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Ive been out a couple of times already this year,and have seen 34species to date. Today I went to Humber Bay Park,to pad my list,adding many duck species. Ruddy Ducks were a nice surprise,2 among many Lesser Scaup and Redheads. I saw all 3 Merganser Species,Hooded,Common and Red-breasted. Mute Swans came very close..soo beautiful. I saw 2 American Kestrels,one sent pigeons into a frenzy. A Common Goldeneye,swam with a few Bufflehead,while 2 American Coots swam among a pair of American Widgeon. The best bird today was one I missed last year,a Northern Shrike. It flew by with prey in its tallons...a small bird I think. Sounds of all the various ducks and a beautiful January day made for a terrific start to birding in 2007.

krukab's picture
Joined: Feb 18 2006


YOU GET A  ** A ** for your dedicated   studies of the raptors in your area   very informitive to those interested in  raptors-  Laughing

BIGFRANK (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Well its been longer then I thought since I posted! Ive been a busy birder and counted more then 2000 raptors so far this fall at the little park 10minutes from my home. Local awareness of my watch is growing,which has been rewarding. People from the area,are discovering a new spot to view birds of prey,and some have taken up a new hobby.

Last Saturday was a record day at Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch. With the help of many able assistants,a new high total of 755 raptors was counted. Most were very low. 2 Bald Eagles flying below the bluff we watch from were within 20meters(60feet ish) of us. Sharp-shinned Hawks were everywhere,we saw 569 of them. Truely an impressive sight. Everyone gathered really enjoyed it...and for me thats what its all about. A few of the coming days will be slow,but that bodes well for the next day which weather conditions are condusive to a big movement as birds will be itching to leave and another monstor count is possible!

Osprey Silhouetted

Broadwinged Hawk

Turkey Vulture

Enjoy..I'll try to post more regularily. If U really miss me check

BIGFRANK (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Sharpshinned Hawks are current total for this fall so far is now sitting at 209 raptors,the bulk of which is Sharpshinned Hawks. In near days to come,several hundred a day will be seen of this smallest hawk(pigeon sized). I've already counted 22 Osprey too,last year I saw 92 ..Im shooting for 100 this fall!

 The last few days,new folks have come to the raptor watch,which is most rewarding. Another friend who I knew previously from birding,hadnt realized how close the birds came. He enjoys photography so is in heaven. It makes me happy to introduce people to this great little park,only moments from their homes,and show them the wonder that is fall raptor migration. Later this month I have a group coming to attend,the Toronto Field Naturalists...I hope the day they chose is a winner! Tomorrow is setting up to be a good day,"hold thumbs" for me!


BIGFRANK (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Upup to this point,August had been extra slow,a combination of poor weather conditions coupled with my own lack of attendance. I refuse to poke even my nose from the house on days the humidex is very high! I had counted 58 birds of prey this month b4 today. Today was the best August count in the 4 years of the count..a final tally of 59 birds of prey.  The day began with very grey dark skies,which momentarily gave way to some nice blue sky with white puffy clouds followed by the bright blue sky for the remainder of the day. We had some close up birds,but many were medium high today. Several friends joined me. Our count consisted of:

Bald Eagle.........3(2 full adults and one juvenile)
Northern Harrier.4
I expect a good day tomorrow as well,despite a very blue sky that will make spotting a challenge. This brings the August total to 117,which is about average for August

BIGFRANK (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Hi gang Im raptor watching most days  now,most especially from mid-month onward. Things start slow as mentioned,but I enjoy all I can see. Friends have been coming over to see what is around and thus far my count is 42,which includes 6 Osprey and 2 early Broadwinged hawks. Today unknown to us,one Broadwing landed in the park before continuing onward. It circled for awhile giving me a chance to get at least one decent photo.

