PHOTOS: Hamilton’s Sheraton falcons welcome (at least) two new hatchlings


Published May 1, 2020 at 4:39 pm

Hamilton has a set of new feathered friends thanks to the peregrine falcons who call the Sheraton Hotel in the city’s downtown home.

Hamilton has a set of new feathered friends thanks to the peregrine falcons who call the Sheraton Hotel in the city’s downtown home.

This week, the Hamilton Community Peregrine Project, shared a series of truly breathtaking photos of the falcons, who became a family of four after Lily and Ossie welcomed two hatchlings recently.

The group estimates that the tiny birds hatched overnight on Monday (April 27).

This is one of the first pictures of the new baby falcons shared by the Hamilton Community Peregrine Project. The main photo was taken Friday (May 1).

As if the arrival of the two baby falcons isn’t enough, it’s possible there could be more on the way.

“Hatching can occur over a span of several days,” the community group says on their website.

“So we will be watching feedings closely, to see how many heads poke out in the days to come!”

Lily and Ossie have made the Sheraton their home for the past five years and this is their sixth nesting season, the Peregrine Project website says.

They have had several nesting disappointments in recent years. Last year, the pair laid several eggs but they didn’t hatch, according to the group.

The last time they had success was back in 2018 when they hatched three baby birds.

This actually marks the 26th year that the Sheraton Hamilton has been used by falcons to nest.

The Peregrine project explains that if at least one of a pair that used a nest site in the previous year returns, and if there have been no significant physical changes to disturb either the nest itself or the birds generally, they will use the same nest site year after year.

This behaviour is known as ‘site fidelity.’

The Sheraton nest was first discovered by a Hamilton teacher in the mid-1990s. The first falcon pairing believed to have set up a home was named ‘Mom and dad,’ and they produced one of the nest’s first hatchlings who was affectionately named ‘Hamilton.’

Over the years, the nest has hosted a number of love birds and produced dozens of falcons, all under the watchful eye of community volunteers and bird enthusiasts.

The camera that keeps constant track of the nest was installed in the late 90s.

The Hamilton Community Peregrine Project is actually looking for volunteers to help with the on-street watch during the period when the chicks make their first flights in June.

To find out more about the project or volunteer, or to just keep up with the new baby falcons, check out their website.

Photo courtesy the Hamilton Community Peregrine Project

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