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Seasonal Summary: August 19, 2019
Chase and Radisson are well-established with viewers; they have been together since 2012 and are still going strong. This year, four eggs were laid; unfortunately, only three hatched. One chick was taken to the Pembina hack earlier than its siblings; the chick was quite a bit smaller, making it difficult to muscle between its bigger and stronger siblings and eat food. About two weeks after that, the other two chicks (in the midst of learning to fly) were also taken to the hack. The Mazankowski building is a treacherous building when learning to fly, and the two chicks had trouble with its unforgiving height.
Update: July 18, 2019
What's the first thing parents do when a child leaves home? Party! All of Chase and Radisson's chicks took flight for the first time earlier this week.Though they made a solid attempt, it was no match for the treaherous Mazankowski building. After a dramatic Monday morning of getting the young birds down safely, they were examined by a veterinarian and biologist, and moved to the Pembina hack site, where the birds can develop and learn to fly safely before being released into the wild.
Early Monday morning, Peace Officers witnessed one chick struggling while attempting her first solo flight. The officers alerted FledgeWatch: birdwatching volunteers who monitor young peregrines during fledging to ensure they do not injure themselves when learning how to fly.
The second chick did not want to be left behind and also attempted her first flight, and ended up in a nearby tree. Both fledglings were coaxed from their perches into the waiting FledgeWatcher's blankets below.
Now that Chase and Radisson's chicks are seafely learning how to fly at Pembina hack site, it gives the proud parents time to reaffirm amd strenghten their bond, while prepping for migration. Truly empty nesters.
Update: July 3, 2019
Three down to two! After the U of A's banding session yesterday (July 2nd at around 3p.m.), only two chicks have returned with some new ankle bling. The third chick was moved to Pembina hack, a protected site that allows young falcons to heal, develop experience, and/or exercise before being released into the wild. Overprotective parents Chase and Radisson were not happy to see only two of the three large female chicks return, but the returning two will be happy not having to share food with another sibling.
Update: June 12, 2019
It is unlikely the last egg will hatch. This could have been caused by a myriad of things such as not being viable from the get-go or having been too hot or cold at some point. The parents of U of A will keep their focus on their live chicks and likely disregard the egg.
Update: June 5, 2019
Another chick has hatched; one more to go! The third chick hatched on Sunday to join its puffball siblings.
Update: June 4, 2019
Great news for the U of A falcon family: two chicks have hatched! The two balls of fuzz arrived sometime Saturday, right in time for a hefty lunch prepared by Radisson.
Update: May 24, 2019
Radisson and Chase seem to have mastered brooding their eggs. They roll them, chirp to them quietly, then settle upon them for a few hours at a time. Their pattern runs as smoothly as clockwork; Radisson takes the night shift, Chase takes the morning shift, and they change multiple times throughout the day. No shift goes astray as the pair herald each other by chupping. A strong partnership!
Update: May 8, 2019
There is a very brave (or very foolish) young female peregrine that has popped by a couple of times. Once, she was so bold as to land on the rungs right in front of the nest box. Neither Radisson nor Chase are impressed and she has been chased off both times. She'd be smart to go elsewhere.
Update: May 3, 2019
We have confirmation that the birds at this nest box are Chase and Radisson. And they are joined by four eggs!
Earlier this year, some ravens tried to make a home out of this nest box but they were quite effectively chased away. Note to all other creatures: this is Radisson's summer home and she'll thank you not to mess with it.
Radisson and Chase—involved since 2012 and quite possibly still going strong! Time will tell.
In 2017, we almost lost Chase and Radisson's four chicks to a Coccidia infection. Special medication was shipped in from Los Angeles and all the chicks made a full recovery. So last year we soaked the nest box with ammonia, which did stave off disease—the new chicks were happy and healthy. In fact, one attempted flying far too soon, and after multiple rescues, was sent off to a hack site for her safety (joining two of her siblings).
Unfortunately, Radisson and Chase lost a chick during her first flight. In trying to reach the roof of the Mazankowski, she hit her head against the side of the building and broke her neck. Hopefully this season brings a turn of better luck for the couple.
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.