September 22 [from Arlene Williams ] — 3:03 pm – Not sure, but it may be Horizon located on the northeast corner ledge area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building, but because the bird is facing inward and to the west, then it might just be a juivenile. No sign of any others at the moment.
September 15 [from Arlene Williams ] — 12:33 pm – It appears to be a juvenile perched on the northeast corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building ledge area and there is another one on the lower ledge area, scrounging around for something to eat, it appears. The other peregrine also appears to be a juvenile, but I have been wrong in past, as I am still somewhat confused on markings unless mom (Horizon) has here back to me and she is quite large and distinct in colour as is her mate – Connor – who is smaller in stature and very dark feathering on his back. Regardless, they are breathtaking to behold.
Yesterday – Tuesday, September 14th, 2004 – Horizon was perched for part of the day on the northwest corner of the ledge area and was not too interested in moving too far from one of her favourites perches.
September 7 [from Arlene Williams ] — 1:33 pm – It appears to be Horizon who has just arrived on the norhteast corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building ledge area with catch in talons. She sat for a short bit and then had since started plucking away at her catch. I guess she is having an afternoon delight – a nice delectable morsel of protein. The other peregrines are in the viewable surroundings.
August 12 [from Arlene Williams ] — 1:32 pm – It appears to be a moulting Horizon (cannot see any banding on one of the legs, as it is covered at the moment) who is situated on the northwest corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building and what appears to be a small sparrow or the like that she is plucking. There is another peregrine located on the southwest corner and at one point in time during the plucking ceremony starting hopping towards Horizon and the catch, but turned around in mid-stream and hopped back to the southwest corner.
1:37 pm – Plucking has stopped and it appears that the catch will just rest there until she decides to finish off the job later on today. Eve T. – Can you advise if either of the offspring is able to make a catch at this point in time, as the bird currently doing the plucking is looking quite tattered.
1:39 pm – Horizon had now decided to move the catch to the lower ledge area and appears now to be finishing off the plucking job, obviously for an afternoon snack.
One other thing to mention is that on Tuesday, August 17th, 2004 when the skies became very darkened and obscured with a layer of black clouds that there were three peregrines taking protection from the wind, torrential rains, etc., on the north/southwest side of the ledge area on the Crowne Plaza Hotel building. They stayed there for a very long time and did not seem to want to venture off in any direction to find food or anything else. They were a site to behold as the three stood steadfast in their decision not to venture off.
3:08 pm – Further to my previous email, it was a juvenile that had been plucking away at a small catch, as was just confirmed, when I saw the hopping intruder which was alluded to in my past email approach and attempt to take it away from the juvenile. The juvenile jumped down to the lower level and scared off what appeared to be Horizon and then it was confirmed that it was Horizon when she immediately flew back and took possession of the catch. She flew off for parts unknown, but heading east and the juvenile was in very quick pursuit.
July 28 [from Pam Fletcher] — Hi. Just thought you may be interested to know that my colleagues and I saw a falcon this morning, perched on the corner of 240 Sparks Building (Bank and Queen) and consuming what I assume was a pigeon. He/she has been returning every so often with another meal. It’s been there for most of the morning and this is the first time I have seen one.
July 20 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — As active as our chicklets are right now, they are still in the learning stage. They can be seen in hot pursuit of a parent, or doing aerial games with each other. Some of these chases after a parent are lessons in following prey around corners and between buildings. I am sure they will be getting hunting lessons most days so you should be able to see them trying to hunt soon. considering the capabilities we saw during the watch, I think it won’t take very long for them to pick up the necessary skills!
July 19 [from Arlene Williams ] — 4:52 pm – For the past hour or so, Horizon has been perched on the northwest corner of the ledge area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building. At one point, she dropped down to the lower ledge area to bring up to the upper ledge area a dead carcass of something which resembled a small bird or rodent, although I know that they do not favour rodents. She picked at it minusculy and then decided to put it back down and then just sit and take in the sights. As Eve T. had previously indicated, she (Horizon) is showing signs of moulting and is looking somewhat in disarray.
Earlier in the day I had the privilege of looking out of my office window and saw quite the display of aerial dynamics put on by both youngsters between Tower B and the Crowne Plaza Hotel building and then it appeared to be Horizon who intruded in on their activities to the point of giving one of them a clip on the posterior or what appeared to be a bump of some kind in that general vicinity of the anatomy. Both continued on with their antics then contoured the Crowne Plaza Hotel building. One attempted to land on the northeast corner of the that building, but it just barely got to the point of nearing the ledge area for landing and then flew off towards the Tower C building.
5:03 pm – It appears to be one adult who is soaring the skies well above the top of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building and what appears to be a youngster trying to keep up with the adult, although well behind its parent in flying and aerial capabilities/skills. There is much more activity at this time of the day as compared to other days, so maybe the youngsters are trying to indicate to mom and dad that a nice tasty morsel of protein would be delightful to keep their spirits up. I am not quite sure whether or not they (the youngsters) are capable of bringing home their own catches, as yet, but I am hopeful that Eve T. will inform me on their capabilities at this stage of their development.
Eve rescues Senator from a tight spot (see report below).
July 9 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — After a phone call and email from Susan Staniforth in Tower A, I went up today to have a closer look at our chicklets and saw none – good!
She had seen one chicklet hit the penthouse window and then fly down to the ledge, rather subdued. Her sister missed the mark when she tried landing on the ledge next, and both rested after that. They moved together, chittering and touching beaks before one (the one to hit the window) did her usual bellyflop to sleep!
Phil and I cleared out the equipment from the Constitution Square this morning and got to see a bit of soaring of both chicklets. What beauties they are! At first it looked like adults soaring. While we watched the 2, a 3rd flew in to join them – Connor. Horizon was on the ledge, resting. Eventually both Zanar and Senator landed on Tower C and rested while we drove away.
