Up close and personal with the "chicks"
Rick Madonik, Staff Photographer
On Tuesday, The Canadian Peregrine Foundation aided by Ministry of Natural Resource personnel, banded four baby peregrine falcons. The chicks are from a nest on top of the Sheraton Centre, a 43 storey structure in the heart of downtown Toronto.
The Peregrine Falcon has made an incredible comeback after becoming nearly extinct in the 1970s. Through the banning of DDT (a pesticide) and large scale protection of nesting sites (as well as release back into the wild), the predatory bird can be found from the arctic to the tropics.
On the 43rd floor executive lounge of the Sheraton hotel, conservationists banded four small chicks. With simple tags on their legs, the birds will sport traceable ID for both Canadian and US wildlife services.
This type of falcon is regarded as a "cosmopolitan bird of prey" and have the unique characteristic of reaching speeds of 320 kph (200 mph) while in a hunting stoop. To have the opportunity to see these impressive birds up close (even as babies) is one of the perks of being a news photographer.
The Canadian Peregrine Foundation's website hosts a number of nest webcams (updated every 30 seconds) at different locations, including the family unit residing at the Sheraton Centre. You can find it at www.peregrine-foundation.ca
Cinnamon, a male, the smallest of the four chicks, is in the container to be weighed.
William shows off his baby talons.
Cinnamon is lost amongst 3 full sets of hands as he is passed from one handler to another.
Cinnamon is held by Meko Misqudis, 9, of Toronto.
William goes into a bag, for safe keeping, after being tagged and waits while his siblings are banded.
From left, the birds are: Cinnamon, William, Sunshine and Kate.
The tags for the two wildlife services (black is Canadian, Silver is USA), which will be placed on the legs of the falcons.
Mark Nash, President of The Canadian Peregrine Foundation, shows off the two bands which will be placed on the legs of the falcons.
Kate, the 2nd falcon presented at The Sheraton Centre.