4 baby falcon chicks born atop Hamilton Sheraton
The large brood is good news after no chicks hatched in 2017
After a tradition-bucking year where no baby falcons were brought into the world atop the Sheraton Hotel, Hamilton's resident falcon couple has hatched four new baby chicks.
The babies' hungry beaks appeared on webcam last week, streamed live from a ledge from the hotel by the Hamilton Community Peregrine Project. This marks the 24th year the same nest site is being used by a mating pair of Peregrine Falcons.
"It's going to be a mad season for falcon watchers with this many chicks in the sky at once!" the organization posted on its website over the weekend as the existence of a fourth chick became clear.
The city's resident adult pair, Lily and Ossie, have been in Hamilton for three years now, with this marking their fourth nesting season.
The large brood is a rebound for the pair after they failed to hatch any chicks last year and just one in 2016.
Lily was banded in 2010 at the Grand Haven Board of Light & Power plant in Michigan, and Ossie left from the Osler Hospital in Etobicoke in 2012.
The pair produced several eggs last year, but none hatched.
The Peregrine Project says there was no apparent reason for that failure, as temperatures weren't particularly low.
This year will be different, with the first chick appearing on May 3.
"Shortly after 7 p.m. tonight, falcon watchers caught sight of Lily bringing food to the nest, and tearing it apart," the group wrote. "As she did so, a tiny white, fluffy head peeked out from behind the edge of the nest ledge, and we were treated to the sight of the first chick of the 2018 season getting its first meal."
Right now the species is considered threatened in Ontario.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry marks the chicks with bands so they can keep track of the growth of the species.
This way they'll know how many chicks live in each nest, where they end up, and if they survive.
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