Hamilton Falconwatch News

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VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED THIS WEEK

With three chicks now in the air, we need more watchers to follow their flights and be ready in case there is a mishap and a chick comes to ground. If you can spare a few hours, please e-mail us at [ melissamaywoods@yahoo.ca ]. The falcons THANK YOU!

LAWRENCE TAKES WING!

Sunday June 17, 2018 - Falconwatch Coordinator Sara Shwadchuck reports: The early shift volunteers could not see Ainslie or Lisgar upon arrival, but could hear them. They were located on Fairclough and shortly afterwards, they took to the air flying and landing together. They were both calling for food! The adults were seen taking to the air, where they coaxed and guided Ainslie and Lisgar back to the nest where they fed them. At one point, all chicks were in the nest with one of the parents. Gage and Lawrence were observed periodically flapping their wings and helicoptering. A bald eagle was spotted in the vicinity.

Upon my arrival I and another volunteer spent time watching one of the two chicks on Stelco and the other on BDC. A favourite moment was seeing Ainslie take a long, high altitude flight. Another was watching one of the falcons make a clumsy but safe landing on top of Standard Life! Later in the day, Lisgar was on the north face of Stelco, calling to a parent who was one floor higher on the NE corner of Stelco. I assume it was Lisgar because, based on our observations, he is very vocal whereas Ainslie is quiet.

And now for my highlight of the day...I and a few volunteers had the honour of seeing Lawrence's first flight! Around 7.00 pm, Lawrence left the nest and flew beautifully to the Fairclough building. He was fed there an hour or so later after the adult had prepared the meal on the top NW corner of Stelco. Soon another chick (probably Lisgar because it was very vocal) appeared on Fairclough to be fed. The adult then flew to the nest ledge to feed Gage. At the end of the watch two of the chicks were on Stelco, Lawrence was still on Fairclough and Gage is the only one left in the nest. Keep posted for updates on Gage!

TWO FLYING WELL. TWO NOT TRYING YET.

Saturday June 16, 2018 - Falconwatch Coordinator Chelsea Decoster reports: At 5.00 AM, Lisgar was still on the Standard Life building. Ainslie was chasing one of the adults for food and attempted to take it from the adult whilst flying, which is quite amazing after only having been flying for 2 days. He wasn't able to get the food but did land successfully on the Sheraton rooftop. He was rewarded with a food drop from the other adult. Shortly before 7.00 AM, Lisgar finally left the Standard Life building, landed briefly on the Federal building and the Sheraton, and ended on the top of the Standard Life building. He took off again and tried to land on Fairclough but that attempt was unsuccessful, so he joined Ainslie on the Sheraton. He tried to take food from him, but Ainslie was mantling his meal (mantling is a behavior where falcons cover their food with their wings). These were the observations made by the volunteers before I arrived. They were busy!

Lawrence and Gage didn't leave the nest today, although Lawrence did flap a lot and both chicks were very vocal throughout the day. They also watched the other chicks closely when the latter were on Standard Life. There is a small projection on the top left corner of the Sheraton which we call the 'Iron Falcon', because, without binoculars, it can be easily be mistaken for a bird. This spot was occupied by Lisgar a lot throughout the day. Ainslie was usually close by. Ainslie was already on the Standard Life building when Lily arrived at 11.11 am with food and Lisgar flew from the Sheraton to join him for the meal. At 11:32 AM, both chicks were pancaked on the South-East corner of the Standard Life building. It was amazing to see how these two chicks stayed close to each other. Throughout the remainder of the day not much happened; they were back on the Sheraton rooftop with Lisgar often on the Iron Falcon and very vocal. At around 8.00 PM, both chicks flew a little between buildings. Ainslie stayed close to Lily, and prefers the window sills of the Stelco building to the corners used by Lily and Ossie. Lisgar flew from Stelco to Fairclough to Sheraton and back to Stelco and Fairclough. They are both doing a great job! Hopefully the other chicks will join them soon.

STILL TWO TO GO....

