Update on Kitchener CTV nest site for 2023

June 16, 2023 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Marion Nash Reports:

The Peregrines have not returned to the Bell Media Tower this year. It is likely good news anyway since CTV has sold the property and the Bell tower is being taken down sometime in October. We are in touch with the company taking the tower down to rescue the nest box so we can use it for another needy peregrine pair. There have been some reports that the Peregrines have been seen Downtown but no nest site located yet. Hopefully we will get some more reports next year and they will be successful again in 2024.

Love is in the air!

- Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

Two peregrines were spotted on the tower today. One in the box, one on top rail. They each did several swoops and swirls around the hospital. Finally, they joined each other on the top rail above the nest box. CTV also confirmed on March 21 that the falcons have returned to the nest box!

Jewel still missing

June 23, 2022 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

The morning search for Jewel continued. Volunteers alerted all the local groups they could think of in the birding community, the humane society and rescue organizations. The dedicated fledgewatch team went over and above the call of duty scouring the city for signs of Jewel. A few leads turned out to be a mangy fox (a slightly different species) and a juvenile red tailed hawk, and still no Jewel. Corona is holding her own and has had some beautiful flights and learning how to chase some volunteer pigeons.

!!! Jewel’s release & Corona flying well!

June 22, 2022 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

While Jewel’s release is scheduled for later on this afternoon, Corona continues to spread her wings and has had more and more successful flights and landings. She seems to have longer flights and is getting fed well. Corona even chased some pigeons and is taking her peregrine flight and hunting lessons seriously.

Jewel was released from King’s Tower just after 3:30, flew right away and with an adult heading towards downtown Kitchener. She headed for a crane on Walter Street. Volunteers immediately headed out after her and at first glance thought she was perched precariously on top of the crane. Later it was confirmed that it was a red tailed hawk that was having trouble staying on top of the crane, due to the wind, not the young peregrine. The volunteer team continued to search for Jewel while Corona continued to improve her skills around the nest box tower.

Kellie reported: “Corona had an eventful evening. One of her parents brought in a package and was prepping it high on the King’s Tower antenna. After some initial screaming, Corona launched off of the nestbox tower and made a beautiful ascent to the King’s Tower, landing across from her parent on the triangular part of the structure. Then she took another short flight and landed right where her parent was, got the food, and chowed down for several minutes.

Later, she took a few more fantastic flights between the nestbox tower, the hospital, and King’s Tower. She was cruising along over the hospital parkade and the church when a pigeon got a little too close and she actually chased it for a few seconds! It was so thrilling to see her twist and turn with the pigeon! There was likely no chance she would catch it, but it was so awesome to see her chase it. The pigeon probably didn’t have the same opinion.

Finally, her parents were coming and going frequently throughout the evening, but at one point, she was on the railing of the top level (white platform) as she stared down at her parent who was on the red platform. She walked along the railing for a bit, and then made a wonderfully controlled jump/drop almost directly below to the red platform. It might not seem significant, but it showed that she’s starting to learn how to be a bit more careful with her landings, and planning her route to where she wants to go. Well done, Corona!!”

Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch, Kellie Superina & Michelle Graham

!!! Jewel’s dramatic rescue !!!

June 21, 2022 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

Another early start for Amy, she located Corona and one of the adults on the nest box tower, the other adult on the small drum tower. She reported: “We have lift off from Corona at 5:53. A successful trip from the nest site to below the antenna on Grand River Hospital. One adult is with her on top of the antenna. Flight number 2 at 5:58. She circled around the hospital with an adult escort and safely landed back on the hospital. This time she is on the antenna. Loads of vocalization.” At 7:35 Corona flew back to the hospital after taking a loop over the Pine Street medical building.

At 11:19, Corona was on the tower and the two adults were flying around. At 1:26, Karen reported: “Both adults are in the tower and Corona is on the top rails of the top level screaming at the moment. A few tours by the parents but Corona has been pretty static for a few hours.” A stifling hot day, less attention was given to Corona as the volunteers continued the search for Jewel, still no sign of her. It was decided that the building (824 King Street West) where Jewel was last seen should be searched. The team was busy trying to get ahold of the owner so that they could get access to the building.

As luck would have it a contractor working in the building let David and Rudy into the building to search for Jewel. It didn’t take them long to find the chimney clean-out. Opening the cast iron door with little but a screwdriver, a hammer and a concrete drill was another task. They were working for well over an hour. Rudy and David were almost giving up and went back outside to see if CTV would let them back on Kings Towers to get a view from above. Rudy was in his car about to leave, when Steve (the contractor) suddenly came out and triumphantly announced that he’d got the stuck door open and that he thought Jewel was in there! Rudy, David and Steve went back into the building and another chore was to remove all the chimney swift litter and bird remains from the bottom of the chimney. There was literally 2 feet of debris at the bottom of the 100 year old chimney! David stuck his phone in to see if she was in there and lo and behold Jewel was in the bottom of the chimney!!! They could hear her hissing at them. Rudy stuck his towel in and got her to grab onto the towel and pulled her out!!! To say that Rudy was over the moon was an understatement! Rudy did a preliminary exam and she appeared to be fine. Jewel is one lucky bird as Rudy also pulled out a complete skeleton of a banded bird and many other bird part that met a more deadly fate.

