December 24 [from Arlene Williams] — 12:54 pm – Both Horizon and Connor were on the western side of the lower ledge area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building, but both were not seen by this observer until they just took flight for whatever reason. Connor headed west towards the Gatineau Hills and Horizon landed momentarily on the northwest corner of the ledge area and no sooner had she landed, then she was off headed in the same direction as her partner. That was a nice early Christmas present for this observer.
Happy holidays, everyone and the best to all in 2004.
December 22 [from Dave Smith] — Not sure if you are still tracking the falcons but I sited one this morning in the midst of enjoying a pigeon breakfast in the church parking lot on Sparks between Bay and Bronson! Fine looking bird with full feathering, spotted markings on the chest. Not sure which one this might be! Unfortunately I disturbed it somewhat and it flew (with breakfast) towards the Park of the Provinces and settled in on the snow bank on the north side of Sparks Street!
December 17 [from Eve Ticknor] — One of our adult peregrines was seen driving off a Bald Eagle over the Chaudiere Dam Sunday the 15th during the Annual Christmas Bird Count! The eagle ended up going to Lac Leamy.
At another time that day, Connor was seen on the Coats Building in Tunney’s Pasture, so he is spending the winter here once again.
December 16 [from Arlene Williams] — 1:05 pm – Horizon is perched on the northwest corner of the Constitution Square building which is located at the corners of Lyon and Slater Streets. She is facing eastward on said corner and there is no sign of her mate – Connor. Hopefully, she was not abandoned this year by her mate flying south.
1:08 pm – She has just flown off for parts unknown as I momentarily took my eyes off of her regal stature.
December 10 [from Arlene Williams] — 2:39 pm – For approximately an hour now, Horizon has been perched on her favourite roost and that is on the northwest corner of the Constitution Square building, which is located at the corners of Lyon and Slater Streets. She is currently looking southward towards the airport and she is a fine site to behold. She looks quite regal against the backdrop of a somewhat hazy day with airplanes departing from the airport property. She seems oblivious to the cold weather and appears to have filled out with her winter feathering. No sign of her beloved – Connor.
October 29 [from Arlene Williams] — 1:54 pm – It is a very cloudy/hazy day and it has been about 45 minutes now that one of the peregrines is perched on the west side of the ledge area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building, seemingly trying to avoid the rain which is constantly falling at this hour. I am not sure which peregrine it is, but it seemed to be darker in feathering and that would lead me to believe that it may be Connor, although I am not definite on that point.
1:58 pm – He/she has flown off for parts unknown.
October 2 [from Arlene Williams] — 12:46 pm – Horizon is putting on quite the aerial display today and she is giving the east and west ledge areas of the Crowne Plaza hotel building equal time once landed. She rests for about a minute to five minutes and then she is off soaring once again, but to the other side of the building or will contour the hotel building and part of the Place de Ville complex buildings I have seen no signs of her beloved – Connor – or her offspring – Solitaire. I am hoping, at least, that Connor will stay for the winter this year as he has done for the two years.
September 29 [from Gabriela Williams] — I saw one peregrine on the southeast corner of the Crowne Plaza this morning at around 8 am. It was either Connor or Solitaire (dark and “small”) and I wasn’t able to follow up. I usually get to see them on the west ledge in the morning (about once a week), since that’s my route to work. Sometimes it’s Horizon, sometimes Connor and Solitaire, but never all together.
September 1 [from Phil Maillard] — 8:50 a.m. Solitaire is sitting on the southeast corner of the Crowne Plaza on this beautiful morning. I watch her for about 10 minutes and she appears quite relaxed, preening herself.
August 13 [from Arlene Williams] — 12:42 pm – Currently perched on the northeast corner and facing east is what appears to be Connor, but it could also be Horizon, as I cannot determine which one from a side view, although the feathers appear to be quite dark on the backside and from what I remember of what Eve Ticknor told me, Connor’s feathering is much darker than that of Horizon. And on the northwest corner is our famous offspring – Solitaire – looking somewhat bedraggled, but cute nonetheless. No sign of the third in our famous group of adorable peregrines. I must say that Solitaire seems to prefer the northwest corner as both today and yesterday, with sun shining in the background, she has spent the majority of the day occupying that particular spot on the Crowne Plaza Hotel building ledge area. Solitaire is currently facing inward and is not enjoying a view of the southern or western part of the city. I guess with the heat and humidity today and of late, she and her dad have decided not to wear themselves out by flying around and overexerting themselves.
July 17 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — I was downtown briefly yesterday and saw our chicklet on the east ledge, resting. Today I spent a bit more time downtown with a girl from the NCC, observing while the blasting was started at LeBreton Flats. Needless to say, our peregrines weren’t disturbed by that activity. Technology is so good now that we didn’t even know it had happened until we were called to find out the reactions!
Solitaire was observed by an office worker in Constitution Square, lying down on a ledge there, “ill.” Carol Connolly (sec.) called Mark at CPF as she had not remembered my phone number. Little did she know that I walked into her office just after she talked with Mark. Solitaire was simply hot, and rested on her belly with wings a bit outstretched, as we have often seen her during the past few weeks. She is fine!
|A video clip of Solitaire exercising her wings is available on James Norminton’s web site. (See the last item in the left frame.) — James filmed the segment on 30 June using a hand-held camera viewed through a telescope.
July 9[from Gabriella Williams] — Just to let you know that I saw little Solitaire this morning, sitting on the SW corner of the Crowne Plaza around 9:30 am and facing west.
[from Marian Bird] — Tuesday morning around 8:00 a.m. I saw Solitaire sitting on a structure that jots out about a third the way down on Tower “C.” Shortly after she took off and was immediately joined by one of her parents. I watched as they flew around the area. The highlight was when one of the falcons, I believe to be Horizon, demonstrating to her chick how to dive. She appeared to almost stop mid-air; draw in her wings, rotate her body in a downward position and dropped a short distance before veering up again and towards the west side of the Crown Plaza. Around 5:30 p.m. I saw Conner fly by returning to the east side of the Crown Plaza. A few minutes later I saw Horizon with Solitaire following very close behind trying to keep up with her mother. They flew over Tower “B” then over the Crown Plaza.
July 8 [from Nancy Scott] — This morning, around 9 a.m., I saw a falcon (appeared to be a smaller one) fly around south corner of Tower C towards west side, towards the window cleaners, who were about 10 floor from top, then fly back around south corner and land on antenna (at base of the upright aerial). About 9:15, I saw larger falcon on northeast corner, about 2-3 pillars inwards. About 9:45, I saw bird in same area, but on top of penthouse.
July 8 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — I was downtown today around 3:45 p.m. and saw Solitaire on the east ledge, near the north end. She was sitting looking out and around. Neither parent was in my view, but doubtless near enough.
I left a list of emergency phone numbers with the security of most of the buildings in the area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
July 7 [from Marian Bird] — Around 9:30 this morning I spotted Solitaire on top of the Delta Office Towers, sitting quietly overseeing her soundings. One of the parents was close by on the northwest corners of the Crown Plaza. I briefly heard the cries from the other parent and started to look around. I spotted one soaring high above, near the Constitution Building. He or she may have been agitated by the workmen finishing up the work on the removal of the Canadian flag from the Constitution building.
July 7 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Solitaire is moving about much more now (because we are gone?). She was on the southeast corner of the Bayview Apartments on Albert St, right across from the CS Co-op! If we were still on the watch we would have had her right in front of us.
Horizon was on the west ledge of the hotel, watching the window-washers on the west side of the tower!!
July 6 [from Phil Maillard] — 9:40 a.m. and Conner has just landed on the roof of the Ottawa Technical high school. That is one place I’ve never seen him land before. Moments later, Solitaire lands very close to the top of the goverment building almost directally across the street, and she is doing a lot of vocalizing. When she doesn’t get a response from her father, she flys off heading southeast and ends up on one of the lighting rods about half way down the south side of tower 1 of Constitution Square. During all this, Horizon remained on the southwest corner of the Crowne Plaza. At one point, I saw Rosanne who had been watching all the activity, so we were both able to see Solitaire’s great flying abilities!