July 8 [from Arlene Williams ] —
11:06 am – For the last couple of minutes the offspring are flying together are a marvel to behold. I had seen earlier that Horizon flew past my office window and then noticed that the offspring were frolicking in the area, so I guess she (Horizon) was keeping an eye on her two female offspring. There is no sign of Connor at the moment.
On the way to work this morning, I had noticed that window washers were occupying the northwest side of Tower 2 of the Constitution Square building complex and I was wondering if anyone outside had heard any noises or rantings of both adults, since we know that they both, especially Horizon, do not like when these window washers are anywhere in their proximity. Maybe that is what has prompted the youngsters to take the plunge.
11:21 am – One lone peregrine – not sure which one – perched on the between pillars two and three on the west side of the Crowne Plaza hotel building ledge area. Soaring above the hotel building is another peregrine and it just slightly touched the tip of the antenna on top of said building. It must be one of the offspring, as it has now joined another and the two of them are flying side by side or one behind the other heading west, but never quite that far from the view of the one lone peregrine on the ledge area. The two in the air are putting on quite the aerial displays by flying above the hotel building, as well as contouring the hotel building complex. They seem to be enjoying their newly developed flying skills. This is the most activity I have seen in quite some time.
12:45 pm – One juvenile peregrine has been perched on the northeast corner of the Crowne Plaza hotel building ledge area now for approximately 20 minutes and on the west side of the ledge area, it appears to be Horizon, although I am not quite sure at this moment, but as that particular peregrine is viewing the window washers on the north wall of Tower 2 of the Constitution Square building, I am assuming that is Horizon making sure that they do not impede her offpsring’s flying/training progress.
1:02 pm – It iappears to be Connor who is located on the west side of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building ledge area as his beloved is sitting in the cubby-hole area on the north wall of the hotel building – the area where the former Skyline Hotel lightened logo sign used to be placed. She seems to be contemplating eating a morsel of protein for her lunch. She is facing inward and has just relieved herself. One of the juvenile’s is still located on the northeast side of the hotel building, as well. No sign of the fourth peregrine, which I am assuming is the one remaining juvenile.
3:45 pm – The feathers are a swirling around the Crowne Plaza Hotel building as Horizon is plucking away on a fresh kill on the southwest corner of the ledge area. Her mate was located on the northwest corner, but quickly flew off to parts unknown. Actually, I think that he (Connor) brought the kill and then Horizon has since taken over the plucking duties and other one is now out of site/view. She (Horizon) doesn’t let him have the pleasure too often, especially when they are in close proximity of one another. I guess the offspring will be eating plentifully tonight.
July 6 [from Arlene Williams ] — 4:33 pm – Momma Horizon has just flown in from parts unknown and has landed on the upper ledge area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. She is such a beautiful and magnificent raptor and I am always overwhelmed with by her stature and grace. She definitely is taking a break from the training of her offspring and is at the moment nicely preening her left feathered wing area. A little shake of the body to remove excess loosened feathers and I am sure that momentarily she will be flying off to restablish her dominant role in the training, feeding, etc. of her two female offspring.
4:36 pm – It appears that Connor needs a few quiet moments with his beloved and he has just joined Horizon on the same corner of the Crowne Plaza. He hops down to the lower ledge area for a quick look to determine if there are any morsels of protein available to nibble on and then she decides to join him. However, he quickly decided that he did not want any company and has since flown of contouring the Crowne Plaza. I guess he was more interested in the possibility of food than he was in being close to his beloved.
4:39 pm – She is now back to the upper ledge area and is enjoying a view of the eastern part of the city, but I sometimes wonder if she knows that I am watching her, as she glances over to my office window on many occasions and seems to be concentrating on this attentive observer when she is in my view.
No sign of her offspring this afternoon. Maybe Connor has decided to take over for a short while, since he flew off seemingly headed in the nest area direction.
July 3 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Day 15. Officially the 2004 Falcon Watch is finished. Unofficially, you will see volunteers walking around trying to get another look at our falcons. The only clue will be the upturned faces.
What a great day, weather-wise. We finally had sunshine with warmth! Perhaps this is a fitting end to the past 2 weeks.
There was not a huge amount of activity, but what we did see was superb! Senator has made great strides in her flying and landing abilities, perhaps catching up for the 5 days she just sat. Many times today a young falcon flew and cries of “there goes Senator” changed to “at least I think that was Senator, but maybe not as that one had a really good landing so it must be Zanar.” It became really hard to tell one from the other as both flew strong and steady and landings on most surfaces were equally good. The one time I was sure Senator was flying was the time she tried landing on the northeast corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel and missed by maybe 7 or 8 inches. She immediately came out of that and tried again, this time missing by no more than 1 inch. Again she came out of that and seemed to land on top of the hotel. A bit later we saw a chicklet on the southwest corner of Tower A and felt that she might have circled around behind another building.
It certainly was apparent to all of us that our sisters did not need us anymore and that today was more for the volunteers than the chicklets. We will continue to watch over Senator and Zanar as we work or pass through their home grounds (airspace?). Both chicklets may be seen in the air practicing their skills at talon-tag and barrel rolls, along with lessons in hunting.
I would like to thank all of you who were part of this effort and will be putting together a final report over the summer.
July 2 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Day 14. I don’t think we have ever had such a cold Falcon Watch as this year! Sure, we have had the odd day that was very cold, but we’re talking daily here! I’m glad it is finally warming up in the afternoon.
Our Senator has finally discovered her wings and by this evening it was clear that she has discovered the joy of using them!
She left the railing she slept on around 5:30 am and made her way over to the Crowne Plaza Hotel. I saw her try to land on the ledge, but she missed by maybe a foot, not bad for a first try! She flew around the hotel and made a perfect landing up on the southwest corner of Place de Ville Tower A. A minute later her sister flew to the northwest corner of the same tower. How wonderful to know that both chicklets were up where they belong.
