Rowena, our resident female at 875 Heron Rd., continues to remain very visible, apparently standing rather than sitting in the nest. I still have no irrefutable proof of chicks, but the evidence is mounting.
On Sunday evening, I watched for about an hour, mostly in the rain. Alex joined me for the first half hour, then Carlos Barbery dropped by with Gillian Shields to add a Peregrine Falcon to his Baillie Birdathon tally (116!). None of us could see a chick, even when Rowena and Ivanhoe switched places, but visibility was poor.
Last night Rowena spent most of her time looking down into the nest, staring at something. I watched for about 45 minutes, hoping she would leave the nest so I could catch a glimpse of a chick. She never did leave — and, unlike my previous two visits, Ivanhoe didn’t make an appearance before dark. But I am 99% certain I saw a chick’s head appear very briefly over the top of the nest!
I’ll keep checking the nest over the coming days to look for more evidence and hopefully get a photo of fluffballs.
A couple of weeks after we lost our roof access to monitor the downtown nest (a reaction to an incident at another building owned by Oxford Properties, and nothing to do with us), I was able to arrange a visit yesterday to an office that I hoped would provide a decent view of the ledge. Well, the vantage point wasn’t ideal, but it’s the best we can do right now, and it was enough to confirm that Diana is sitting on her eggs.
At first I could see nothing. But after half an hour of scanning, I finally spotted Diana’s wingtips peeking out from behind the wall of the ledge. Hopefully there will be some increased activity or other indication when the eggs hatch.
Over on Heron Rd. yesterday evening, Alex and I watched as Rowena fidgeted and fussed over her nest. She was more visible and active than ever, and spent a lot of time looking down intently.
Ivanhoe perched on the west side of the building, then flew in as we were leaving. Rowena flew off, leaving Ivanhoe on the nest ledge. Rather than sit on the nest, he sat next to it, watching. It would have been the best opportunity so far to catch a glimpse of eggs or chicks in the nest. Unfortunately, the scope was already packed up on the back of my bike, we were already down the hill at Heron, and it was getting dark. I figured that by the time I could get back up onto the overpass, set up the tripod and scope and take a look, it would be too dark and/or someone would be back on the nest. So I decided to come back during the weekend for another look.
While we didn’t spot any chicks, the falcons’ behaviour suggests that hatching is imminent or has already started.
There are at least three eggs at the Delta (downtown at Albert and Lyon), but we no longer have roof access across the street at Constitution Square (liability issues thanks to an accident at another property owned by the same company). That means we can no longer monitor the nest properly.
If anyone has a view of the east ledge of the hotel, please let us know what’s going on. We’re not sure if Diana is actually sitting on the nest, so we’re especially interested in knowing how many falcons you see, and how often. And if anyone can actually see the nest from their office, it would be really useful if we could come and take a look.
Chris confirmed on Monday that Diana (our downtown female) is sitting on at least one egg. We’ll check today to see if there are more.
Anouk checked the Heron Rd. site on Tuesday and, after lots of experimentation to find the best vantage point, could see that Rowena was sitting on her nest.
Short of attaching a camera to a little remote-controlled helicopter (or perhaps a drone, as some have suggested), there’s no viewing angle that will let us see in the nest. That means the number of potential chicks will remain a mystery. (And in case anyone does have a drone handy, you might want to consider what an annoyed, territorial Peregrine might do to it!)
Diana at the Delta Hotel on April 22. Photo by Chris Traynor
Rowena on her nest on April 23. Yes, a stick nest is unusual for Peregrines, but they didn't build it. It probably belonged to Ravens. Photo by Anouk Hoedeman