Hamilton Falconwatch News

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MORE HOUSECLEANING....

Sunday, June 9, 2019 - This past week, Lily and Ossie finally stopped trying to incubate their failed eggs. Since then, they have been frequently seen poking around both scrapes, at the near and far ends of the ledge. A vigilant falcon watcher spotted Lily removing another egg from the nest Friday afternoon (photo at left). This is normal behavior, and doesn't help us in making any guesses as to whether the pair will attempt a second clutch. The weather has been cool enough so far that they may still feel like it is 'spring' and encouraged to try again. But only time will tell.

SAD.... BUT NO SURPRISE

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - This morning a sharp-eyed falcon watcher caught a rare sight on our second Webcam, and posted it to our facebook group. The image, quite sadly, shows Lily removing a failed egg from the nest. For those who ever wondered exactly how peregrines do this, the photo at left offers a clue. It is worth noting that peregrines do not experience the same sense of loss as humans do. As nearly as we can tell, they do not "grieve" or "mourn" for the loss of an egg or a chick.

Lily returned to the nest shortly thereafter, and continues to brood. So it remains unknown whether other eggs are still viable, but Lily, it seems, still thinks so. As we've said before, our falcons love to surprise us, so we won't give up all hope until Lily is seen to stop brooding. After that, who knows? Falcons have been known to attempt a second clutch when the first one fails. We will just have to wait and see.

STILL WAITING.

Sunday, May 12, 2019 - If there is one thing that is certain in life, it is the unpredictability of falcons. Based on last year's laying and hatching dates, we are a now a couple of days past the expected date for seeing our first chick. But not so far past as to yet be seriously concerned. The delay could just mean that the eggs have taken longer to incubate with the cooler weather, or possibly, as sometimes happens, the weather was too cool when the first egg was laid, and that first egg may have failed. Our best indicator of the status of the eggs is that we have seen two of them being rolled into camera view just yesterday (photo), which means that Lily and Ossie still consider at least that many eggs to be viable. Of course, we're still hoping to see all four eggs hatch, but two would be a respectable brood. Cross your fingers!

ANY DAY NOW......

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - No obvious bits of white fluff yet, and no food being brought to the nest. But, today is 35 days from the date the first egg was seen. So, hatching should be soon! Keep a close on eye on that nest.....

Live stream is now online! Click Stream near the top of this page (click the word not the picture). It takes a few seconds to load. If it doesn't, and stays black, click the link again, and try clicking the bottom left corner of the stream a couple of times.

MID-WAY TO HATCHING.....

Monday, April 15, 2019 - It has been roughly a week since we caught a glimpse of four eggs (with two just barely peeking out from behind the ledge, in the photo at left). Since that time, Lily and Ossie have been keeping them mostly out of view. So we have not been able to capture a better photo. The adults started full time incubation around the first of April, so it is our expectation that we will see hatching sometime in the first week of May.

WE SEE TWO, BUT ARE THEY NEW?

Saturday, March 30, 2019 - Around 8:30 this morning, we got a view of two eggs. But we have no idea if either of these were recently laid. It only takes a few hours for a coat of dust to build up on the eggs, and, as can be seen in the comparison at left, only a few minutes for rain to wash away that dust and make the eggs appear dark and fresh again.

At this point in time, we are watching the behavior of the birds, and trying to guess whether any more eggs may have been laid. It seems like Lily has still not settled down to full time brooding, which would suggest that she still thinks she will lay another. Keep in mind there could be another egg (or two?) that are out of sight behind the ledge. This could be a very busy year for Falconwatch! :)

ANOTHER EGG!

Thursday, March 28, 2019 - Around 9 am this morning a sharp-eyed falcon watcher noticed Lily refusing a meal brought to her by Ossie. Our suspicion was that she was "busy". Half an hour later, she sat up tall in the nest, and then, at 9:52, hopped out of the scrape, revealing a very dark colored egg. Normally this is a sure sign the egg is freshly laid, but with the rain today there is a faint chance that an old egg had its dust washed off. But with her refusing that meal, and the positioning of that egg, we're pretty sure this is a new addition.

Given the fact that peregrines generally lay their eggs 1-2 days apart, this might be a second egg, or it might be a third. As usual for this scrape, we will have to wait until hatching to see how many there really are!

EGG!!!

Monday, March 25, 2019 - Lily hopped off the nest this morning, revealing a glimpse of her first egg for the 2019 nesting season! Here we go!

SEXUAL DIMORPHISM IN PEREGRINE FALCONS

Sunday, March 24, 2019 - Today we had the rare opportunity to capture photos of Lily (bottom) and Ossie (top), standing on the same spot on the nest ledge, in nearly the same pose, allowing us to see the difference in their sizes. Female Peregines are typically up to 30% large than males.

MATING ACTIVITY SEEN!

Sunday, March 17, 2019 - This past week there has been a substantial increase in activity around the Sheraton Hamilton nest. More visits to the scrape, moving rocks, preparing it for eggs. On Wednesday, the 13th, a Falconwatch member was downtown, and observed Lily and Ossie mating on top of the Standard Life building, west of the Sheraton. Without doubt we are going to be seeing some eggs very soon. Keep your eyes on that nest.

WINTERING WELL....

Friday, February 22, 2019 - Our winter weather continues to see-saw, and, with each upswing in temperature, the Peregrines are seen visiting the nest ledge on the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel. Ossie is once again courting his mate, Lily, bringing her meals. You can see her swooping in to collect one in the photo at left.

Based on their behavior in previous years, as the weather becomes consistently warmer, we should see the pair inspect and prepare the scrape in the gravel for this year's eggs, which we hope to see sometime in the last half of March.

BACKGROUND FOR 2019....

Hamilton's resident adult pair, Lily and Ossie, are celebrating the fourth anniversary of their arrival in Hamilton, and will begin their fifth nesting season on the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel very soon.

Lily was banded in 2010 at the Grand Haven Board of Light & Power plant, in Michigan, and Ossie fledged from the Osler Hospital in Etobicoke in 2012.

In 2018, the pair hatched four chicks. Three of them fledged successfully, learning to fly and hunt, and left Hamilton at the end of the summer. The fourth chick did not fly as strongly, and came to ground on our busy city streets, where, sadly, it was struck by a car and killed. It seemed like this particular bird was weaker than the others, and quite possibly would have not survived long in the wild. But this occurrence highlights the extra dangers for Peregrines fledging in an urban environment, and the need for our Falcon Watch. We need lots of volunteers to help us with the on-street watch during the critical period when chicks are making their first flights. Perhaps you will join us this year?

Many bird species exhibit a trait called 'site fidelity'. If at least one of a pair that used a nest site in the previous year returns, 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 year after year. Peregrine Falcons are known for site fidelity. This will be the twenty-fifth 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.

DONATIONS WELCOME - If you have not already made a donation to Falconwatch, it is never too late to do so. The Coordinators' daily reports, the camera images, on-street Falconwatch equipment and display window electronics are all made possible by YOUR contributions. Falconwatch does not cost a lot, but grants do not cover all our expenses, and there are bills to be paid. Please click on the yellow 'DONATE button above to learn more about how the money is used and how to make a tax creditable donation by cheque or on-line. We and the birds Thank You!

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