Food was brought to Zanar about 10:15, while Senator had to wait for her turn which came a little later on. Zanar eventually flew to the middle of the nest ledge where she spent the major part of the day. Meanwhile her sister made her way up toward the north end, once in a while flying out toward the hotel and around back to Tower A. She spent the next while at the northwest corner. Again they ate around 2:15.
Early evening saw the chicklets getting more active. First Senator flew to the top of the Marriott, followed soon after by Horizon and Connor, who proceeded to demonstrate how far to stay away from walls when flying. Someone on the Marriott foolishly came out on the balcony and were promptly reminded why the hotel staff had requested that all guests stay inside! Horizon chose to do the reminding!! She also flew up and down the side of the hotel as if to remind the guests to stay inside.
Almost immediately Zanar flew in to join the family and watchers saw all 4 together for a second or 2 until Zanar shoved her father out of the picture! She is as fiesty now as when she was banded while her sister seems much more mellow. From then on watchers saw the sisters, often sccompanied by Horizon, flying around, to Tower C, to the Marriott, back again, etc. While on the Marriott, Senator walked toward her sister who was on the other end.
As we left tonight, I realized that our girls were nearly ready to be free of us. Both have shown great skills at flying and recoveries from misjudgements. It remains to see Senator master the landing on her nest ledge, but I feel that is not far off. We will come down for 1 more day. After that anyone in the area may see 2 playful chicklets in the sky or together at rest, or even flying and hunting lessons yet to be given by Horizon and Connor.
And, so nearly at the end, I will send 1 more report tomorrow night as we close another successful season. The official final report will come a bit later, once this coordinator has had a bit of a break!
See you tomorrow!
July 1 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Day 13 – Lucky 13. Our Senator, like a true Senator, sat for a long time until she made her decision and late this afternoon she flew! Of course it was the one time I wasn’t there.
She landed on a balcony at 151 Bay St, on probably the best one she could have chosen, that of Judy Craig. Judy knew what she was looking at and made a call that eventually brought me to see our little one. She also knew not to disturb her, which was very helpful!
I ended up inside that building and had 2 volunteers join me to assess the situation, and get a few photos! We had great assistance from Sylvie Lafleur, a tenant of the same building. Aside from not being quite sure where she was, Senator looked in good condition and when it was dark, we left her there, going to sleep on Judy’s balcony railing.
Our Zanar was flying around at times as usual, in and around the torrential rains and thunder and lightening! The watchers got soaked while our falcons were sheltered on their nest ledge. She has started her flying lessons. Her parents took her over the open space west of the hotel and there were fast passes, hovering and other early lessons. John Ayres who alerted me to the lessons had a spectacular view of all of this!
Many people who were walking to the Hill for Canada Day celebrations stopped by to see our falcons. It has been wonderful to see so many interested citizens of Ottawa! We also appreciate The Citizen‘s support and coverage of the peregrines which brought more people to find out where our family was living and to watch them on the ledge or flying around.
For those reading the list of past chicklets and their survival or not, it may seem that many have died compared to those surviving. You should give a thought to where the survivors were living at the time of fledging. If all those who survived had been living out in the wild, only 1 would have survived. Jessie was the only one who was never rescued! All others would also have perished as in the wild there are no volunteers to help these little birds to safety! So, in effect, we have made the difference for nearly all falcons who have survived the fledging period in Ottawa! Volunteers really can make a difference!
June 30 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Day 12 – Well, an unbelievably quiet day!
Our Senator seems still to prefer her nest ledge to flying, even with her sister. Zanar stayed with her for the morning but went flying this afternoon. She flew back to the ledge a few hours later and once again we watched the touching reunion!
Food was delivered just after 7 am, to each, so a nap was in order after that! Another 1 or 2 meals were delivered some time later, but there was little of the calls that filled the air continuously as previously. Horizon caught a pigeon and plucked it on a lower ledge of the Constitution Square Tower 1, but left it there, perhaps as an incentive, or for later on. Interestingly for us, Connor ignored it, perhaps having dined shortly before this.
HE gave the watchers a show this afternoon. He was up on the antenna of Place de Ville Tower C. Suddenly he descended upon a gull who was flying through. The gull went one way and Connor the other, satisfied at having sent it on its way. Again up on the antenna, he saw a Great blue Heron soaring overhead, probably deciding to to to the Ottawa River or Dows Lake. At once he came down extremely fast (called a stoop). Once the heron realized that it was under attack, it unfolded its long neck, folded its wings and dove as rapidly as possible, a feat I had never seen in a heron before! Connor, once again appeared the hero in defending his territory.
Tomorrow will bring lots of objects in the sky that he will be able to do nothing about and that will make him very agitated all day, as he knows he can do nothing about any of them.
Let’s hope that our Senator will decide to make her next flight on Canada Day – auspicious?
June 29 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Day 11 – Daybreak found the 2 chicklets together on the nest ledge of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Breakfast was delivered by 5:45 am, Zanar eating first and her sister, Senator, eating next. Both youngsters rested afterwards.
Again Senator spent the day on her ledge while her sister flew around at times, obviously enjoying the freedom her wings give her. Once she was on the Constitution Square Tower 2 roof with her parents on 2 nearby roofs. All 3 called out to Senator to join them, but she stayed put, not quite ready to try flying again.
Zanar flew around near the hotel, missing a landing by very little, self correcting right away. She then flew to the southwest corner from the southeast and made a perfect landing right on the ledge corner. What a beautiful sight for the Watchers! We are enjoying seeing her each time she flies.
The parents have been more attentive in general this year, though not heeding Senator’s continual “poor little me” calls. They have stayed close at hand, ready to deal with anything they perceive as a threat. That is why Connor gets very agitated when he cannot control things such as the Snowbirds who flew past in formation, turned around and did it again! Just wait for July 1.
Again there were window washers, this time one of whom waved his hat and shouted to the peregrines amidst much protest from Horizon and Connor. At least there are no more physical attacks at present!