July 5 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Solitaire continues to do well. Phil and I, along with 2 new friends, saw her perched on the eastern side of the very top of the Crowne Plaza.
At first Connor was on one of the sensors on the south side of Tower C, but then flew around and landed on the southwestern corner of the hotel.
Horizon was on the very top of a stack on the Minto, and eventually traded that space for the southwestern corner of Tower B. When she flew there a pigeon flew right by her, close enough that she could have grabbed it with her talon had she been interested!
Solitaire spent some time calling her mother who ignores her, being around 8:30 p.m.! She had been seen on the western ledge earlier today, as had Connor. While we watched, some pigeons appeared on the roof and she sped over to investigate, not sure when they suddenly flew away. Remember, she doesn’t yet know they are potential dinner!
I’ll put in a couple more sightings over the next few days, then I”m away until the 14th or 15th.
July 3, Day 13 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — We have arrived at the end of what we can do for Solitaire. She no longer seems to need us!
When we arrived this morning she had flown to the Constitution Square Tower 1 sometime since last night at 9. After dining on something small, she then flew “home” around 10, home being her west side nest ledge! She was then reported to have flown southeast and out of sight, so a search began again, for quite a while. Eventually she was found, on her ledge, having been hiding out of sight of those on the ground!! Her only interest was more food, which she did get a couple of more times during the day.
She never left the ledge again today! Connor chased off an as yet unidentified raptor, possibly a buteo, that had been flying nearby! Some of us watched 2 species of butterflies, a Mourning Cloak and another which I will try to identify as well. You can see what an exciting day our last one was.
Although Solitaire has not done as much flying as I would have liked, she flew very well when she did, and exhibited excellent recovery and landing skills. I believe her reluctance to spend more time flying is due to being an “only child.” Those who have siblings have competition, incentive and someone to “play” with, and she had none of these. I feel she will do well and I have, therefore, decided to close our Falcon Watch and let our hardworking volunteers have a well deserved rest (including the Co-ordinator)!
Many thanks to all! Solitaire will still be visible to those downtown and I will continue to check on her from time to time, and will post updates when I do.
July 2, Day 12 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Our next to last day has just finished. That is right! Solitaire is doing well and doesn’t need our attention any more, although I expect I’ll see some of you downtown once in a while to check up on her progress.
Solitaire had rather a quiet day, unlike her parents. Perhaps she was tired out from all her flying yesterday along with her first experience of the Canada Day fireworks! She was very close to them and the lights along with the noise and echo from nearby buildings must have been scary for her.
She ate around 8 a.m. and again near 5:30 p.m. The last dinner was comical. First Horizon brought a large pigeon to Solitaire who was on the roof of the Crowne Plaza. After she finished eating and had moved away, Horizon came back and flew off with the remains, while Solitaire complained loudly. Horizon ate her fill right above those of us sitting in front of 350 Albert. When she finished, Connor tried twice to fly over to get his share with no luck, of course. Then, when she was ready, Horizon left and he rushed over, grabbed the rest, and flew back to the southeast corner to eat his share!
Earlier Connor was seen chasing off 2 Common Ravens who were merely passing by the area. What a difference in size!
Anyone who wishes to come by for our last day is more than welcome to do so! I have enjoyed “working” with all of you during this season and look forward to doing so next spring. If you have any photos, I’d be delighted to have a copy, preferably a hard copy as my ancient computer is unhappy about such things. I can still look at what you send me, though, and enjoy seeing the watch through your eyes. Stories of your experiences as a Falcon Watcher?? Send them to our webmistress (firstname.lastname@example.org) and me, please.
July 1, Day 11 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — I hope you had a Happy Canada Day! I’m not so sure Solitaire did.
She spend a quiet day atop the Crowne Plaza Hotel, surveying her “new” world. She was fed twice, flapped a bit, but remained out of sight, or only just in sight for most of today, but with both parents not too far away.
Connor, especially, was agitated this morning, with good reason. We had the Snowbirds, the Sky Hawks, 2 helicopters, and several small planes flying around over the Hill, and 2 planes with advertisements streaming out behind them! It’s in his “job description” to watch for danger from the sky, and what’s a poor little (even if he is fierce) peregrine to do against all these intruders. So he moved around and stayed quite unsettled until early afternoon when things quieted down, at least until this evening.
Horizon tried several times to do some incentive flying over her daughter’s head, but it didn’t work. And, so, we waited… and waited…
We were visited by a large fire engine, out of which came 4 firemen to look into our scope, and by several buses with the same interest (drivers, that is). I got to see a ferret walking on a leash on its way to the Hill with its family!
Around 6 p.m., Solitaire suddenly flew over to the Minto and had a perfect landing on a very small stack on that roof What a beautiful sight! She then flew to the eastern side of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It started to rain and during this time, she flew out of sight, and was discovered on top of the round restaurant on the Marriott Hotel. Finally she ended up on the north side of Tower B. Time to pack up our things.
A perk for the co-ordinator: I took a 3 friends up on the roof of Tower 2 to check on our chicklet and to see the fireworks. I had hoped to see how the fireworks affected her, but had forgotten my binoculars in my car. She must have had quite a fright! The noise reverberated off Tower C right back at her, the lights and colours were right in front of her. Imagine experiencing that for the very first time in your life! We enjoyed the sights, but I’m sure our chicklet will be rather tired after all her flying and night-time spectacle!
June 30, Day 10 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Solitaire is airborn!!
There was an article in the June 30 Citizen in the City Section about Solitaire’s first flight. Small, but pretty good. I have put it in our log book for the volunteers to read.
Most of today we waited as before for our chicklet’s 2nd flight. She had 3 food drops, much rest and some wing flapping lifting her off the surface of the ledge for far longer than we had hoped. And then…
Just after 5 p.m. she was off! She flew around to Tower A and made a perfect landing. Not one to sit still, now, she was off exploring her new world. The thing that interested her the most was a puddle on the roof. She moved around in it, bathing we thought, but really checking out the reflection and ripples as she walked back and forth for a long time.
She then flew around 4 or 5 times before landing on Tower C at the eastern end. After a bit she flew out from the tower and attempted a landing at the western end. She missed by a little and dropped several stories, causing us to stop breathing (!) and recovered well, flying several times around the Crowne Plaza, losing a bit of altitude. She then flew back to Tower C briefly and then ended up on the top of the hotel. She had been accompanied by Horizon who then appeared to be giving her daughter a lesson by flying close to the side of Tower C a couple of times as if to say “This is as close as you should get to this building.” Some of her flying indicated she was trying to figure out how to get back to the nest ledge, familiar territory.
She stayed on the hotel roof, but didn’t stay quiet, investigating much of her world. Her flying was spectacular, as were her recovery skills!
Just before we left, Horizon seemed quite agitated, flying around and around and giving her agitation vocalizations. Chris and I went on the roof of Tower 2 to see what might be the cause. I think she was reacting to someone moving around in an office that had lights on. We were treated to our city at night, thinking of what it must be for Solitaire as she looked out over great distances with many lights and sounds, and of what it must be like for her to fly in the wind as it was fairly strong up there.
If she continues to improve her landings and fly for longer periods at a time, we will only need a few more days before closing our 2003 Falcon Watch and we will have had “a job well done”!
June 29, Day 9 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Our little peregrine is fine! She has recovered from her leg injury quite quickly. She spent most of today lounging around! By this I mean lying down on her breast/belly with her tail sticking just over the edge of the ledge. Once in a while she would move and we thought “at last” and then it was just to turn over.
She didn’t fly today, although she seemed ready on a few occasions. The most interesting time was during a thunder/ lightening/rain episode. Then, when the stormy period stopped, so did she! I was very glad she didn’t!
Solitaire had several meals dropped off to her, which surprised me as she didn’t call for them, nor did she “work” for them. This made for a rather lazy chicklet. Connor disappeared just before the rain started and never showed up again. Maybe getting decked by his much larger daughter gave him a bit for a calmer escape. Horizon was around from time to time, especially to deliver meals.
