One of the peregrine falcon chicks atop the Radisson Hotel in Winnipeg took its first flight Friday morning under a sunny summer sky.
It was a nice, clean launch at about 7 a.m. The chick then took a rest on the roof of the Rogers building two blocks away from its Radisson nest, said Tracy Maconachie, a conservation biologist who has co-ordinated Manitoba's Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project for 19 years.
"It's a great, safe spot for a young chick — high up, easy access to the edges and within eyesight of most of the adult's perches on the west side of the hotel and close enough to the hotel that the chicks can still see and talk to each other," she said.
Four chicks belonging to Princess and Ivy, a peregrine pair nesting on the Radisson, hatched May 12.
Maconachie expects the other chicks to follow their plucky sibling very soon, possibly today.
Meanwhile, the three chicks nesting atop the McKenzie Seeds building in Brandon, Man., are three weeks younger than the Radisson chicks and are still in their downy white feathers but starting to interact more iwith each other and with the world around them, said Maconachie.
Various pairs of peregrine falcons have been nesting on the Radisson hotel since 1989 and a webcam has been there since 2006, enabling people around the world to observe the tender and sometimes tragic first few weeks of the new families.
Another live cam, aimed on the Brandon nest belonging to Hurricane and Brooklyn, was added this year.
"Great viewing on both cams right now," Maconachie said.