A special shout out to our hero, Steve who saved Jewel. It’s nothing short of a miracle that she was rescued! And of course to all of the volunteers who did not give up on finding Jewel!!!

!!! Corona tumbles, Jewel is MIA

June 20, 2022 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

The watch started early at 5:40, with Amy and Piper, diligently looking for Jewel & Corona.Corona was on the small drum tower, and Jewel was sighted on the tower in an awkward spot facing Pine Street. Corona took a flight from the small drum tower and flew towards Grand River hospital, landing awkwardly on a lower rooftop and went out of sight.

At 7:12, Tara reported that one parent was on the tower on top of the hospital one fledgling was above ‘H’. The other parent was on the CTV tower. Tara thought she could hear the second fledgling on the hospital but couldn’t see it. At 7:30 there was still no location on the second fledgling. Both parents flew off from their previous positions.

At 7:55, the little one was still above the H. One adult flew towards the Sun Life building. There is some flapping from the young one above the H and still some calling was heard but Amy was unable to tell where it was coming from. An adult showed up above the H and probably delivered a package as the fledgling was now out of sight now, perhaps having breakfast. The adult flew back to the top of the hospital antenna. Amy found the second fledgling on top of the Pine Street medical building! At 8:15, the fledgling flew from the Pine Street building to the top of the chimney where the chimney swifts live on the low rise building beside Kings Towers. Karen identified Corona above the H on Grand River Hospital. Jewel who was on the chimney disappeared.

As more watchers arrived, they checked rooftops from various vantage points but still no Jewel. At 10:00, Corona made the flight back from the hospital to the CTV tower, facing Mount Hope Cemetery. One adult was at the nest site, the other had been around too, still no sign of Jewel. Many more volunteers were on the watch, searching for Jewel and putting the word out in the neighbourhood and on social media of the missing peregrine. Kellie suggested that there was a possibility that she fell into the chimney as that is where she was last seen. After 1:00, Corona was back on the hospital and got fed while the volunteers continued searching for Jewel. At 1:50, Corona was now on a windowsill of the hospital.

At 3:00 there were a few people on the roof of the hospital, the parents were vocalizing their displeasure. David reported: “mid aft Corona did a bit of flying, was on a hospital window ledge for a bit, then ended up on a lower hosp roof above the emergency entrance. Both adults were ‘yelling’ at the person on the roof. I kept my eye on Corona, and she all of a sudden took off, did a small loop over Mary St, then a bigger climbing loop, then headed to the Sun Life tower! She made two unsuccessful attempts to land, around the 17th floor, the 2nd on the hospital side, briefly tumbled down one floor, then flew back towards the hospital. She disappeared behind the hospital, Park Street side at a decent height and then lost sight of her.” At 5:55, Corona reappeared and flew from the hospital back to the top of CTV tower, tumbling, failed to land and kept going. She flew up to the Kings Tower roof, and had a messy landing there but made it!

At 6:55, Karen reported that “Corona had a long flight back to the platform and seemed to want to go towards Sun Life but one of the parents interceded and seemed to force her back to the tower. She had a successful landing on the top level. Both parents out hunting.”

A long day for the fledgewatch team, Kellie reported at 10:28: “Still no sign of Jewel. Corona stayed invisibly on the top platform of the nestbox tower until almost the end, with occasional vocalizing. Papa came in with a package around 8:50 p.m. Mama enticed him to hand it off in mid-air, she grabbed it and prepped it on one of the white, vertical panels. Corona became visible along the Mount Hope side of the platform. After the package was prepped, Mama flew up top and gave Corona the food. Mama was perched on the short tower and we (Ev, Michelle, and Fraser) were thinking of packing up for the night, as it was a few mins past 9. Corona chose this time to fly yet again, and headed towards her mother on the short tower. She missed, circled back around, and then slammed kind of hard into the tower. She seemed okay, although it definitely made a loud sound when she crashed into it. She’s perched on the lowest bundle of wires, best viewed from King Street in front of the hospital entrance. When we left her, she was still in the same spot, but it’s not a great spot, and will likely want to move.”

Photos courtesy of Amy Becker & Kellie Superina

!!! Corona’s release!

June 19, 2022 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

Amy & Pip started the watch early this morning at 6:15. It took them a bit to locate Jewel and found her on the top of the tower vocalizing. The adults were also accounted for. At 8:25 Heather reported that Jewel took a short flight and located her on the small drum. She remained there for a few hours. Micah witnessed her taking another flight while the parents flew back and forth between the 2 CTV towers. Jewel flew back into the nest box!