We had entertainment, though of our won at our “base” by the bank. House Sparrows! We had 3 fledglings of 3 different ages in a row on a nearby railing, each expecting to be fed by the next until mothers showed up. The best was a very young fledgling who sat on James’ back for quite a while. Marie and I took photos before she flew off!
I am expecting Solitaire to take another flight tomorrow. She showed herself to be a strong flier yesterday, so tomorrow should be similar. It is the landings we need to watch.
June 28, Day 8 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Solitaire has taken her first flight this afternoon!!
Her morning was as usual, waiting for food and eventually exercising. Yes, she did get food today. In fact, she was doing a great stint of strong wing flapping, so much so that we started to get ready for a run, when Horizon showed up with a large offering which took Solitaire close to 1/2 hour to eat! After that she had to sleep it off for an hour.
She took off at 1:40 p.m. and had a good strong flight! She headed northwest over the Delta, then swung around and headed towards the Minto. We lost her then and there were a difference of opinions as to where she went, so we divided up and started our 2 hour search, having called in reinforcements. Some traveled various streets, while I checked balconies in the Minto with a member of Housekeeping. Nothing. I went on the roof of Tower 2, Constitution Square to look from all sides, nothing. Minto called that they had her, but it was a pigeon. The other volunteers and friends found nothing.
Then another call from the Minto. This time it was really her! She had landed on a balcony on the 28th floor, and had been found by the occupants when they returned from an outing. Fortunately they knew falcons, having been associated with David Bird in Montreal….. Sure enough when I got there and opened the drapes, there was Solitaire looking in the door at me! I was able to scoop her up without much fuss, although she was true to her nature and struggled at times, and at others tried to bite me. Some ungrateful chicklet!
Back she went to her ledge, at the northwest end. I don’t think her parents even knew she was gone…… As I put her out on the ledge she managed to strain her right leg and was limping quite a bit, not putting much weight on that leg or foot. I contacted the MNR and we agreed to leave her rest, and I’d evaluate her condition in the morning.
At this point it was around 4:30, and we all spent the rest of the afternoon / evening watching the ledge. Soon we saw our little flier on the outer part of her ledge, flapping her wings and limping. She did sit for a while, then started to move around, better than before. She received something to eat as well. A couple of times it seemed that she might go for another flight, but thankfully she didn’t.
June 27, Day 7 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — What a change in the weather! Great for us and the peregrines who are now more active, especially Solitaire.
As the swing stage was further away from the nest ledge, both adults were much more relaxed today. Connor spent much time this morning on a sensor midway up Tower C, while Horizon was on the east ledge.
Solitaire had moments of strong wing flapping, getting longer and faster. At one point she was flapping away on the southwest corner and Horizon flew over to her and brushed her with her wing. Solitaire dropped to the ledge surface, while Horizon flew between her and the wall, exiting by the first column, clearly a message that it was time to leave the ledge for the sky!
It was lovely to watch the adults enjoying the winds, flying around together, and “stopping” in the air with the windcurrents. Some of that was a demonstration for Solitaire who did sometimes lift her wings and stand there feeling the wind under her wings.
She was fed several times today, even getting an extra treat snuck in by Connor while Horizon was away. Shortly after Horizon flew by with a catch to show Solitaire. She then went to a Constitution Square tower, and then back to give her daughter some of it. Soon after she stole some back and went to the other end to eat it.
A beautiful Falcon of the endangered species you are!
A tender aged creature amidst a sea of concrete.
You find yourself alone and afraid, not knowing your fate.
My heart, with perhaps a handful of others, reaches out to you,
Oh, beautiful one,
And, we all pray for you and for your life because, to us,
It’s an essential one.
© Dana Branda
June 26, Day 6 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — An interesting morning, though the heat today threatened to fell all of us…. No, Solitaire has not flown yet, but it is close!
Just after 6 a.m. I heard the adults getting very agitated, and saw men on the roof of Constitution Square! They are getting things ready for the huge flag that is on the west side for Canada Day. They had to endure bouts of ducking as Horizon showed her displeasure. When the adults realized much later in the morning that they couldn’t drive those men away, at this point being on a swing stage, they spent most of the day on the west ledge, closer together than usual, and mostly between Solitaire and the other building.
Solitaire had more exercise today than before, both with wing flapping and running to the north end (first time since hatch) and back. She had a few flying demos from Horizon who flew in and out of the ledge, seeming to show her daughter that it was time to do the same, which she didn’t. She had a good breakfast and lunch, but felt she didn’t get enough, or maybe not often enough. At one point she traveled along the ledge heading north. When she reached her father, she jumped up and bit his beak, then hauled off and hit his head with her left foot!! She lost her balance and fell inwards while a shocked Connor fled the scene! Later on she again traveled the ledge at a run, heading south. As she approached Connor, he flew away to the other side of the hotel. There are definitely aspects of chicklet-raising that he doesn’t like! I think she was merely reminding him why he was there…..
We had a couple of other interesting bird sightings while on the morning shift. First off, Connor suddenly was down the side of the hotel, trying to catch a small bird, sparrow we thought. It was good at evasive maneuvers and he gave up. As it landed we saw it was a White-breasted Nuthatch! We have never seen one downtown! It sat for over 40 minutes, motionless and with its beak wide open, before finally flying off.
The other interesting sighting was of 3 birds circling overhead for some time, together in a triangular formation. It turned out to be 3 Double-crested Cormorants! Again, an unheard of sighting downtown.
Tonight promises a thunder storm, followed by cooler air – Hooray! Will Solitaire fly tomorrow? Will she do well?
June 25, Day 5 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Hot and very muggy, not very good for volunteers, nor for peregrines, who often ccan be seen with their beaks open, panting. Small wonder that they do any activity at all.
Solitaire continues to progress, and I’m hoping that she might be the first Ottawa chicklet to fledge on time rather than early! Her breakfast was a bit later today, most likely due to the adults agitation with someone on the roof of Tower 1. They spent some time diving on whomever was up there, screaming all the way. That is why we are not conducting roof watches so far. Maybe in a few days. We’ll see!
After Solitaire had spent about 5 or 10 minutes eating, an adult nipped in for some snacking on whatever was left. Now that couldn’t be Connor, could it???? His style for sure.
She has spent some time exercising and is finally travelling a bit further along the ledge, to the 3rd column today. She watched with interest one of her parents pursuing prey. She is spending more time out where we can see her. Once in a while she drops some of her tail over the ledge. John Ayers from the Queen Elizabeth Towers has been watching with delight and calls me regularly with his sightings. He has seen the food teasing and wing flapping and was concerned, as are many, that she might slip and fall while flapping!
A bit more food around 6pm. When we left around 8:45, she was still looking out from her southern post.
A wonderful visitor brought a case of water bottles!!! Another lady asked if we had enough water and food, while someone starting up a new Indian restaurant gave us brochures and invited us for free dinner to then tell everyone we know to eat there. A couple of people will be back tomorrow with cameras, one lady wants to paint them (didn’t offer us a painting, though). Lots of passersby come to see and ask questions, some on a regular basis. It’s great to see how many are interested, especially those who never knew the birds were there for “all these years”!
June 24, day 4 of the FalconWatch. Left to right are volunteers Rosemary Mosco, Steve Heiter and Eve Ticknor. We have a nice spot to set up camp in front of the CS Co-op on Albert St. Until Solitaire starts to fly, we can indulge ourselves with nice long looks through scopes at “our” chick and the adults.
photo by Susan Goods
June 24, Day 4 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — What a hot day! Even our peregrines could be seen at times with wings open as well as their mouths, panting!
Solitaire was given breakfast around 8:20 and according to the log book, nothing again, but showed signs of possible snacking on leftovers. She has been seen much more today, often making appearances closer to the edge, at one point hanging her tail over the edge. She spends lots of time preening. Between the heat and the down, she must feel quite itchy and is forever working on one part of her or another.
