History of the Hamilton Community Peregrine Project and Falcon Watch

Why a Falcon Watch?    Adults   Chicks

Read previous Falconwatch News Reports - Year:

The Story of the Hamilton Peregrines
(Updates in current year are in bold type)

1994: In the spring of 1994 the late Len Dixon, then a Supervisor with the Hamilton Board of Education, noticed what he thought was a Peregrine Falcon spending time on and near the downtown Hamilton Sheraton Hotel, across busy King Street from the school board building (which stood on the location of the David Braley Health Sciences Centre).

1995: The Canadian Wildlife Service and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources were notified of Len's sighting. In early 1995 it was confirmed that not only was there a Peregrine in Hamilton, there was a PAIR nesting on a ledge on the south face of the 18th floor of the Sheraton!

A monitoring effort, coordinated by the Hamilton Naturalists' Club, was quickly set up with help from HNC members, other nature groups, and the public. The adult Peregrines, named 'Mom' and 'Dad' by the volunteers, hatched one chick of their own ('Hamilton'). Two more chicks ('Alberta' and 'Wainwright') were brought in from the captive breeding facility at Wainwright, Alberta and placed in the nest by a mountain climber. All three fledged successfully.

1996: In 1996 at least two eggs hatched, but both chicks disappeared suddenly and no further nesting was attempted.

1997: In 1997 the parents returned early, around March 10-15. Several eggs were laid and chicks hatched, but it was only during the week of June 2 that Falcon Watchers were able to see well enough into the nest to learn that there were FOUR chicks!! The 1997 birds were named 'Stelco', 'Sheraton' and 'Fairclough', all named after the buildings they used while fledging, and 'Spectator', after the local newspaper.

1998: Both the birds and the Falcon Watchers were even better prepared in 1998. A video camera, installed by the Canadian Peregrine Foundation, provided a signal to TV monitors in a storefront centre inside Jackson Square and to the CPF website. As in the previous year, 'Mom' and 'Dad' successfully fledged four chicks - 'Freedom', 'Phoenix', 'Navigator' and 'High Rise' - although one did not make it through the summer (see Follow-up, below). The birds names were chosen from those submitted in a contest.

1999: There was a significant change in 1999. While 'Dad' returned, the female was different. 'Mom', who produced the 1995-1998 chicks, left Hamilton in October 1998. That in itself was not unusual, but she did not return in the spring of 1999 and it was assumed that she had died in the interval. Meanwhile, in November 1998 a new female, named 'Toledo' after the Ohio city where she was born in a similar downtown building nest, arrived in Hamilton.

In the spring of 1999, after acclimatizing to the city and relearning how to land on building ledges, Toledo set up housekeeping with Dad. Four eggs were laid in the Sheraton nest in late March. Monitoring through the video camera continued and everything appeared to be fine until May 10 or so, when it was discovered that three of the eggs were gone. A week later it was obvious that the fourth egg was not going to hatch either. (It is believed that the failed eggs became fragile and were crushed by the weight of the incubating parents. The disappearing eggshells are accounted for by the fact that many birds eat their own eggshells for the calcium content.)

On May 21 two chicks were brought to Hamilton from a breeding facility in Quebec. The chicks were located and purchased by CPF and turned over to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Once at the Sheraton, the two chicks were banded and then carried down into the nest by a mountain climber. Adopted immediately by 'Dad' and 'Toledo', the two chicks, 'George' and 'Amazing Grace' ('Gracie') fledged normally.

2000: In honour of his dedication to the Hamilton nest, in the Millennium year 'Dad' was renamed 'Perseverance' ('Percy' for short). In 2000 Percy and Toledo hatched four chicks - 'Millennium' ('Millie' for short), 'Skywalker', 'Solo' and 'Wookie'. Sadly, Millie did not make it through the fledging period.

2001: In January 2001 came the sad news that Toledo had been killed in a collision with a car two months earlier. Since there had been a female falcon around over the early part of the winter, Hamilton Falcon Watchers set out to learn the identity of the new female, named 'Madame X', who appeared to be about three years old. In the meantime Percy teamed up with Madame X and together they produced and fledged two youngsters, 'Hal' and 'Sal'. Later in the summer Madame X's identity was learned (see Adults, below).

