!!! Suge is doing well and still in re-hap.

February 18, 2015 - Hamilton - Sheraton Hotel

CPF Postmaster Reports:

February 18th - 2015
A quickly update on Surge as his stay at the Owl foundation has lasted a little longer than expected given the minor complications with the damage he sustained to his upper mandible. While he is doing quite well and seems to be enjoying his stay, its going to be a few weeks before he will be able to be released back to the wild.

That being said, we have been able to confirmed a partial identification of the new male suitor that has been quite active around the Hamilton territory nest site, presumed to be the same male that had it out with Surge and led to his injuries. Madam X (a.k.a. - Run-around Sue) on the other hand, the long standing resident territorial adult female has not shown the new male suitor any hospitality as yet, but its only a matter of time before her hormones change as spring is almost in the air,,, (at least for peregrines anyway).

Despite the record cold bitter temps that we have all had to endure throughout the month of February, our urban resident peregrines see this as just another cold day.

With longer days, increased photocell and sunlight, we are already seeing renewed activity on most of the nest ledges, with pair bonding already underway with many of the resident urban pairs. There have been several conflicts and change-overs of mates at several of the urban nest sites, and we are diligently working on identifying the new suitors at same.

There are two new nest territories that we may be able to report soon, (as soon as they are actually confirmed as being full time occupied territories) that has created allot of excitement. Time will tell,,,,,,
Stay tuned……….

!!! Two Peregrines observed on territory at the Hamilton Sheraton hotel nest site!!! Surge is still away in re-hab!!

January 28, 2015 - Hamilton - Sheraton Hotel

CPF Postmaster Reports:

Wednesday Jan. 28th - 2015
We have just received a report that two peregrines are in fact visible at the Hamilton Sheraton hotel nest site and we know that Surge is NOT one of the two peregrines being observed!!

As you know, this past weekend, Surge, the long standing resident territorial adult male at the Hamilton Sheraton nest site was retrieved from the sidewalk with some injuries that were very consistent with that of a full contact fighting with another raptor. Without witnesses, we can only speculate that his injuries may have been sustained as a result of fighting with another peregrine.

That being said, the fact does remain, that as of today, there are two peregrines currently being observed on site at the Hamilton Sheraton Hotel so we’re being told! While there is no confirmation of their identities as yet, there is a strong possibility that at least one new male peregrine is now on the territory.

Surge of course is still at the Owl Foundation recouping from the injuries that he sustained this past weekend, and is currently on a 14 day antibiotic routine to reduce the possibility of any infections, in addition to the worming medication to clear up his little internal parasite challenge.

As with most of these hostile take-overs, the surviving peregrine is usually left on site holding the territory on their own, (in this case, it still may be Madam X), and it is not likely that she is very happy about having this new “intruder” in HER territory! It is also very likely that she may be involved in battles of her own to get rid herself of the stranger!

While this sort of mate changing happens all of the time, and far more often than you would realize, (as this is mothers natures way of sustaining the species by mixing up the gene pool), as you might expect, it doesn’t always happen with the blessing and immediate acceptance of the resident territorial mate that is left on the territory holding the site!

You can expect that when Surge is released, that he will have only one thing on his mind,, and that will be to get back to his home territory and his mate!

So, stay tuned for further updates as they come in, as it is likely to get far more interesting!!!

!!! 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??

!!! Beachville territorial female has been identified! Its Rihannon from the Yellow Pages nest site!

July 27, 2014 - Hamilton - Sheraton Hotel

Mark Nash Reports:

Sunday July 27th - 2014
The Beachville territorial female has been identified! Its Rihannon from the Yellow Pages nest site!
Wow, Lucie and Richard are determined!!! Great works guys as all of your efforts have paid off!!

Lucie texted me Sunday with some great news, in that she and Richard attended the Beachville Quarry site again this weekend determined to get the identity of the territorial female that has hooked up with Joe - Black banded 48 over Y, the little 2010 Hamilton produced male who they earlier identified a week ago on one of their earlier visits. Well, their efforts have paid off, as they were able to identify the territorial female via its leg bands, - (Black 53 over X).

After checking the banding database, Black 53 over X turns up to be a peregrine named Rihannon, a female peregrine produced at the Scarborough Yellow Pages nest site in 2011. Her parents are Linn hatched 2007 from Rochester NY USA and Rueben, hatched in 2003 from Wisconsin USA.

During their visits over the past month since the peregrines were reported, we have found no evidence of them having actually produced offspring this season as we would have seen fledgling juveniles still hanging around at this time in the season. As we know, the fledglings are solely dependant on their adults for food, training and support for 2 to 3 months after they fledge,, and there is no evidence of any fledglings.

That being said, our fingers are crossed that the pair will stay (or return if they migrate) and produce offspring next season………..

!!! Joe from Hamilton has been identified as the resident male at the Beachville Ontario nest site!

July 13, 2014 - Hamilton - Sheraton Hotel

CPF Postmaster Reports:

Sunday July 13th - 2014
A big thank you to Lucie and Richard Kirchknoph who ventured down to Beachville Ontario this weekend to investigate a report of nesting peregrines.
Their efforts paid off as they were able to identify the resident adult male via his leg band number and identify that the resident adult female is also banded with a solid Black leg band, telling us that they are both Canadian produced peregrines. Reports of the peregrines having produced offspring this year have been coming in this past week and we have some some good news to report thanks to Lucie and Richard.