Food drops were made again at 3:30pm and 7:30pm, always Zanar getting to eat first while Senator has to wait her turn, often a noisy wait. The last time we watched, Connor came to take the food away but got an unwelcome reception from both. He moved along the ledge about 4 columns, then ran down, barreled past his offspring and flew away with the kill to eat it himself on Tower 2! In spite of being full, they were quite displeased!
I have been amazed at the closeness of both siblings this year. Although we have had siblings in past years, never have they been so close that the need of one for the other has been noticed. Zanar flew into the ledge today to join her sister and it was a touching reunion. They instantly moved together, softly chattering and touching beaks, then snuggling down for a rest, one laying down while the other preened and napped in a more upright position. While awake they will be separated by a foot or 2, but always seeing to move closer if the distance gets more. The only greater distance is while one of the other eats, or Zanar goes off flying and landing on other buildings for a while.
We had a downpour this afternoon, soaking almost all our stuff. Waiting inside for it to be over, we watched the monitor. 2 little heads were together watching the rain. When it was over and we were once again outside, we saw Horizon fly from the northeast corner of the ledge to Tower A. Looking at her through the scope, she was very wet, her head feathers standing up, giving her the appearance of an osprey!
Hopefully tomorrow will be the day Senator will follow her sister into the sky for some fun. Maybe we will finally get to see both chicklets flying around together. Once they do, we should start to see playing begin in the sky. I can hardly wait for that lovely sight……..
One correction in the last day’s summary: It should have read Queen Elizabeth Apartments, not Building. We apologize for the error! They are being most careful not to let anyone on the roof while our falcons are sometimes making use of it and we appreciate their concern!
From Arlene Williams: 11:43 am – It appears to be a juvenile peregrine quite comfortably perched on the top of Tower 1 of the Constitution Square Buildings and he/she is overlooking the activities of the nest area, which is located on the southeast corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building ledge area. No sign of any other of the family members. I am most positive that there will be some form of activity later on today or tomorrow, as I have just noticed a singular window washer’s unit dangling from the northwest corner of the Tower 2 of the Constitution Square building, which should provide onlookers with quite an aerial display my momma – Horizon and maybe poppa – Connor or both. More to come I am sure.
4:10 pm – It appears to be a junvenile peregrine that has hopped from the southwest to the northwest ledge area of the Crowne Plaza hotel building and it looks quite tattered in appearance, so that is why I am assuming that it is either Zanar or Senator. Regardless,, whichever one it is, is quite breathtaking to behold and it has just hopped back headed for the southwest corner, but has decided to take off in flight and contour the Crowne Plaza Hotel building, resting ultimately on the southwest corner of the hotel building. No other peregrines are in veiw but Canada Day should prove interesting to their activities.
June 28 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — This was a much quieter day for our falcons and watchers.
Around 6 am Zanar flew in from the west (probably the Queen Elizabeth Apartments) and landed on the roof of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. She had her breakfast close to that time.
Her sister, Senator, was still on the nest ledge. It was a bit longer before she also had breakfast. She elected to stay at her familiar home for the day, although several times we thought she was about to take off again. This is normal for some fledglings. They will do a bit of flying, get rescued and not try to fly again for a day or 2. We hope to see her in the air tomorrow.
Zanar is our star flyer. She has shown great skills in the air. She can fly up, down, around buildings, between towers, and make super landings. On occasion when she misjudges a landing, she will fly off and try again. Her recovery skills are just what we want to see in a young flyer. Today she flew into her nest ledge from Tower A, not an easy task for a beginner. She looked as if she had been doing this for all her life! Her 2nd attempt later on was aborted when she missed by a few inches and retried.
Her sister was very glad to see her and in seconds they were shoulder to shoulder. Shortly after, Senator was lying prone on the ledge while Zanar roosted and preened as if she was taking care of her sister! They remained close together for most of the rest of the day. Although we have had siblings in the past, none have exhibited such closeness.
We had an emergency rescue this afternoon. Someone called out that one of our falcons had crashed into a window and died! Having just seen Connor in a stoop, I had the fear that he might have been the falcon, but it was a female Merlin who was trying to escape Connor! I took her to the Wild Bird Care Centre where they are now caring for her. She had started to recover by the time I arrived there.
Food was again brought to Zanar who was on top of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. She took a few flights during the afternoon, but not long ones. They saw small yellow balloons and a hot air balloon float by, without much reaction.
As our watch ended for the night, both little peregrines were on the ledge, together. Senator was again lying down while Zanar was upright. At times it seems as though she was the older chicklet instead of her sister.
As night approached, the TV monitor seemed to get brighter and I think anyone walking by could see in the ledge much better. The angle of the camera has been changed to let us see further down the ledge, thanks to Luc Payette of the Constitution Square.
Morning comes early.
June 27 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Another busy day for the falcons and the watchers.
When we arrived this morning, before 6 am, we had a falcon chicklet on the Minto building, the one who spent the night on the Queen Elizabeth Apartments. She then flew to the top of the Crowne Plaza Hotel where she stayed for quite a while.
Around 7 am, the other chicklet suddenly flew from the ledge! She went for the top of Tower A but misjudged the height and started to tumble down the side, all of us running as if we could stop her. Horizon was right there and showed her how to fly out of a fall. The chicklet ended up on the Podium Building, a shorter height. We lost sight of her after a while so I went up into the Marriott and, thanks to the manager and Alberto, I entered a room on the 6th floor. I could see her out the window and saw she was restless, but safe. Finally I saw her band number! We had Senator on the Podium which meant that Zanar was our “high flyer” of the previous day!
John Ayers phoned to let us know that Zanar had moved onto the Delta, which no one had noticed! We split up so a group watched her while the other group watched the Podium Building hoping for a sight of Senator. Having lost sight of both just before this, I had gone into the penthouse of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. I had confirmed Senator’s presence but couldn’t see Zanar, so knowing where she had moved to helped!