2002: Although Percy was seen in February, it appears that by April he had been replaced by a new male, Mozart. Madame X and Mozart successfully hatched and raised three chicks; two males, 'Springer' and 'McQuesten', and a female, 'Beasley'. The names were selected to honour prominent Hamiltonians of historic significance. Richard Springer and Richard Beasley were both early settlers who came to Hamilton as United Empire Loyalists. Springer owned a 100 acre tract of what is now downtown Hamilton and established his original log cabin in the heart of current Corktown. Beasley, one of Hamilton's very first settlers, established a trading post on the site of Dundurn castle and his first home was a log cabin nearby. The McQuesten name is familiar to Hamiltonians as the original owners of the historic landmark home, Whitehern. During a long career in public office, Thomas A. McQuesten presided over much that is familiar today, including the development of the Royal Botanical Gardens, preservation of what was left of Cootes Paradise, and the Niagara Parks System.

2003: Madame X and Mozart started nesting on the same ledge on the Sheraton hotel in March 2003, but just after the three chicks - Bold, Jackson and Hunter - were banded it became evident that a new male had arrived on the scene. After only one season, Mozart was gone and 'Newbie' had arrived. May 23, 2005 - see the sad news about Jackson in the 'Chicks' section below.

2004: Madame X and Newbie returned for another season. Four eggs were laid, and for the first time in Madame X's history all four eggs hatched. Cootes, Macassa and Macnab, all female, and Dundas, the only male, fledged successfully. Sometime during the fall of 2004 Dundas lost a leg but this has not slowed him down much. In late February 2005 he was filmed by a CHTV Videographer as he 'processed' a recently captured meal. May 23, 2005 - see more re Dundas and Cootes in the 'Chicks' section below.

2005: Madame X and Newbie stayed in the downtown Hamilton area all winter. Four eggs were laid, and again this year all four eggs hatched. Named after famous aircraft in this 60th anniversary year of the end of WWII, Anson (f), Canso (m), Harvard (m) and Lancaster (f) grew and flew. Sadly, Canso was killed in a collision with a building. As of July 9, 2005 the other three chicks have fledged from the nest and are doing well.

2006: While it appeared that Madame X and Newbie had spent the winter in downtown Hamilton, when it came time for eggs in the nest it was soon obvious that the male was not Newbie. The new male was later identified as 'Surge', a bird hatched in Etobicoke, ON in 2002. Eggs were laid in late March and hatched in early May. The three chicks - Albion, Sherman and Webster, fledged without incident.

2007: The adult birds spent the winter in downtown Hamilton. Madame X was identifed by band number in early March. Surge's identity was confirmed later. Four eggs were laid and four chicks hatched. Sadly, two chicks died during the first week of June, apparently from some kind of infection. The other two - Jump Up and Blue Foot - were banded. Jump Up was returned to the nest immediately, while Blue Foot was found to have an infection and was held for veterinary care. Blue Foot was soon returned to the nest and both chicks fledged successfully.

2008: For the next several years, Madame X and Surge ruled the skies in downtown Hamilton, staying each winter, thanks to the plentiful food supply in the downtown core. In 2008, four chicks hatched, all male, and were named Blashill, Duncan, Elstone and Miles. All four fledged successfully.

2009: Madame X and Surge hatched four chicks. Dixon, Durand, Gleig and Strathcona fledged successfully.

2010: Madame X and Surge hatched four chicks. Chedoke, Henderson, Joseph and Peter fledged successfully.

2011: Madame X and Surge hatched three chicks. Gore, Thomson and Pigott fledged successfully.

2012: Madame X and Surge hatched three chicks. Beckett, Felker and Tiffany fledged successfully.

2013: Madame X (still with Surge) laid a clutch of four eggs, and for the first time in their long years in Hamilton, more than one failed to hatch. Two chicks, Laura and Brock (both female), fledged successfully.

2014: Madame X laid two eggs in early April. After a few weeks it became apparent that both had failed. Near the end of April, for the first time ever at the Hamilton nest, she moved to the eastern end of the nest ledge on the front of the Sheraton, and attempted a second clutch. Because of the angle of view for our cameras, we didn't know how many eggs were laid there. We only ever caught a glimpse one. Sadly, this eg or eggs also failed to hatch. There was no clear reason for the failure. The weather was not particularly cold that spring. So we were left to speculate on the possibility that perhaps Madame X was simply getting too old. Falcons generally only live about 14-16 years. And Madame X was turning 15.