Friday June 15, 2018 - Falconwatch Coordinator Sara Shwadchuck reports: Wow, what a day it has been. Prior to my arrival, a volunteer observed Ainslie abandon the Standard Life building at 8.30 am and fly initially west before circling back to land on the 18th floor of Stelco on the north face. Well done, Ainslie! Lisgar remained on Standard Life and Lawrence and Gage are still in the nest although they were seen to be eyeing the Standard Life building several times during the day! Later in the day Ainslie took off from Stelco, flew south and then north; I found him on the south face of Stelco, on top of the grate. He made several short flights, positioning himself on different locations of the grate. Lisgar moved slightly west to different places on the ledge but was still there at the end of the watch. I assume it was Ossie who flew in to check in on him later in the day and both birds were calling to each other. About 20 minutes after he left Lily appeared on top of the Standard Life building with a meal. She was trying to entice Lisgar off the ledge, moving to several different locations in the hope that he would leave the ledge. She eventually flew to the ledge with food and then to the NE corner of the building. It seems that either she could not successfully perch or it was a flyby, hoping he would join her in flight.

Ossie and Lily are such great parents. It's not unusual to have a chick glue themselves to one spot like this in the days immediately after their first flight(s). He's moving about on the ledge, so he's not in any trouble that we can see. Sooner or later, hunger, and the adults offering food, will spur Lisgar into flight again! So stay tuned for an update. Ainslie remains on Stelco, and both Lawrence and Gage have yet to take to the air. They were seen flapping periodically, so any day now, they will leave the nest. On a side note, it warms my heart to meet so many individuals in our community who care about the falcons. It's lovely to be asked how they are doing. Thanks everyone!

AINSLIE AND LISGAR FLY!

Thursday June 14, 2018 - Falconwatch Coordinator Chelsea Decoster reports: What an exciting day it was today! Two chicks, Ainslie and Lisgar, flew for the first time this morning. After many days of anticipation, the big day arrived. Ainslie left the nest ledge at 5.22 and was followed ten minutes later by Lisgar. Both flew to the top of the nearby Standard Life building. During my shift, in the mid-morning,we were able to locate Ainslie on the north side of the building on the very narrow 8th floor window sill. Not much later, his brother, Lisgar, after exploring the top of the mechanical area, flew very well between the Sheraton and Standard Life building and joined him on the ledge. The two spent the rest of the day on the same window ledge with Lisgar comfortably tucked into the east corner and they were still there when the watch ended for the day. Lily flew by a few times to check up on them, landing once beside Ainslie as if trying to help him to leave his uncomfortable perch. At one point during the day, a pigeon landed beside Ainslie on the window sill, caught the chick's attention, and then decided to fly and land in between the two brothers. The pigeon was watched by both falcons and seemed to be teasing them but soon left. It was quite a sight. Gage and Lawrence were a little less active than their fellow brothers, but some flapping did occur. At 5:39 they were both on the west end of the ledge looking towards the Standard Life building, where their brothers had landed, and were heard calling out occasionally. They will, hopefully, soon follow their brother’s footsteps, I mean flights. The photo here is of Gage and Lawrence being fed at 18:09. It is most likely that Ainslie and Lisgar will not be fed on the narrow ledge of the building, and so Lily will use some food to entice them to fly to a more suitable location for feeding. We'll keep you posted on the many adventures of the chicks.

Webmaster's note: While our webcam cannot see where Ainslie and Lisgar landed, one of the members of our facebook group captured photos and video of Lisgar from his office window. Click the "F" logo above to visit the group and view the photos.

ENTICING....

Wednesday June 13, 2018 - Falconwatch Coordinator Sara Shwadchuck reports: Before I arrived, the early 5AM volunteers watched as a meal was tossed into the nest with no preparation! On my arrival one parent was on the NW corner of BDC and one chick was visible on the ledge. When the sun started peeking through the clouds, the four chicks made an appearance on the edge. The late morning was quiet with chicks sitting on the ledge but It became quite an active afternoon with chicks running along the ledge and flapping. I had a "this is it" moment when I observed Lily fly off the nest ledge and it looked as though the one chick was about to follow! Alas, he did not. The parents(s) frequented the nest often, and it seems the chicks were especially well fed today. The highlight of my day was when one of the adults flew close by the nest with a meal. A moment went by and the adult flew close by again. As I observed on my last shift, later in the day one of the parents also flew close to and around the nest ledge several times without food. These flybys are likely an attempt to entice the chicks into flying. I felt nervous for the young falcons when the lightning started, but all was well. Before I headed home for the evening, one parent was seen on the eastside of Homewood, perched on the duck logo and the other parent was on the Standard Life building. One chick was visible on the ledge and working those wings. No first flights today, but stand by!

