Project Peregrine 2004

Project Peregrine has been conducting an extensive monitoring program of Peregrine Falcons on the Ontario side of the Lake Superior basin since 1996. In 2004, there were 41 territories comprised of 30 territorial pairs, and 11 single birds on territory. The total number of territories is the greatest number ever documented during the 9 years of monitoring. There were 38 territories (34 pairs, 4 singles) in 2003 and 33 territories (30 pairs, 3 single) in 2002.

There were 25 nests confirmed, and 50 chicks were assumed to have fledged from 22 of these nests. Both these numbers are lower than the 31 nests and the 70 chicks assumed to have fledged in 2003. It is believed that the cool, wet spring was the reason for fewer successful nests, and fewer chicks fledged. The banding team banded 31 chicks at 12 nest sites, which was significantly less than the 46 banded in 2003. The nine-year banding total of Peregrine chicks now stands at 272.

The hatching dates of young peregrines in 2004 were between May 24 and June 13. This year there were more hatching dates in May than in past years.

Project Peregrine assisted the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) in a research project examining the presence of the fire retardant PBDE in Peregrine Falcons. CWS staff collected blood samples from 20 chicks.

Twenty-six bird species were identified as prey remains in 2004, with seven new prey species (Red-headed Woodpecker, Mourning Dove, Blackpoll Warbler, Barn Swallow, Gray Jay, Wilson's Snipe and Red Crossbill) identified. There have now been 65 prey species (62 bird and 3 mammal) collected and identified during the past nine years.

The success of Project Peregrine is directly attributable to the volunteers who donate their time and expertise. A total of 65 days of volunteer time was donated in 2004.

Every five years there is an international, national and provincial survey of Peregrine Falcons. In Ontario, this survey was initiated in 1970, and has been conducted at every five year interval. Project Peregrine is currently monitoring more than 60 percent of Peregrine territories in Ontarion and will be contributing significantly to the 2005 Ontario Peregrine Falcon Survey.