Hamilton Falconwatch News
Sunday, March 9, 2014 - Senior Monitor Mike Street reports: The falcons have some visitors on the Sheraton rooftop today. Maintenance crews are replacing the two cooling towers on the lower roof. Surge came by once while the crane was being raised the first time, and Madame X came by for a close look a short while later, settled on the construction crane across the street, then made another pass across the Sheraton roof, before heading off to the east side of Stelco tower, where she appears to be sunning herself (as of 10:50am).
MADAME X POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED!
Friday, March 7, 2014 - While working on setting up the camera for this year's nesting season, we chanced to catch sight of the two adults, and captured this photo of them perched on the ledges along the front of the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel. A bit later on, Madame X landed on the nest ledge closest to the camera and we were able to zoom in, check her bands and verify her identity. We will verify Surge's bands at the first opportunity.
Our webcams will be in operation as soon as our internet connection is fully setup and working.
IT'S ALMOST TIME!!!!!!
March 4, 2014 - In a few short weeks Madame X and Surge will once again begin nesting atop the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel. Positive identification of the birds will be made once we have our webcam up and running (soon!), but for now we are presuming that we still have our old resident pair, Madame X, back for her fourteenth year, and Surge, back for his nineth season.
In 2013 Madame X and Surge hatched two chicks, both girls - Laura and Brock, named for heroes of the war of 1812. Laura flew strongly from the very beginning, but Brock had some troubles, and needed to be rescued twice in the first few weeks. Both birds soon mastered the skies above Hamilton, were taught the essentials of hunting, and left the area in September. You can read more about their adventures in the History section.
Last year was an excellent one for webcam photos. Once they started flying, the chicks returned often to rooftops close to the camera, so that we had some amazing shots, including some rare close-ups of their behaviour and development throughout the fledging period. Our thanks again to the TD Friends of the Environment Fund for ther generous funding for that new camera, installed in 2010, which has made all this possible. We look forward to capturing more beautiful moments this season!
Our FalconCams will be reactivated within the next week (once again, with the generous support of Worldline / Fibernetics), and we will be on the lookout for courting and nesting behaviour. We can expect to see eggs in late March or early April.
Madame X was hatched on a bridge on Pennsylvania Route 309, the Cross-Valley Expressway in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Banded as a hatchling on 7 June 1999, she was known to the falcon watchers in Northeast PA as 'Runaround Sue', a name suggested after she was found running along the expressway guide wall one morning. We are keeping the folks in Pennsylvania posted on Madame X's progress.
Hatched and banded in Etobicoke in 2002, Surge spent at least part of the 2004-2005 seasons trying to establish a nest at the Burlington Lift Bridge. In 2006 he replaced the male at the Sheraton nest and has been in Hamilton since.
Many birds exhibit a trait called 'site fidelity'. If at least one of a pair that used a nest site in the previous year return, and if there have been no significant physical changes to disturb either the nest itself or the birds generally, they will use the same nest site over and over again, year after year. Peregrine Falcons are known for site fidelity. This will be the nineteenth year the same nest site on the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel has been used.
To read FalconWatch Reports from previous years, click on the History button above.
Thank you to all our visitors and supporters for your ongoing encouragement.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - As winter begins – and what a start to it! - we can report that when not scattering the downtown pigeon population as they approach, Madame X and Surge are spending much of their time atop the CIBC sign on the building at the southwest corner of King and James. It appears this location offers them the best shelter from the prevailing winds and best access to food.
We have a Christmas present for Falconwatchers! Well known Hamilton photographer Barry Cherriere has kindly given us permission to use the image shown above, ”Madame X in flight (2009)”, as a ‘wallpaper’ image for your computer. Webmaster Charles has prepared the file for several different screen resolutions. To download the file, click on the Gallery button above, then on "Falcons on your Desktop!" Click the link under the image for the correct full size file for your computer, then right-click on the full size image and select 'Save image as....' to save it on your computer.
We are looking forward to the 20th season with the Sheraton Hamilton Falcons.
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