Author Topic: Radisson in San Antonio  (Read 4509 times)

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Offline Alison

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Radisson in San Antonio
« on: January 27, 2018, 14:56 »
Canadian peregrine wintering in San Antonio, Texas

I think I may have just come across Radisson at her winter home. TPC and Bev, please see what you think. The bird's bands are black/black *R/7, and that matches Radisson's band numbers. There is another bird with the same black/black band number, from Red Sucker Cove, Marathon, Ontario, but that band is on the bird's right leg.

Wintering peregrine falcons seen soaring above downtown high rises

An avid bird watcher, Lance Alderidge has a great view from his third-story downtown office, often spotting hawks and vultures swooping in the air.

In early January, he was talking on the phone at the Bexar County Courthouse when a blur flashed past his window. He grabbed his binoculars and zoomed in on what looked like birds of prey chasing a pigeon.

Two days later, he spied the same birds flying up to the circular neon light tower on top of the Drury Plaza Hotel. He confirmed the pair were peregrine falcons, alpha predators of the bird world.

Since the first sighting, the court coordinator for the 175th district court has watched the pair dive-bomb a black vulture and heard their sharp kak-kak-kak call echo above the roof tops. Some of his co-workers have joined his searches as he logs sightings to plot their flight patterns.

“It was great to see these things,” Alderidge, 36, said, “showing their true nature and dominating the sky.”

Bird experts said the pair are making an extended stay in the Alamo City during their migration South. According to The Nature Conservancy, the peregrine falcon was listed as endangered in 1970 because of pesticides and DDT poisoning. Their numbers across the nation have increased with the help of state and federal Fish & Wildlife Services, research and restoration groups.

Tourists have posted sightings online of the bird soaring near downtown high rises and recorded sightings of falcons over South Presa Street going as far back as at least 1984. The fastest flying bird in the world also has been observed in other Texas cities, such as Houston, where office workers have watched falcons rise above skyscrapers for years.

Alderidge alerted fellow bird enthusiast John Economidy, a San Antonio attorney, who has followed peregrine falcons at the Corpus Christi Hawkwatch for close to 30 years. He began locating the pair at the Drury, located at 105 S. St. Mary’s St., and at other buildings, including the Tower Life Building and the Frost Bank tower.

Economidy said he’s seen the duo slip into a power dive, called a stoop, to capture pigeons in a blast of feathers and then swoop back to their perch with their prey.

“It’s a pretty exciting sight to see,” Economidy said. “They are marvelous to watch.”

Photographers have noticed a black band on one of the falcons’ left leg. Economidy said the ring indicates the bird was banded in the nest as a chick and is from the Falco peregrinus anatum species.

John Karger, founder of Last Chance Forever, said he’s seen falcons wintering in San Antonio for the last decade. Karger said the nonprofit group provides a rehabilitation service for birds of prey and cares for three to four peregrine falcons a year.

He said three different falcon species live around the city: the peregrine falcon, the American Kestrel and the Merlin, nicknamed the pigeon hawk.

“They live at the top of the ladder with us,” Karger said. “So, having them here is an incredible thing to have because it says that our air, food, and water quality is pretty good. They come because there’s a food source here and the food source isn’t harmful to them.”

Lynn Cuny, founder of Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, said seeing falcons in populated areas isn’t rare, but nature in place of buildings is better.

“The fact that they’ve made this adaptation speaks to their resilience, intelligence and ability to keep doing what they must do to keep their species alive,” she said. “Any wild animal that is making it in our midst is a positive force of nature and we should be thrilled that they’re there.”

The Drury’s general manager, Mark Vilagi, said he’s seen everything from bats to hawks swooping along roof tops and the Tower of the Americas during his 30 years working downtown.

“Hearing about the falcons isn’t much of a surprise, because things just happen down here,” he said, standing on the 24th floor beneath the banner of what was once the Alamo National Bank.

Vilagi said for decades, locals looked skyward to the neon tower’s circular bands, which changed colors depending on the forecast issued by the National Weather Service.

These days, residents and visitors alike are still looking up at the tower, but now they’re searching for a flash of grey and white, trying to get a glimpse of downtown San Antonio’s real snow birds.


http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Wintering-peregrine-falcons-seen-soaring-above-12523187.php#photo-14937648

Offline Alison

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2018, 15:17 »
San Antonio, Texas peregrines continued

There are many great photos by Marvin Pfeiffer which accompany the article:

 

 



As can be seen in the last photo, there are two peregrines at the site, and they appear to be a pair.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 15:19 by Alison »

Offline carly

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2018, 15:41 »
Wow...now we know where Radisson hides out in the Winter.  Amazing!! We know she is safe  :)  Thank you for sharing this Alison!

Offline bev.

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2018, 16:39 »
I am going to go and look up my pictures and bands .  I have watched her from  when she first came to Edmonton. I would know instantly if I was there.

so will send Tracy my pictures and picutre of band

i hope she does not stay there. certainly looks like the band but will try and get my pcitures
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 17:00 by bev. »

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2018, 16:58 »
Wow...now we know where Radisson hides out in the Winter.  Amazing!! We know she is safe  :)  Thank you for sharing this Alison!

