May 14, 2015 - Toronto - King Street
Linda Woods Reports:
I walked by earlier and did not see Stormin or Erin. At 7p.m. an adult flew out of the west facing ledges and over to the roof of 100 Yonge St and out of view. Could not get a sight line on this roof top. Back to the corner of Adelaide and Yonge and found Stormin on the east side of a near by roof top . Erin is not in view. I guess she’s sitting somewhere near by, but just out of our view.
Posted on May 14, 2015 7:42 pm
May 12, 2015 - Toronto - King Street
Linda Woods Reports:
Taken today around 1:20p.m. Erin! Alive and well. One can clearly see her bands. She and Stormin have been spending a lot of their time on the west ledges of 18 King St. nest building. I have another image of both Erin and Stormin together. Great news. I couldn’t believe that Erin had passed away. It just wasn’t fitting the behaviour I was seeing from Stormin. He was hanging out and close to nest building. This is why, Erin was still with him.
Now to find out if there is actually an active nest on the west ledges. More observations are being done, when time allows
Posted on May 12, 2015 5:16 pm
May 10, 2015 - Toronto - King Street
Tracy Simpson Reports:
Thank you so much to Barb Baldinger and Chris Becher from Michigan for this update. Majesty, daughter of Kingsley and Victoria, was hatched in 2002 at 18 King Street and along with her 4 siblings was rescued by the CPF when both resident adults were recovered deceased. The famous 5 were then taken to our avian vet for re-hydration and health check before coming to the CPF Raptor Centre and being cared for until they were ready for hack release in Richmond Hill. Of the 5 chicks, Majesty went on to nest in Flint, Michigan with Barry starting in 2006. She has hatched several chicks over the years but has struggled due to her nest site choices and weather events causing the loss of clutches. I am pleased to share this new update from the amazing Southeast Michigan team and thank Barb Baldinger for her photo of the new tray and Majesty.
Durant Building, Flint, MI - Today, Chris Becher and I observed Majesty (black 7/5) incubating 4 eggs on the new nest tray that the MNDR installed last June. Majesty and her mate, Barry (not yet confirmed this year) have nested at the Durant Building and across the street at the UM Northbank Center since 2006. Early in 2014, employees of the UM Northbank Center installed a traditional roofed nest box that the falcons did not like. Majesty laid her eggs on the ledge of the Durant Building and they fell to the street below. It’s nice to see the new nest tray is working!
Posted on May 10, 2015 9:56 am
May 07, 2015 - Toronto - King Street
Mark Nash Reports:
May 7th - 2015
I have some very sad news to report after my site visit today in downtown Toronto today. A huge thank you to the Dream management group and security for allowing me access to the 8 King Street facilities. This viewing perspective from this building gives us an opportunity to get a detailed look of the upper west ledge elevations of the 18 King street nest building, one that is virtually impossible to see from the west from any other location, (other than the # 8 King street building) given that the entire west view is blocked by the close proximity of the other buildings to the west.
While there are still just as many questions that remain, we do although have answers to several of the most important questions that everyone has been asking.
Today, I spent close to an hour watching Stormin (the resident adult male at the Toronto Downtown King street nest site) guarding, protecting and watching over Erin’s partial remains on one of the upper west ledge elevations of the 18 King Street nest building. A very sad event to watch, one that actually brought tears to my eyes. I must admit, that I couldn’t help feel the lose myself. A truly heartbreaking observation.
At my arrival, I quickly spotted an adult peregrine on one of the upper west elevation ledges of the nest building in what appeared to be involved in brooding activities, as the adult peregrine was incredibly unsettled, standing, laying down, standing, turning, laying down, wings partially opened, then closed, then open again, turning around and laying back down. This carried on for close to 15 minutes,, (and the peregrine did an excellent job concealing what ever it was protecting / covering) as we didn’t get a decent view of what it was concealing until much later.
