2005 Peregrine Project

The 2005 Project Peregrine field season was the most successful since intensive monitoring for Peregrine nest sites started in 1996. This year's survey was part of the 2005 Ontario Peregrine Falcon Survey where more resources were made available to survey cliff sites in the Lake Superior Basin. There were 43 territories located from Arrow Lake in the West to Sault Ste. Marie in the east, an increase from 41 in 2004. The 43 territories included 39 pairs and 4 single birds holding territories.

There were 34 nesting attempts confirmed, and 30 successful nests fledged at least 79 chicks. These are the highest numbers since 2003 when there were 31 confirmed nests, 27 successful nests and 70 fledged chicks. The banding team has been banding young peregrines since 1996, and the 47 chicks banded this year is the highest number ever banded. The number of chicks now banded since 1996 is 319.

Very mild temperatures in early April resulted in many nests being established earlier. The earliest hatching date for chicks was at Devil's Warehouse Island on May 12. This was 12 days earlier than any hatching date recorded in 2004.

Prey remains were collected at each nest site when banding took place. Twenty species of birds were identified from the 16 nest sites. Three new species of birds (Boreal Owl, Hudsonian Godwit, and Lesser Scaup were identified for the project and 68 species of prey have now been identified over the 10 years of collecting prey remains.

As in 2004, Project Peregrine assisted Dr. Kim Fernie with the Canadian Wildlife Service who is examining the presence of the fire retardant PBDE's in Peregrine Falcons. Blood samples were collected from 31 chicks.

The Ontario Provincial Peregrine Falcon Survey was also conducted in 2005 and Project Peregrine contributed significantly to the Survey. Many volunteers contributed their time to survey for peregrines and their dedication and contributions are greatly appreciated.