Hamilton’s new peregrine falcon chicks banded, named


Four new peregrine falcon chicks born late April atop the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Hamilton, Ont., have been banded and now have names.

The Hamilton Community Peregrine Project (HCPP), who keep an eye on the species in the city, dubbed three male birds Kirkendall, Gibson and Stipley — all named after city neighbourhoods.

The lone female, Delta, is also the namesake of an east end neighbourhood.

The chicks, which started to hatch around April 29, are the second newborns to parents McKeever and Judson, who moved in on the territory of former resident falcons Lily and Ossie earlier last year.

Mark Nash with the Canadian Peregrine Foundation says banding for species at risk has been going on for close to 100 years and is an effective, inexpensive way to monitor dispersal and migration of the species.

“Equally as important, their mortalities and what’s involved in their mortality,” Nash explained.

“Historically peregrines have had an 80 per cent mortality to breeding age, so eight out of every ten of them don’t make it to adult breeding age. That has been an unanswered question for a very long time.”

He says his group is also involved in an ongoing study with the Government of Canada using the species lifestyle to monitor contaminants in the environment.

“The banding is the monitoring we need to know where these birds are going, where they’re coming from, where they’ve been, where they’re picking up these contaminants so we can deal with these situations,” said Nash.

HCPP is still seeking volunteers to keep watch as the chicks will soon be able to take flight, expected in a matter of weeks.

The group estimates about five weeks of observation between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily is needed to make sure the young birds don’t fly into trouble once they depart their 17th floor nest.

Interested volunteers can reach out to: volunteers@falcons.hamiltonnature.org

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