The sun was high in the sky, slightly to the west, and shining directly on the upper ledges where the peregrine was observed. The bird was panting heavily and was obviously very very hot as a result of the sunlight that was flooding the west elevations and ledges.
Bingo! I thought I had finally been able to answer at one of the most often asked questions these days with regards to Erin’s whereabouts. We highly suspected that she maybe have moved to the west side upper elevations of the nest building and either incubating egg(s), or at this late stage of the breeding season, brooding recent young hatchlings!
The longer that I watched, it became more obvious that the peregrine I was watching was much smaller than a female peregrine, and looked like a male!! After closer examination with the binoculars, it became quite apparent that the peregrine I was watching was in fact a male, (not a female), and non-other than the resident adult male- Stormin,, (now clearly identified by his Solid Black band number 30 over Y),, as it became visible during one of the many twists and turns.
It had also become quite obvious that this peregrine was brooding something with a real determined effort to conceal it from both our view, and protect it from the hot blazing sun that was flooding the upper ledges. For more than 20 minutes we watched Stormin attempt to cover-up a sizable gray object that lay underneath it.
I was fortunate in that we were able to utilize a vacant office suite and simply look out through the suite windows just slightly above the ledge level over on the King street nest building. (This as opposed to having to go to the upper roof elevation to make my observations).
It wasn’t long after my arrival, and after witnessing the above events, that I realized that not only was the peregrine that we were watching not a female, but actually Stormin (the resident adult male), and too my horror, that Stormin was actually protecting the partial remains of another adult coloured peregrine,, (likely the remains of his female mate - Erin) given his overall determination throughout my hour long visit.
It was also quite apparent that the deceased peregrine he was protecting and attempting to shield from the hot sun had been plundered and partially eaten as there was a large percentage of its body missing, with hundreds of smaller feathers spread out all over the ledge - (end to end).
For close to an hour, I watched and photographed Stormin move around and overtop the deceased peregrines body, with his back to us and his wings spread open in an effort to cover it from both us and the scorching hot sun.
On two different occasions, he laid down beside the body, with his beak resting on its back while he remained motionless for several minutes at a time.
On several other occasions we watched Stormin gingerly stumbled and move around the body with closed fists so as to not to cause any damage to the carcass with his sharp talons,, (very similar to the way that incubating and brooding adults move around when they are on eggs and / or have young hatchlings). On several occasions, while he was laying down beside the carcass, he vocalized at its lifeless body.
Again, I must admit, the entire event was truly heartbreaking to watch and I couldn’t help feel Stormin’s distress and really couldn’t watch any more. It was during the third time as I watched Stormin laid down beside the carcass and rested his beak on the head of the remains that I had enough and I packed up and left for the day.
I have refrained from posting the more graphic photos and photo-shopped out some of the more gory part of the images and hoping that my observation report will suffice to explain (in-part) what has taken place.
It is worth noting that the “bright red flesh” that we observed on the carcass - (as opposed to a dark red or black coloured flesh that is consistent to long exposures to the sun and air), tells yet another part of the story and some evidence of the timelines, in that the peregrine carcass was very fresh.
After speaking with Linda later this evening, it would appear that she saw both Erin and Stormin this past weekend. While the cause of her demise will likely forever remain a mystery, there is some comfort knowing that she was obviously still with Stormin on site at a familiar place, one that she has called her home for the past 14 plus years.
Posted on May 8, 2015 3:13 am
April 22, 2015 - Toronto - King Street
Linda Woods Reports:
On further examination of the image taken from the web cam early this evening, it was determined that I was not looking at an egg, but looking at the malar stripe of Erin herself.
Play of light and hopeful wishing can play tricks.
It’s still early in the nesting season and still time to put down eggs.
Keep watching and please send in observations as we do expect an egg any day.
Posted on April 22, 2015 11:36 pm
April 22, 2015 - Toronto - King Street
Mark Nash Reports:
Wednesday April 22nd - 2015
I had an opportunity this morning to make the rounds to take a look at all of the web cams before running back out into the field, and once again, for over an hour, observed a peregrine was lying down on the nest ledge behind the pillar at the Toronto 18 King Street nest site - (see attached photo taken today at 11am via the nest cam).