We couldn’t see Senator, but her parents could, and they tried enticing her up off the roof with a fat pigeon, flying over and over her head, but that didn’t work. A few minutes later Horizon zipped down Queen St, chasing a gull; back and forth they went, getting lower and lower and it seemed that Horizon wanted to drive the gull into traffic! Finally it left!
Again, while our attention was on Zanar, and the gull, we didn’t realize that Senator had also moved, up to the Justice Building on Sparks St! The lives of Falcon Watchers are not easy!
I had a call that window washers over there had seen our little chicklet up on the roof and she couldn’t get out, so over we went. Thanks to James Norminton, we went up to the roof with Frank Drake, a commissionaire, to find Senator. You wouldn’t believe the narrow space she was in. There was a high railing and the space was maybe 2 feet wide, not enough for a falcon to spread her wings to get out. With James on one side, me on the other, and Frank behind us, I nabbed Senator, just after she attacked James’ shoe and carried her down to the street, up Sparks, and into the hotel, protesting all the way. Steve McAuley of the Crowne Plaza Hotel took us up to the crawl space, opened the little door and I placed her out on her nest ledge. We left right away, and there she stayed for the night.
Zanar continued to move around, ending up on Tower C where we also left her for the night. Although it took a while, eventually both chicklets were fed.
We saw some amazing flying today, and I’m sure we will again tomorrow. Zanar will surely show us more of her new found delight and her sister, Senator, will try her wings out as well.
June 26 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — What a day to remember! Our first chicklet flew around 11:30 a.m. and has been flying off and on all day.
We started out rather cold although pleased to see the blue sky and sunshine. This has been the coldest Falcon Watch in our 8 years!
Food was brought in at 9:20 and another at 9:50, so each chicklet had breakfast. Suddenly the shout went out “There she goes” and we were off, running down the street, around the corner, down another street, into a parking lot, across, but wait, Horizon was on the corner of the north Jean Edmonds Towers, so her daughter must be visible to her. Where? Then, thanks to the sharp eyes of Nicolas and Calvin Conroy (with mother Lynne Mathé), there she was, on the other tower! She sat there for nearly 2 hours and then was off again, in the rain and wind. She flew west along Laurier, and then we lost her. Eventually she was seen on a brick building just east of the Carlisle building. Again a 2 hour wait, then off again, with a clearer sky now. She then flew to another apartment building, off to the Queen Elizabeth Apartments, back toward the Minto, around and around the towers, over to the Carlisle, back to the Queen Elizabeth. At this point, I was losing track of where she went as I had to hear this over the radio, being on Albert Street watching the sister who was still on the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The second chicklet stayed home, although there were several times we thought she would take off to join her sister. She had a few more food drops, but must have had a confusing day as the sister with whom she shared nearly everything, had abandoned her and her parents were behaving differently with her as they were concentrating on the safety and whereabouts of her sister. I saw a time when Connor flew in and stole her dinner and ate it in front of her. You should have heard the angry noise coming from her, to no avail!
I called in extra volunteers and they came. There are always some I can count on, even to the extent of giving up dinner to help us!
And, so, I left just after 9 pm with one chicklet sleeping on the ledge of the Crowne Plaza Hotel and the other going to sleep on the top of the Queen Elizabeth Apartments. Each had a parent nearby for the night.
Where will Senator and Zanar be when we arrive tomorrow? Will the one be so tired from flying that she will stay put for a day or so? Will her sister take her first flight, too?
June 25 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Somehow we thought summer would be a bit warmer than it has been so far. A good part of today had cold winds, “bone-chilling” according to one of our volunteers!
Senator and Zanar have been doing much more exercise than yesterday. There has been much wing-flapping and traveling along the ledge as their wings are flapping, sometimes lifting an inch or so off the ledge surface. This usually causes the watchers to stop breathing!
We are now each carrying a pair of gloves, a radio and our binoculars, ready to run should one of the chicklets leave the ledge! They are both at the stage of readiness that flight is imminent and we do not know if we will have any prior notice of flight or not. In the past, some have exercised just before leaving, some none at all, so what will this year’s birds do?
They had a pigeon at 9:40 a.m. One grabbed it and fed ravenously while her sister waited. A few minutes later she ran over and grabbed it for her turn. There was another food drop just after 2:30 and again at 8:15. The last one was small and fed only 1 who afterwards went to sleep while her sister stayed awake, certain that her father would arrive with more for her. However that was not to be.
Horizon was gone for greater amounts of time today. We had no idea where she went, but Connor seemed to be on guard most of the day. He buzzed the men on top of Constitution Square’s Tower 1 while they were installing the huge flag on the west side of the building. If Horizon had been there, she would have probably attacked them. They were lucky this time! He ignored the Great Blue Herons who flew overhead (3 at different times). Last year he went after them. He ignored some window washers whovwould also have been targets of his mate, had she been there. Usually we could find him on Tower B of Place de Ville or high on top of the antenna on Tower C!
I again, was privileged to go up to the 22nd floor of Tower A to watch the chicklets from the Board Room, along with 2 of our volunteers. As hard as we tried, we can see no difference between our 2 “girls”. They are like the Bobsey Twins of my childhood, sitting together, traveling together, sleeping together. The only thing they don’t share is food! A wise choice for a peregrine-in-training!
We had a special visitor this evening, Mike Street of the Hamilton Falcon Watch! He told of his 4 chicks who just recently all fledged! Just as well we don’t have as many to take care of.
Tomorrow should bring much tension as we prepare for our own to fledge. Will they already be gone as we arrive? Come down to find out!
See photos of our falcons on Victor Loewen’s web site.
June 24 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Every day being different, today’s rainy periods didn’t seem to affect activity as in the past. Senator and Zanar are getting more courageous and active along the outer ledge, all the way to the northeastern corner and back. We have seen much more vigorous wing-flapping today, just what we want to see! There was one heart-stopping moment when both were at the southeastern corner, flapping at the same time. It brought to mind the same from 1999 when one brother accidently knocked his brother off the ledge( he wasn’t hurt). However our chicklets were fine.