Hi Guys
Good investigation guys!!
The Pefa that you reported having a solid black band number turns up in our banding data base as:

A peregrine named “Joe” that was produced at the Hamilton Sheraton Hotel in 2010
He was a very small underweight male – weighing in at only 492 grams at banding, banded at 23 days old, on May 31st – 2010
His mother is Madame X and his father is named Surge.

Surge was produced at the Etobicoke nest site (Bloor & Islington in Toronto) in 2002
Madame X was produced at a nest site on a bridge in Pennsylvania USA in 1999.

!!! Lost and Found!

June 27, 2014 - Hamilton - Sheraton Hotel

Kathy Reports:

The new resident female in Syracuse has been identified as Pigott, banded 43/X in 2011 at the Sheraton Hamilton nest site.  Her parents are the legendary Madame X and her mate Surge!

Pigott had been in Rochester for 2 years where she attempted to nest unsuccessfully and had disappeared earlier this Spring.  It’s wonderful to hear that she’s found a home and a mate and together they  have raised one beautiful female offspring.

!!! Egg(s) Confirmation!!!

May 11, 2014 - Hamilton - Sheraton Hotel

Kathy Reports:

A big thank you to Hanny over at the BCAW Falcon Forums for the heads up on an egg sighting in Hamilton.

We knew they were incubating but due to the new location they’ve chosen, it’s been impossible to get a peek at any eggs. I was able to retrieve this screen capture from the archives at 3:21 pm today where you can see part of an egg.

!!! Reclutch!

April 30, 2014 - Hamilton - Sheraton Hotel

Kathy Reports:

Looks like Madame X and Surge are incubating egg(s) again but at the opposite end of the ledge.  It’s close to the cam but any eggs are hidden from view by the surrounding wall.  They have been incubating for a few days now after she spent several nights there.  No way to know really how many eggs she may have but we can guess at least one given the shift changes we’ve observed.  Hopefully the wet, cold weather won’t impede their renewed efforts!

!!! Full incubation mode again, but this time at the other end of the nest ledge!

April 28, 2014 - Hamilton - Sheraton Hotel

CPF Postmaster Reports:

April 28th-2014
While we can’t actually say that the Hamilton Sheraton Hotel pair have laid a second clutch of eggs, it appears that the resident adult female is once again in full incubation mode, this time at the other end of the nest ledge, and Madam X is down hard in full incubation mode.

Interestingly, the first two eggs laid have been completely abandoned by the pair (with one of the eggs having been left abandoned), and the other egg having disappeared from view altogether.

A very bizarre happening indeed given the way that this serious of events have so far played out. Typically, the same female won’t start laying a second clutch of eggs until the first clutch has either been destroyed or eaten - (or absent)…. It is (in part), the absence of eggs at this hormonal stage that stimulates the female to go back into egg production mode, (and copulation between the male and female starts again).

One of the many tricks of the captive breeder to get the female to start egg production again and re-clutch for a second time in the same season. Once the first set of eggs have been removed from the incubating female - (at a particular time frame shortly after incubation starts), she can be stimulated into breeding and egg production mode again for the second time in the same season. Both the timing of the action, the time of year, the females hormones and her health has to be right for a second clutch of eggs.

This same procedure can sometimes be safely completed for a third time in the same breeding season to encourage the female into allowing copulation to take place and laying a third clutch of eggs.

In any case, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out and see what is actually happening?
Stay tuned……..

!!! At least one of the two Hamilton eggs may have been eaten and the other abandoned by Madam X!

April 24, 2014 - Hamilton - Sheraton Hotel

CPF Postmaster Reports:

April 24th - 2014
Sadly, one of the eggs at the Hamilton Sheraton Hotel nest site has disappeared, likely eaten by one (or both) of the resident pair and the remaining egg has been abandoned altogether by Madam X. While sad news, this is not an unusual happening. So far this year, we have already seen several other clutches of eggs destroyed and eaten by the resident pair at two other nest sites here in southern Ontario, and at several other nest sites each year over the past years.

Look at what the Port Colborne nest site has been going through over the past three years with incredible territorial battles going on each year, and the destruction of several clutches of eggs each season as a result - http://www.peregrine-foundation.ca/w/c/sightings/port-colborne-adm-mill

While we can only speculate as to the cause, (and there are many things that cause the peregrines to abandon and /or consume their eggs), it is our experience that one of the most often documented explanations for a pair to abandon, destroy or consume their eggs comes from pressures as a result of territorial disputes from other peregrines challenging the resident pair for their territory or the nest sites.

While the fighting between outsiders and the resident pairs can get quite aggressive (well documented over the years, with physical combat going on in the nest boxes and nest ledges themselves), some times resulting in the injury or death of one or more of the birds, squabbling and fighting is just as evident in aerial battles that can take place some distance from the actual nest site itself. Its all about protecting your territory, and some of our urban pairs have huge territories!

Also remember that this is the time of year when allot of our northern Ontario’s peregrines are only just returning from their wintering grounds in the south, now passing through the area on the way back up north to their home turfs, and the single unattached birds are looking for both mates and territories, and in usual peregrine form, have no problem challenging whom ever they encounter on the way to win over a mate and territory. This is how Surge acquired the Hamilton Sheraton territory and Madam X several years ago. He wasn’t invited.
Stay tuned, it could get very interesting……….

The good news is, the breeding season is still in full swing, hormones levels are high, and there is plenty of time to produce and/or re-clutch additional eggs.
As far as our resident northern Ontario peregrines, many of them are still not even back on territory and still weeks away from even producing their own eggs.