HELICOPTERING!

Tuesday June 12, 2018 - Falconwatch Coordinator Chelsea Decoster reports: I started my day off with high expectations of a chick fledging. Before my shift, the chicks had been flapping both on the ledge and in the nest. At around 10:30, Ainslie was helicoptering (a term we use to describe brief hops into the air while flapping) a short distance on the ledge - the first that I had seen. The parents later came to the nest with food a couple of times and on one occasion left it in the nest for the chicks to deal with themselves - again a first for me. One of the chicks spent a long time at that meal. In late afternoon and early evening they were all on the ledge with occasional flapping and were often on the outer edge of the ledge so we had a good view of them. Shortly before the end of the watch, around 8.30 PM, one of the adults brought in a meal. The chicks started flapping again, but as time went on their enthusiasm went down as did their food. Although they were quiet during the middle part of the day they are definitely much more active with all four frequently on the ledge at the same time. My favourite moment of the day was at around 10:45 AM, when the chicks were huddled in a group on the ledge and one seemed to be mantling the group. It seemed as if they were planning a big plot twist!

HURRY UP AND WAIT

Monday June 11, 2018 - Falconwatch Coordinator Sara Shwadchuck reports: This morning, I arrived right when the chicks were having their breakfast. I assume that it was Lily on the ledge feeding the chicks and Ossie on the SW corner of Stelco. Although there were no issues with gulls today, I did see Ossie leave Stelco flying quickly west and attacking a turkey vulture who was in the territory! Otherwise it was a fairly inactive morning as the chicks were napping more than they were testing their wings. Early in the afternoon there was some energetic flapping and running along the ledge by the older chicks. Later in the day, I witnessed some helicoptering. There were also a couple of times in the late afternoon when the team was on high alert to a possible first flight. The chicks were flapping their wings and one was seen on the edge of the ledge, facing south and flapping hard. Ossie was seen spending much of the early afternoon on the Sheraton logo watching the nest ledge and he also spent some time in the nest with the chicks. Both adults took advantage of good thermals today and were in the air over the Sheraton and neighbouring buildings several times. Dinner was served at around 19:50. When the watch ended for the day, one parent was on the NE corner of the BDC building and all four chicks were on the ledge. At least one chick will take to the air before too long, so stay tuned!

ANOTHER SUNNY SUNDAY

Sunday June 10, 2018 - Falconwatch Coordinator Chelsea Decoster reports: Before my shift started (at 09:00), the chicks were fed twice with an hour between each feeding. A few hours later, one of the adults flew after a turkey vulture, which was my first portion of fun for the day. There appeared to be no feeding during the mid part of the day. As usual, there was almost always one adult watching the nest from one of their favourite spots: Stelco Tower. Later on in the day, however, one of the adults was seen on the northern letter "H" of "Homewood" . Lily prepared food for the chicks later on the 'H'. Usually, they like to sit on the "duck" facing east. During the day it was quiet but with some serious flapping and running on the ledge after 17:30. Near the end of the day, between 17:00 and 20:00, the chicks were fed 4 times! My favourite moment of the day was seeing Ossie and Lily on the Standard Life building close together. Even though it was short, it was a sweet moment. As my shift came to an end, one of the adults was observing the surroundings from the Standard Life building. The chicks became quiet again as the sun coloured the sky, indicating another successful day.