I also saw about 15000 Double-crested Cormorants flying to find food,over 500 Swallows..predominantly Barn Swallows,a few Caspian Terns,Cedar Waxwings,2 Least Flycatchers,a pair of Gray Catbirds,a Red-breasted Nuthatch,several American Goldfinch and Black-capped Chickadees. It was a good clear crisp day..with a tease of things to come!

BIGFRANK (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Hi gang,Ive been out watching the skys...trees and lake again. The raptor watch has started slowly,but I saw 2 Sharpshinned Hawks,a Coopers Hawk,an Osprey and a Harrier yesterday. I'll be off shortly and with luck see a few more. I also saw a pair of Trumpeter Swans,many young Baltimore Orioles,migrating Cedar Waxwings,a number of Eastern Kingbirds..also migrating,many American Goldfinch in all manner of plumages a few more Great Blue Heron migrating..the total so far this August of them is 16.  Saw an Eastern Wood Peewee and my first migrating Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the "fall" as well.

BIGFRANK (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Alive and birdin. Hi gang,Im not lost,strayed or stolen,just busy with that Canadian Peregrine Foundation special project which so far I cant widely or publically(like on a forum like this)speak of. Once the story can be told,I will.  I finally got out birding for the morning yesterday,and of note already few Bank Swallows were around. They start to migrate very early. I saw and heard tons of new Starlings,Red-winged Blackbirds and Robins. A few good sightings included Northern Mockingbird,Gray Catbird and Eastern Kingbird. Unique to this time of year,a friend reported seeing several thousand Double-crested Cormorants nearby. Ive seen conservatively,5000 Cormorants flying from Leslie Spit to Bluffers looks like the lake is moving,the way the birds skim the surface as they fly along.  An American Kestrel and Sharpshinned Hawk were the only raptors I saw,but that will soon change. In Aug I start my migration Raptor Watch.  It is slow but I just cant wait to start. Generally I count about 100 raptors in Aug,with things really picking up in September. August gets my stamina up and ready for later in the fall when Im at the park from 6am till 3pm,mostly standing. Helps me hone my spotting skills too.  All of August early migrants of all kinds pass the park to keep my interest up. Stay tuned!  

BIGFRANK (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Hi gang spent today with "my" Redtailed Hawks. All 3 chicks are out of the nest and flying around now.We saw 2 of them fly. There was a good deal of squawking every time an adult flew in the area. We saw BIGRED bring one of the juvenile males a pigeon to eat. The youngster moved it around abit in the pine tree,before taking flight with it. I knew it couldnt keep altitude,and we found it on the ground,hopping and hobbling around taking the pigeon with him. In the end he didnt bother to eat it! They are being well fed as in the last 2 days we've found 2 dead rats and a dead pigeon(todays) that hadnt been eaten at all. Upon reviewing the photos,clearly the little guy with the pigeon had a full crop before he ever got the pigeon. In all a great day.

BIGRED and Juvenile Male Food Transfer

Juvenile Carrying Pigeon Around

Juvenile In Tree

Beautiful Juvenile Perched

Johanna (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Wow...quite a was Dina's good fortune someone heard her scratching and did something about it.  Thanks for sharingSmile


BIGFRANK (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Hi gang been busy with a project I cant yet publish on an open forum such as is a harrowing report from one of the Canadian Peregrine Foundations most dedicated volunteers.