She has done some wing flapping, but not a lot, and of short duration. Around 3:15, when I arrived, I could see motions to hurry up and a volunteer called out, “She’s ready to fly! Just look at her!” She was standing on the ledge facing northwest into the wind and had her wings lifted. She was enjoying the feel of the wind, another learning experience for her. I don’t feel she is really going to take off just yet, as she has still more exercising to do. The wind must have given her a cooling off, though.
Solitaire seems to like the south end very much. She hasn’t “traveled” along the ledge much, at least no more than the first column at the south end. Hopefully she will start to venture further along the ledge soon.
As for the adults, they were here and there as usual. Towards the evening we saw Connor from time to time, and less of Horizon (perhaps some R and R?).
June 23, Day 3 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — It is hard to believe that tomorrow promises to be hotter than today! Downtown streets and sidewalks aren’t the coolest.
We now spend our days sitting under a sheltered area with picnic table outside the CS Co-op / Alterna Banks on Albert St where we get a very good view of Solitaire, and her parents. We can go in for the amenities, coffee and water… Super!
Solitaire is appearing more today, although she still retreats at times. There has been some wing flapping, but not nearly enough for my liking. She was given breakfast, briefly this morning, then a lot of food teasing mainly by Horizon. Tough lessons for a little one! I’m sure she is very itchy in this heat and with her down. She spends a lot of time preening and down feathers float down periodically. I have no idea at what time she had food this evening as it wasn’t recorded.
I went on the roof of Tower 2 again, much later than before. Again, I got only just to the front railing on the eastern end to see where Solitaire was, then left as I was being watched by 2 adults! One was on the antenna on the Bradson Building and the other one was on a ladder stored on a wall on the east side near the top of the Minto! I wasn’t sure jut how far they would let me, so I didn’t push it!
Later on we watched again as Connor chased off a gull, who thought it would chase Connor, but changed it mind when Connor “turned on a dime” and nipped it! He had to repeat the performance later with another, not-so-brave- gull.
June 23 [from Mike Street, Ancaster, Ontario] — The three Peregrine Falcon chicks at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel are close to leaving the nest full time. Middle youngster Jackson “just stepped off the ledge” on Friday and has been going from building to building. Older brother Bold took his first flight on Sunday. Hunter, the youngest and only female, is testing her wings but is till at ‘home’ – so far. A big bird – 1002 grams on banding day – Hunter will likely take her time.
Live webcam pictures of the nest and current news on the Peregrines can be found at: www.hamiltonnature.org/hamfalcam.html
Directions: Take Hwy. 403 into Hamilton, take the Main Street East exit, follow Main Street downtown to Bay Street, turn left onto Bay and park in the city lot at the corner of King Street. The Sheraton Hamilton is 50 m to the east on King Street.
June 22, Day 2 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Another beautiful morning, and not nearly so cold! Solitaire was brought breakfast, and didn¹t get another meal again until after 4:30! Although she stayed back for most of the day, she made her first appearance at the southwest corner around 7:15 and stayed in view for 10 to 15 minutes before retreating. After that we only heard her, bur heard we did! Especially when a parent was in sight.
She was very alert and very curious, head bobbing as she looked all around. Hopefully we¹ll see more of her tomorrow.
The adults did as usual, flying off, feeding in the first part of the day, resting most of the daytime, and re-energizing in the late afternoon and early evening. We saw some lovely flying and had some great views of them, especially Connor who likes to sit on the antenna of the Bradson Building in the evening for a while. He even sat on top of what looked like a flag pole atop the Minto (apartments with balconies?)! I had the volunteers take turns at looking at the adults as they came and went, singly or at the same time, to sharpen their identifying skills. Some caught on quickly and some needed more time to study each one, but on the whole everyone did well!
It is always interesting to talk with people who stop to get an update, or to ask what we are looking at. Everyone has been quite interested and having my scope set up is quite the drawing card, so I plan to make sure it is always there!
June 21, Day 1 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Well, we officially began our 7th OFNC FalconWatch at 6 a.m. today!
Both Horizon and Connor were quite visible. From time to time one might disappear for a while, though often just to sit on the east side, preening and resting. There hasn’t been any sign of the teasing we usually see from Horizon to get her chicklets to exercise. I have heard from tenants in Constitution Square that Solitaire has been seen wingflapping, so maybe she just knows what to do.
It is evident that we may not be able to use the roof of Tower 1. It is very close to the south end of the ledge, and Solitaire now seems to spend a lot of time down at that end. I did go up on Tower 2 briefly, slowly making my way around from the back to the east and then to the front, all the time watching for the adults. I stopped before the middle of the front edge when I saw part of Solitaire, with Horizon watching me from the antenna at Tower C, unconcerned about my presence so far. From what I saw, Solitaire is progressing nicely from white down to brown feathering. She was on the upper part of the ledge, near the wall rather than the corner, and on the inside part where we couldn’t see her from the street. She has received food, and has made little complaint otherwise.
The adults spent much of the day quietly as well. Occasionally Connor had to do his job by chasing of an errant gull, or bringing a bit of food. The one “excitement” they had was a foray over to the Minto where some young people were out on a balcony near the top of the building. They were taunting the birds and hanging out, in spite of the falcons coming right to the railing of that balcony. I missed seeing most of this as I was coming down in the elevator. However I went over an spoke to the security at the Minto who then spoke to the occupants of that area as shortly after they withdrew and weren’t seen again. I know I can’t demand they stay inside, but I did want to point out that their behaviour would quite possibly draw unwelcome danger upon themselves.
Other than a few fly-overs later on in the evening, things remained calm for our first day. Stay tuned for tomorrow!
June 18 [from Arlene Williams] — 3:50 pm – Our precious duo are just a hoot!! Just minutes ago, Connor landed on the upper ledge area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel and kept looking around to see when and if his beloved would take possession of his plucked morsel of protein. He looked around and around and then finally decided to devour his delectable afternoon snack. No sooner had he commenced his remaining plucking and started to eat, than who should appear, but Horizon. She landed on the upper ledge area, promptly hopped over to where the snack was located under Connor’s talons and took immediate possession of same. I could almost read his mind and I am sure that he thought he had almost gotten away with enjoying his own meal without having to share, but she (Horizon) seems to sense when he has made a landing with a catch in talons and appears from nowhere visual to this viewer’s eyes. Regardless, she is now perched on her favourite roost on Tower 2 of the Constitution Square complex and has yet to dig into her snatched catch. I have looked over to the lower ledge area, viewing the northwest and southwest passage on the lower ledge area, but I cannot find the chicklet, presently. I am sure Solitaire has placed herself in a remote area not visible to the eye and I am quite sure that she is now favouring the southwest side of the hotel building.
4:00 pm – Horizon has left the catch on the roof of her favourite roost and I can see the breeze blowing around the one area of the catch which had yet to be plucked – one of the wings. She will return shortly, I am sure to feast on her carcass.
4:03 pm – Horizon is now perched on the northeast corner of the upper ledge area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building and her back is facing my vantage point in Tower C. As I look down below the northeast corner, I see that there is another catch, yet to be plucked, located in the cubby hole area on the north wall of the hotel building, where the old Skyline Hotel lighted logo appeared. Snacks on hand, obviously, for later in the day or possibly tomorrow’s breakfast feast..
Banding Solitaire, 16 June 2003. Photo by James Sutton
Eve and Solitaire. Photo by James Sutton
June 16 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Banding day arrived with lots of sunshine. At 10 a.m. our chicklet was brought in from the ledge and was in fine form! Solitaire is a big girl, weighing in at 960 grams, and is as feisty as they come!! She is 30 days old and now sports 2 bracelets. Her plumage is changing rapidly and I’m sure that once she has a flight or 2 under her belt, she will be a strong flier, and probably quick to catch on to her lessons. Remember that she has had the complete attention from both parents, and so far has not had to forgo a meal.
Those of us present with cameras either took photos or asked someone else to do so. When we can we will put some in the web. Unfortunately, not a single member if any media showed up, although The Citizen called the hotel just after 11. Steve Heiter had his “proud papa” photo taken with Solitaire, as did I.