FALCONS 1 - GULLS 0

Saturday June 9, 2018 - Falconwatch Coordinator Sara Shwadchuck reports: On arrival this morning I was told that the chicks had been reluctant to eat their early morning breakfast. Apparently the parent had been quite insistent that they eat! At 9:00 both parents were on the NW corner of Stelco and one chick was visible on the ledge. Around 11:35 one of the older chicks was flapping his wings and hunching/lunging forward along the ledge. A couple of hours later he was seen peering over the ledge edge. Just after 14:00 a quiet morning changed into a pre-lunch workout with three of the chicks busy doing strengthening exercises with their wings i.e. lots of flapping. One was then seen laying a wing over the edge. After the feeding, both parents were observed on Stelco and all was quiet again. Dinner was served at 18:19.

Later in the evening, I witnessed a group of gulls bullying one of the adults! The falcon was perched on the Standard Life building and I watched as it was dive bombed by the gulls. One after another, the gulls swooped low and near and they certainly had the falcon's full attention! It flew off towards Stelco for shelter, chased by a gull. The gull gave up after the adult perched on the SW corner of Stelco. My bet would be on the falcon, you are very lucky gulls! When the watch closed one adult was on the BDC building and the other on Stelco. All four chicks were visible on the ledge.

FLAPPERS

Friday June 8, 2018 - Falconwatch Coordinator Chelsea Decoster reports: Today was a relatively quiet day. The chicks gave the volunteer TD group from Toronto some excitement with their very active flapping. We are very grateful that the TD group came to help out today. When I arrived at the base at 9.00 am, one of the adults was feeding the chicks. Afterwards, the adult flew between different letters of the Sheraton logo, finally deciding to stay on the 'O' for over 2 hours. It is a great place to keep watch over the chicks and the surrounding environment. After the TD group left, the chicks seemed to have been drained of their energy, and decided to limit their activity for a while. The adults partook in their daily routines: feeding and keeping watch. Lily spent an hour in the nest in mid-afternoon. The chicks showed some signs of flapping throughout the remainder of the afternoon and evening but overalll remained quite quiet.

ANOTHER DAY OF FEEDING HUNGRY CHICKS

Thursday June 7, 2018 - Falconwatch Coordinator Sara Shwadchuck reports: Upon arriving on site, I read that Lily had brought food to the ledge, shown it to the chicks and then took it elsewhere to prepare it. She was back shortly to feed them. I located both parents on the SW corner of Stelco, and Lisgar was seen on the ledge. Lisgar looks so much more adult! He spent some time today running along the edge and flapping his wings, getting them ready for flight. Around 10:30, I had a hard time locating one of the parents. The other was on the NW corner of Stelco. Lunch was served later than on Monday, around 13.40 with a second meal an hour later! At 16:00, I watched one of the parents flying from the nest to Homewood then to the adjacent ledge and on to Stelco, all within seconds! Take note of those skills, falcon chicks. At 19:15, one of the parents landed on the "r" of the Sheraton with food. The other parent then landed on the "r," took the food, prepared and served it. Nice teamwork, Lily and Ossie. Before saying goodnight to the falcon family, I saw all four chicks still hanging out on the ledge. They look so different from one another. The parents are now spending a lot of time observing the nest from Stelco.

FOUR UP!

Wednsday June 6, 2018 - Falconwatch Coordinator Chelsea Decoster reports: Today was a very quiet day for the chicks. They were under the watchful eyes of their parents, who perched on various surrounding buildings to get different angles and views of the nest. Stelco and "the duck" (Homewood Suites logo) were the preferred spots to stand guard. The parents came by a few times throughout the day to feed the chicks. We saw flapping both inside the nest and on the ledge. Lisgar and Ainslie were amusing to watch when one of them was pancaked (stretched out) on the ledge and the other one tried to persuade him to get back up. That occurred just before 4.45 pm and was followed by a meal. Near the end of the day a first occurred for me - I saw all 4 chicks on the ledge! Lisgar and Ainslie were at either end of the tight bunch with Lawrence and Gage between them. The bedtime snack was provided at 8.30 pm.

2018 FALCONWATCH BEGINS

Tuesday June 5, 2018 - Falconwatch Coordinator Sara Shwadchuck reports: Upon arriving for my very first day as Coordinator, I saw one of the parents flying towards the Sheraton Hotel and landing on the "e" of the sign. I saw the other parent, shortly after, flying towards the Homewood Suites and landing on the east-facing duck logo. They seem to really love that spot and soon both were on the duck. It appeared that another adult peregrine came into their territory around 09:30 and one of the parents quickly responded and flew to defend. It was quite the sight to see the confrontation! The parent then sat proudly on the Stelco Tower.

