2008 Peregrine Project

2008 was the thirteenth year that Project Peregrine has been intensively monitoring peregrine falcons (Falcon peregrinus) within the Ontario side of the Lake Superior Basin, and west to Atikokan. Of the forty-two peregrine falcon territories identified, there were 34 territorial pairs and 8 single birds on territory.

The 34 territorial pairs consisted of 27 breeding pairs, 21 pairs hatched young, and 19 pairs had 40 young that 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. Also, there were a number of nesting sites from previous years that were not visited in 2008.

There have now been 74 different territories identified that have been utilized by Peregrine Falcons fledging at least 617 young peregrines within the Lake Superior Basin and west to Atikokan since 1990. Eight of the nest sites were climbed to and the banding team banded 21 chicks (10 males and 11 females). There have now been 404 young peregrines banded at cliff sites over the past 13 years. Banding started on June 21, and was completed on July 7, 2008. Nine of the 21 chicks banded had blow fly (Calliphoridae spp.) maggot infestation in their ears. This was the worst year for this infestation.

Twenty different prey species were identified in 2008. Caspian Tern and White-crowned Sparrow were two new species that have been added to the prey species list that now identifies 76 different prey species.

Project Peregrine is indebted to the many volunteers and OMNR staff who took time to survey known cliff sites and new cliff sites for peregrine activity in 2008. With a large number of territories to monitor each year, their time and efforts are greatly appreciated. To the climbers Frank Pianka, Leo Tardiff and Rod Swatton a special thank you for your expertise, and continued interest in this project.

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 and OMNR Lakehead District.