Now, keep those fingers crossed, prayers and good vibes coming.
June 10 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — It is simply amazing just how fast our youngster is growing! I watched it for a few minutes today after work. Horizon was watching, both her baby and me, although her baby was of more interest to her. It moves around quite well and is at least 3/4 her size! Brown feathering is appearing here and there, reminding me of the chevrons we saw on Grisou. Obviously the care of both parents is showing. I imagine Horizon will soon start giving her chicklet its lessons in exercising.
Some of you asked about the death of a peregrine chick as reported today on the radio and in The Citizen. This is from the Toronto nest, not ours, so relax! It is sad for those in Toronto, and we all understand how they feel, but I can assure you that our chicklet is doing well, at least as of 3:30 p.m. today!
June 6 [from Stephanie Carriere] — 9:30 a.m. Mom and Dad are watching over their nestling on the northwest corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It looks like a lovely family breakfast.
4:20 p.m. Connor is doing his routine flight over Lyon Street, from Albert to Queen, in front of the western ledge. At first, he came in from the south, flying over the east side of the hotel and overshooting Queen St. Instead of banking, he decided to land on the side of Place de Ville, Tower C, clutching on the vertical metal frame a few floors below the top 29th, then flew southeast over the hotel to begin his lazy figure 8s.
June 6 [from Arlene Williams] — 10:45 am Both Horizon and Connor, just minutes ago and for approximately a half hour before this writing, were standing on guard with their little munchkin. The chicklet has moved from the back part of the lower edge area on the Crowne Plaza Hotel building ledge and is now located at the front of the lower ledge having quite the relaxed sleep. The chicklet is now quite fluffy and grey in colour, as well as appears to be in fine shape as it is quite plump as viewed from this vantage point.
10:48 am – Connor is standing on guard on the northwest corner of the ledge area and Horizon originally flew off to her favourite roost, but has since disappeared for parts unknown. Yesterday, both parents were quite attentive to their chicklet and at one point, Connor brought home the bacon, so to speak, and then immediately Horizon took off to pick it apart and then come back shortly thereafter to reguritate it for her chicklet.
2:21 pm – The aerial training, by Connor and Horizon, has begun for the chicklet as he/she is propped up against the lower ledge area and is watching intently on what mom and pop are doing with regard to his future attempts at learning to fly. Both parents are performing an abundance of manoeuvers so as to show their offspring exactly what will be expected of him/her in order to survive. They are such magnificent creatures and the wing span on both parent is beyond belief when they are flying directly past this office vantage point.
2:29 pm – It appears to be Connor who seems to be more the babysitter today, as he has come back to the nest area and is intent on keeping a watchful eye on his offspring. Horizon is most likely out searching for an afternoon snack for she and her chicklet.
May 30 [from Phil Maillard] — I was up on the roof of the constitution square building to have a look on our chicklet. He/she was close to the wall preening and looking very healthy. I was up there very briefly though as Horizon was being very protective of her young one. She would not let me even get close to where Eve and I normally view it. She swooped at me several times, letting me know she did not want me there at all, even after backing off, she still took a few dives at me. She once again showed me how protective she and Connor are of their young!
May 30 [from Arlene Williams] — 1:17 pm – Both Horizon and Connor are performing their remarkable aerial displays and the chicklet is looking on intently. The baby is so cute and is just a big ball of fluff right now and the down feathers are now grey. The chicklet is checking out its surroundings, but is not venturing off too far from it nest area. It will not be long before it starts trotting off towards the northwest or southwest part of the lower ledge area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building, so that it can observe the activities of its parents, as well as to see the sites of the city from those vantage points. While waiting for both mom and pop to return for some attention or for a morsel of protein, it currently just has backed itself up to the back part of the lower ledge area and enjoys the view of the western Parkway, as well as the Gatineau hills.
May 30 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — I had another visit, albeit very brief, on the roof yesterday around 4 p.m. Our chicklet is growing fast. Again, a very full crop, but this time it was more lively, trying to move around a bit on its ankles as opposed to on its feet, which stuck out in front of it. Rather comical! It kept scrabbling with the talons, and then looking at them as if to ask why they weren’t working as maybe they should be.
My visit was brief due to a sudden appearance by Connor. Although I always scan everywhere when I first arrive on the roof for the adults, neither was in sight, so I went to my corner to watch. Suddenly a very silent Connor was swooping back and forth on me, getting just a bit closer each time! Obviously Horizon hadn’t told him I was ok! When she sees me, she doesn’t react much beyond a look as if to say, well, its only you!
We will not be receiving any fosters this year. Due to the late spring, the cold and wet weather, the lack of strong light, all this has caused the captive falcons, especially anatums, to breed much later than usual! According to Mark, some are only just starting courtship.
Finally, our chicklet will be banded on Monday June 16 at 10 a.m. at the Crowne.
May 25 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Greetingsl! We have 1 beautiful chicklet who is growing quickly. The other eggs have not hatched, nor will they. Our baby is being well fed, judging by the full crop under its beak! Both parents were nearby today, having either been in the rain, or taken baths, as each was rather soggy-looking and preening, then “hanging out to dry” as they kept a close eye on their chicklet.
RE the nearby rooftop work, I have been in touch with the MNR and it’s their move now. I’ll pass on news when I can. For now, the work is the installation of ventilation ducts. Today Horizon was perched on one of them briefly When I emerged from Constitution Square, she had moved to a corner of that roof.
May 22 [from Arlene Williams] — 11:18 am – Connor returned to the nest upper ledge area with a catch in talons and it was quickly picked up by Horizon and then she flew off to her favourite perch to pluck and devour some of that morsel of protein. Connor remained on the upper ledge area and seem somewhat dewildered as to why Horizon had flown off with the catch and had not shared it with her chicklet. Well, within seconds Horizon returned and then got down to business to feed her chicklet and then Connor flew off east partially contouring the Crowne Plaza Hotel building. Horizon is now devotedly feeding her offspring and the baby is quite receptive to the food being offered.
May 22 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Sunny and rather windy today, but not too bad up on the roof. Horizon spent a long time in brooding mode, rarely lifting herself for us to see anything — us being myself and Phil, now a dedicated “roofer”! At one point, Connor suddenly appeared from somewhere east of us and flew overhead, disappearing towards LeBreton Flats, where we lost sight of him. For all we know, he could have been on the Tower 2 railing, just out of sight. He was absolutely silent and, although he saw us, didn’t lose a wingbeat as he sped on his way. We were hoping to see him bring dinner, but I had places to go, things to do, and couldn’t stay much longer. Of course, just as we were thinking of leaving, Horizon suddenly left the nest and sat on the ledge near her baby, preening and stretching. I’m sure I couldn’t stay in her positions for such a long time! We saw 1 chicklet and 1 egg. We watched our baby struggling to get upright. It turned, flopped, twisted and turned again and again as it showed us how much stronger it was since it was hatched.
OH, yes, once during Horizon’s resettling, she faced away from us and just before she settled down, suddenly I saw 2 eyes and 1 beak peeping out before getting buried in feathers.
May 21 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Once again, Phil and I climbed up on the roof for another look at our cute little chicklet, and cute it is!
As for the 3 remaining eggs, the likelyhood of hatching is rather remote by now. There is still a small possibility that the last laid egg may hatch, but not very likely, I’m afraid.
As Arlene noted, the adults have started to draw away from the eggs, which makes me believe they also know these eggs won’t hatch. I have seen half-hearted attempts at brooding, but the living chicklet is getting the choice position under its parent. Soon they will stop any brooding at all, and will concentrate in their baby.
For the excitement to change from 4 eggs to 1 chicklet is disheartening for some of you, but that is life. We, too, will concentrate our efforts on what we do have. I have contacted Mark at CPF in case he is looking for a home for any other chicks, but we may not get any. It takes lots of money and efforts to get fosters, and I’m sure there are years when that isn’t possible. I’ll let you know what his reply is.
Meanwhile I’ll still be going up to check when I can and will send updates as I have them.