They have taken to walking along the ledge at times, especially when a parent arrives and they are rushing to see if there is food again, in vain. There was a food drop before 6 a.m. After that it seemed that they could only pick over leftovers. This evening, around 5 p.m., Horizon brought in a pigeon, not quite dead! As she attempted to give it the final “coup”, we saw it drop! It was dead. There were no more attempts to bring food tonight.
Earlier both adults were suddenly in the air around Tower 1, giving their warning calls and flying back ond forth. I thought there was a person on the roof, but no, it turned out that a Common Loon was flying towards the Ottawa River, right over the building! I had never seen one in that area before. A bit later a Double-crested Cormorant flew overhead and that irritated them as well.
This evening both chicklets were together near the middle of the ledge. They lay down on the surface, as young falcons will do, one head by a tail, and the other head by the other tail, so we saw the head of one and the tail of the other sticking out a bit over the edge!
I was provileged to go up to the 22nd floor of Tower A for a look right across to the ledge. It was great to see our “girls” sitting, looking out, and right across from me. They look very healthy. Let’s hope they stay that way.
I would say that there is the possibility now for one of them to try flying in the next few days. We will be more vigilant in our watching, ready to run if we need to.
June 23 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — In spite of their speed and agility, falcons do not always catch what they go after and meals may be sparse from time to time. Yesterday seemed to be one of those, a hard lesson for a young falcon to learn.
Today was the opposite. There were several food-drops made during the day. The amounts weren’t huge and at times either Senator or Zanar were seen on the monitor, eating alone while her sister was waiting for her turn. In the end, both were fed quite a bit, never to their satisfaction, though!
I was delighted to see much more activity from both chicklets. Wings were flapping repeatedly and lots of hopping and running were observed. Watchers noticed that while the wing-flapping was going on, the “girls” were lifting off the ground an inch or so. This is normal and safe enough where they were, inside. Eventually they do the exercising on the pouter ledge and we often seem to spot breathing, thinking they might slip and fall. That actually doesn’t happen very often here.
The evening was beautiful and we enjoyed seeing the adult birds silhouetted by the sun from the west. The light bounced off the Constitution Square Tower 1 and right into the nest ledge! Our view on the monitor was better than during the day!
We did have a scare, and a laugh afterwards. We were watching the chicklets peeping over the edge, but not too near the edge when all at once we saw a flash of wings from that very spot and whomever flew off the ledge went to the southwest corner of the hotel. A quick look with our binoculars showed us it was Horizon making off with a leftover from her offspring! Close call! Although it is too early for them to fly, Ottawa’s chicklets have left the ledge early in the past.
June 22 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — What a wet one! It alternated between overcast and rainy. This affected the falcons who spent the morning sitting around doing not much of anything, with the exception of 2 hungry chicklets who called for food incessantly.
I arrived on the scene around 3:20 pm to watch a food fight on the monitor! One chicklet had found part of a carcass and was determined to keep it. She started to pick at it when her sister came over to steal it. The first one kept it in her talon and hopped/flapped her way along the ledge with her sister flapping madly behind her! Eventually the pursuer gave up and watched for a while, ending up on the upper ledge to look for her parents. After a bit, she came back down and ran over to her sister and grabbed the morsel with her beak. She then flapped her way over to a corner and picked it herself while the other one took a turn on the upper ledge.
Food was delivered at a couple of times, small parcels at a time. This often indicates that the chicklets are no longer getting totally fed but must now pick the meat off independently of a parent. Fighting is part of their learning in order to survive later on. Sharing isn’t an option for falcons or any other raptor!
During the late afternoon we had an opportunity to see both chicklets in the scope at the same time, sitting about a foot apart on the upper ledge, looking all around, very curious of what they were now seeing.
The adults, meanwhile, were spending some time again, flying around and around and all over the area, both showing their youngsters what flying is all about and just enjoying the winds themselves.
Tomorrow we should see more of the chicklets on the upper ledge, and more wing-flapping as well.
June 21 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — The weather was much more to the liking of our watchers today. One of our chicklets is getting braver and her face was seen peeping over the ledge twice today.
Either Senator or Zanar was seen on the ledge around 6:15 this morning. From our vantage point we can see only her face as she is sitting at the back of a foot-wide short wall around the ledge, what we refer to as the upper ledge, since they start life inside that wall, on the main ledge. She was very curious and bobbed her head as she looked all around her. She can now see other building tops but isn’t yet close enough to the outer part to see below her. That will come in a few days.
A chicklet face was seen again this evening around 7pm. We are surmising that it may be the same one since the down on the head seems the same. With only a day’s age between them, their plumage is so close it is hard to tell, and once the down is gone, we cannot tell unless we are close enough to see a leg band.
The wind has made the flagging we erected on the CD Howe Building at the corner of Kent and Queen Streets stand out very well and we are getting favourable comments from others who have seen it.
Our chicklets were brought food in the early morning and again mid afternoon. Other that that, they are encouraged to exercise their wings and feeding them less seems to be the way to do it!
Tomorrow should bring more sightings of our “girls” peeping ar a new world!
June 20 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — We seem to be in a stall as far as wind goes — again rather windy today, but a bit warmer and clearer.
Our chicklets were fed a bit more today, but still not enough to their liking. The idea of “working” for their food doesn’t go over too well and they have no trouble speaking up about it! However, we can see that they are doing their wing-flapping as requested. This morning we saw a little brown head peaking up on the ledge. She was very curious and her little head bobbed as she looked all around. She wasn’t yet ready to venture all the way out on the ledge, but that will come all too soon. Her sister has stayed down, we think, since we cannot tell one from the other!
Again, Connor chased away a gull and we decided it may be the same one who is baiting him. It seems to be the only one who makes noise as it passes through this area. All others flying by are quiet. It provides great entertainment to our watchers who are patiently waiting for more movements from Senator and Zanar.
Marian and I had an interesting “person of the streets” come by several times. He told us of the 2 Bald Eagles from BC who come when he whistles. He often whistled at our peregrines who ignored him as they do all of us.
