!!! Territorial dispute and Surge ends up with some injuries! We expect him to have a full recovery!

January 24, 2015 - Hamilton - Sheraton Hotel

CPF Postmaster Reports:

Saturday Jan 24th - 2015
While many of us may have settled in for the duration of the cold snowy winter months, there are a number of battlefields still very active much closer to home than you would expect!

Just after 9am this morning, we received a call from the Hamilton Animal control that explained that an injured adult black banded peregrine falcon was observed on the sidewalk near Eastwood Park, a short distance from the HMCS Haida. Moments later, we were receiving e-mail from Sue McCreadie in Burlington, along with photos of the injured peregrine in an effort to learn its identity.

It didn’t but a few moments to check the banding database to get an identify on the injured peregrine,, and sadly must report that injured peregrine is non other than Surge, Black banded 7 over 8,, who is the resident territorial adult male from the Hamilton Sheraton hotel nest site. See photos attached, courtesy of Shaena who was able to snap some identification shots before and after his recovery. While his injuries didn’t appear to be life threatening, it was obvious that he had been involved in a full contact dispute with another raptor, and as a precaution, he would be taken to the Owl Foundation for a further more detailed examination and treatment if necessary..

Sue e-mail explained that he was on his way to the TOF

By 12:30pm, we had received a serious of e-mail communication from the Owl Foundation with an initial diagnosis of his examination and some photos, and again at 6:00pm with a more detailed diagnosis of Surge’s injuries.

While there were no witnesses to Surge’s grounding, most of his superficial injuries are very consistent to that of squabbling with another bird of pray, with some punctures and some damage to his cere that is also consistent with injuries having been sustained as a result of fighting with another raptor and making some hard contact with concrete. (Concrete always wins) :-(

The better news is that none of his injuries are life threatening, and failing any complications of infections, the current routine of antibiotics and worming meds he is being given should have him back to good health in two weeks time. Other good news, is with regards to his intake weight. He weighted in at 751 grams. After checking his 2002 banding records, we know that he was 669 grams (empty crop weight) at his banding when he was only 28 days.

At almost 15 years old now, Surge is still of very good weight (and although this is his heavier winter weight), it is, never the less, a very healthy weight for a wild male peregrine adult. The lack of external parasites is another very good indication of his overall health and body condition.

The owl foundation has sent along some of Surge’s photos during intake, and other photos taken of him after a second more detailed examination,, (and a caution that some are a little graphic),, although no where near as bad as we have had to deal with over the 18 years. We have held off posting the more graphic shots.

For all those that have forgotten, Surge was produced in 2002 at the Etobicoke Bloor & Islington nest site in Etobicoke Ontario. Hi obviously was successful in his fledging (with only one rescue from the streets during the fledge watch), and ended up calling the Burling Bridge nest site his home in 2004 - 2005 for only that year.

As a very inexperienced young adult, he was unable to take and hold this territory and was displaced (a polite way of say, he was run out of town) from the Burlington Bridge nest site by another older more experienced male. The following year, Surge ended up coming to Hamilton and displaced the resident adult male at the Hamilton Sheraton hotel. Surge has been nesting and producing at the Hamilton Sheraton hotel since 2006, and has been the resident territorial male ever since. Madam-X - (A.K.A. - Run-around Sue as she was named by the Penn. USA falcon watch team in 1999, the year Madam X was hatched. She has been the resident territorial female at the Hamilton Sheraton nest site since 2001.

So as you can see by this one short story of only Surge’s events, the meek do not inherit the earth - (or in these cases, at least do not inherit the peregrine nesting territory).

Over the past month, we have documented seven other cases of territorial disputes with resident peregrines trying to defend and protect their territories here in southern Ontario from hostile takeovers. We have a few surprises to announce with regards to the successful “take-overs” that have already occurred,,, AND waiting for the results of other ongoing hostile take-over events. Stay tuned on this front, as its just beginning!!

As for Surge, we are very confidant of him having a speedy, successful recovery given the care he is receiving and we will report updated news as to his progress as it comes in from TOF.

This would be the time to get down to the Hamilton Sheraton to see “who” if any, is now on territory??? And the obvious question remain,, where is Madam X (a.k.a - Runaround-Sue)?? And if Surge was in fact injured during squabbles with another peregrine for the territory, who, if anyone, has replaced Surge??