May 20 [from Arlene Williams] — 1:41 pm – Not to burst any bubbles, but Horizon flew off moments ago and Connor went to look at the eggs, but he sat up for a few minutes, then got up on the upper ledge area and seemed to be searching/calling for Horizon. He stood there for a few minutes, then went back down to the egg(s), but is still standing up and does not appear to be doing too much with regard to keeping the remaining eggs warm. No sighting of the baby chicklet, as yet.
2:01 pm – Horizon has returned to home base with what appears to be a small morsel of proteen and she is currently pulling it apart and appears to be feeding herself and I am not quite sure if she is feeding her chicklet, which I have yet to see from my vantage point, as yet. Connor flew off and appeared to be heading east. Horizon is still standing up and does not appear to be warming the remaining eggs.
4:27 pm – Connor is perched on the northeast corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building ledge area and his beloved is sitting on the remaining eggs and she is currently facing west looking at the Western Parkway and Gatineau Hills. I have yet to see the chicklet and any movement near, in or around the nest area.
5:38 pm – I have seen the baby chicklet and it appears to be Horizon sitting on top of the chicklet and the remaining eggs. Horizon stood up and the baby began to wander, but it was quickly put in its place, which was under Horizon’s belly. No other movement was noticed from this vantage point. It appears to be Connor perched on the southwest corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building ledge area.
May 17 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Another beautiful day! We are still at 1 chicklet, but hear this, 3 eggs to go.
Phil and I were on the roof again this afternoon. Connor was standing guard at the southwest corner, and we expected trouble from him. We deliberately stayed back a bit more than usual while still being able to see the nest area. He wasn’t bothered by our presence at all!
Horizon moved around from time to time, changing position, and we could see a little white head struggle to get up and them flop down. Still very new! But then I saw 3 eggs next to the chicklet!! I have had my suspicions for some time, but didn’t say anything until I could confirm it, but there is another egg, viewed by Phil as well.
May 16 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — We have our first chicklet!! Hatched sometime between noon on the 15th and noon on the 16th, It was visible next to the 2 remaining eggs when Horizon changed position.
May 13 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — I was on the roof around 12:20 today for about 1/2 hour. We still have 3 eggs, but Horizon was clearly uncomfortable and agitated, a good sign. She kept changing position, moving her eggs, looking down and around, and seemed very happy when Connor showed up for his turn. She flew off and he stood there looking after her for a few seconds before settling down. She flew to the SW corner and sat there for a while.
Unfortunately I couldn’t stay to observe any longer as I had a date with a dental surgeon, and at the time of writing this, I now have some stitches to contend with. However that won’t keep me away from the roof for long!
Keep your fingers crossed!
May 13 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — The Hamilton Community Peregrine Project, managed by the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, is pleased to announce the arrival on Mother’s Day of a young Peregrine Falcon chick in the nest on ledge atop the window structure of the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel. A second chick may have been born yesterday. The nest has been occupied annually since 1995, with 21 chicks (18 natural, 3 foster) fledged successfully.
Live webcam pictures can be found at: www.hamiltonnature.org/hamfalcam.html
May 13 [from Nathaleigh Rochon] — (8:15 a.m.) An adult falcon is perched directly on the SE corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel while the rain continues to drizzle on this overcast morning. It is facing inward towards the NW of the city and can be observed preening.
May 8 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — I was on the roof this afternoon around 3:30pm. Horizon was on the eggs as usual and Connor was no where to be seen (I always look around for him). As I arrived in the hotel area, I observed the nest watch change between adults. As I was watching Horizon, Connor came out of nowhere to warn me off. He made not a sound, but flew past me twice, so I backed off by a couple of meters and he was satisfied! He then perched on the southeast corner of Tower C, preened and watched me, but wasn’t disturbed by the fact I stayed a little longer.
If all goes well, I am expecting the hatch to start around Sunday. However, let’s remember we are dealing with Horizon and therefore anything can happen with dates and times.
May 4 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — I was on the roof this weekend and, as usual, Horizon was on brooding duty while Connor was nowhere to be seen, in spite of my staying an hour just in case. We still have 3 eggs. Next Sunday, maybe???
Please keep the updates coming, especially as the crucial weekend approaches. Perhaps you can note at what times Connor appears, so I might coincide once with him! Time to start sending up your prayers for a good year!
April 25 [from Nathaleigh Rochon] — (8:20 a.m.) A falcon is perched on the SE corner of Place de Ville, Tower C. It is facing towards the NW on the cool Spring morning.
April 24 [from Nathaleigh Rochon] — (12:20 p.m.) As I was crossing the two Constitution Square Buildings (from inside Constitution 2), I observed one of our falcons through the windowpanes as it was heading towards the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Since I was inside the building, I cannot verify where the falcon landed. What an amazing way to see our falcon’s striking figure as it glides across the sky. Timing is everything!
April 20 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Happy Easter everyone! We have 3 eggs so far! Again, Horizon stood up to turn around, but didn’t step away for me to see anything more, but there were clearly 3 brown eggs. I was up this afternoon between 3:30 and 5:00.
I didn’t see Connor, nor did I see him the last time I was up either. He wasn’t visible in the neighborhood, but from Horizon’s attitude, he hasn’t disappeared.
March 7 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Thanks to Arlene’s vigilance, I went up on the roof of Constitution Square, Tower 1 to have a look at the nest with the hopes of confirming eggs.
I did and I have, but it wasn’t that easy. Not that Horizon ever made things easy for me.
The nest scrape is near the northwest end of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, between the 1st and 2nd columns, simple, right? Not exactly. It is neither against the wall, nor near the front edge, nor even between columns. After much moving around, I finally staked out a spot to place my scope and watched and waited. So far there seems to be only this spot which gives me an angle between the 2nd and 3rd columns at a diagonal towards the wall. Anyway, I did see Horizon on the eggs. She is sitting a bit differently this time, not flat as usual, but more upright with her wingtips pointing up. At one point she stood up and started some preening and I could see the upper half of 2 eggs. She never did move right away, so I can only guess at a third by the way she moved around when resettling, and the way she was standing. Unfortunately there are some boards or concrete slabs in that area, which partially obstructed my view, and totally obstructed Arlene from seeing the eggs, although she can see the adults.
We’re looking at a hatch around the middle of May and the falcon watch starting around the middle of June, assuming, of course, that all goes well!
April 11 [from Arlene Williams] — 11:12 am – For the better part of the morning now, there has been a constant rotation of Horizon and Connor taking turns sitting on what I am 99.9% positive is this year’s nest area, which I had mistakenly stated yesterday as being located between pillars 2 and 3, but it really is located between pillars 1 and 2 on the northwest corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building. It is nice to see that when one pops up from the nest area, the other peregrine seems to fly in almost immediately from wherever and then takes over the responsibility of sitting on the egg(s). Eve Ticknor will be attempting, this evening, to determine if she can see any eggs from a vantage point on Tower 1 of the Constitution Square building.
5:19 pm – It is that time of the night when Connor has performed his husbandly duties by returning to the nest area with a kill for Horizon to take and devour on her favourite roost – Tower 1 of the Constitution Square building. She seems to be enjoying her bit of protein and Connor is now taking a turn on keeping the eggs warm.
In that regard, Eve Ticknor went up to Tower 1 of the Constitution Square building earlier today and she confirmed that there are really some eggs and she is confirming two, but there may be three. I had a discussion with one of my co-workers earlier today and she confirmed from her vantage point that Horizon and Connor have been rotating on something as of Wednesday, April 9th, 2003 and I just clued in yesterday on my own, so I am assuming that Horizon laid her eggs sometime during the day on Wednesday, April 9th, 2003. So approximately a month from now, we can hopefully see some little ones bobbing around.
April 10 [from Arlene Williams] — 6:29 pm – Yesterday, I had reported that Connor had just settled down to have a morsel of protein (catch in talon) and Horizon had just popped up from the lower ledge area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building and made off with his meal. Well, just minutes ago, Connor, once again, landed on the ledge area and immediately saw that Horizon was approaching, so he generously offered it to her by actually picking it up and allowing her to take it from his beak. She then flew off to her favourite perch on Tower 2 of the Constitution Square building.
