!!! 3 Chicks Successfully banded at Waterford Vinemount Quarry in Stoney Creek Ontario!

June 15, 2014 - Stoney Creek

Marion Nash Reports:

Sunday June 15th - 2014
3 Chicks Successfully banded at Waterford Vinemount Quarry in Stoney Creek Ontario!

June 15 was banding day for 3 healthy peregrine hatchlings - 2 males and 1 female.

We were met by Ian from the Waterford Vinemount quarry today along with Anne Yagi from the Vineland district office of the OMNR,,, John Miller, CPF’s volunteer rock climber and Bill and Sue from Burlington who were all willing to come out on their own time, (Sunday, and Fathers Day) to help get the young peregrine falcon hatchlings banded.

It took some time to work out the safest way down to the nest to collect the chicks as there was no where for John to anchor his ropes. A huge thank you to Ian who drove one of the Quarries giant wheel-loaders out to the field behind the nest site so we had something substantial for John to tie off too and attach his climbing lines to.

CPF fledge watch coordinators Bill and Sue from the Burlington lift bridge nest site came out to help to man the two way radios to communicate with John, Mark and Ann while Sue assisted myself and Anne manned the banding table.

Bill stayed at the upper parking area to direct both John and Mark via 2 way radio communication to direct them into the nest ledge spot overhead and keep an eye on the adults as they prepared the ropes and collection equipment for the decent down to the nest on the cliff face.

John did a incredible job safely extracting the chicks while Mark from the CPF lowered the carrier down to John, then down to Ann who was waiting at the base of the quarry floor below to receive them. Everything went exactly as planned and very smoothly despite all of the distractions.

All 3 chicks checked out very healthy and I must admit, were some of the most aggressive and feisty peregrine hatchlings that I have every had the pleasure to handle!

They were all hiss and talons, each one quite happy to strike out grab my gloves with their feet and talons and aggressively lash-out and bite hands throughout the entire process!
Actually, nice to see such healthy aggressive attitudes!

Anne and I banded the chicks as quickly as we could since poor John was still hanging out over the edge on the cliff face while trying to keep the adults distracted and busy so that they would not realize we had removed their chicks.

Throughout the entire process, the resident adults had quite a time indeed, as they successfully defended their nest and territory against several Turkey Vultures that were flew overtop and into the Quarry air space, in addition to dealing with the remote controlled gas powered model air planes and at least one remote controlled powered gas model jet that was being flown by others from across the concession road,, overtop, in and around of the Quarry during the entire banding process. It was a very busy airspace for sure!

We processed all 3 hatchlings through the banding in about 30 minutes, checked them over to make sure they were healthy, gave them each a drink of water took some photos and it was back to John to place them back in the nest.

The first chick a male was 606 grams at 24 days old and was named Stoney

The second was a female weighing 868 grams and the oldest at 28 days she was named Ariel by Ian’s daughter.

The third chick, another male was 602 grams and was given the name Cameron by Quarry staff.

We were able to confirm that the resident adults nesting at the Waterford Quarries are in fact Athena and Craig (both resident adults are in fact banded and known to us as being the resident territorial adults that attempted to nest in another area in Stoney Creek in a microwave dish on a communications tower last year).

I can say that they were very happy to see their chicks back on the nest no worse for ware and went out hunting for lunch for the little ones as soon as they were sure they had succeeded in chasing John and Mark off the cliff.

It was back to the more mundane duties of peregrine parenthood for the falcons.

An incredible day indeed, and a huge thank you to all that came out to support and help! What a fantastic team of caring people!!!
Stay tuned for the many photos to follow……..