2015: This was a year of dramatic changes. In January, Surge was found injured on the ground near the waterfront, and was taken to the Owl Foundation for treatment. Sadly, he died about two months later from those injuries. In his absence, a new male entered the territory in February and was slowly accepted by Madame X. Then, in a surprising turn of events, our grand old bird suddenly disappeared with no trace or explanation, and a new female was seen keeping company with the new male on the Sheraton. The new male had been identified a few weeks before as Ossie, hatched in 2012 at the Osler Hsopital in Etobicoke. The new female was soon identified as Lily, hatched in 2010 at the Grand Haven Board of Light & Power plant, in Michigan.

The new pair produced their first of three eggs on April 7, choosing a scrape location at the near end of the nest ledge - the same spot chosen by Madame X and Surge for their second clutch attempt the year before. Two of the eggs hatched successfully, and two female chicks, named Barton and McMaster for Hamilton historic figures, were banded in early June and made their first flights by the end of the month. Both fledged without incident.

2016: Just as their predecessors had done, Lily and Ossie would make a habit of spending their winters in downtown Hamilton. This year only one egg hatched. The chick, a female named Ancaster, fledged successfully.

2017: This year was to be one without chicks. Lily laid some eggs in early April, again just out of sight from our camera in the near end of the nest ledge, so we had trouble verifying how many were laid. Sadly, none of them hatched, and there was no attempt made to lay a second clutch. We could only speculate that the weather had been too cold.

2018: As if making up for the previous year, Lily and Ossie hatched four chicks the first week of May. All males, named Ainslie, Lisgar, Lawrence and Gage, for Hamilton neighborhoods. Sadly, Gage was struck and killed by a car during one of his first flights. Sometimes there is just not enough time for our watchers to rescue a chick. The other three chicks fledged successfully.

2019: Another year with no chicks. Lily and Ossie laid some eggs, again at the near end of the nest ledge, so we could not see them to make an exact count, but no chicks hatched. It doesn't appear that any second attempt at laying was made.

2020: This year was a Falconwatch success story, despite some very tense moments. Lily and Ossie hatched two chicks. A male named Griffin and a female named Whiteherne. Griffin had to be rescued after coming to ground following a collision with a building. He seemed disoriented, though not seriously injured, and was taken to the Owl Foundation for observation, and it was decided to give him a few weeks there to build his strength before letting him attempt more flights in the downtown core. He was returned to the roof of the Sheraton, and rejoined his sibling in flight. Quite oddly, he disappeared a few days after. At first we feared the worst, but we eventually received word that he had been seen hopping along a cliff top near Lake Ontario, alive and well. So our 2020 season ended on a high note, with both chicks having fledged successfully.

2021: Another year without chicks, but, just at the time that hatching should have occurred in early May, a new male arrived. He was quickly identified as Judson, fledged in 2018 from the Richardson Complex in Buffalo, New York. In a delightful turn of events, we discovered that one of his parents was Felker, who fledged from Hamilton in 2012! The prodigal (grand)son of Madame X and Surge had returned.

It is uncertain what happened with Ossie. It was speculated that he lost a territorial battle with Judson and, as is usual for peregrines, was driven off. For a few weeks after Judson's appearance, we received frequent reports of a third adult peregrine downtown, usually seen near the BDC building. But we never got a look at its bands. It could have been Ossie, hanging around in hopes of a rematch, or there was also the possibility that a female had been travelling with Judson, and that it did not have the strength or will to challenge Lily for her nest when the latter was guarding precious eggs. In any event, that third adult flew away sometime the following month and there were no reports of it again.

2022: The year began on a sad note, with Lily found on the ground in late January, suffering from hypothermia. She died soon after being taken to the Owl Foundation, where it was determined that she had also suffered injuries from a collision with a building.

In the meantime, falcon watchers realized that they were still seeing two adults on the nest ledge. A quick check of the webcam archive revealed that a new female had arrived several days prior to Lily being found. We don't know if this implies that some of Lily's injuries were from a territorial battle, or if this new bird was just seizing the obvious opportunity to move in on a nesting territory with only one adult present. Within a week we had identified the newcomer as McKeever, who comes to us from Windsor, Ontario, where she was hatched on the Ambassador Bridge in 2019. She is named in honor of Kay McKeever of the Owl Foundation.

Together with Judson, McKeever successfully fledged four chicks, named Auchmar, Balfour, Dundurn and Wynnstay. This year the on-street Falconwatch proved its worth yet again, rescuing Auchmar from street level not once, but twice! The four chicks left the nesting territory in the fall, and the two adults stayed in Hamilton for the winter.

