Hamilton Falconwatch News

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - Well, there will be no guessing games about whether we have eggs this year! This morning, at 9:40, Ossie did us all a favor and rolled a freshly laid egg into view, for us to admire (photo at left).

Judging by Lily's behavior in recent days, we are fairly sure this is her first one for the year. This is further confirmed by the length of time she is spending off the egg. This is typical falcon behavior. Keeping the first egg(s) cool slows their development, so that all the eggs, even though laid over the course of a week, will hatch within a few days of each other.


Monday, March 2, 2020 - Falcon instincts run deep. As the days lengthen, Lily and Ossie know, just as we do, that warmer days are on their way. So Ossie is beginning to 'court' Lily, bringing her meals (photo at left). This helps Lily gain the extra body weight for the soon-to-come task of producing eggs, as well as satisfying Lily's instincts that Ossie needs to be a good provider for her when she cannot take time away from incubating eggs to go hunting.

Yes, Ossie will take brief turns sitting on the eggs. But Lily prefers the greater coverage that her larger body provides for the eggs. Had you noticed that Lily is larger than Ossie? This is called sexual dimorphism. Female raptors are noticeably larger than their mates, so their bodies have room for the eggs they produce. We are looking forward to seeing what Lily produces this year! We should see the first egg towards the end of March.


Thursday, January 2, 2020 - Lily and Ossie paid a visit to the ledge this afternoon. They have been doing so quite regularly all winter. As soon as the weather warms up in March, we hope to see a new clutch of eggs.


Hamilton's resident adult pair, Lily and Ossie, are celebrating the fifth anniversary of their arrival in Hamilton, and will begin their sixth 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 2019, Lily laid several eggs, but sadly, none of them hatched. This is not the first time eggs have failed for the pair, and while we don't know for certain, we are guessing that cold weather was partly to blame. The pair's most recent successful clutch was the year before, when three chicks fledged from the nest.

We will once again be looking for volunteers to help us with the on-street watch during the critical period when chicks are making their first flights, in June. 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-sixth 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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