Hamilton Falconwatch News

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WAITING AND HOPING

Thursday, June 15, 2017 - Lily and Ossie are spending a lot of time at the Sheraton - the pair were busy at both ends of the nest ledge on Wednesday evening between 6:30 and 7:00 and again during the same half hour this morning - but so far there’s no sign of a second clutch. All we can do is wait and hope.

MAYBE THIS CORNER IS BETTER?

Monday, May 29, 2017 - It appears that Lily and Ossie have finally given up on their first clutch of eggs. Neither adult has visited the scrape today, not even for a moment. Falcon watchers are encouraged to see them both repeatedly poking around the original 1995-2014 scrape, in the far corner. It seems quite likely that they will try this location for their second clutch. Based on our experience with Madame X in 2014, we have high hopes to see (and yes, actually *see*) new eggs by the end of the week!

SECOND CLUTCH??? / VOLUNTEER MEETING

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - No small white ball of fluff has followed the appearance of a broken egg shell on May 16, but Lily is still faithfully in the incubating position at the east end of the nest ledge. This is long past the normal 35 day hatching time for the egg(s) laid in early April. Could it be that on May 16 Lily was cleaning the scrape of one or more failed eggs and has since laid one or more new eggs? It is very possible, and would explain her continued occupation of that end of the ledge. We won't know for some time. In preparation for a possible very late Falconwatch, we will be holding a VOLUNTEERS MEETING on Monday, June 19. Anyone who has offered to help out this year will be contacted with details. It is not too late to volunteer. If you would like to help out please be sure to let us know by e-mail.

WHERE THERE IS SMOKE....

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - Do we have a chick? This image of Lily removing a shell from the nest would seem to suggest that one has indeed hatched! Some sharp eyed watchers have noted that the opening in the egg seems rather small and are wondering if this is a failed egg, but we're hopeful that the fidgeting and fussing we saw earlier today was indeed about a hatching. We will know for certain in the next few hours if Ossie starts bringing meals to the nest. If you go to our facebook page, one of our members posted a video capture of Lily removing the shell. If there is a chick, it may be up to a week before it moves enough to be seen by the camera.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

Friday, April 28, 2017 - Volunteers needed in June/July for our on-street watch. It is easy and fun. You choose your own 2-hour shifts from the online listing of available volunteer shifts. No one tells you when or how many shifts you work. All we ask is that you e-mail us to register, attend a (2 hour) orientation meeting (to be announced, on a weekday evening early in June), and please show up for your shift(s) (or let us know at least a day ahead of time if you need to cancel). It really is that easy. Oh, and if you have binoculars, that would be good! To learn more, click the VOLUNTEER button above (the e-mail address is there, too!). Thanks!

LOOKS LIKE BROODING.....

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - Do we have eggs? We think so, but with the scrape hidden from our camera view, we are basing this opinion on how Lily now spends most of her time nestled in that corner, and the fact that Ossie is now occasionally taking a turn sitting there after bringing Lily a meal (picture at left). Judging by the activity we have seen in the last few days, we think laying may have begun Saturday or Sunday. Based on Lily's past performance, we expect that by the end of the week there could be 4 or 5 eggs in the scrape. We won't get to see all of them, but, as the birds move around, and turn the eggs, we will catch glimpses of them from time to time. So far, Lily has not produced a clutch where all her eggs have hatched, but she has delayed laying this year until genuinely warm weather began, so we have high hopes for seeing a full nest this year! Based on these approximate laying dates, we may see little white balls of fluff around Mother's Day!

ANY DAY NOW.....

Thursday, April 6, 2017 - Falcon Watchers are keeping a close eye on Lily and Ossie, looking for signs of when they lay their first egg. The scrape is hidden from our camera view, in the corner of the nest ledge closest to the camera, so we won't see any eggs at first. We will have to guess what is happening from the birds' behavior. Over the past few days, there has been a noticable increase in courting behavior, with Ossie bringing more meals to Lily on the nest ledge (as seen in the photo at left). Lily has been spending more time in the scrape. It is normal for falcons to not constantly incubate the first egg or two, so that they develop more slowly, and thus have a better chance of hatching at the same time. So by the time we see Lily start to sit in the nest constantly, there will be a good chance that more than one egg has been laid. Last year Lily laid early, and lost some eggs due to cold weather. It appears she is being more patient this year. Hopefully tonight's forecast snow is the last of the season, and Lily starts laying, and we have a nice, large brood to watch this summer!

IT'S JUST A LITTLE SNOW.....

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - Lily and Ossie are doing just fine with all this snow. The photo at left shows Ossie, in the foreground, looking in on Lily, who is nestled down in the old scrape at the far end of the nest ledge (top right corner). It may look like she is buried in snow, but there is actually a sizable hole in the snow around her. The fact that she chose the old scrape as the most comfortable place to shelter from the storm is quite encouraging to falcon watchers, who have hopes that this year she will choose to lay her eggs in this location that is more visible to our cameras. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the far end of the scrape gets warm morning sunlight. Let's hope that Lily notices this too!

WINTERING WELL.....

Monday, January 30, 2017 - We continue to catch occasional glimpses of our two adult birds on the webcam. Our thanks to the avid watchers who keep an eye on the camera and post pictures to our facebook group!

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!

BACKGROUND FOR 2017....

Hamilton's resident adult pair, Lily and Ossie, will soon celebrate their second anniversary of their arrival in Hamilton, and will begin their third nesting season on the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel in March.

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 2016, the pair again produced several eggs, but only one hatched. With plenty of attention (and food!) from its parents, this chick grew into a strong, robust female, named Ancaster, and made a strong first flight, quickly mastering the skies. It was one of the shortest falcon watches ever.

Many birds exhibit a trait called 'site fidelity'. If at least one of a pair that used a nest site in the previous year return, 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 over and over again, year after year. Peregrine Falcons are known for site fidelity. This will be the twenty-third 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.

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