Project Peregrine Annual Reports 1997-2016

2016 Summary 

Since 1996, Project Peregrine has been undertaking the monitoring of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) within the Ontario portion of the Lake Superior Basin, and in northwestern Ontario. With support from Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) staff at District Offices at Thunder Bay, Nipigon, Wawa, Sault Ste. Marie, and Atikokan, Ontario Parks, and assistance from staff at Pukaskwa National Park, more than 100 peregrine falcon territories have now been identified. Four new sites were identified in 2016.

With many peregrine falcon territories now identified, it is now challenging to survey all known sites and potential cliff sites. This year, Project Peregrine was fortunate that the OMNRF, Lakehead District provided a helicopter for 6 hours of flying to check peregrine falcon territories around Thunder Bay. On June 9, thirty-seven previously known territories were surveyed. Data were also collected by staff at Pukaskwa National Park, Lake Superior Provincial Park, and OMNRF District Offices. The general public, and private landowners also provided valuable information.

The first reported peregrine back on territory was at Oliver Creek Road on March 10. This is the earliest return date (for the Thunder Bay area) documented by Project Peregrine. In 2016, there were 56 active peregrine falcon territories recorded. The 56 territories represented 44 territorial pairs and 12 single adults on territory. The 44 territorial pairs consisted of 16 successfully breeding pairs that fledged 31 chicks (chicks over 24 days old), 16 pairs where nesting was confirmed, and 12 pairs where nesting was not confirmed.

The banding team started banding on June 22, and ended on July 9, visiting 7 sites. A total of 17 chicks (9 males and 8 females) were banded. Project Peregrine has now banded 589 chicks (all at cliff sites) since 1996. Joining the banding team this year was Dr. Kim Fernie, and Dr. Melanie Guigueno from Environment and Climate Change Canada. This is the fourth year that Dr. Fernie has been sampling blood to identify potential contaminant concentrations, and health of peregrine falcons. Project Peregrine in partnership with the Alpine Club of Canada-Thunder Bay Chapter received a generous donation of climbing equipment (approximately $6,000.00) from the Petzl Foundation.

The success of Project Peregrine can be attributed to the many hours that volunteers, Pukaskwa National Park, OntarioParks, and OMNRF staff invest in surveying cliff sites. All their efforts are greatly appreciated. To the banding team climbers: Frank Pianka, and Rod Swatton, the success of this project is based on your dedication and continued support over the past 21 years. Thank you again for your expertise and friendship.