Downtown Toronto Sheraton July 1st:DINA PULLED FROM AN AIRSHAFT

July 1, 2007
To start, I would like to give a deep, heart felt thanks to Oxford Property Security Officers,Angela Green and James Kettle,for their quick thinking and rapid response to an animal in need. Volunteers and Staff at  the  Canadian Peregrine Foundation are very grateful for your actions above and beyond  the call of duty. Without your initial call to CPF, a young peregrine falcon surely would have perished.
Another early start to the day to check on Dina who  was last seen on the west side  roof top of a building at University Ave and Adelaide St.
A quick scan of the roof line and I could not see her. I made my way up to a higher elevation and still she was no where to be found.,I couldn't even locate her brother, Kevin.
Back down to street level and from all vantage points she was not seen. I did however  locate the adults. One adult was further south on University Ave. and the other adult was on the nest ledge. This told me that she still had to be in the direct area.
I decided to take a break and return later in the afternoon and perhaps she would have popped up by then.
A short time later, a call  to me from Mark Nash, stating  Security at a property at Adelaide and York Sts. have reported an "animal" trapped in a ventilation shaft on their roof.
They stated they could not Identify the animal as they could not see it but certainly could hear it "scratching".
 I was immediately dispatched to the property which is very close to the Sheraton Centre Hotel.
Security officer, Angela Green escorted me to the roof level and showed me the air shaft in which the "animal" was heard scratching.  I was shocked, and I knew it wasn't a raccoon or squirrel, but it had to be our missing juvenile peregrine , Dina.  A quick evaluation of the situation told me that this wasn't going to be easy.
  Calls went into Mark Nash and Oxford Property Operations Manager,Nigel D'cruz.
Dina, had apparently fallen  through a small opening at  the top of the exhaust shaft. The shaft runs vertical for approximately 10 feet, then curves to a right angle. The shaft continues to run horizontally for approx. 20 feet and then drops off again down past the roof line and into the building, with a drop off of approx. 4 feet. Beyond the 4 feet, is unknown. 
Nigel D'cruz and Mark Nash began dismantling the air shaft. It was not was not an easy task. After about 2 hours, they had finally reached the point in which the section could be removed. It would come off and the bird had moved further along. More screws were removed and with  a lot of jiggling of the metal and the section was  lifted  off. 
 and as they placed the section of metal air shaft, down,  Dina moved back and dropped out of view. My heart sank. as I remembered another time we had attempted to pull another peregrine out of a similar situation.
 This  situation was not looking good for our little girl. But we did have Four very determined people to get the job done and save the peregrine from certain death.
As we approached the final section of air shaft, all that was left to do was to crawl into the shaft and  see how far she had dropped.
That's where everyone looked at me. Hmmm,, I knew I would come in handy today.
I made my way into the somewhat funky smelling vent, with a flash light and net, I  crawled to the end and peered over the edge. 
 My heart skipped a beat in reaction to what I was seeing  as the young juvenile peregrine was in a very precarious situation.he was sitting on open louvers, not wider than 1/4 inch, and probably 6 inches on either side of her, was  open abyss, that had an endless drop, probably 25 stories. 
Mark Nash, not seeing the situation, had instructed me on how to net the bird.  I couldn't do it knowing the outcome would not be good.
 The position of the bird was not what others had imagined. A quick digital  picture and we had to put our efforts on hold.
 This was going to be very tricky, in our efforts to extract Dina from the vent, we might just startle her and she would drop.  We needed more equipment.
We needed another net!
A call the Toronto Humane Society
 I informed  them of our situation and what we needed. They came to our assistance immediately. Toronto Humane Society Officers,Brandy Hill and William Robinson arrived on site around  6:30p.m.  A quick briefing  and they too were shocked to see where this bird had fallen. They were also amazed that someone had heard her scratching inside the air duct and grateful that someone  called to help this animal. While introductions, a short education on peregrine falcons were taking place, the adult and Kevin the male juvenile could be seen flying in the area of the Sheraton.
Mark Nash  and Brandy Hill coordinated  their efforts, crawled into the air shaft and together with the extra net, they   were successful in extracting Dina from her impending doom.
With Dina finally in Mark Nash's hands, the rescuers could finally see what they worked so hard to  save.
These birds certainly make an impression.
After an initial examination and a lesson on what injuries are common to peregrines, Dina was safe to go into the pet carrier and transported to a quiet area.
She sustained no injuries, thank God. 
I can't explain the feeling that came over all of us on the roof top. Jubilation, excitement, and  relief.
For Mark and I, it was all of those feelings plus overwhelming gratitude to the people involved.

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