Toledo's peregrine falcons are scripting a wildlife drama downtown, with a new chapter being written every few days.
Mid-last week, four peregrine chicks hatched out in the long-established, artificial nest-box atop the former Commodore Perry Motor Inn downtown. That was the good news.
On Sunday, the adult male of the peregrine pair was found in the parking lot of the Owens-Corning complex, with a broken wing.
On Monday, another male peregrine showed up outside the falcons' nestbox and quickly was rejected by the female, which was inside, keeping her chicks warm.
Apparently, said biologist Bill Roshak, “the two males mixed it up.” Such fierce territorial battles are common among peregrines, but the timing could not have been worse, he added.
The mated male got the worst of the fight, and the interloper doesn't seem to “get it” that he is supposed to be bringing food - dead pigeons - to the nest to feed female and chicks.
“We're not sure he knows what he is supposed to be doing,” Roshak said. Getting the cold shoulder from the female isn't helping, either.
As a result, Roshak, who is with the Ohio Division of Wildlife at Findlay, and two zookeepers will be foster-feeding two quail a day to the female and chicks.
The supplemental feeding is necessary because the chicks still are too small to regulate their own body temperatures. If the female, as a single parent, were forced to leave and hunt, the chicks could suffer from exposure and possibly die.
The quail are being provided by Nature's Nursery, a wildlife rehabilitation hospital in Whitehouse that often treats sick and injured wild birds and other animals.
The nursery also is treating the injured male falcon. But it apparently never will fly again because the wing is broken above and below the wrist, Roshak said. The bird, when it is healed, may be placed in a breeding or exhibition program.
If all goes well, the new chicks are to be banded May 14, the biologist added. Four chicks also hatched out in 2001.
Falcons have been nesting atop the old hotel building annually since 1988, and have been successful every year but one.
wFishing report - Special seasonal fishing restrictions on portions of the Maumee, Portage, and Sandusky rivers expired yesterday, so anglers are allowed to return to fishing any time of day or night and using spinners with treble hooks or even tandem jigs, among other baits.
Anglers also should note that the seasonal walleye limit increased yesterday from four to six per angler per day for Lake Erie and its tributaries. The six-a-day for walleye remains in effect the rest of the year.
Walleye fishing on western Lake Erie just resumed yesterday, with anglers again starting to pick up fish. Cold, windy weather had kept boats dockside since Saturday. If conditions remain stable, try Maumee Bay or the reefs off Davis-Besse this weekend. Anglers still are vertical jigging, with some tipping jigs with minnows and some with nightcrawlers, according to Rick Ferguson at Al Szuch Live Bait on Corduroy Road.
On the Maumee, the river was in good condition for wading with fair catches of jack walleye and some white bass. Smallmouth bass and catfish also were active, according to Maumee Valley bait and Tackle.
The Sandusky River at downtown Fremont was clear but white bass action was slow, possibly because of cool water from recent cold weather, said Anglers Supply there.
Saturday - Household hazardous waste recycling, 9 a.m. to noon, Sandusky County Health Department, 2000 Countryside Dr., off U.S. 6 and U.S. 20 bypass east of Fremont; call the Ottawa-Sandusky-Seneca Joint Waste Management District, 419-334-7222.
Saturday - Butterfly gardening, 10:30 a.m. to noon, the Butterfly House, 11455 Obee Rd., Whitehouse, call 419-877-2733.
Saturday - Bird hike, 8:30 to 11 a.m., Hidden Lake Gardens, M-50 west of Tecumseh, Mich., call to register, 517-431-2060.
Saturday - Antique lure and outdoor collectibles show, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., American Legion Post 365, Edwardsburg, Mich.; call Tony Nedela, 810-658-2281.
Saturday - Towpath trek, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Farnsworth Metropark, boat launch, call to register, 419-535-3058 ext. 101; also, Saturday, volunteers needed to restore habitat, 10 a.m. to noon, Oak Openings Preserve Metropark, Buehner Center; also, Monday, volunteers for stream water-quality monitoring, 10 a.m., Side Cut Metropark, Riverview Area; also, Monday, wood-thrush walk, 6:30 p.m., Pearson Metropark, Packer-Hammersmith Center.
Saturday and Sunday - Birding at Kitty Todd Preserve, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, 10420 Old State Line Rd., naturalist-led hikes at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily, native-plant sales 1 to 5 p.m. daily; call The Nature Conservancy, 419-867-1521.
Saturday and Sunday - Registered trapshoots, starting time 10 a.m., six events, Jaqua's Trap Club, 900 East Bigelow Ave., Findlay; call the club, 419-422-0912.
Saturday and Sunday - Tomhawk Archery, traditional shoot, campers' weekend, 2085 Erie Rd., Temperance, Mich., Saturday 30 targets register 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday, traditional targets; call Gil Kollariik, 419-691-5130.
Sunday - Buffalo shoot, 11 a.m., Toledo Muzzle Loaders, Clinton Boothby Memorial Range, 875 Schwamberger Rd.; call Al Zielinski, 419-476-5978.
Sunday - Bowshoots: Four County Conservation League, Bellevue, register 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 3-D targets, call the club, 419-483-8113; also, Canvasback Gun Club, 3801 West Dunbar Rd. at Rainsville Road, Monroe, Mich., register 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 30 3-D targets, call Tom Moran, 734-243-5268.; also, Monroe Rod and Gun Club, 6280 Lighthouse Rd., Monroe, Mich., register 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 30 3-D targets, lunch noon to 4 p.m., call the club, 734-243-9774; also, Ottawa County Conservation League, Martin-Moline Road, Martin, register 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 40 3-D targets, call James Roth, 419-836-6406.
Steve Pollick is The Blade's outdoor writer. E-mail him at email@example.com.
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