Hamilton's peregrine falcons lay first egg

Madame X and Serge, a falcon couple who nest atop the Sheraton Hotel, laid an egg around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Madame X seems to be incubating her first egg around 1 p.m. Wednesday, as seen on the Falconwatch webcam. (Falconwatch)

Hamilton's resident peregrine falcons are  on their way to becoming parents again.

Madame X, with her partner Serge, laid the couple's first egg Wednesday morning, sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 10:55 a.m., said Mike Street, a volunteer with Falconwatch, the organization that monitors the couple and its offspring.

The couple have nested on a ledge of the downtown Sheraton Hotel for over a decade.

"[Madame X] was behaving in the 'wiggle fashion,' as I call it. We've seen this before right about when she's about to lay the egg," Street said.

He was updating the organization's website when he saw the 'wiggle.' Sure enough, he saw an egg on their falcon webcam shortly after.

Street and the rest of Falconwatch hope she will lay an egg every 24 hours, until she's done. Falcons typically lay three to four eggs.

Then, "it's the most boring 30 days you'll see," Street said with a laugh. 

Mom and Dad falcon will have to incubate the eggs by sitting on top of them for just over five weeks.

"Once they hatch, things go quickly," Street said, adding we should see chicks just after Victoria Day if all goes well.

The Falconwatch coordinator and volunteers mobilize to monitor the youngster's progression. About three weeks after they hatch, the chicks will be banded for tracking purposes. That happens shortly  before they are ready to leave the nest.

"It's a good sign [that we have an egg], but when I see little white things in the nest, I'll be happy," he said.