2013 Summary

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.

Winter conditions extended well into spring and the last major snowstorm occurred at the end of the first week of May. Cool conditions continued all spring, and that appeared to have a significant impact on the timing of breeding peregrines. The development of chicks was at least two weeks behind the average for the past 5 years. Project Peregrine was successful in receiving funding from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) Species at Risk Stewardship Fund and these funds went to helicopter time to survey nest sites on June 15. OMNR Thunder Bay District also provided funding for helicopter time to survey local peregrine territories on June 14. A total of 46 peregrine territories were check during the helicopter surveys.

There were 54 active peregrine falcon territories confirmed in 2013. The 54 territories represented 43 territorial pairs and 11 occupied territories. Of the 43 territorial pairs, 12 pairs were confirmed to have fledged 22 chicks (chick over 24 days), 23 pairs were identified as nesting pairs, and breeding success was not confirmed on 8 pairs. Breeding success and the number of fledged young would have been higher but many of the nest sites were not checked later in the summer. There were 18 previously occupied peregrine territories checked in 2013, but had no peregrine activity recorded. Twenty three previously occupied peregrine territories were not checked in 2013. Since 1996, Project Peregrine has identified and monitored a total of 104 peregrine falcon territories within the Ontario watershed of the Lake Superior Basin, plus one territory at the south end of Long Lake, and at Atikokan.

Nine nest sites were banded at with 20 chicks (12 males, 8 females) banded. Banding started very late on June 30, and ended on July 8. Eight of the 20 chicks had blow fly (Calliphoridae spp.) maggot infestation in their ears. Project Peregrine has now banded 531 chicks (all at cliff sites) since 1996.

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 2013. Their time and efforts are greatly appreciated. To the banding team climbers: Frank Pianka, Rod Swatton, and Terry Prodanyk who make up the banding team, a special thank you for your expertise and 144 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 Species at Risk Stewardship Fund.