Hamilton Falconwatch News

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NEW CAMERA!

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 - The Hamilton Community Peregrine Project is pleased to announce that we have received a generous donation, from Hanwha Vision, of a new Wisenet HD video camera, replacing the old stationary Camera #2. The camera was installed today by Eric Luehmann of Hamilton Video & Sound. Major funding for this work and additional equipment, was provided by a Hamilton Ward 2 community grant, obtained through Councillor Cameron Kroetsch.

This camera brings significant new capability to Falconwatch, enabling us to separately track two groups of chicks on nearby buildings during fledging, and will give us the ability to tilt upwards and look for falcons perched on top of nearby buildings. Something we could not do before. The higher resolution images will help us more easily read leg bands on our birds (and any visitors to the nest).

As usual, McKeever and Judson were flying about, expressing their displeasure at having humans anywhere near their nest. We, on the other hand are very pleased, and extremely grateful to Hanwha, and all the people who helped make this happen! Thank you!

GETTING READY FOR ANOTHER NESTING SEASON

Monday, February 19, 2024 - As usual, McKeever and Judson have been seen around the nest ledge from time to time over the winter. It's not quite time for them to start nesting yet, but the Hamilton Community Peregrine Project has some work to do to get ready for the coming season. Tomorrow (Feb 20) the fine people from Hamilton Video & Sound will be servicing our cameras. You may see some activity, or odd positioning of the cameras, and both cameras may go offline for a while. Don't worry, the end result of all this work will be some serious improvements. We'll tell you all about it once we're done.

BACKGROUND FOR 2024....

After their second 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 third year at the Hamilton nest, and Judson's fourth.

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, 2022, when we observed that there were still two adults landing at the nest ledge while Lily (the previous female) 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, and four more the next year.

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 thirtieth 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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