Today there were several meals brought to the chicks. Lisgar spent most of his day on the ledge, dreaming of flying and was seen being fed closer to noon. Lawrence then joined his brother on the ledge, soaking up the heat of the sun as I was trying to do as well. At 15:40, my heart started to race as I noticed Lisgar was engaging in so much flapping activity! Though I know that it is probably too soon for him to take flight, it still made my heart skip a beat. Ainslie popped up beside his brother for a short time around 16:30 (photo). Dinnertime was at 17:32! At 18:10 Lily made a one minute trip south on Bay and returned with her supper, which she enjoyed on the very top of Standard Life! At 18:50, a parent came in with a meal to the adjacent ledge and the other parent came over to prepare it. It seems as if the food may be being saved for later, unless the one parent is a quick eater! The chicks' bedtime snack was brought to the ledge around 20:30. Goodnight falcons.

MEET OUR 2018 FALCONWATCH COORDINATORS

CHELSEA DECOSTER

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 1200 Chelsea Decosters main activity and area of study is related to horses. She volunteered from 2015-2017 at The Equestrian Association for the Disabled (TEAD), where she assisted children with disabilities in therapeutic activities. She also helped for two years at a summer camp for children and was a Sunday school teacher for a year. Chelsea graduated from the International Baccalaureate program at Westdale and is now at the University of Guelph. Her program is Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management in Equine Management.

SARA SHWADCHUCK

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 1200 Sara Shwadchuck has extensive has volunteer experience working with animals alongside volunteers. She has taken part in the Dundas Turtle Watch, the Toronto Wildlife Centre squirrel nursery, and with the Grupo Ecologico de la Costa Verde in Mexico where she patrolled the beach monitoring San Pancho Turtles, protecting their eggs from poachers and relocating eggs to a turtle hatchery. Sara also gained bird experience at Hamiltons Friends of the Aviary, where she helped care for the exotic birds.

Both Chelsea and Sara are looking forward to working with the Falcons and the Falconwatchers.

I HAVE WINGS! I HAVE WINGS!

Monday, June 4, 2018 0600 At 0552 today Ainsllie (yellow tape) discovered his wings and, as can be seen in the image at left, was busily experimenting with them. Never mind that one or two of his brothers got bopped on their heads. This is what becoming a Peregrine is all about. Very soon each of the other chicks will start flapping too. One of the things we look for is what we call helicoptering when flapping results in a chick rising an inch or two off the surface of the ledge. Once that happens, the next stage is actual flight. Stay tuned!

ITS THAT TIME AGAIN ON-STREET FALCONWATCH STARTS TUESDAY!!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2018 What young Peregrines do best is grow! The image at left, taken at 05:50 this morning, shows how much Lisgar has developed since he was just a white ball of fluff on Banding Day. His face and flight feathers are turning brown and a bit of an immature Peregrines golden colour is showing on his cheek.

How do we know this is Lisgar? The tape on his left leg gives it away. At banding each chick had a piece of coloured tape applied above its metal ID band. Ainslie's coloured tape is yellow, Gages is white, Lisgar got blue, and Lawrences is red. (Thanks to an observant Falconwatcher for catchng a previous mistake in Lawrence's band colour.) The tapes were added to help Falconwatch Volunteers identify the chicks as they get more active and then start to fly.

Starting early this coming Tuesday, June 5, Falconwatchs Coordinators and Volunteers will be keeping a close eye on the chicks from our base on the King Street side of McMasters David Braley Heath Centre. Volunteers are still needed. If you would like to help, contact us at [ falcons@hamiltonnature.org ]. Stay tuned. Here we go again!!!