Corona’s release was scheduled for 1:30. She was released on top of King’s Tower. The adults immediately spotted her and started vocalizing and swooping around the top of the building, showing Corona how to catch the wind, and flying back towards the nest box. Corona took off a few minutes later and made a successful flight past KCI and back on top of King’s Tower. CTV captured the action:

At 2:53, Karen reported that Corona successfully flew back to the nest box! At 3:44, David reported that Corona was on the railing of the hospital side of the tower, while Jewel was flaked out inside the nest box. At 4:15, both parents were back, one with a meal teasing the fledglings. Corona remained on the railing while Jewel hopped between the box & platform. At 4:27, David reported that Corona had another successful flight to the hospital roof. She remained there for 3 hours and at 7:30 she flew back to the CTV tower and landed safely on the top railing. At the end of the watch Tara reported that Corona took a few more flights, landing higher up on the tower, and then made it lower and eventually made it back to the same level as the nest box. Jewel popped her head out from the nest box a few times. She was hunkered down in the box until around 11:00 p.m.

Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch & A. Becker

!!! An empty nest! Corona & Jewel fledged !!!

June 18, 2022 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

Amy & Piper reported a pretty quiet morning. Breakfast was delivered. Corona is still flapping alot and both Jewel and Corona were on the porch with a parent sitting above for most of the time. Karen took over the watch at 9:15 and reported that “the kids have been fairly quiet, both adults are around and have taken short flights here and there. Ralph stopped in and Heather is here for her shift. All 4 are accounted for at the moment. The girls both have huge crops. One of the adults took off and bumped a turkey vulture who was in their air space. In the image of the parents together on the tower, pretty sure the one on the railing is the Mom judging by the larger size and is a little browner than the male who is just above her. He seems a bit more slate gray in colour and smaller in stature.” Heather reported a quiet watch at 1:00.

Kim and Tim took over the watch at 4:45. One girl was in the nest box and an adult was on the platform in front of the nest box. Jewel was lower down in the tower. Less than an hour later, Kim and Tim rescued Corona! Tim saw Jewel take a flight with one of the parents from the small barrel just over from the tower. Kim reported: About 10 minutes later I saw Corona take off and took a loop on the Pine St side, tried to land, missed and ended up on King Street!! I don’t think I have yelled at cars to stop that loud in my life. What a day!!!!” Rudy did an assessment a short time later and reported Corona had no injuries. Good news! Jewel was reported to be in the middle of the platform of the top platform when last seen by Kellie.

Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch & Kellie Superina

Ready to go!

June 03, 2022 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

June 3 - 9

The chicks are growing rapidly before our eyes. Both Jewel and Corona are feeding well and have filled out nicely. In no time at all, the baby fluff has disappeared.

June 14

Karen reported that there was a lot of flapping particularly by Corona this morning. The entire family can be seen in the image with the tower, both adults and the girls are on the ‘deck’. The adults were trying  a few times to entice them to come out to play but no takers.

I came for a watch at about 7:30 with 2 screaming babies. Around 8 was treated to the parents flying higher and higher, circling over Kings towers (chasing each other). The girls were screaming at them. The adults flew in and out, one on Kings Tower antennae for a bit. A few minutes later one flew in and brought dinner and landed on the small antenna for a few seconds vocalizing before it flew off again.

June 15

Sandye reported this morning: “All peregrines are on the tower. There was a lot of noise and flying around by the parents a short while ago as there were workmen up on the roof of CTV.

A great blue heron flew over and we saw the chimney swifts several times. Not much flapping from the young since I have been here.”

Amy reported: “Very quiet this evening. When we initially arrived the ladies were both on the porch with some flapping and vocalizing. They settled before long. Both parents came and went though we didn’t see any food delivery. We witnessed a turkey vulture getting a little too close. Mom and Dad chased it off pretty quickly. It was extremely warm.”

June 16

Ralph started the morning watch. Both young were visible, one standing close to the ledge, occasionally flapping. Both parents were perched above taking turns swooping off to ward off the kettle of vultures. Tara reported later on that Corona was spending a lot of time on the ledge, flapping. Some fledging should happen soon!

We had a small training session this evening. The kettle of vultures came by again, attracted to the nest box. Both adults took up the chase numerous times. Pigeons were hurriedly flying by.

June 17

Amy reported this morning: “Breakfast for the kids arrived when I did. Other than eating, both girls were on the porch for pretty much the whole hour I was there. Witnessed a successful take down of a pigeon for the adult’s breakfast as well. It rained feathers from the tower for quite some time. When I left both girls were sitting on the porch preening and parents were on the top platform.” Sandye and Ralph were on the later morning watch, which was pretty quiet. Both adults were on the tower and one chick was coming in and out of the nest box and sitting on the ledge. Elaine reported that the evening watch was also fairly quiet, a bit of wing flapping and a food drop.

Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch

Banding Day at Kitchener CTV Bell Media tower !!!

June 01, 2022 - Kitchener - CTV-Bell Media Tower

Lisa Reh Reports:

We have 2 girls to watch over this year! At approximately 23 days old we have CORONA (red band #H73) at 865 grams and JEWEL (blue band and #H74) at 840 grams. Fledgling is usually around 40 days of age which takes us to June 18th. Congratulations KW Peregrine parents!!!

Photos courtesy of Karen von Knobloch