6:34 pm – I am almost positive that Horizon is brooding and that Connor replaces her when she requires separate time to enjoy a meal, which he fetches before taking ovver the brooding function. I have since taken out my binoculars and it appears that is exactly what Connor may be doing and the nest area is located on the west side of the hotel building and is almost directly located against the back wall of the lower ledge area between pillars two and three if you are looking from my vantage point, which would be overlooking the northwest side of the ledge area.
6:39 pm – Connor has not moved and I think I may be right that they are brooding, but from this vantage point, I do not think I will be able to determine how many eggs are there, since there is a piece of cement obstructing my view, so maybe someone viewing from Tower 2 of the Constitution Square building may be able to determine the number of eggs.
6:56 pm – They must be brooding, since Connor has not moved as of this moment and a gutsy pigeon landed on the northwest ledge area and blazenly walked past him and he did not even flinch, so I am expecting that he is taking care of baby bird business, so to speak. Horizon is still perched atop her favourite roost and is unconcerned on matters going on elsewhere with regard to Connor. She is currently facing southwest enjoying the view of the Queensway and in the distance the departures of aircraft at Macdonald-Cartier (Ottawa) International airport.
April 9 [from Arlene Williams] — 2:22 pm – On this bright and sunny day, both of favourite raptors are displaying moments of passion (mating on the northwest corner of Tower 2 of the Constitution Square building) as well as putting on quite the aerial displays on the western side of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building and the surrounding buildings which form part of the Place de Ville complex. The weather is condusive to them both being present in the downtown area and in full view of this onlooker. It is such a joy and wonderful experience to view these beautiful creatures in full flying mode noting their wing span of approximately 3 to 4 feet, if not larger. They truly are most magnificent creatures.
5:59 pm – Poor Connor has just decended on the northwest corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building ledge area with catch in talon and lo and behold does Horizon not just surface from the lower ledge area and take possession of his catch and then fly off to her favourite perch (northwest corner of Tower 2 of the Constitution Square building) to enjoy her dinner. I felt so bad for Connor as he seemed to be just getting down to having a little bite and then she grabbed it and ran, so to speak. There are just so many times that poor Connor has brought home the bacon, but to have it taken by her highness – Horizon. Ain’t love grand !!!!!
6:01 pm – Well, Connor has since flown off for parts unknown, but I presume to catch and grasp a meal of his own and not bring it back near the buildings in the Place de Ville complex, just in case Horizon’s meal is not enough and he loses possession of it, once again.
Both peregrines seem to be spending a great amount of time on the north/southwest side of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building, so I am very hopeful that area will be the nesting spot for this year. More to come as the laying/brooding season is fast approaching.
April 4 [from Arlene Williams] — 11:38 am – I am looking over to the Crowne Plaza Hotel building ledge area and am seeing something quite unusual. Horizon is perched on the upper ledge area between pillars 2 and 3 and on the southwest corner of the building there are two gentlemen working on the ropes related to the window washing equipment. Horizon must be becoming quite content these days with the window washing crew intruders or has just become complacement about the whole thing after many years of defending her territory, as she is just sitting stationary on the ledge and has her little head cocked to the right to ensure that everything is going according to her plan. This is the first time that I have seen her be so complacement when there are people invading her ledge area territory whether on the east or west side of the hotel building.
Earlier this morning, Connor had been on the west side with his beloved and looking at them both from this vantage point, he is looking quite a bit smaller than her. He flew off for parts unknown and has not returned, as yet.
April 3 [from Arlene Williams] — 11:29 am – The window washers have commenced work on the east side of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building, so I am sure that momentarily I will see the signs of the wrath of either or both peregrines. I did notice earlier this morning that one of the peregrines was quite agitated and was contouring the hotel building, but was not sure on why this was happening. I now know why.
11:30 am – As I am writing this email, I see what appears to be Horizon between pillars two and three on the north/westside of the hotel building. She has just popped up from the lower ledge area. I guess she is taking a break from what will be, I am sure, relentless aggravation to the single window washer on the east side of the building, once she gets into motion. No sign, as yet of her partner in crime. He may be off enjoying his mid-day snack and is unaware of the activities around the hotel building.
April 2 [from Arlene Williams] — 11:26 a.m. – After both peregrines had put on quite the aerial display contouring the Crowne Plaza Hotel building, I look over to see that Horizon has since landed on the northwest corner of the ledge area and has a catch in talons and from the looks of the catch, it is a remnant from a previous feast, since there is very little remaining but the spine of whatever it was. She certainly has not missed a morsel of protein from that catch. That is the first time that I have seen her conduct such a thorough cleansing of the carcass and she is still eyeing the passing pigeons as they fly.
11:30 – Horizon has since left the carcass and has jumped down to lower ledge area, possibly hoping to find yet another morsel to finish off her lunch or mid-day snack.
11:32 – Horizon has flown off eastward.
Activities previous to these above noted sightings included seeing both peregrines on the north/southwest side of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building and both were flying off and on the ledge area. No interactions/mating were noticed during these morning activities.
April 2 [from Nathaleigh Rochon] — (8:15 a.m.) A lone falcon is perched on the SW corner of Place de Ville, Tower C. It is facing north this morning. After a quick scan of the surrounding building rooftops, I was unable to detect the presence of its mate.
March 30 [from Phil Maillard] — At 4:10 p.m., Horizon is perched on the southwest corner of the Crowne Plaza. She flies off and lands between the fifth and sixth column and starts vocalizing. Within seconds, Conner comes in from the direction of the Marriott Hotel. He lands between the third and fourth column. Horizon then goes inside where they are both vocalizing. This goes on for several minutes at which time Horizon takes off again and lands on the southwest corner of the building.
March 21 (London, Ont) [from Mark Nash, Canadian Peregrine Foundation] — I just received the sad news that George, one of the two the young peregrine falcons that was fostered in Hamilton in 1999, and later the following year found his way to London Ontario to sire his first offspring, has had to be put down at the OVC after sustaining serious injuries consistent to that of a battle with another raptor.
It appears that George (supplied by the Canadian Peregrine Peregrine Foundation on 21 May 21 1999) and fostered in Hamilton by the territorial nesting pair has run into his final bad luck. His mate is currently sitting on at least two eggs at the nest ledge.
If we remember back in 2000, when George arrived in London Ontario, he battled with the adult territorial male Maple for the territory, and was successful in driving off the adult male. Later that season, his new mate, Calypso, the adult female was killed as a result as a electrical storm storm, and left the yearling George (still in his juvenile feather covering) to care for the 16+ day old chicks on his own.
We are truly saddened by this new development in London.
March 20 [from Arlene Williams] — 11:35 a.m. – Connor just made another visit over to the northwest corner of Tower 2 of the Constitution Square building, which as you are well aware is Horizon’s favourite roost. The mating was short-lived but hopefully the results of his efforts will produce one to three eggs in the approaching months.
He has now returned to the northwest corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel ledge area and is facing inward. Horizon has remained on the northwest corner of Tower 2 and is facing southeast.
2:59 pm – That Connor is a busy little beaver today as he has just completed a mating process with Horizon on the northwest corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building and then flew off almost immediately. He contoured the hotel building and then decided to come back to that corner and be near his mate. He then jumped down to the lower ledge area and investigated some possibilities of a tidbit, but obviously nothing was found, so he decided to put on quite the aerial display on the west side of the hotel building. He has since decided to rejoin his beloved and is back with her, although he is now on the lower ledge area. I did notice earlier that they had a portion of an unplucked pigeon stashed away in the cubby-hole which is on the northeast/west side of the hotel building, but it has since disappeared and maybe that is why Connor is bouncing up and down from the lower ledge area to the upper ledge area. 3:03 – Horizon has decided that she does not like the view from that northwest corner of the hotel building and has flown off in the direction of the Marriott Hotel building which is located on Kent Street. Maybe she stashed away that protein morsel (half a pigeon) for her afternoon snack.