HAMILTON MEET AINSLIE, GAGE, LAWRENCE AND LISGAR!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2018, 21:00 Todays banding of our Peregrine chicks went very well. Now retired Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Biologist Anne Yagi and Mark Nash of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation conducted the banding. CPF Volunteer John Millar helped his partner, volunteer climber Chris Phinney, descend to the nest ledge from the Sheraton roof. Chris gathered up the chicks one by one and placed them in our special four-compartment carrier bag, as seen in the image at left. The bag was then lifted to the roof and carried into the Sheratons 17th floor breakfast room. All four major media outlets - CBC Hamilton, CHCH TV, CHML Radio and the Hamilton Spectator - were on hand to record the event. The General Manager of the Sheraton and some of his staff were also present.

In keeping with our practice of giving our birds names with an historical link to Hamilton or to Falconwatch itself, this years youngsters - all four of them weighed in as males - were named after Hamilton parks: Ainslie Park in the west end, Gage Park in the east-central area, (Sam) Lawrence park on the central escarpment and Lisgar Park on the east mountain. Ainslie weighed in at 570 grams, Gage at 525 grams, Lawrence at 535 grams and Lisgar at 575 grams. The chicks were feisty and vocal while receiving their aluminum number bands and plastic alpha-numeric bands.

While Chris was on the nest ledge Lily perched on the adjacent ledge, keeping him company, with Ossie occasionally flying by to see how things were going. Two minutes after Chris returned to the roof and the now empty carrying bag was lifted up, Lily was back on the nest ledge. A few minutes later the camera captured the image at left, showing two of the now banded chicks exploring the ledge and Lily looking up to see if the climber was really gone.

Believe it or not, for Falconwatchers the easy part is over. In the next two weeks the chicks will be discovering their wings, then practicing using them. After that comes the hard part keeping an eye on the chicks while they turn practice into reality and start to fly. Stay tuned!!!

HELLO WORLD - COMPANY COMING!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2018, 06:00 - Around 11:00 TODAY the chicks are going to get a visitor and go for a little trip. About an hour later, after being weighed, gendered, banded and named, they will be returned to the nest ledge. During alll this Lily and Ossie will make their displeasure known, and both will be right there to check on the little ones as soon as the climber clears the nest ledge after their return trip. It may be necessary to turn one of the cameras away for a while to allow the climber to get back to the lower Sheraton roof, but the second camera will be watching throughout the operation. We will update the webpage with the youngster's names and details as soon as possible. If you are downtown you can watch all the action from the sidewalk on King Street opposite the Sheraton.

WHAT A WEEK!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2018 Helicopters passing by in the distance are a regular event at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel, but a helicopter circling low right overhead the former Stelco building on the afternoon of May 16 was definitely new to the city and to the Peregrines. In the image at left Lily can be seen looking up at the interloper, but the chicks werent paying much attention. Stopping the exercise really wasnt necessary, but we sincerely thank the Canadian Armed Forces for their concern that the Peregrines would be bothered by the noise and activity. The chicks also benefited from the close attention of all four major media outlets in town - CBC Hamilton, CHCH TV, CHML Radio and the Hamilton Spectator.

Lily spends most of her time in the nest ledge, and Ossie is usually close by. As can be seen on the web camera, due to many regular feedings the chicks are growing very quickly. They will soon be the right size for banding, which is currently scheduled for the morning of May 24. On that day we will let you know ahead of time what is going to happen. Stay tuned! Here we grow some more!!!

FOUR ON THE FLOOR (....er, ledge)!

Sunday, May 6, 2018 - We now have FOUR healthy chicks begging Lily for food, and even arguing over it (second photo)! It's going to be a mad season for Falcon Watchers with this many chicks in the sky at once! So if you ever considered volunteering for the on-street watch, this would be a good year for it. Please click the VOLUNTEER button above.

TWO CHICKS!!!!!

Friday, May 4, 2018 - Just after 6am this morning, while Lily was feeding the chick, a SECOND little white head popped into the picture!!!! In the words of a long-time Falconwatcher, "Here we go again!" We will be keeping a close eye on the nest for the next few days, watching for signs of additional hatchings.

CHICK!!!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2018 - Shortly after 7pm tonight, falcon watchers caught sight of Lily bringing food to the nest, and tearing it apart. As she did so, a tiny white, fluffy head peeked out from behind the edge of the nest ledge, and we were treated to the sight of the first chick of the 2018 season getting its first meal. Judging by Lily's head motion, she was only feeding the one chick. So this is the only one hatched so far. We will be keeping a close eye on the nest for the next few days, watching for signs of more hatchings.

