The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

 Hamilton

Daily Updates - August to December, 1998

Thursday, August 6
Special Report -- Anne Yagi reports
: Hamilton chick located in Michigan -- Female Band 4 / S, USFW band # 1807-141-85, banded July 21, 1997 Named "Stelco" after the Stelco Tower building a fantastic contributor of office space and equipment to the local Pefa watch. Staff from the local tower are also big contributors of time towards observing this nest site.

Stelco was the third chick of 4 chicks hatched at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Hamilton in 1997. She was also the third to fledge. She has 2 brothers and 1 sister from this clutch. She first flew to the nearby Standard Life building and then back to the nest and then went down to the parking lot to play in a puddle. She then required rescuing from her own curiosity as she was at an overpass observing people near very heavy traffic. Upon her rescue she was banded. She wasn't a trouble maker and she was a steady and strong flier. One unique thing about her was a very short left rectrix feather (40mm shorter than the right side). She was 983 g at banding.

Mark Dietrich is a volunteer working in a nearby building who first observed the birds and their hunting forays. He also identified Stelco from her bands and apparently has a great photo of her (see the photo gallery). Stelco has established a territory with an unbanded adult male at the Michigan National Bank Tower in Lansing Michigan. The pair is apparently playing havoc with the local pidgeon population and attacking rubber decoy "Great Horned Owls". She has chosen a corner area of one of the ledges on the 12 floor. No nest this year. Lets hope next years is successful for them.

Saturday October 17
Nadine Litwin reports:  At around 3 pm, one female adult on nest ledge - glided off and around Hotel - reappeared and flutter-stopped on Sheraton Hotel logo, the flew and shover-fluttered (it looked like just the wing tips were moving, like with a kestrel) over the Sheraton rooftop, then dropped down to the roof and out of view ... is this the same bird with the closed eye?? (There have been several recent reports of a bird perching on the Sheraton with one eye closed).

In the meantime, gulls were soaring in the sky over the Sheraton Hotel. It was unseasonally warm. High overhead, a lone Red-tailed Hawk appeared, drifting from the Bay into the downtown area.

Then something else appeared, higher than all. It seemed to materialize out of the sky, and it was dropping straight down to the Red-tailed Hawk. It was a Peregrine Falcon. It stooped relentlessly at the hawk, forcing it into survival manoeuvres and a hasty retreat from the downtown area.

Our resident male peregrine usually calls his alarm throughout such an attack, but this happened too high for me to hear anything. As the hawk left town though, the peregrine's descending glide brought it back to perching level. I could hear then that he was still ka-ka-ka-ing his alarm. He glided out of sight.

I turned and a peregrine was on the corner of the Stelco Tower. It could have been the attacker, but it was larger, like a female.

A few minutes later while I was driving away from the scene along Main St, *another* peregrine, definitely a juvenile this time, flew low around the Ellen Fairclough building, then across Main St, then on and around the EF building out of sight ... it appeared to have set up some pigeons.

Wednesday October 21
Nadine Litwin reports:
One adult, restless - thought it was our adult female, but odd things happened - it repeatedly flew from the Hotel or the Standard Life front corner through the narrow corridor between the two buildings around to the northwest corner of the Standard Life building - once it fluttered at the window in that corner, just below the rooftop. It's a very alert bird, lots of head movement, nervous and "flitting about".

Three more red-tailed hawks kettled above the downtown, and another soared through from the north, but there was no peregrine attack this time.

Thursday October 22
Special Report: -- by Anne Yagi
Thanks to the recovery of partial band information provided by our volunteer observer Brian Burgon, we have finally been able to confirm the origin of our adult male falcon in Hamilton (currently known to us as "Dad").  He wears a silver USFW Band # 816-33725, banded at Macdonald College in Montreal on June 14, 1993.

Another urban to urban transfer. We are currently researching some band information on the adult female and hope to get an I.D. on her soon.

Sunday November 29
Bev Jenson reports: I work on the 11th floor at 21 King St. West in Hamilton. My office members and I are having the pleasure of seeing one of these great birds close up and personal almost every day; sometimes twice a day.

The bird comes crashing into the window then sits on the roof of the walkway between the two CIBC buildings just complaining away. Apparently he (or she) has claimed this as his/her territory and is quite perturbed that another bird is there (reflection from glass). Sufficient to say, our window is quite marked up from the attacks.

The falcon that comes to visit has a purple band on the right leg, and a black with red band on the left leg with a 9x. I hope this helps.

Saturday December 5
Marcel Gahbauer reports
:  Bruce Massey and I spent about an hour in downtown Hamilton today, watching Mom and Dad. Judging by what we saw, they seem to be staying very close to home. When we first arrived, we saw Mom landing on the roof of the Standard Life building overlooking King Street, while Dad was already perched just under the large S logo on the Sheraton Hotel.

By the time we had retrieved and set up our scope, Mom had moved over to the ledge midway between Dad and the nest ledge. Dad had a very full crop - so much so that he was having trouble preening his breast. We watched both of them for a while, but they remained where they were and seemed to be quite relaxed. Note:  in retrospect, the bird which Bruce and I identified as Mom may have been Toledo - we were unable to read band numbers on either of the adults we saw and assumed that it was Mom because she has previously wintered in the area.  Only later did we learn that Mom has not been seen for most of the winter, and that Toledo appears to have settled in with Dad.

Wednesday December 16, 1998
Bev Jenson reports:
The peregrine has only come back once in the afternoon since early December. The band on the right foot is a light purplish colour with silvery engraved letters which are difficult to read. Of course it doesn’t help when the bird won’t sit still for very long.

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