Hamilton

First egg of 2019 spotted at Hamilton Sheraton Peregrine falcon nest

The famous peregrine falcons that make their home atop the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Hamilton have laid their first egg of the season.

Last year, 4 falcon chicks were hatched from the nest at the hotel

The first falcon egg of the season has appeared atop the Sheraton in Hamilton. (Falcons.hamiltonnature.org)

The famous peregrine falcons that make their home atop the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Hamilton have laid their first egg of the season.

The parents, Lily and Ossie, produced their first egg of 2019 "almost right on schedule," said Mike Street of Hamilton Falconwatch, in an email.

"The normal incubation period for Peregrine eggs is 35 days, so hatching could occur as soon as 1 May," he said.

This marks the 25th year the same nest site, high on the side of the hotel, is being used by a mating pair of Peregrine Falcons — a species that was once on the brink of extinction, but is now in recovery.

The city's resident adult pair has been in Hamilton for four years now, with this marking their fifth nesting season. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, in partnership with the Hamilton Community Peregrine Project, puts identifying bands on their chicks each year so they can keep track of the growth and spread of the species.

The mother bird was less than enthused when her babies were taken from the nest to be banded last year. (Adam Carter/CBC)

That way, they'll know how many chicks live in each nest, where they end up, and if they survive. The birds are taken from the nest while the tests and banding happen, then returned.

Last year, four male chicks were all tagged and named: Lawrence, Ainslie, Gage and Lisgar — with their namesakes all coming from area parks.

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