Well we think that it is Radisson - Bev is checking her photos, I'm checking mine (gods, 2006 was a long time ago) and I'm hoping to get a couple of other photos from the folks down south just to compare.  Bands get very beat up over the years so an R might actually be a B or vice versa.  Really would like to have one of our photos beside one of their photos to know for sure.  Y'all should know this about me by now  ;D

As for San Antonio it is likely not where she overwintered.  We have found that our Mexico over-wintering peregrines tend to start working their way out of Mexico back to Texas in January before making the push home in about March.  We know for sure that Vesper did the same thing for a couple of years as did Rosser and of course Beatrix.  Don't take those examples as examples of what happens to peregrines when they go through Texas though, most of our peregrines appear to overwinter in Mexico so they all go through Texas.  We also know that C/P and A/1 in the 1990s, E/U, 3/C, Andamooka, La Peregrina and Bogart in the 2000s used this route to/from Mexico.

And I should mention that it looks like the companion with the bird who might be Radisson  ;) ;D looks to have a black/red band so who knows it may be a family reunion of sorts ... again, waiting to see if we can get a look at a better photo to be sure.

Will of course post any new information!!

Offline carly

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2018, 17:29 »
That makes sense, stop in Texas..enjoy the sunshine and get fed up before continuing on up north.  This is so exciting!  And yes I know you want to be 100% before saying it's her, you have an excellent point about the bands...I think it's her though...lol!  Or rather I want it to be her so I know she's safe...wonder who the boy is?  A grandson maybe or she's got a friend on the side...lol!
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 20:44 by carly »

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2018, 18:35 »
Not sure how long it will take for us to track down the band photos for Radisson but thank you Alison for finding and sharing the photo and for including your research on the coloured band's number.  It would be great to find out Radisson is starting her way back north ... and cool to maybe find out who's she's with!!

Offline Alison

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2018, 20:26 »
This is one of Bev's photos of Radisson from 2017.



I still believe the band on the San Antonio bird is *R/7, partly because the bottom part of the letter appears to be the wrong shape for it to be a B.



The photo of the bird with a black/red band:



Offline bev.

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2018, 14:43 »
here is a picture I was looking for Allison now we are assuming there is no number in front of the 7 . I sent Tracy a few others that she will probably post

this is when I asked for a closeup form cam operator at the time



does not surprise me if it is her as they pass through TExas on migration. remember they are on holidays so they are not nesting
thanks Allison for posting this


« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 14:47 by bev. »

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2018, 15:09 »
Bev and her friend Trish have provided excellent photos to confirm that yes, one of the two birds spotted in San Antonio is Radisson!  Because I don't have (or at least can't find) a photo of her band at banding, I really needed to see the band before being sure, particularly as Alison noted on her original post, there is another bird with the same coloured band combination (they are supposed to be as unique as the silver aluminum bands but mistakes obviously do happen!)  Now hopefully there is another photo or two of the black/red banded bird and we'll  be able to find out who s/he is.  I'm pretty sure it is a female by the look of the bird's overall mass and what I can see of her feet.  We'll just have to wait and see what more we hear from San Antonio ... at least until Radisson decides to continue her journey north of course.

A big thank you to Alison for finding and posting the story from the San Antonio Express-News - and for twigging that the black banded bird could be Radisson!

Offline carly

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2018, 19:04 »
It's interesting that Radisson might be hanging out with another female .  They are off on migration, having fun in the sun and no territory to squabble over!

Great detective work on the bands everyone!

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2018, 18:56 »
Well as much as Radisson companion looked like a female, "she" turns out to be a "he".  He's still a big bird with yo-honking big "lady peregrine" toes.

Anywho, "he" is a 2013 wild-hatched male from the Mayo Clinic nestsite in Rochester Minnesota with the name of Triumph.  Triumph has been nesting with a banded but unnamed 2012 female  from the Mayo Building at the U of Minnesota in Minneapolis.  Triumph and his unnamed mate had 4 chicks in 2016 and 3 chicks in 2017 on the Multifoods Tower (now the City Centre) in Minneapolis.

Interestingly, 30 years ago our first female and matriarch of all the Radisson Hotel-related peregrines hatched from the Multifoods Tower and 15 years ago, Princess hatched from the Excel Riverside Power Plant just northeast (~7miles) of Multifoods.  The Tower was the first wild nest in Minnesota if I recall correctly and the first female there (and Maud's mother) was a captive-bred bird who was known as MF-1. 

Even though there is no reason for two females to fight on migration (other than they are annoying one another and that's not gender-dependent), it does somehow make me more comfortable that Triumph is a male not a female.  Radisson still has 2 months and 3000km to go until she gets home.  Probably more than 3000km actually as it is unlikely that she would fly in a straight line from San Antonio to Edmonton.  No idea if she goes up the same way the Manitoba birds (Texas - Oklahoma - Kansas - Nebraska - South Dakota - North Dakota - Manitoba) or if she might go west and use the foothills of the Western Cordillera - don't know if the western peregrines do that but its possible.

Offline Alison

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2018, 20:57 »
It's good to know who both the birds in San Antonio are. Triumph, then, is the male who replaced the long-time resident tiercel, Younger, at the Multifoods nest in 2016. Younger was found dead on March 17 of that year. His injuries were consistent with a territorial battle.

Younger was a two-nest tiercel for some years. In addition to his nest at the Multifoods Tower, he had a second nest across the street, only 100 yards away from Multifoods and 38 floors lower. After the loss of Younger, his mate at Multifoods was also gone and a new female moved in.

But she was not really new; she was Younger's other mate from his second nest, and she is now Triumph's mate. She is banded black/red 22/X, and her name is Genie.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2018, 21:45 »
Triumph's mate has a name? Cool!!!! I could only find her band number no name 😁
Would you know if it is an official name? Or one that was given to her more informally by volunteers, supporters, fans, etc?

Offline carly

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2018, 15:38 »
Thank you TPC and Alison for the update on who Radisson is hanging out with and his history. 
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 19:22 by carly »