What new and interesting things will our watchers encounter tomorrow?
June 19 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — We have Day 1 of the Falconwatch under our collective belt and on to the next. Wow! Was it ever a cold wind whistling down Albert St today! Time for extra jackets and parkas.
I think the wind excited our adult falcons as they were frequently flying around, both together and separately. Some of this was “incentive” flying, to get their chicklets to do more exercising, but some of it was for pure pleasure, at least from the viewpoint of the watchers. One would briefly touch down before it was off in another direction, then again and again. Beautiful! Of course this, coupled with only 1 major feeding in the morning, made for some lovely chicklet “choruses”!
Twice today our watchers saw Horizon and Connor go after a hapless gull, twisting and turning as it tried to evade its relentless pursuers. Eventually each one left after being hit at least once. A sparrow also won the evasion flight with Connor.
Senator and Zanar are quite brown now and walking upright and moving around very well, doing some flapping. We cannot yet do any roof duty, both due to high winds and to the vigilance of both parents who go after anything in the area at their level. Horizon has attacked window washers at the Minto and an outside worker at the Marriott. I don’t envy those who will be putting up the giant flag on Constitution Square next week!
I will be posting daily updates to keep you informed as to the progress or the Watch this year. Stay tuned!
June 17 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — What a difference a few days make! I had a brief look at our girls from the top of Tower 2 this afternoon. No longer are they cute and fluffy! They are still cute, but now sport many brown feathers. They were both against the wall, resting, but near the middle of the ledge.
Horizon was keeping watch from the southeast corner, saw me and the security guard who was with me, but did nothing.
That’s not to say we’ll have an easy time of it on the roof just yet. I didn’t stay for any time at all and that will make all the difference for the watch.
The flagging is up on 240 for all to see and hopefully our girls will pay attention to it and stay out of harm’s way once they try out their wings. I know I won’t sleep much until they are safely “on the wing”!
June 14 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — I watched our girls on the TV monitor at Constitution Square this afternoon around 4 p.m. They are getting more adventurous — good for them but harder for us to see them. They were up between the 3rd and 4th columns from the south end. I certainly hope we see lots more activity from them as the next week or 2 passes!
The flagging on 240 Sparks will be installed this Thursday as far as I know.
June 11 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Our chicklets are banded! What an event! Horizon and Connor knew something was going to happen and were ready all morning.
Several of us were gathering in the Pinnacle Room on the south side of the penthouse of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, admiring the view. The media people who showed up were near the east window, watching the adults perched on nearby rooftops. Suddenly the adults started flying around, and went straight for us at the windows. Their agility showed as they turned a the last minute away from the glass. It was quite a sight to suddenly see an adult peregrine rise up from nowhere to hover inches from us, to realize that only the glass was between us. Eventually I asked everyone to move back to ease the tension on the birds.
Tracy from Canadian Peregrine Foundation (CPF) was the decoy this year. She had done this elsewhere in the past, but wasn’t prepared for our Horizon. She no sooner got her head out the doorway on the ledge with hard hat in hand than, WHAM, she was hit on the side of her head! From then on until she was brought back inside, she was on the defensive, sustaining at least 30 physical hits from Horizon! Connor flew around and made lots of noise, but never made physical contact. We could hear and see much of this from above in the room.
The chicklets were brought inside in a black box, screaming as they came, well, at least 1 was doing the screaming.
Each in turn was brought out of the box, weighed, banded, had breast feathers removed for DNA, had blood tests done and was presented to all before being returned to their home.
We now have 2 feisty females! Zanar, named by Hillary Fisher of 240 Sparks, weighed in at 920 grams, a big girl of 25 days of age. Senator, her sister, named by Michelle Samure of the Wild Bird Care Centre, weighed in also at 920 grams and is 26 days old.
There is a camera on the main floor of the Constitution Square, Tower 1, where many people watched the adults’ activity today. I am trying to get it moved to face outside for weekends and evenings. So far, you have to go inside to see it.
We start our watch next Saturday, the 19th. Having females means that they usually don’t try to fly as soon as males, so I expect flying the week after that, but being Ottawa chicklets…?
June 9 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — I tried to go on the roof of Constitution Square yesterday afternoon but was forced off immediately! This evening around 6:20, I watched on the TV monitor and saw 1 chicklet sleeping by the inside wall while the other was coming down from the next column north of the corner. Connor showed up with a pigeon and immediately Horizon showed up and grabbed it and off she went out of sight of the monitor. About an hour later, when I went back for another look, both chicklets were sleeping together against the wall.
Banding will take place Friday and the assembly of the flagging will take place Saturday, and maybe Sunday, at 240 Sparks, 9 am for anyone wanting to help.
[from Arlene Williams] — 5:22 pm – Horizon just landed, without prey, on the small ledge area on the north side of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building and stayed momentarily. I guess she was hoping that her mate had dropped off a morself of protein for tonight’s dinner, but there is no such morsel to be had or seen in that vicinity. Obviously, she flew off for parts unknown, but with one thought in mind and that I can only assume is to find a bit of dinner. No sign of the chicklets nearing the northeast corner, as yet, but I am ever hopeful.
June 8 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Our chicklets are much more mobile now! I went up to the roof of Tower 1 to see the progress but didn’t see them as I was chased off by both parents who circled silently overhead until I left.
The chicks will be banded this Friday morning, at last! I’ll supply more news as I get it.
[from Arlene Williams] — 4:57 pm – Horizon is putting on quite the aerial display and I can only assume that is for the benefit of her chicklets. Even though they are out of my daily view this year, being on the southeast corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building, I am most positive that she is beginning the training related to their first flight off the ledge area. Both parents had left the nest area earlier this afternoon and one (Connor) was perched on the northeast corner of the Crowne Plaza building and the other (Horizon) was perched on the northwest corner. Both ultimately flew off and Horizon flew to her favourite perch area, which is on the Constitution Square building. No sighting of the chicklets on the northside of the Crowne Plaza building as yet, but hopefully within the next couple of weeks, I will see a bobbing head or two.