FIRST VISIBLE EGG OF 2018!!!!

In a series of pictures taken at 9:36 on April 19 (see Favorite Photos) our new camera captured the image at left, the first visual confirmation of an egg for the 2018 season. Lily seems to have weathered last week's ice storm very well and spends almost all of her time incubating. She and Ossie do take turns, but the "shift changes" are very quick and hard to capture. We think there is more than one egg but so far only one has been seen. Stay tuned!

HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!!

Incubation for the (Hamilton) Nation!! Since March 22 or so one of the adult Peregrines has been in the east corner of the nest ledge almost every minute, and occasionally on-line Falconwatchers have seen one replace the other. While these are almost sure signs of incubation, there is a very specific movement that we look for every year, and on Easter Sunday Webmaster Charles spotted it. On our Facebook page (see FB link at upper right) he wrote, Using the 'stream' video in test mode I saw the very distinctive 'wiggle' of Lily settling down over something. So even though there is nothing visible, I think it is fairly safe to say that brooding has begun! The adult currently brooding can be seen in the Camera 1 image at left. Stay tuned!

DO YOU SEE BOTH FALCONS?

Friday, March 23, 2018 - Click the image at left, to view it full size, and you will see that Lily is sitting on the far left corner of the Standard Life Centre. It would appear that it is becoming a favorite perch for her, which is why we'll keep Camera #1 positioned the way it is until we see signs of eggs. Of course, that is Ossie sitting on the second ledge of the Sheraton. You can tell it is him by the pure slate blue cap on his head. Lily's cap has a dusting of white.

NEW CAMERA HERE!!!!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2018 - Yesterday was a loooong day for Charles, Mike and Hamilton Video and Sound's Jack Vogan and Josh Boyd. Installation of the new camera seemed to go fairly well, but a bad connection interfering with camera signal transmission and new software that took time to set up kept them all at the Sheraton until after 5PM, with the final setup completed after dinner by Charles. Ossie perched on the ledge during the outside work, and Lily flew by a couple of times.

You can see the results at left. Our new High Definition camera is up and running, and Ossie has already visited the nest ledge this morning. Pictures of the installation will follow.

OUR SINCERE THANKS ONCE AGAIN TO TD FRIENDS OF THE ENVIRONMENT FOR FUNDING THE NEW CAMERA, TO THE BOSCH CORPORATION FOR OFFERING A SIGNIFICANT DISCOUNT ON THE EQUIPMENT, AND ALSO TO HAMILTON VIDEO AND SOUND FOR ARRANGING THE DISCOUNT AND DONATING THE INSTALLATION AND SETUP LABOUR.

Falconwatch's 2018 Season is geting underway. Stay tuned!

NEW CAMERA COMING....

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - Tomorrow, if the weather is not dreadful, we will be installing a new webcam, purchased with grant funds from the TD Friends of the Enviornmen Foundation, and installed with the generous assistance of Hamilton Video Sound. We have been hearing reports of Lily and Ossie being seen throughout the winter. We look forward to capturing fresh images of the birds.

BACKGROUND FOR 2018....

Hamilton's resident adult pair, Lily and Ossie, are celebrating the third anniversary of their arrival in Hamilton, and will begin their fourth 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 2017, the pair produced several eggs, but sadly, none hatched. There was no evident reason for this failure, as temperatures were not particularly low during brooding. We will have to watch and see how things proceed this year.

Many birds 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-fourth year the same nest site on the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel has been used.

In November 2017 Falconwatch received a grant from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. This grant has funded the replacement of our aging (and failing) camera equipment, as well as purchase of a new computer for public presentatons. This money will also help cover various costs related to veterinary services, bird rescue training, and Peregrine expert assistance.

A replica of the grant cheque was presented at the TD Canada Trust branch in Jackson Square, on 15 November 2017, to Falconwatch Senior Monitor Mike Street (right) by Maria Delio, Manager, Customer Service & Sales, and Natanael Paipa, Manager Financial Services, at the branch.

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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