2023: McKeever and Judson once again successfully fledged four chicks, named Kirkendall, Delte, Stipley, and Gibson. The beginning of the watch was marked by three of the four chicks all leaving the ledge within a two day period, earlier than expected. Their first flights brought each of the three to ground, where they were quickly rescued, determined to be in good health by the Owl Foundation, and returned to the roof of the Sheraton. The fourth chick took its first flight a week later, without incident. All four chicks flew strongly after their initial adventures, and left Hamilton sometime after September 11, when a chick was last seen on our webcam.

Why a Falcon Watch?

From 1995-2020 inclusive a total of sixty-four (64) chicks have been fledged from the Sheraton Hamilton nest. Sixty (60) of these were hatched in the nest and four (4) were foster chicks placed in the nest due to partial or complete egg failure. All were monitored throughout the fledging period by volunteers organized and coordinated by the Hamilton Naturalists' Club (HNC). Were it not for the efforts of the Falcon Watch, however, at least a dozen of these chicks probably would have died.

Why? Well, first flights of young birds are often unsuccessful, ending on the street, the sidewalk, or on the roofs of nearby buildings. And quite often they don't have the wing strength to take off from the ground.

Throughout the first three weeks of flight, the fledglings may crash into plate glass windows and fall to the ground. Their survival depends on our team of dedicated, trained volunteers who keep an eye on the birds, rescue them if necessary, and return them to the safety of the roof nest area. By the end of the 1997 season four of the seven chicks at the Hamilton site had been rescued at ground level a total of five times. Since 1995 a total of 24 rescues has been performed by Falconwatch Coordinators and Volunteers.

Monitoring lasts from dawn to dusk for three weeks, usually from mid-June through early July. It is also a wonderful opportunity to observe the daily activities and amazing acrobatics of this endangered species and to participate in their recovery.

Since 1995 the Hamilton Naturalists' Club has coordinated the Falcon Watch every year that chicks have hatched, with help from members of the HNC, the Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch, other nature groups and the public. All banding has been carried out with the help of HNC members, volunteer climbers and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Also since 1995 the Hamilton Sheraton Hotel, the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board, and Yale Properties (Jackson Square) have provided major assistance to Falcon Watch as did Stelco Inc. while it occupied the main tower in the complex. In 2015 The McMaster University David Braley Downtown Health Campus building replaced the school board building. The Braley Centre has continued to provide major assistance to Falconwatch.

In 2000 a new partnership was formed: The Hamilton Community Peregrine Project (HCPP), co-sponsored and managed by the HNC, with the goal of increasing public awareness and education regarding Hamilton's Peregrines. A website was created, exclusively dedicated to the Sheraton Hamilton nest, displaying and archiving photos from a new webcam. This site was originally developed by Charles Gregory (who continues to maintain it to this day) and hosted by the Hamilton-Wentworth Community Network (HWCN). When HWCN closed down, hosting was thereafter donated to the HCPP by Fibernetics, and internet access for the cameras provided by their Worldline division. Over the years other companies and groups have also generously provided their support. In 2011 a grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation provided the funds to install a second, more capable camera at the nest site. Our many partners are acknowledged above, with our thanks.


1994-2002 DAD (Percy)

Dad (renamed Percy in 2000) was hatched in a nest on a building in Montreal in 1993. He arrived in Hamilton in the summer of 1994, and the following year, began the fine tradition of nesting on the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel. At first with Mom, and then with Toledo and Madame X, he spent a total of seven years at the nest, and fledged 18 chicks. In 2002 Percy was seen in February, but by April he had been replaced by a new male, Mozart. Percy has not been reported again. Photos: Gerard McNaughton.

1995-1998 MOM

Mom, although banded, was never identified. She was believed to have been banded as a wild bird in Western Canada. Mom, together with Dad (Percy), raised and fledged 9 chicks of her own, plus 2 foster chicks in 1995. She left Hamilton in the fall of 1998, and never returned.

1999-2000 TOLEDO

Toledo was fledged from an urban nest in Toledo, OH in 1995, and came to Hamilton in late 1998, after 'Mom' had left. In her first year of nesting (1999) all her eggs failed, but two foster chicks were introduced to the nest, and fledged successfully. In the following year she fledged 3 chicks of her own with Percy. She was killed in a collision with a car in November 2000. Photos: John Merriman.