June 3 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — A beautiful day, though a bit windy. I went up on the roof to have a look at our chicklets and saw that they are getting mobile now. Both were against the wall away from the nest scrape. They have certainly doubled in size and I could see the start of a few brown pinfeathers. Connor was on the south end of that ledge, keeping watch. He wasn’t yet ready to challenge my presence but I didn’t overstay my welcome.
I met up with Yvon Morin, the Operations Manager of the Constitution Square, and he brought me up to date with the camera situation. He has bought the control program and has installed it. The camera works, the computer works! Next week he will put a large monitor in the window of Choices, on Lyon St, as they are moving out at the end of this week. It will then be visible for anyone passing by. He is now waiting word as to the status of the Internet hookup.
If tomorrow isn’t so windy, I’ll likely go up again for a better look. Hopefully banding will take place next week as the chicklets are getting bigger rapidly.
May 29 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Our little chicklets are growing and are twice as big as when I first saw them. When Phil and I went on the roof today around noon, both were sleeping while Connor was perched on the ledge right near them keeping watch. Just before we went up, Horizon had been on the corner and flew off, towards the river. On the sidewalk in front of 360 Albert was the carcass of a Green-winged Teal, just the wings attached to the spine and legs.
As we sat in my car after, talking, I was suddenly aware of a mobbing taking place southeast of the hotel. There was Horizon among 8 crows! It was fascinating to watch her being bombarded by these black mauraders and, at the same time, rousting them, one at a time, until all were gone. She then returned to the hotel and sat on her corner, probably proud at having vanquished the enemy!
April 22 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — This afternoon, around 4 pm, I was able to see at least 3 eggs, and maybe 4! I’ll continue to monitor the roof observation post every few days. I expect the hatch to occur around the middle of May.
April 18 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — I was on the roof for about an hour today but still didn’t get to see the eggs. Conner was on the eggs while Horizon was preening on the northwest corner of Tower A. She had probably just eaten. After a bit she flew behind Tower C where I lost her. As Connor seemed agitated while he was on brooding duty, I left the roof to try again another day soon.
April 16 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — I can confirm that Horizon is brooding as of mid-afternoon today. A maintenance worker at the Constitution Square saw her on the nest this morning. My guess is that she has only been brooding full time for a day or 2. She has picked the same spot as 2 years ago, on the east side near the south corner in front of the 1st column! I’ll be going up this weekend, hopefully to count eggs.
April 11 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — I watched Horizon around noon today, trying to call Connor down to her. He flew around overhead and out of my sight. When that didn’t work, she flew after him! She had been sitting on the northeast corner of Tower 1, Constitution Square. Later on, around 3 pm, she was on the southwest corner of Tower B, no Connor in sight.
April 1 [from Arlene Williams] — 5:27 pm – Connor is putting on quite the aerial display and is soaring the skies on the west side of the Crowne Plaza hotel building. He is also contouring the hotel building, on occasion and his beloved is watching the aerial dsplay from her favourite roost – northwest corner of the Constitution Square building and she is quite unimpressed with his antics at the moment.
5:30 pm – Connor has flown off heading west towards the western Parkway. Maybe he will bring home the bacon (morsel of protein) for tonight’s repas.
March 31 [from Arlene Williams] — 5:18 pm – Horizon is perched on the northwest corner of the Constitution Square building – her favourite perch – facing west and appears to make up her mind on what will be for dinner, this evening. Connor is currently located on the northwest corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building waddling along between pillars 2 and 3. He has just jumped down to the lower ledge area.
5:20 pm – Connor has flown off in the direction of his partner but bypassed her perch area and has circled the Constitution Square building heading east.
March 19 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — I have 2 reports based on calls from 2 people who live in the area and have seen our falcons this past week.
The first was from John Cameron. He and friends have seen both peregrines on the Marriott (former Ramada). He says they have gone there around 5pm on several days, possibly to hunt or rest.
The second is from John Ayres who called me with many reports last season. He can see the west side from the Queen Elizabeth Apartments. He and his wife were treated to an exciting aerial display of a peregrine venting on window washers. We’re certainly familiar with that each year!
March 17 [from Arlene Williams] — 11:05 am – It appears to be Connor who is located on the west side of the Crowne Plaza Hotel ledge area, between pillars 2 and 3 and he is currently facing inward. No sign of his partner in crime.
11:59 am – Horizon is perched on her favourite roost on the northwest corner of the Constitution Square Building located at the corners of Slater and Lyon Streets. Connor is perched on the northwest corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building ledge area.
March 5 [from Arlene Williams] — 12:16 pm – Off and on now for approximately 2 hours – Horizon has been perched on the northwest corner ledge area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building. No sign of her beloved.
[from Bob Boisvert] — I did see the two of them on the two east corners of the Crowne Plaza yesterday!
February 20 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — A few days ago, I spotted one of our peregrines sitting on top of one of the lower lights on the east side of the Coates Building. As it was very fluffed up I couldn’t tell for sure which one I was looking at and didn’t see the other one there, or at the Crowne. I will check them out again this weekend.
January 26 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Greetings on yet another frigid day…. Yesterday I saw Horizon on the west side of the Crowne, facing northwest. I think I saw Connor as well, but swirling steam up in that area made confirmation a bit difficult!
January 22 [from Arlene Williams] — 11:37 am – Saw one of our favourite raptors – Horizon, I think – located momentarily on the west side of the Crowne Plaza Hotel building ledge area between pillars 4 and 5. No sign of the other beautiful creature.
January 10 [from Eve Ticknor, FalconWatch coordinator] — Yesterday I saw both our peregrines [Horizon and Connor] on the west side of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. They were sitting on the inside if of the ledge facing into the sun. One was 2 columns from the north end and the other was about 5 more columns south of that one.