The birds have come back for what we hope will be the best season yet. Cameras are equipped with HD night vision for 24-hour viewing. Watch the peregrines hatch, raise and nurture their chicks and gently guide them into adulthood (as only somewhat violent birds of prey can do).
The peregrines are monitored 24/7 and biologists are informed directly if there are any concerns. Occasionally, eggs or chicks may be removed from the nests and taken to a hack site to ensure proper growth.
Update: May 22, 2018
There are four eggs at this site and Chase and Radisson are taking turns with incubating. If you've ever wondered how chicks breathe while stuck inside the eggs: eggshells are porous and allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass through.
Update: May 11, 2018
Egg #4 was laid yesterday afternoon. Will this be the last one? Time will tell.
Weekend Update: May 8, 2018
A couple more eggs were laid over the weekend. Egg #2 on Friday evening and Egg #3 early Monday morning. Chase, like any helpful father-to-be brought Radisson a snack as she was laying the eggs. Unlike caring human fathers, the snack was decidedly not ice chips.
The intruders that had been around earlier seem to have left the area. And Radisson and Chase are happily switching off with incubation duties.
Update: May 3, 2018
It's an egg! It was laid sometime yesterday afternoon or evening.
Update: May 2, 2018
After having chased off a couple of intruder females, Radisson has been able to concentrate on bonding with Chase and preparing the nest box for the eventual eggs. Radisson and Chase came back a little late this year so it's likely that actual egg laying will take a little longer than the other sites.
Update: April 24, 2018
Chase and Radisson were seen together this afternoon doing a little bonding before the eggs are laid.
Update: April 18, 2018
Chase showed up today! So it looks like Radisson and Chase are settling in for another breeding season together... except an unbanded female has been hanging around this same area. Could be trouble...
Update: April 17, 2018
Radisson was spotted at this site last week. Will she stick around or is this the year her and Chase find a new summer home?
Early in the 2017 season, we confirmed the peregrines spotted here are Radisson and Chase—involved since 2012! Just like any Hollywood couple, they enjoyed canoodling in front of the cameras. And life was peachy keen…until the banding of the chicks, when it was discovered that two of the four fluff-balls were not doing well. But after just a couple weeks of treatment, Chase and Radisson's chicks made a full recovery! They quickly gained weight and were successfully released at the hack site. Chase and Radisson remained in the general U of A area for the remaining season, tucked into their usual spots at bedtime.
Species at Risk
Although the peregrine falcon and the ferruginous hawk get a lot of attention because they are obviously excessively cool, there are many other interesting species that are considered to be Species at Risk, and there is no good reason not to learn about them! For example, the greater sage grouse is a very unique looking upland bird and there are very few left in Alberta. Also check out some of the bat conservation initiatives in Alberta.