A Big Day for Harlequin (the baby Peregrine Falcon)

It was a big day for the little bird at 225 Don Mills Road, as staff, invited guests and honored dignitaries arrived for a special ceremony yesterday in her honor. Wildlife biologists from the Ministry of Natural Resources secreted the feisty fledgling from her perch on the drafty ledge across from Harlequin’s headquarters in Don Mills under the watchful eye of Mama Quest. It took some subterfuge and a few anxious moments but the baby was escorted successfully across the street and then presented in person to employees in Toronto and in New York via internet and webcam. It was confirmed by a weighing in that she was indeed a female and officially christened Harlequin, and then banded with dual citizenship in honor of her parent’s cross-border romance.

Little Harley (as she’s known affectionately) has been stopping traffic and hearts since before she was hatched some 21days ago. This amazing story began when CEO Donna Hayes, herself an avid birder, noted the courting behavior of two Peregrine Falcons eventually identified as Quest from Rochester New York, and Kendal a local lad from Toronto. The romance blossomed and soon the pair was busy preparing for the imminent arrival of their much anticipated offspring. Initially somewhat overwhelmed by motherhood, Quest quite literally dashed hopes for a successful hatch by inadvertently pushing two previous eggs off the nest site leaving just the one viable egg. But, since the hatch (and WHAT a day that was) Harley has provided endless conversation in our offices about her size, condition, status and was she just a LITTLE too close to
the edge of the ledge when she fell out of the box today and OMIGOD did you see that?

Harlequin looks none too impressed as she is weighed.

And of course proud Papa Kendal, who has been stockpiling special cache spots with mountains of fresh food for Mama and Baby, deserves a special mention for eventually figuring out that he too must help out with the domestic duties and has been ably assisting Quest by swapping time out on the nest – this is after all a 21st Century Romance!

Today’s event was attended by special guests, the Honourable Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources who presided over the banding ceremony, representatives from the Canadian Peregrine Foundation and members of the media in addition to a Peregrine Falcon back up team and ararely seen and endangered Barn Owl. Each of us in fact had the opportunity to band our selves with special Harlequin hearts Peregrines bracelets in honor of the occasion.

The Honourable Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources, Harlequin CEO Donna Hayes and Harlequin PR Manager, Melanie Dulos.

Donna shows off her own Harlequin Hearts Peregrines band.

And now we wait for…..Harlequin’s first flight!



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