2003

For eight years (1996-2003), Project Peregrine has been conducting an extensive monitoring program of Peregrine Falcons on the Ontario side of the Lake Superior basin. This monitoring program has confirmed that there has been a significant increase in the number of Peregrine Falcons holding territories since the reintroduction programs of 1989-1996. In 2003, there were 38 territories comprised of 34 territorial pairs, and 4 single birds on territory. There was one additional site where Peregrines were reported but a territory could not be confirmed. There was an increase of 5 territories from the 2002 Field Season when 30 pairs and 3 single birds were located.A total of 31 nests were confirmed, and 70 chicks were assumed to have fledged. These numbers are significantly greater than the 23 nests and 51 chicks identified in 2002. The 70 chicks on the Ontario side of Lake Superior also represent the largest number of chicks fledged by State or Province within the 2003 Midwest Peregrine Restoration Program. The banding team banded 46 young peregrines as 16 nest sites, the largest number of young banded in any one year. The eight-year banding total is now 241. The hatching dates of young peregrines in 2003 were between May 27 and June 16 and these dates are consistent with the 2002 dates of May 26 to June 24.

Twenty-nine bird species were identified as prey remains in 2003, with four new prey species (Red Knot, Bufflehead, Broad-winged Hawk and American Bittern) identified. There have now been 58 prey species (55 bird and 3 mammal) collected and identified during the past eight years.

On August 13, 2003, Maureen Dampier, one of Project Peregrine's greatest supporters passed away. Maureen and her husband Jack own the charter boat "Morningstar" based in Nipigon. They had been involved with surveying and banding falcons on Lake Superior since 1990. Each year the banding crew looked forward to banding chicks on the Nipigon River not only because of their hospitality, but also for the enthusiasm and interest that Maureen had for Project Peregrine. Maureen's laughter and love of life will be missed.