2001-2014 MADAME X (Runaround Sue)

Madame X was so named because initially her identity was a mystery to falcon watchers. It was later learned that she was hatched on a bridge on the Cross-Valley Expressway in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and banded on 7 June 1999. She was known to the falcon watchers there as 'Runaround Sue', a name suggested after she was seen running along the expressway guide wall one morning. In the spring of 2001, Madame X paired up with Percy, and in June the pair produced and fledged two chicks. She would rule the roost in Hamilton for 14 years, pairing up with four different males over that time, and fledging 43 chicks. Her final year nesting in Hamilton, 2014, was the only time all her eggs failed to hatch. Grand old bird that she was, she attempted a second clutch, but those too did not hatch. In the spring of 2015 she disappeared after suffering an injury to a foot. It is suspected that our aging matriarch lost a territorial battle with her replacement, Lily (see below). Photos: Gerard McNaughton (2002), Dagmar Rudzewitsch (2006 & 2007), and Barry Cherriere (2009).

2002-2003 MOZART

Mozart was banded in 1999 as a wild bird at Terminal Tower, Public Square, Cleveland, Ohio. He was the son of Zenith (f) and Bullet (m). Mozart and an unbanded female tried to establish a nest at St. Catharines, Ontario in 2001, but were unsuccessful. Exactly when he arrived in Hamilton is uncertain, but based on webcam photos we are now reasonably sure that Mozart was the father of the chicks hatched by Madame X in 2002. Mozart disappeared sometime between March 20 and June 12, 2003. This was discovered after the 2003 chicks were banded when observers noted that the adult male attending the nest had no bands on his legs. A male Peregrine carrying the same colour leg band as Mozart was seen at Christie Lake Conservation Area in the Flamborough Township area of Hamilton on Dec. 26, 2003, but it was not possible to confirm that this bird was Mozart.

2003-2005 NEWBIE

The new male replacing Mozart was named Newbie. The lack of bands made it impossible for us to identify or guess the origins of this bird. There is some debate among watchers as to whether he arrived early enough to be the father of the 3 chicks that fledged in 2003. His presence wasn't noted until banding time. But without doubt he was the father of the 8 that hatched in the following 2 years, 7 of which successfully fledged. While it appeared to watchers that he had spent the winter of 2005 in Hamilton, he disappeared sometime shortly before the 2006 nesting season began.

2006-2014 SURGE

Surge hatched and was banded in the Etobicoke, ON nest in 2002. When he arrived in 2006, he became Madame X's life-long partner. For the the next 9 years they defended their territory together, and fledged 28 chicks. In January of 2015, Surge was found on the ground near the Hamilton waterfront, injured in what appears to have been a territorial battle. He was taken to the Owl Foundation for treatment and recovery. Despite initially appearing to heal well, in early March he started having seizures, and died on March 5th. Photos: Dagmar Rudzewitsch (2006) and Ryan Laird Iverson (2007, 2014).

2015-2021 OSSIE

Ossie, hatched in 2012 at Etobicoke. He arrived in Hamilton while Surge was at the Owl Foundation in Feburary of 2015. At first, Madame X was a bit distant, but tolerant of the newcomer. Because Madame X was replaced so soon after, he did not have a chance to produce any chicks with her. Instead, he would be the only mate of the new female about to arrive, Lily (see below). It appears he lost a territorial battle with Judson in 2020. There were reports of a third adult seen in the area after Judson appeared, so it seems likely that he survived the battle, and eventually left the area.

2015-2022 LILY

Lily was hatched in 2010 at Grand Haven, MI. In February of 2015, a bird with her green and black leg band was initially spotted near McMaster Univeristy, but not identified. On March 13th, shortly after Madame X's disappearance, Lily was seen at the Sheraton nest, quite likely the victor in a territorial battle with Madame X. Together with Ossie, she produced 9 chicks, 8 of which fledged successfully. Notably, Lily had three years where none of her eggs hatched - 2017, 2019 and 2021 - with no explanation other than the possibility that cold weather damaged the eggs. Sadly, she was found on the ground in January of 2022, extremely dehydrated, with injuries from what might have been a collision with a building. She was taken to the Open Sky Raptor Foundation and then to the Owl Foundation, where she died on January 23rd.

2021-Present JUDSON

Judson, fledged in 2018 from the Richardson Complex in Buffalo, New York. He is the son of Felker, who was hatched at our Hamilton nest in 2012. The grandson of Hamilton's famous long-term pair, Madame X and Surge. He arrived in Hamilton on May 8, just as we were hoping to see Lily hatch the clutch of eggs that she had been carefully tending the past month. But the eggs did not hatch. Instead of a falconwatch, we spent our summer hours watching Lily and Judson get to know each other.

