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.