2006 Peregrine Project
In 2006, Project Peregrine continued its eleventh year of intensive monitoring of peregrine falcon (Falcon peregrinus) within the Lake Superior Basin, and west to Atikokan. Forty-four territories were confirmed, which is the highest number ever recorded by Project Peregrine. Of the 44 territories, there were 38 territorial pairs, and 6 single birds on territory.
The 38 territorial pairs consisted of 28 breeding pairs, 26 successful breeding pairs, and 66 chicks were assumed to have fledged. The number of chicks is lower than the in 2005 (79) is a result of some of the nest sites were not visited a second time to confirm the breeding success. The banding team only banded at the western end of Lake Superior this year, and 35 chicks were banded at 11 nests. The eleven year banding program has now banded 354 chicks, all at cliff nesting sites. A mild spring resulted in the earliest start to the banding program (June 17), and the banding was completed for the first time before July.
There were 16 species of birds identified from the prey remains collected from the 11 nests. There have now been 71 species of bird and mammals that have been identified, and three new species (Eastern Phoebe, Rusty Blackbird, and Meadowlark sp.) were confirmed this year.
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 2006. With a large number of territories to monitor each year, their time and efforts are greatly appreciated.
Since 1977, the peregrine falcon has been included on the Ontario Endangered Species List. A thirty-year recovery effort by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), and many Ontario Naturalists Clubs, including the Thunder Bay Field Naturalists, have brought this species back from extirpation to where it is now a once again a breeding species in Ontario. Based on the positive growth of this species in Ontario, and in particular within the Lake Superior Basin, on June 29, 2006, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources removed the peregrine falcon from the Endangered Species list, and reclassified it as a Threatened species. This is an amazing accomplishment, and congratulations to all involved over the years.