The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

Project Show-'em

Raising public awareness about the plight of the Peregrine Falcon is a priority for the Canadian Peregrine Foundation.   Project Show-'em is carried out by establishing Falcon Watch Centres at as many of the urban nest sites as possible, in an effort to encourage the local community to take stewardship of 'their' falcons.

A Falcon Watch Centre serves as an information centre where people can drop in whenever they want to watch the peregrines, talk about the birds, and get information.  During the hours that a Falcon Watch Centre is open, there is always at least one representative of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation present to answer questions and provide updates to visitors.  The Centres have proven to be very popular with the public - an estimated 30,000 people visited the three Falcon Watch Centres in Hamilton, Etobicoke, and Toronto in 1998, and similar numbers were recorded at the Etobicoke and Ottawa Falcon Watch Centres in 1999, 2000, and 2001.

At each Falcon Watch Centre, there is a television screen showing what is happening live on the nest ledge.  Wherever possible, we have a second television, which allows us to have one facing out (for people passing by to look at) and one facing in (for people to sit down and watch inside the Falcon Watch Centre).   The second television can also be used to replay highlights previously recorded on videotape (see Project Document-'em).

Falcon Watch Centres are normally open for a period of two to five months - the duration depending on a number of factors, such as how long the birds remain in the area, how much community interest there is in keeping the Falcon Watch Centre open, and whether the incoming donations cover the operating expenses.  The opening hours of the Falcon Watch Centres vary from site to site, and may also change from month to month.  Current hours will always be posted on the site home pages, accessible from the Sightings menu.

Over the course of the season, several events are held at each Falcon Watch Centre.  The most popular of these is the banding of the chicks, when the chicks are temporarily removed from the nest and brought inside to have identification bands placed on them by representatives from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.  The Falcon Watch Centres also play host to interested school classes and community groups, which can book a time to come in and receive a presentation similar to Project School Visit.  In addition, we will try to arrange visits by a live captive peregrine (and possibly other raptors) to each Falcon Watch Centre at least once during the season.

 

fwc etobicoke.jpg (23983 bytes)
Visitors to the Etobicoke Falcon Watch Centre look at the television to watch the chicks running back and forth along the nest ledge, while a volunteer answers another visitor's questions. 
(Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)


Chairs in the Ottawa Falcon Watch Centre are available for visitors to rest while observing the live footage of the Ottawa nestlings on the large screen television monitor in the Centre.  In the background, some of the many displays in the Centre can be seen, which provide information on peregrines, as well as CPF activities.  The Falcon Watch Centre is open to the public weekdays, 10 am to 2 pm.
(Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

The busiest time of year at each Falcon Watch Centre is during Project Watch-'em.  During this period, we attempt to keep the Falcon Watch Centres operating as usual, while also using the space as a base of operations for the volunteers keeping an eye on the fledgling peregrines.

product array.jpg (17256 bytes) Last but not least, the Falcon Watch Centres are very important to us as fundraising centres.  All of the products listed in our Gift Shop are available there, plus more.  By making a donation to get a pin, hat, t-shirt etc., you are not only supporting our projects, but also helping to spread the word about the Canadian Peregrine Foundation.   We would be delighted if all visitors would make even a small donation, as these contributions really do add up, and make the difference between limiting or expanding our projects.

We would like to apply the donations received directly to our peregrine recovery projects.  However, we also need to cover the costs of operating the Falcon Watch Centres.  Because of this, we are seeking sponsors to financially assist us in keeping these centres open for the benefit of the local community.  Sponsors will be given full recognition not only at the Falcon Watch Centre they support, but also on our website and in our newsletter.  Please contact us if you are interested in helping us in this way, or know of someone who might.

We are looking for sponsors to help us with Project Show-'em.  Please contact us if you can help, or know of someone who might be able to.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about Project Show-'em, please e-mail us.


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