Hamilton Falconwatch News
UPDATES! UPDATES! UPDATES!
Friday, February 20, 2015 - Falconwatch has had quite a week, with news on three fronts.
Surge: Surge is doing well. The Owl Foundation has shaved a portion of his beak to lessen the chance of something he eats disturbing the rest of the beak in the crack area. He is still on pieces of food, but it is hoped that he can start on whole quail in a few days. If the beak is stable after several days of whole food, he will be transferred to the larger enclosure to fly and restore muscle tone. The prognosis is good but only time will tell. Given the situation at the nest ledge, if and when Surge is well enough to be released that location will be determined carefully beforehand. (Photo courtesy of The Owl Foundation)
Nest Ledge: YES! There are two adult Peregrines at the nest ledge. As far as we can tell, one is Madame X and the other presumably a male. All that is known of the second bird at the moment is that it seems larger than Surge and has a very bright white chest. Needless to say, we will be keeping a close eye on this Peregrine in hopes of getting a solid identification from any bands that might be present.
Technology: With help from our friends at the Sheraton and a visit by a Fibernetics technician, a broken wire has been replaced and the camera feed to the Internet restored. The birds seemed to know it - they were not seen downtown during three visits Wednesday, but there they were on Thursday! As yet, they only visit the ledges infrequently, but it is our hope to get the camera zoomed in and read any leg bands that might identify the newcomer. Thank you for all the support we've received thus far! Stay tuned!
Monday, February 2, 2015 - Thanks to one of our dedicated Falconwatch volunteers, Surge made a safe trip to the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph for a thorough check up. Good news! The scratch on his eye is healing and his vision looks good. There's also no sign of abnormal beak growth, but he's sticking with a diet of cut up quail for at least another week before moving to whole quail. When he switches to whole prey and the rehab folks think it's okay, he'll be given a long outdoor enclosure called a flight cage. This will give him lots of space to flex those wing muscles in preparation for release. Thank you for all the support we've received thus far! Keep those falcon sightings coming so we have the best information on how to plan for his release. (Photo courtesy of The Owl Foundation)
SURGE DOING BETTER THAN WE FIRST THOUGHT!
Sunday, January 25, 2015 - Update on Surge....after being cleaned up, his injuries don't look as severe as initially thought. As long as everything heals up nicely Surge should be back on his feet in about three weeks! (Photos courtesy of The Owl Foundation)
SURGE INJURED AND TAKEN INTO CARE
Saturday, January 24, 2015 - Surge was found injured earlier today and is now recovering at the Owl Foundation. He was found near the HMCS Haida, taken in by Animal Control, and then transferred by one of our amazing Falconwatch volunteers to the Owl Foundation. It appears he was in a fight with another bird. His right nostril is punctured, there is damage to his right cere (the skin between beak and head), and he has a scratch on his cornea. He's under the care of experts at the Foundation and may be there for a little while as they monitor how his injuries could affect his eating. Despite this sad news, Surge weighed in at a very healthy 781 grams when he was being assessed. They thought he was a female at first he's so big! The Owl Foundation is a charity and does not receive government funds to cover the costs of caring for injured birds. Falconwatch will be paying for Surge's food during his stay...please consider making a donation to Falconwatch (click on "Your support" button above) to help pay for Surge's meals while he recovers. He'll be eating quail, which sounds exotic but actually approximates his normal food.
What does this mean for the 2015 season? Only time will tell. We'l update this page when we get a new report on Surge's condition.
BACKGROUND FOR 2015....
In 2014, Madame X laid several eggs, in two separate clutches, but none of the eggs were viable, so for the first time in over 15 years, there were no chicks fledged from the Hamilton nest. The most recent fledgings from the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel were two girls in 2013, Laura and Brock (named for heroes of the War of 1812).
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 twentieth 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.
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