2022-Present MCKEEVER

McKeever, comes to us from Windsor, Ontario, where she was hatched on the Ambassador Bridge in 2019. She is named in honor of Kay McKeever of the Owl Foundation. Her arrival was first noticed on January 22, when we observed that there were still two adults landing at the nest ledge while Lily was being cared for at the Owl Foundation. A quick check of our webcam archives showed that McKeever had been present for a few days by that point. We don't know if she had a territorial battle with Lily which resulted in the latter being too injured to survive, or whether Lily had taken ill and this newcomer had simply filled in the void left by Lily's absence. In any event, McKeever has been quickly accepted by Judson, and so, with two young birds now in residence we are hopeful for many successful years with lots of chicks filling the Hamilton skies!


Our chicks leave the Hamilton territory towards the end of the summer, and that is the last we usually hear of them. Most will find a nesting territory out in the wide wilderness. On rare occasion, we receive word that one of our chicks has taken up residence at another urban nesting territory, somewhere (so far) in Ontario, Pennsylvania or New York State. Here is a list of our chicks, and what information we have received on them over the years.

1996 Chicks

Alberta (f) - successfully nested in 1997, 1998 and 1999 in Etobicoke and produced many offspring. After the summer of 1999 she engaged in a second territorial battle with a younger female and left the area. She has not been seen since.

1997 Chicks

Stelco (f) - was identified as nesting in Lansing, MI in 1999. She nested there again from 2000 through 2010, but only in 2004 and 2008 did any of her eggs hatch. The summer of 2008 was particularly successful, with Stelco and her mate successfully fledging five chicks in the renovated nest box at the power station in Lansing, MI. In the autumn of 2008 it appeared that Stelco had been replaced by another female. But in May of 2009, after being away all winter, Stelco suddenly reappeared at the nest and took her 'rightful' place. Four chicks hatched and two were fledged successfully. Spring 2010, Stelco returned briefly to Lansing but then disappeared and has not been seen since. Photos: Barry Gray © The Hamilton Spectator (1997), P. Yockey (2001) and Dina R. Maneval (2007).

1998 Chicks

Freedom was killed in July 1998 in a collision with a Hamilton building during a fight with an American Kestrel. In November 2000 Phoenix was killed near Nanticoke, Ontario in a collision with a car or wire. It is believed that at the time he was setting up a territory at the nearby Nanticoke Generating Station.

1999 Chicks

'George' not only displaced the resident male and nested in London, Ontario in 2000, but also successfully raised and fledged three youngsters alone after his new mate was killed in an electrical storm! He and a new female successfully raised chicks in 2001 and in 2002. March 18, 2003: Sad News - George was found injured in downtown London, apparently after an altercation with another raptor. He was taken to the Wild Bird Clinic at the University of Guelph but unfortunately did not survive.

2000 Chicks

Millie was killed before fledging when she collided with a building during one of her first flights.

2001 Chicks

Hal has had quite a time since fledging from the nest in July 2001. On January 30, 2002 he was found on the ground in a dazed but otherwise unhurt condition at Chatham, Ontario, about 230km west of Hamilton. He was taken to a rehabilitation facility near Ingersoll, Ontario where no injuries were found, although marks on his feet indicated that he may have received an electric shock. After a week's monitoring Hal was returned to Chatham and released. Then, in mid-April 2002, researchers trying to recover a satellite transmitter from another Peregrine at an industrial site in Clarkson, Ontario (30km north of Hamilton) caught Hal in their net instead! He was reported to be in great shape and acting his typical feisty self. Hal has all the hallmarks of a survivor in the Peregrine world - go Hal!

Well, it turns out that Sal is not a female! During the summer of 2002 he (perhaps we should call him Salvatore?) and a banded but so far unidentified female hatched three chicks at the Mississauga Executive Centre near Highway 403 and Hurontario St. (Hwy. 10). Sal is the second Hamilton-fledged male (after George) to start parental activities only one year after leaving its birth nest. We are waiting to see if Sal returns to Mississauga in 2003.

2002 Chicks

Springer, McQuesten and Beasley left the area sometime in the fall.

