The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

 Hamilton

Daily Updates - July, 1998

Sunday, July 5
Nadine Litwin reports:
At least one adult continues to spend quite a good deal of time on the nest ledge or on the adjacent ledge. Sometimes both adults appear, with one staying in the nest, and the other going to the next ledge; sometimes an adult and a chick appear. I suspect that the chick in such close pursuit may be "Phoenix". He's had the least amount of flying time so far, and he tends to fly up to the camera perch quite often. This was the route of his first flight, too.

Both adults had favourite perches last year, places where they spent the rest of the summer and the fall. "Dad" had a corner on the Stelco Tower, several floors down from the top. "Mom" really liked her nest site. The same pattern seems to be re-asserting itself, and will probably become more evident over the next few weeks as the chicks become increasingly self-sufficient.

On Friday I saw two peregrines chasing each other. I also saw a Turkey Vulture float by, and immediately "dad" started his ka-ka-ka. But he wasn't the only one to start up after it ... *3* peregrines started up after it! However, he was the only one to actually stoop at it.

Immediately after that I saw 2 peregrines riding and soaring the thermals ... something "mom" and "dad" have done often throughout the season. They soared for a long time together, finally coming down and settling on the Stelco Tower (I suspect "dad") and the nest site (probably "mom").

Wonderful to see Peregrine Falcons in the skies like this .. in the skies where they belong. Wonderful, too, to have the sense that this pair is really here to stay, not just for the nesting season, but for the rest of the year ... that they are truly "home".

Tuesday, July 7
Peter Hasek reports
: On Tuesday July 7 at about 6:23pm, two Peregrines attempted to land on my air conditioner which juts out from my apartment window...then they flew over to a top balcony at 67 Caroline, which is kitty corner from ONtv. Minutes later, they were joined by a third falcon which rested on the roof and took a hard look at the buildings elevator housing. Within 15 minutes, all headed back to the Hotel.

One of the "chicks" seemed to have a hard time maintaining his/her ballance, looked ruffled and spend *ALL* of its visit preening. This was also the first chick to arrive and the last to leave 67 Caroline.

Friday, July 10
Al Osmond reports
seeing all 4 chicks together with one adult today. The adult female is spending time in her nest, but she looks disheveled, and spends a good deal of time preening. Don't know if she's molting or not.

Monday, July 13
Bruce Duncan reports
Very sad news today. One of the chicks, "Freedom", the older of the two males, was killed this morning. He was apparently in a fight with an adult female American kestrel, which was also killed. It is still unclear how they died. The bodies have been frozen and will be forwarded to the OMNR for autopsy and analyses.

Regular sightings continue to be made of three chicks together, two larger ones and one smaller one. It sounds like the two sisters with one brother. Continued observations may help to establish if the smaller one was "Freedom" or if it is "Phoenix".

Thursday, July 16
Nadine Litwin reports
: Thunder, lightning and rain started at about 2:00 o'clock this afternoon. I saw two chicks on the roof of the Standard Life building, one frisking about in the rain. Then I saw a third bird over on the roof of the Ellen Fairclough building. Couldn't tell if it was an adult or not.

Saturday, July 18
Nadine Litwin reports
: Today's the last day I'll refer to our chicks as "chicks". From now on I'll refer to them as "juveniles". Because today I saw for the first time four peregrines flying together at breakneck speeds. It was positively breathtaking. I heard them before seeing them, and when I did see them, 2 were flying so close together their talons may have been touching ... but they went by and did their manoevres and turns so fast I couldn't tell. Two others were with them, folding their wings and whipping around the corners of the buildings at incredible speed.

We are concerned about the mortality rate of peregrine falcons in their first year. But maybe the mortality rate has always been very high. Maybe that's the price for being the fastest animal in the world. Few mistakes can be made at the speeds these birds go at without the cost being a life.

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