March 19 [from Arlene Williams] — 4:40 pm – Well the official mating has commenced to this viewer as Connor has just returned to the northwest corner ledge area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building, just after mating with his beloved – very momentarily, I must add – on the northwest corner of Tower 2 of the Constitution Square building – her (Horizon’s) favourite roost. For the past two years now, I have been privy to viewing one of many matings which occurred on that very spot, while watching their daily movements between the buildings forming part of the Place de Ville and Constitution Square building complexes. I am quite sure that there will further amating ctivity(ies) going on in the days ahead as the sun beams brighter and the days become longer and milder. Horizon seems unphased by their brief encounter and is currently facing the south part of Ottawa gazing against a backdrop of the congested 417 Queensway and the airplanes departing from the Macdonald-Cartier (Ottawa) International Airport.
4:51 pm – He (Connor) has been flitting to and fro around the buildings and has since landed on the lower portion of the northwest corner of the Crowne Plaza ledge area. Viewing his activities from her favourite roost, she (Horizon) has decided to do the same and they are now both investigating the gravel area on the lower ledge area of the hotel building. Again, I am hoping that they are both staking out that northwest corner as a possible nest area, but only time will tell.
4:54 pm – Both have vacated the lower ledge area and she has returned to her favourite roost and he has departed for the western part of the city. Must be getting near dinnertime and if he brings something back to the hotel building ledge area, then we all know who will ensure that they get their fair share, if not the whole meal – her highness Horizon.
March 11 [from Jim O’Neil] — The magnificent duo were also seen Monday side-by-side enjoying a snack. It was quite an unusual sight to see them so close together while eating. They seem to be returning to the Crowne more frequently these days must be that time of year!!!
March 11 [from Nathaleigh Rochon] — (8:10 a.m.) It’s a full house this morning! Our magnificent duo can be seen perched on the Crowne Plaza Hotel on this chilly March day. Connor is to the left of the SE corner while Horizon is perched between the 2nd and 3rd SE pillars. It is a joy to see them both upon their urban cliff.
March 7 [from Nathaleigh Rochon] — It’s been many weeks since I’ve seen Horizon and Connor but I was delighted to briefly observe one of them this morning. At 8:05 a.m. despite the biting cold weather, one of our falcons was perched between the 3rd and 4th NE pillars of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The falcon was facing inward despite the chilly wind that weaves between the buildings. From my vantage point at street level, the falcon appeared to be large, could be Horizon.
March 7 [from Eve Ticknor] — Is spring ever coming? It is nice to see Horizon and Connor “at home” more often now, though I’m not surprised. In the past, when Connor used to migrate, he would always return around the 8th or 10th of March. We’re there.
March 7 [from Arlene Williams] — 10:24 am – Horizon is once again perched on the northeast corner ledge area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building. She had set launch for same from her other favourite perch area, which is the northwest corner of Tower 2 of the Constitution Square building. No sighting of Connor at the moment.
I should have mentioned on Wednesday that both peregrines were enjoying a snack on the north/south west side of the Crowne Plaza ledge area and it appeared that it had been a pigeon, which is obviously one of their delicacies. Connor I think had made the kill and brought it back to the ledge area and Horizon very quickly took her half – the lower and feathered end of the bird – and brought it back to the northwest corner for plucking and consumption. Connor continued to munch on her remaining morsels, but very quickly flew over to join Horizon to hopefully finish off what she had started. Needless to say that she did not allow any portion of her meal to enter into his claws – so to speak and he was very quickly made uncomfortable with his presence around her meal and he flew off for parts unknown.
March 7 [from Gabriela Williams] — I saw Horizon yesterday morning. She was on the Southwest corner of the Crowne Plaza, at about 8:45 am. She left by 9:15. Connor wasn’t around.
February 26 [from Arlene Williams] — When I arrived at the office this morning I had noticed that Horizon had been perched atop her favourite roost – the northwest corner of Tower 2 of the Constitutution Building complex and Connor was perched between pillars two and three on the north/southwest ledge area on the Crowne Plaza Hotel building. Both have been contouring the Crowne Plaza Hotel building and perching on various corners of said building, as well as Horizon going back and forth between the hotel building and her favourite roost. Even in this bitterly cold weather I guess it is conducive for them both in this bright sunlight to want to frequent the downtown area and prepare for an early spring, we all hope.
I want to comment that on Sunday, February 23rd, 2003, I had been visiting a patient at the Civic Hospital and just a little after dusk I saw what appeared to be Horizon flying near and then perching on the third floor balcony ledge area of the hospital building which faces south onto Carling Avenue. I, at least, assumed that it was Horizon as the entrance of this magnificent bird to that location was a grand as any one of her landings on to the buildings located in the downtown area. So if anyone cannot spot her in the downtown area or at Tunney’s Pasture, you may want to look around the Civic Hospital.
She is currently back on her favourite perch as I write this email at 12:54 p.m. More to come in the days to come, you can be sure.
February 24 [from Eve Ticknor] — I saw both Horizon and Connor downtown Saturday morning around 11:30. One was on the northwest corner of Constitution Square, Tower 1, and the other was in the middle of the west ledge of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. They both seemed to be just resting.
February 12 [from Arlene Williams] — 11:41 a.m. Well, her highness Horizon is perched on the northeast corner ledge area oof the Crowne Plaza Hotel building. She looks somewhat lighter in colour as well as looking somewhat tattered. I guess the winter has been as hard on her as it has been on all of us. I have missed her presence and am very glad that she has decided to visit the downtown area, even with having to endure the blowing flakes of snow and blistering wind swirling around her, whilst on her perch. Hopefully this is a good sign that Spring is on its way and that she and her beloved will come back to roost in the downtown area. I look forward to continued presence and hope to see him, shortly, as well.
February 1 — In response to John Savage’s question, “When should they start mating?” Mark Nash, director of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation, writes:
As soon as the sunny days start to outweigh and replace the grey days, the increased photo light will have a dramatic affect on the birds biology and hormones. The birds realize that spring is in the air much sooner than humans do. By mid to end February, some of our resident peregrines can be observed copulating. Actual egg laying won’t happen until much later in March and April, but the frequency of copulation will increase and continue up to the egg laying period.
January 31 [from Arlene Williams] — 12:10 p.m.: Horizon is currently perched on her favourite spot on the northwest corner of Tower 2 of the Constitution Square building and Connor is making various attempts to join her there, but is quickly warded off from making a landing, even if on a temporary basis. Connor is flitting to and fro, but never landing.
12:27 p.m.; Horizon has flown the coop, so to speak.
January 28 [from Arlene Williams] — 10:12 a.m.: I noticed one of our famous duo perched on the west ledge of the Crowne Plaze Hotel building between pillars 3 and 4. Horizon or Connor was hunched over and its little head appeared to be tucked under its wing in an attempt to protect itself from the bitterly cold wind which surrounds the buildings of the Place de Ville complex. He/she did not remain perched for long and since flown off to parts unknown to this viewer.
January 25 [from Gabriela Williams] — I saw Horizon last Thursday (23rd). She was on the southwest corner of the Crowne Plaza just before 9 a.m., and facing west. She appeared to be so comfortable, that it was hard to guess it was close to -40 degrees.
January 25 [from Eve Ticknor] — Connor was perched on top of one of the 3 floodlights near the top of the Coats Building’s east face when I saw him this afternoon. He was preening and looking towards the east. I went around the Crowne Plaza Hotel, too, but no sign of Horizon. No doubt she was off hunting or eating out of his sight.
January 10 [from Brenda Sharpe] — I just saw not one but two adult falcons sitting side by side on the roof of a building at the corner of Slater and Albert. One has since left but the other remains and appears to be tucking in to a late lunch.
Just a few minutes ago Horizon suddenly abandoned her kill and took flight, whereupon the second, slightly smaller peregrine (Connor, I assume) immediately reappeared and made as if to steal it. Horizon quickly returned, chased him off, reclaimed her prize, and flew it past my window to a more private spot to the west.
Quite a treat to watch on this cold but sunny afternoon!