In March 2003 Beasley turned up in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Interestingly, Cleveland is the home of Beasley's father, Mozart. She was seen battling with another female in a nesting territory, and later found injured. On April 11, 2003 Beasley underwent surgery to repair a broken ulna (wing bone) at the North Ridgeville Veterinary Clinic. The surgery went very well and she recuperated at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center in Bay Village, OH, about 15 miles west of Cleveland. Since Cleveland is not far across Lake Erie, there is a good possibility that Beasley was the large immature Peregrine seen in the Nanticoke, ON area during the week before Christmas 2002. After extensive rehabilitation and grooming Beasley was released on March 7, 2004. Sadly, she was found dead about 50 miles away about a month later.

2003 Chicks

2003 Birds: Bold, Jackson and Hunter fledged successfully and left the Sheraton area in early July. Hunter took up residence in the area of Victoria Park and was seen there as late as August 21, 2003. Sadly, on August 20 we received news that Bold had been killed in a collision with an airplane near Toronto International Airport. April 6, 2005 - word was received that Jackson has been identified as the new male at the St. Lawrence Cement Plant nest in Mississauga. May 23, 2005 - sadly, we have recently learned that Jackson was killed in a collision with a car and that the St. Lawrence Cement nest appears to have been abandoned for this year.

2004 Chicks

Cootes, Macassa, Macnab and Dundas fledged successfully. Sometime during the fall of 2004 Dundas lost a leg but this has not slowed him down much. In late February 2005 he was filmed by a CHTV Videographer. June 15, 2005: Dundas has set up a territory at Limeridge Mall on Hamilton Mountain. In the spring of 2006 Dundas and a female companion were seen setting up housekeeping in Kitchener. In March 2007 Dundas was photographed in the Hamilton area at the Burlington Skyway Bridge, apparently trying to entice a female to a nest box on the structure. At least one egg was laid but as of 10 June 2007 it appears to have failed. There have been no known sightings of Dundas since 2007. Photos: Tom Thomas

Cootes was sighted at the Spurlock Power Plant in Mason Co., Kentucky in 2006 and created a scrape with the male A.J. (fledged 2004 from Miami Ft. Power station, Cleves, OH) but did not produce eggs. This is the furthest away that a Hamilton Born falcon has been identified. In 2007 Cootes and A.J. fledged three males; Nate, Derek, and Tyler; and a female Peggy Sue. Derek was a breeder on the I-75 bridge in Covington, KY in 2009. One female chick, Cathy, fledged unsuccessfully, was rehabbed, and released. Two other chicks fledged successfully. This site has not been monitored since. In 2008 Cootes and an unknown male hatched four eggs. One chick died at a week old and two males, Nox and Stax; and a female, Sox fledged. Sox died August 2009 in Louisville, KY from a window collision during a suspected territory battle. In 2009 Cootes and an unknown male successfully fledged a male, Favre, and three females, Adria, Stephanie, and Aldora. Favre was a breeder in 2011 and 2012 at the LG&E Trimble County Power Station in Kentucky. He fledged three chicks in 2011 and in 2012 three chicks fledged, a male Lawson, and two females, Kiersten and Catrina. Stephanie was trapped at a Hawk Migration Research Station in Sheboygan, WI on Sep. 21, 2009. Cootes has not been seen since 2009.

2005 Chicks

2005 Birds: Named after famous aircraft in this 60th anniversary year of the end of WWII, Anson (f), Canso (m), Harvard (m) and Lancaster (f) grew and flew. Sadly, Canso was killed in a collision with a building. The other three chicks fledged from the nest.

2006 Chicks

Albion, Sherman and Webster, named after Hamilton area waterfalls and all female, fledged successfully.

In August 2008 we learned that Albion was not only alive and well but that she was also a mother! Albion and her mate have nested under the Scudder Falls Bridge, over which US intersate highway I-95 crosses the Delaware River, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This news is particularly interesting because Albion's mother, our very own Madame X, was also hatched on a bridge in Pennsylvania. In 2009 Albion again nested at the Scudders Falls bridge and three healthy chicks were banded, and fledged successfully. In 2010, three young successfully fledged and again in 2011 three young successfully fledged. In 2012 two recently hatched eggs were found, but no young. It is suspected they succumbed to predation by a Great Horned Owl. Photos of Albion and her chicks courtesy of Art McMorris, Pennsylvania Game Commission.

In May 2009 Webster was identified as the female of a pair nesting on a bridge in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. It is not known if this was her first nest in the area. In April 2013 we learned that on December 15, 2009 Webster was found severely injured, apparently after a collision with a power line, and was subsequently euthanized.