We highly suspect that the King Street pair (confirmed to be Erin, - the long standing resident adult female and her new mate Stormin) have nested and produced eggs somewhere else either on the same building,,, (or very close by on another building),, but the observations again today has us all very confused indeed, as Erin is still vary active on the original long standing nest ledge! Clearly, there is no evidence of any eggs on this ledge, BUT,,, the one-hundred thousand dollar question remains, - what is she doing and what is going on here??
That being said, I have an appointment booked with the building management and security of 8 and 10 King Street to take a detailed look at the west side ledges of the 18 King street nest building, in addition to being able to investigate other elevations of these two buildings for any evidence of nesting activity.
Will report back to you after my visit.
Posted on April 22, 2015 11:20 am
April 10, 2015 - Toronto - King Street
Tracy Simpson Reports:
This past week has been odd for the pair down at 18 King Street East as the level of activity that we have been watching had slowly been reduced to nothing. At the beginning of the week, we would see Erin or Stormin briefly on the ledge but they stayed off camera more than on. Linda Woods was keeping an eye out for them and activity was quite rare. By mid week, they had dropped off camera altogether and Linda was not seeing them at all in the territory on any of the usual perches and buildings. Even local residents were wondering where the falcons had gone and why they suddenly became so quiet. Late in the day Thursday the pair finally made their first on camera appearance in days and with that I decided to go down yesterday and spend some time at the site trying to determine what was going on and confirm identities of the adults.
Well… …wow!! I was treated to some rather amazing activity. It started off in the morning with camera image captures of the pair all over the ledge. I can’t overstate that. They were in and out of the ledge, down by the camera, back in the scrape and then over at the far end. At one point the camera caught an image of the pair copulating but we were not quick enough to save it before the next refresh.
I arrived around 10am and found the female on the northern most nest ledge opening looking out and watching the bird activity. The male was in the air and patrolling back and forth up Yonge Street over by 1 King and the Scotia Tower. He went back and forth, back and forth and then… …gone, but not for long. The male came flying in over Toronto St. where I was watching from and he had food. The female came off of the nest ledge and met him in the air over Toronto and Court. He dropped the prey, she inverted and went to grab it but the prey was still very much alive. Much to her surprise the prey took off up Court Street and in an effort to evade it grabbed a window frame about 7 stories up on the Mercato building. She pursued, banked and tried to grab it off the building but it took off again this time towards St. James Cathedral. She gave up and flew back over my head about 30 feet above me and headed for home. Just spectacular. It was then that I was able to get her on the ledge and in the scope confirming her identity as Erin with a black B over red D band. She turned to face out and I could also now clearly see her black dot on the lower right side of her chest clinching the ID. The male now took off to find something else for her to eat that was more appropriate to catch in an exchange. He was back and forth again around 1 King, the Scotia Tower, behind the King Edward and over towards the Esplanade. He stayed airborne for a good 30 minutes and seemed to be just loving the day. I stayed watching Erin and at one point I watched her turn facing north, she bowed, waited and in zipped the male for copulation number 2. What was nice to see is that it was her invitation rather than seeing her allowing mating reluctantly. She may be 17 years old but she figures she’s not done nesting yet. Off he went again flying, zipping through and soaring. He came back to the ledge and landed briefly down near the camera and I was able to get him in the scope and confirm that this is Stormin with a solid black 30 over Y band. Now both adults took off and were in the territory hunting. They returned to the nest ledge for yet another mating after which Erin remained and Stormin continued to course through the territory.
While they may be behind schedule, it looks like Erin and Stormin are on track for possible eggs in the coming weeks. They are both looking amazing and are working very hard towards having a family in 2015. We look forward to more from this pair throughout spring and the possibility of young.
Posted on April 11, 2015 9:47 am