Wind (current)

Oct 16th 184 Raptors and A Peregrine Release

Today we enjoyed a good count,and a special treat too! We had a slow but steady flow of raptors today. Most were Turkey Vultures. Mike Zondino sent these shots of the Turkey Vultures. Newer raptor watchers enjoyed the squadrons of TVs.

Mike caught this shot of a Northern Harrier as it passed by.
A very nice shot of an adult Sharpshinned Hawk by Mike.

Mike also got a shot of one of the Redtailed Hawks we saw.

We saw 2 distant Bald Eagles,one juvenile and one adult at 220pm and 345pm respectively. Our final tally of 184 raptors was made up of:
109-Turkey Vulture
2-Bald Eagles(as per above)
1-Northern Harrier
50-Sharpshinned Hawk
2-Redshouldered Hawk
17-Redtailed Hawk
2-Peregrine Falcon
This puts us at just over 5500 raptors.We are 87 Sharpies short of a season record and today we went over 30000 raptors counted since the Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch started in 2004. Yeah US! The next 2 days have potential to be decent migration days again. Things start up abit later,with not alot moving before 11am.
Our special treat was the release of a wild Peregrine Falcon which had just been rehabilitated. The adult,male,tundrius specie Peregrine Falcon had collided with a building in Brampton. It didnt sustain any serious injuries but the Toronto Wildlife Centre checked it over for any injuries or problems from the impact. After cere and orbital ridge issues were healed,the Peregrine was deemed ready for release. Toronto Wildlife Centre transferred the bird to the Canadian Peregrine Foundation. Marion Nash contacted me and asked if Id be interested in a Peregrine being released at our watch?? Of course I said yes. Mark and Marion Nash arrived with the Peregrine Falcon around 2pm. Shortly after,the Peregrine was again flying the skies. He took his time leaving the box,giving those gathered a great chance for photos. He then took flight,landing briefly on the fence,before making a short flight into the park,before turning and going out over the lake. He flapped alot and "found his wings" and began to circle and climb. To our delight and amazement a 2nd Peregrine Falcon appeared and circled with him. After a short greeting,the 2 circled together and eventually continued on their way. What a thrill,honour and priviledge to be part of. Thanks to Marion Nash for suggesting Rosetta as a release site!
Marion Peeks At The Peregrine
Close to freedom

More photos will be added as I recieve them. I know Lee got some great ones she is willing to share.
Thanks to everyone at Toronto Wildlife Centre for their care of the Peregrine Falcon,to Mark and Marion Nash of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation and all the raptor watchers for making the release fun/exciting...possible.

Peregrine Release Video

68 Raptors..More Was Hoped For

The gang gathered hoping for a big day. Things started abit slow,but thats not unexpected this time of the season. A few raptors gave us hope. Soon we started to realize that it might just be too much of a good thing. Winds might have been too strong. Redtails and Northern Harriers seen early were really fighting the wind. We did get great views of most birds seen as the strong west element of the strong northwest winds kept the birds very low. 4 Turkey Vultures with 2 Redtailed Hawks represented the start of something big...but no the birds just never came. Our final total of 68 included:
4-Turkey Vultures
7-Northenr Harriers
37-Sharpshinned Hawks
3-Coopers Hawks
13-Redtailed Hawks
2-American Kestrels
We saw at least 4 Fox Sparrows scratching around in the shadows,2 Great Blue Herons fly by,some Red-breasted Mergansers and 9 Common Loons down on the lake.
At about 11am I got a call from Marion Nash of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation. I volunteer extensively with CPF and Marion informed me they had a Peregrine Falcon ready to be released. The bird came to us through the Toronto Wildlife Centre,where it had been brought because it had hit a building. The bird is ok and will be released on Saturday. Marion asked if Id be interested in the bird being released at Rosetta,which I of course said yes! Around noon tomorrow(possibly abit later) the unbanded,suspected to be northern Peregrine will be released,to continue its southbound journey. Plenty of cameras will be present. Lets hope this plan comes to pass!


The next several days,until Sunday look like they have great potential for a large raptor movement. There are many Turkey Vultures still to fly,Redtailed Hawks have only just started their southward movement and Redshouldered Hawks were just seen for the first time yesterday at both Cranberry Marsh and Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watches. We should still see many adult Sharpshinned Hawks. We should start to see Golden Eagles and Roughlegged Hawks any time now. Those watchers that put in time over the next several days should be richely rewarded. I hope to see you out! A reminder that until there is a big movement,not many raptors will fly before 10am. Bathrooms will not be available soon,I will find out tomorrow when we can dependably depend upon them. Today nothing countable was seen.

High Count High Vultures

Today the gang gathered hoping for a good flight. Winds looked good,and eventually the Turkey Vultures came. Between 11am and 12pm,132 Turkey Vultures flew by. Several decent kettles formed. Pat Anderson sent along this great shot of one of the good kettles of Turkey Vultures.
From there on it was pretty slow until 4pm. Then small groups of Turkey Vultures started to migrate past. Soon I spotted a kettle of 34 Turkey Vultures and 4 Redtails circling together. A Northern Goshawk flew through the centre,barely missing my arm. We had our first Red-shouldered Hawk too.
Todays terrific total was
229-Turkey Vulture
1-Northern Harrier
6-Sharpshinned Hawk
1-Coopers Hawk
1-Northern Goshawk
1-Redshouldered Hawk
31-Redtailed Hawk
1-American Kestrel
272-Total Raptors Oct 12
Keep an eye on Thursday..if the rains dont come the birds should. Watch Sunday too! Our year to date total is 5252.

Slow Monday...No Surprise...Tomorrow has promise

Today was another slow day. Walter and I were joined by Pat,Betty,Nancy,Carol,Cori,Shirley and a few others. We saw only 15 raptors but enjoyed the good company. Tomorrow has some promise,the wind is to be 15kmh north. With so little moving lately,this might be enough to move some birds our way. A big push of Turkey Vultures is out there somewhere and Redtailed and Redshouldered Hawks are just starting up. With luck we will get a number of birds tomorrow. Thursday is also a possibility.
Today we saw:
2-Northern Harrier
9-Sharpshinned Hawk
1-Redtailed Hawk
1-American Kestrel
1-Peregrine Falcon
Watch the skies and bushes for Eastern Bluebirds,they should migrate soon. Eyes peeled for Golden Eagle and Roughlegged Hawks,could be seen any time now. Lets hope we see high numbers of them just as we have other raptors this fall. We have seen a few Purple Finch lately. Each morning we are searching for Northern Sawhet Owls,as its their migration time. Over night a few years back at Tommy Thompson Park 300 were banded during the month of October. Surely one will stop off at Rosetta in the coming weeks.

Slow Sunday..17 Raptors

Walter,Mike2 and Frank

Bald Eagle from awhile back,sent in by Mike Zondino(Mike 3)

Today was a very slow day. While we did see a couple of close Peregrine Falcons,moving us closer to a new season total and we saw enough Sharpshinned Hawks to achieve 2500 this season,there was little action. Good friends and good weather were enjoyed. Our total of 17 raptors was made up of:
1-Northern Harrier
8-Sharpshinned Hawk
4-Redtailed Hawk
1-American Kestrel
3-Peregrine Falcon
Tomorrow doesnt look too promising. Tuesday looks good,while Im hoping the remainder of the week's predicted weather changes. Year to date our total is 4965.Thanks to Mike for recording day it will be crazy busy and we'll put you to work!