2007 Chicks

Jump Up and Blue Foot were banded on 5 June 2007 and fledged successfully. Photos: Dagmar Rudzewitsch

2008 Chicks

Blashill, Duncan, Elstone and Miles were banded on 2 June 2008 and fledged successfully. Initially it was thought that there were two males and two females, but after some adventures it was agreed that all four birds were male.

1 April 2013 - Duncan has been nesting at the South Grand Island Bridge on Interstate 190 over the Niagara River since 2010, fledging four chicks in 2010 and 2011. A 2010 chick fell into the Niagara River just as New York State wildlife technicians were coming by boat to check the nest. The chick - named Lucky for obvious reasons - was rescued and taken for rehabilitation. It was released on October 1, 2010. A South Grand Island Bridge nest check on 2 April 2012 revealed three eggs. Only one chick fledged, unfortunately into oncoming traffic and was killed. Duncan and his mate stick very close together and stay right near their nest site even outside of nesting season.

2009 Chicks

Dixon, Durand, Gleig and Strathcona were banded on 4 June 2009 and fledged successfully. Photos: Laura McCracken (Dixon) & Joanne Dowd (Gleig).

Durand nested in Columbus, Ohio in 2011 and laid five (5) eggs, but none hatched. Durand nested again in 2012 but no eggs hatched. Durand is still going strong, as of 2022. Follow him at the Columbus Peregrine Blog

On April 17, 2012, Gleig was identified as the female of a Peregrine pair at the Buffalo Central Terminal. Gleig and her mate, Diamante, (2008 hatch from Rochester, NY) successfully fledged two females in 2012, Alfreda and Wagner.

2010 Chicks

Chedoke, Henderson, Joseph and Peter were banded on 4 June 2010 and fledged successfully. Peter and his un-banded mate successfully fledged two young from the Hearn Power Station, Toronto, ON in 2011. In 2012 this pair produced three offspring. The female was injured and Peter successfully raised and fledged the three offspring by himself. Joseph was reported nesting in Beachville, ON in 2018 producing one chick. It appears he has returned to that nest in 2022. His mate Virgina was a 2013 fledge from the Buffalo nest, daughter of Gleig (Hamiton 2009) and Diamente.

2011 Chicks

Gore, Thomson and Pigott were banded on 4 June 2011 and fledged successfully. In the spring of 2012 Pigott was seen on an abandoned building in the Rochester, NY area. She established her territory there and was joined by a male, Dot.ca. They did not nest. Pigott remained in the area all winter while Dot.ca migrated. He returned the following year and he and Pigott were seen exhibiting mating behavior. Pigott moved to Syracuse in 2014, and is still there as of spring 2022.

2012 Chicks

Beckett, Felker and Tiffany were banded on 31 May 2012 and fledged successfully.

Felker was reported nesting in Buffalo, and in 2018 raised a chick that returned to Hamilton in May of 2021, Judson. View the Buffalo nest.

2013 Chicks

Laura and Brock were banded on 18 June May 2013 and fledged successfully.

2015 Chicks

Barton and McMaster (both females) were banded on June 4, 2015, fledged successfully and left the area.

2016 Chick

Ancaster (f) banded on May 25, 2016, fledged successfully and left the area.

2018 Chicks

Ainslie, Lisgar and Lawrence, all males, fledged successfully and left the area. The fourth chick, Gage, was struck by a car on one of his first flights. On December 3, 2020, we received the sad news that Lawrence had been found dead. It was not immediately obvious how he died. In June of 2022 Ainslie was reported nesting in Mississauga with an unbanded female, with two chicks.

2020 Chicks

Griffin (m) and Whiteherne (f), both fledged successfully. Griffin needed a rescue shortly after his first flight, and received treatment at the Owl Foundation. Shortly after his return, he left the nesting area, earlier than we've ever seen a chick depart. He was seen a few days later, hopping along a cliff near the Lake Ontario shoreline.


2022 Chicks

Auchmar (f), Balfour (m), Dundurn (m), and Wynnstay (f) all fledged successfully. Auchmar needed rescuing twice, once at the end of her first flight, and then again a couple of days later. After that, all four flew strongly and well.


2023 Chicks

Kirkendall (m), Gibson (m), Delta (f), and Stipley (m) all fledged successfully. Kirkendall, Delta and Stipley flew earlier than expected, within a two day period, and all needed rescuing. Gibson took his first flight a week later, without incident.


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