Waiting out the fog

Photo by Clayre Bertrand

Photo by Clayre Bertrand

St. Laurent seems to be a popular street for Peregrines’ peregrinations lately. Clayre Bertrand, who lives a few kilometres north of the TCC offices, also on St. Laurent, spotted this falcon perched on her balcony on the 25th floor.

This was on Nov. 22, which was a rather miserable day, weather-wise. The fog would have made it difficult to hunt, so maybe the falcon (possibly Rowena?) decided to wait out the weather on Clayre’s balcony.

Clayre took the opportunity to shoot a short video in which she describes hearing a screech and looking out to see the falcon. She says she had seen the bird fly past her windows the day before.

Merci, Clayre, d’avoir partagĂ© cette observation, la photo et la vidĂ©o !

Favourite hangout

St-Laurent-2I received an email recently from Rich Gunhouse, Director of Marketing for The Corporate Centre (TCC) Canada, an office solutions and virtual office provider that recently set up shop on the top floor of 1730 St. Laurent Blvd. Staff there were thrilled to discover a pair of Peregrine Falcons visiting the ledges outside their windows just about every afternoon.

I went to see for myself, but of course the falcons didn’t cooperate that day. I did, however, check the roof for any signs of a nest. There are suitable sheltered areas, but the noise up there from the building’s HVAC, etc., make it rather inhospitable for a long-term stay.
St-Laurent-4In any case, from the photos Rich sent, it looks like this could be Ivanhoe and Rowena, based on the larger female’s overall brown colouring. As we know, they already have a nesting site, but may be using the building at St. Laurent and Industrial as a secondary hangout, much like the downtown falcons spend time at Tunney’s Pasture.

The building isn’t very tall — just eight storeys — but it’s among the highest building in sight, and the top floor is surrounded by wide ledges that provide a nice lookout over the surrounding land.





Random sightings

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any updates on Ottawa’s Peregrine Falcons, but several people have sent in reports of sightings in the past month or so. Time for an update!

The most recent report, with photo, comes from Melva Peever, who photographed a falcon perched on her 25th-floor balcony overlooking the Ottawa River near the DeschĂŞnes Rapids on Oct. 31.


Photo by Melva Peever.


Falcon Watch veteran Dominique Marshall also sent in a couple of photos showing the Data Centre birds on Oct. 24. As those who walk or drive by that building know, it’s unusual to see both Rowena and Ivanhoe at the same time once the nesting and fledging season is over. That’s Rowena in the first photo and Ivanhoe in the second, each on their favourite ledges. No sign of young Pringle lately. He has no doubt migrated or moved on to establish his own territory.


Photo by Dominique Marshall.


Photo by Dominique Marshall.


Speaking of young falcons, there were a couple of interesting sightings in early September. I went to see a flock of American Golden Plovers in the west end, just off Twin Elm Rd. Seconds after I got there, a young Peregrine swooped in and cleared the entire field of birds. A couple of days later, Lorraine Elworthy reported seeing a juvenile falcon just east of there at the Burnside Pit. Was it Pringle or another young falcon from the Ottawa area? We’ll never know, but keep your eyes open for those Peregrines. Based on various reports, I have a feeling the local population is on the rise.

The downtown falcons, meanwhile, are still being seen. When Alex and I checked the Delta during the OFNC Fall Bird Count, we found one of them perched on the northeast corner. I though I would have to content myself with just one PEFA for the day’s tally (I pride myself in finding the downtown falcons during both the fall and Christmas bird counts). But 20 minutes later, as we cycled along the river near the War Museum, we saw falcon No. 2 fly in from the west, headed back to the Delta.


Here’s photo taken a year ago of one of the Peregrine Falcon chicks perched on a sixth-floor, south-side ledge. Judging by the bird’s size, it’s most likely Amber, the female. Her brother Data was smaller. Thanks to Zeke Hasaces for sharing his photo.

Coincidentally, I dropped by today to check on the falcons and found Pringle also perched on the south sixth-floor ledge furthest to the right (when facing the building. Rowena was perched on the nest ledge, and when she flew off, Pringle followed. From what I could see, today’s flight lesson was “Soaring in Place in a Strong Wind”.


One of the 2012 chicks seen from inside the building. Photo by Zeke Hasaces.


Thank you!

Thanks to all who volunteered their time during this year’s Falcon Watch, and also to the staff and management of SNC-Lavalin and the Canada Revenue Agency for their help.

A special thank you to the security guards on site for all their friendly assistance at all hours of the day, and to Nancy Scott for helping organize the whole shebang and for driving in from the boonies to cover some extra shifts.

2013 Falcon Watchers

Gene Beuthien
Marian Bird
John Clark
Marie Clausén
Rick Collins
Janet Dunbrack
Claire Elliott
Anouk Hoedeman
Laura Johnson
Christine Lalonde
Fern Levine
Tim Loucks
Phil Maillard
Dominique Marshall
Frank Marshall
James McLaren
Lorraine Montoya
Brian Peart
RĂ©my Poulin
Jorgen Rasmussen
Toni Riseborough
Chris Rogers
Nancy Scott
Langis Sirois
Chris Traynor