In the fall of 1996, the Canadian Wildlife Service Peregrine Falcon breeding facility at Fort Wainwright, Alberta, was officially closed. With this closure, Project Peregrine would no longer be receiving young falcons for release at the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park hack site. Project Peregrine efforts in 1997 would concentrate on surveying for breeding peregrines and banding young falcons at cliff nesting sites.Project Peregrine was able to locate 13 peregrine territories in 1997. Eleven of these territories were on the west side of Lake Superior from Nipigon to the Minnesota border, and 2 additional territories were located on the east side of Lake Superior. Eight pairs of falcons were successful in raising their broods, and a total of 25 young were observed.
Locating these additional peregrine territories was made possible by the new 'Adopt a Cliff' program offered by Project Peregrine. A total of 15 individuals participated in this program where potential cliff nesting sites were monitored for peregrine activity. The "Adopt a Cliff' program will be expanded in 1998, as more volunteers have expressed an interest in participating.
Seven nest sites were accessed, and 23 young were banded. Of special note, there are now as many young falcons being fledged at natural nests each year on Lake Superior as were being released through hacking programs in Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie.
In 1996, twelve young peregrines were successfully fledged from two hack boxes located at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Six Peregrine Falcon territories were located in Thunder Bay District: Pie Island (2), Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Nipigon River, Mount McKay and Mount McRae. 4 nests were successful, the nest sites were accessed and 16 young were banded. This banding represented the first time that young peregrines had been banded at cliff sites in Ontario in more than 30 years.