Project Peregrine – 2015 Annual Report 

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 staff at District Offices at Thunder Bay, Nipigon, Wawa, Sault Ste. Marie, and Atikokan, and assistance from staff at Pukaskwa National Park, more than 100 peregrine falcon territories have now been identified. Two new sites, and one site split into two were added in 2015.

There were hopes that funding would be provided by the Province for the 5-year National Peregrine Falcon Survey, which was conducted in 2015, but unfortunately there was no funding. Project Peregrine was fortunate that The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) Lakehead District made available some funds for a helicopter flight to check values in the District. Thirty-three peregrine falcon territories that had been occupied in previous years were checked during this day of flying. Staff at Pukaskwa National Park, Lake Superior Provincial Park, and OMNRF District Offices were able to check many sites.

Peregrines were first reported back on territory on March 24 at Squaw Bay. Reports from across the Lake Superior Basin and west to Atikokan identified 42 active peregrine falcon territories in 2015. The 42 territories represented 32 territorial pairs, and 10 occupied territories. Of the 32 territorial pairs, 14 pairs were confirmed to have fledged 30 chicks (chick over 24 days), 9 pairs were identified as nesting pairs, and breeding success was not confirmed for 9 pairs.

Peregrine chicks were banded at ten nest sites, and a total of 25 chicks (15 males, 10 females) were banded. Banding was initiated on June 15, and ended on July 7. Only two of the twenty -five banded chicks had blow fly (Calliphoridae spp.) maggot infestation in their ears. Project Peregrine has now banded 572 chicks (all at cliff sites) since 1996.

The success of Project Peregrine can be attributed to the many hours that volunteers, Pukaskwa National Park, and OMNR staff invest in surveying cliff sites. All their efforts are greatly appreciated. To the banding team climbers: Frank Pianka, Rod Swatton, Monica Prodanyk, and Terry Prodanyk, a special thank you for your expertise and many hours of donated time. Your continued interest in this project is also greatly appreciated.