Project Peregrine has been intensively monitoring the breeding population of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) within the Ontario side of the Lake Superior Basin, and northwestern Ontario since 1996. The 2010 field season corresponded with the Ontario Peregrine Falcon Survey that is conducted every five years. When the Provincial Surveys are undertaken, there are additional monies provided by the Province to undertake a thorough search for peregrine activity.
In 2010, there were 72 peregrine falcon territories identified, the highest number of territories recorded to date (previous high was 48 territories in 2009).There were 60 territorial pairs, and 12single birds on territory. The breeding success of the 60 territorial pairs consisted of 44 breeding pairs, of which 39 pairs were known to have hatched young, and at least 109 young were assumed to have fledged. The number of chicks assumed to have fledged would be higher, but a number of the nesting sites were not visited a second time to confirm breeding success. Fifteen new territories were confirmed in 2010.
Thirteen nest sites were accessed by the banding team and 36 chicks (25 males, and 11 females) were banded. Banding activities were initiated on June 18 and concluded on June 26. Ten of the 36 chicks that were banded had blow fly (Calliphoridae spp.) maggot infestation in their ears. A total of 470 peregrine falcon chicks have now been banded at cliff nest sites since 1996.
When the banding team is at the nest site to band the chicks, prey remains are collected from the nest ledge. Twenty-six species of birds were identified from fifty prey items. New species identified in 2010 were: Bonaparte’s Gull, Common Raven, Yellow Warbler, Canada Goose young, and Gadwall.
Project Peregrine is indebted to the many volunteers, Pukaskwa National Park and OMNR staff who took time to survey known cliff sites, and new cliff sites for peregrine activity in 2010. With the ever increasing number of territories to monitor each year, their time and efforts are greatly appreciated. To the climbers: Frank Pianka, Leo Tardiff, and Rod Swatton, who make up the banding team, a special thank you for your expertise and over 220 hours of donated time. Your continued interest in this project is also greatly appreciated.
Funding received by Project Peregrine to continue the monitoring and banding of peregrine falcons was provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) Community Fisheries/Wildlife Involvement Program, OMNR Species at Risk Stewardship Fund, OMNR 2010 Ontario Peregrine Falcon Survey, OMNR Thunder Bay District, and Pukaskwa National Park.