Back on the nest

From Langis Sirois, April 3, 2016:

As I was driving towards the Data Centre at 9h45 yesterday morning April 2, I saw a bird flight toward the West end of the building.  When I arrived in the parking lot South of the building I saw a Peregrine Falcon perched on the ledge in front of the former nest site ; by the size, I thought it was a male.  I heard calling and saw that bird fly to the West end corner – it had a small prey in its claws ; it was thereafter only partly in view.  After a few minutes I saw a bird fly toward the East and land at the East corner of the building – an adult which, by its size, looked like the female.  I heard calls again and saw that bird fly to the ledge in front of the nest and go to the nest after a few moments.

I walked to the bridge with my scope and could see the female sitting deep in the nest, as if incubating.  The nest has been renovated.  It is said that Peregrines don’t build nest, but there is really a nest there, not big, but a nest.

Spring update

From Langis Sirois, April 2, 2016:

Yesterday, around 3:30PM there was a Peregrine falcon at the Data Centre on Heron Rd, it was sitting on a ledge on the South side at the West end.  I saw it from Heron Rd and had no time to go closer, but I beleive it was a male.

This was the first time since late January that I saw a peregrine there.  I had checked numerous times in recent weeks.
I will check again this morning and in the days to come.

Falcon Watch meets Safe Wings

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By Anouk Hoedeman

My bird rescue interests — the Falcon Watch and Safe Wings — converged nicely last week when a man contacted the OFNC Falcon Watch for help with an injured Peregrine Falcon that he and his son had found and captured near the Madawaska River in Arnprior. Apparently it couldn’t fly, so they suspected a broken wing, and the son caught the falcon by tossing his hoodie over it.

I advised him on how to care for the raptor overnight until he could get it to the Wild Bird Care Centre (keep it in a secure box, in a dark and quiet place, feed it some raw chicken and leave it alone as much as possible).

It turns out the Peregrine, a beautiful, dark male, had injuries consistent with a window collision. Luckily, beyond being stunned, some abrasions and a bit of a bloody beak, he wasn’t badly hurt and just needed a few days to rest and recover. Many injured birds are emaciated and dehydrated by the time they’re rescued, but this guy was well-fed, strong and alert. Continue reading “Falcon Watch meets Safe Wings” »

Amelia and Billy take a trip across Bronson

Amelia and Billy on the old CSEC building, July 5, 2015. Photo by Dominique Marshall.

Amelia and Billy on the old CSEC building, July 5, 2015. Photo by Dominique Marshall.

Amelia and Billy, July 5, 2015. Photo by Dominique Marshall.

Amelia and Billy at dusk, July 5, 2015. Photo by Elsa Marshall.

Amelia (Earhart) and her much younger and smaller brother Billy (Bishop) are doing exceptionally well and continue to hone their skills with every flight. They both made numerous sorties today, solo and as a team. Dominique reports that they even made a round trip together this evening to the old CBC/CSEC building across Bronson.

While accidents can still happen, these juvenile raptors are by all accounts confident and competent enough that they don’t need us to watch them so closely anymore. So, the 2015 OFNC Falcon Watch schedule but will not be extended beyond tomorrow (Monday, July 6), although you may of course continue to monitor the chicks to your heart’s content if you wish.

This year, we did not have a volunteer covering every shift, although we did manage to have someone there for the chicks’ first few flights (or, in the case of Amelia’s inaugural crack-of-dawn launch, very soon after). We encouraged anyone who was interested, including people who work at the Data Centre, to drop by unscheduled to see how the chicks were doing. This level of coverage seemed adequate for this particular building and certainly for these particular chicks, who have not played hide-and-seek nearly as much as some of their predecessors.

Likewise, we managed just fine without two-way radios or even consistent note-taking. Some people made detailed notes in the binder, others jotted down a few key points, some provided reports in person or by phone, email or text message. All these methods were sufficient to communicate the most important events. It helps that, after four Falcon Watches at the Data Centre, we now have a good idea of what to expect: much less danger than downtown, but still some great drama and entertainment as the young raptors prepare for and take their first flights.

Thank you to everyone who committed their time to monitoring the fledgling falcons, who continue to demonstrate that 875 Heron Rd. is a great building for learning to fly.

Please do continue to check in on the chicks if you’re in the neighbourhood this summer, and let us know if you see anything noteworthy.