Peregrine falcon brood banded at Ambassador Bridge in Windsor
Windsor’s famous peregrine falcons hatched four more chicks this year.
The brood of three female and one male chick was banded for tracking purposes Thursday.
The birds were named Lancaster, Sojourner, Maya and Shibikesi.
Sojourner is named after freedom fighter Sojourner Truth, part of the Underground Railroad.
Maya is named after Maya Angelou, the famous author, poet, dancer and singer, who died last month.
Shibikesi means "falcon" in Algonquin. It was named by daycare children at Golden Lake Reserve.
Freddie and Voltaire are the parents of the four chicks banded Thursday. It's their fourth batch. The pair have been nesting on the Ambassador Bridge for seven years.
The pair is one of 84 breeding pairs of peregrine falcons in Ontario.
Bands help track the birds to see where they end up and whether they survive.
Anne Yagi of the Ministry of Natural Resources praised the volunteers who help keep an eye on and band the birds.
"They are actually crucial to the success of urban nest sites because these birds can land in traffic on the bridge," she said. "These people rescue them. There's a protocol for them to handle them, they get them checked out by a veterinarian before they're released again."
Mark Nash, the director of the Canadian Peregrine Falcon Foundation, had the task of reaching the top of the Ambassador Bridge footing to retrieve the chicks from the nest.
"We have to be able to identify their gender. At this age they pretty much all look the same, but we know biologically that the female, and this is a rule of thumb for all birds of prey, the females are larger than the males," Nash explained.
That's why each baby chick has to be taken out and weighed and banded.
The international bands are recognized around the world and managed by the Canadian Wild Life Service.