of web cam images of both adults on the ledge. The male was sitting in the sun for a few minutes and in that brief period the head markings brought one particular bird to mind immediately. Looking at the image it was as if the bird had been turned upside down and dipped in a bowl of black ink. A helmet head that was so distinct it was remarkable. No distinct malar stripe, just a thick, inky black hood.  Later that morning the female appeared at the far end of the ledge and laid down in the sun.  She was alone for a while then suddenly the male appeared on the ledge down by the camera.  I was able to capture several images of him approaching her, she stood and the pair briefly bowed at each other. This was not right at all.

Today, Saturday January 17th,  Linda, Bruce and I were determined to sort it out for certain. Bruce started out at King and Leader Lane with the male in sight on the nest ledge. I came in from the west and went down to the Queens Quay for some recon of the area around the lakefront. No sign of any birds to the south. I joined Bruce and Linda at the site but the pair had already disappeared. Bruce and I each took a recon walk around the area and Linda did recon to the south. It wasn’t until about 12:30pm that the male returned. He flew over to the northwest corner of the condos on Wellington where we confirmed his band orientation, black recovery band on his left leg. He then flew over to the east side of the King Edward to roost.

I KNOW YOU….  …I couldn’t stop thinking this!  We had him roosting on his right leg and waited for a stretch or preen. We finally got what we were looking for and the full recovery band came into view. We can confirm without doubt that the male currently hanging around the 18 King Street East territory is black 30 over black Y.  This is Stormin hatched at the Toronto Sheraton Hotel nest in 2009. Windwhistler’s grandson.

I had occasion to deal with Stormin quite personally during his brief evaluation with us after being found grounded back on December 1st, 2013. He is one of the most distinct looking peregrines I have ever seen and it was that head that I instantly recognized. This is the first confirmed sighting of him since he lost his territory at Canada Square to Malik, the new confirmed resident male on May 16th, 2014.

So what does this all mean?  The facts are this. Stormin showed up on camera on January 11th and has been making appearances ever since. He is courting Erin and we have not witnessed any other males in the area so far. This does not mean Windwhistler is gone, only that he currently is not on site. Spring mating season will be the true judge of which male will rule this territory. To all of you out watching birds along the lakeshore in winter, keep your eyes open as Windwhistler may be hunting these areas. Bruce will be down today, Sunday January 18th to try and confirm Erin’s band number and observe behavior.

Of note, both Erin and Windwhistler are 17 years old as of spring 2015.

Pictures will follow shortly.

!!! Finally, Two Falcons on Cam!

September 07, 2014 - Toronto - King Street

Kathy Reports:

I haven’t seen anyone but Windwhistler on the ledge the past several weeks so I’ve been keeping an eye out for Erin.  This morning I finally caught 2 falcons on the ledge at the same time.


Windwhistler spending a quiet afternoon at home

August 12, 2014 - Toronto - King Street

Marion Nash Reports:

Got a close shot from the web cam of WW at home today.

Marion


someone at home

August 02, 2014 - Toronto - King Street

Marion Nash Reports:

Not sure but looks like one of the adults at home today at the far end of the ledge.


Thea, soaking up the sun

July 10, 2014 - Toronto - King Street

Linda Woods Reports:

I believe Thea has taken up resting and soaking up the sun. I haven’t seen her in a few days.


Thea not in view

July 09, 2014 - Toronto - King Street

Linda Woods Reports:

The few times I checked the King St area, Thea was not in view. She must be venturing out of the area during the day, as I have not seen her since Sunday morning. One adult was seen this evening on the roof top of 18 King St. but I did not see Thea in the area. Adults must have her in their view.