Hamilton Falconwatch News

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EGG #2!

Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - Right on time, McKeever has laid the second egg of the 2023 nesting season. We should see the next one on Friday. I think this is the perfect time to let people know that Falconwatch is running lower on funds than it has in previous years. We really, seriously need people to make donations, to help us build up the funds necessary for hiring our coordinators, pay for radios, and so on. If you can help out, please click the Donate button above. Thanks!


Monday, March 20, 2023 - Spring is officially here, and Hamilton's Peregrines are celebrating with their first egg of the season. Eagle-eyed falcon watchers spotted McKeever showing off her new egg around noon today. As usual for Peregrine clutches, the first egg will not be incubated full time, but will be allowed to stay cooler, slowing its development. McKeever will likely lay 2-3 more eggs in the coming days, each one about two days after the previous one. By slowing the first egg's development, she makes it more likely that all the eggs will hatch within a day of each other, insuring no chick has a size disadvantage when they all start clamoring for meals. In about 40 days, the sound of Peregrine chicks will once again be heard high up on the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel!


Sunday, January 1, 2023 - A new year begins with the usual January warm spell, and our resident adult pair make another routine visit to the nest ledge to check up on it, and make sure everything is in proper shape for the nesting season that will begin in March.


After their first successful year together, fledging four chicks, Judson and McKeever are spending the winter in Hamilton, where there is ample food, and warm spots to shelter from the worst of the winter weather. This will be McKeever's second year at the Hamilton nest, and Judson's third.

Judson arrived in Hamilton at the end of the nesting season in 2021. He came to us from Buffalo, New York, where he fledged from the Richardson Complex in 2018. In a delightful turn of events, one of his parents is Felker who fledged from Hamilton in 2012. So the prodigal (grand)son of Madame X and Surge has returned. He arrived too late to mate with Lily, who, sadly, fell ill and died early in 2022, so, apart from a brief time keeping Lily company on the ledge, his first and only mate has been....

McKeever, fledged from a nest on the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, 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 was quickly accepted by Judson, and the pair produced four chicks their first year together.

While peregrines are normally a migratory species, sometimes they choose to spend the winter in their nesting territory if there is enough food to last through the winter. 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 this trait. This will be the twenty-nineth 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 NEEDED - Now is the time to show your support for our Hamilton Peregrines! The Coordinator daily reports, the camera images and on-street Falconwatch equipment are all made possible by YOUR contributions. Grants only pay for so much (and some years they are less than others). 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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