Author Topic: Radisson in San Antonio  (Read 4510 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 »

Offline soaring west

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2018, 13:08 »
It is great news on Radisson. I can't wait for her return to the U of A. I miss my mornings with her and Chase.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Offline bev.

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2018, 13:00 »
so cool,I met with gord and gave him the information. he is wondering if you have Radissons fathers history

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2018, 09:55 »
so cool,I met with gord and gave him the information. he is wondering if you have Radissons fathers history

I'm a band geek so yes, I have Radisson's history right back to the original pairs in the breeding programs north and south of the border!  ;D

Offline bcbird

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2018, 16:39 »
It was Trey, wasn't it, who was the father of Radisson?

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2018, 12:37 »
It was Trey, wasn't it, who was the father of Radisson?

Yes, Radisson is offspring of Trey and Princess.

Offline bev.

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2018, 19:54 »
this is so cool TRacy. I watch multi food and mayo clinic . so I am really going to  look this year.

Offline bev.

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2018, 12:07 »
triumphs band was never given. they have 4 eggs right now at multifood. so he has returned but we have no birds in edmonton yet. maybe otday

Offline Alison

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2018, 13:04 »
triumphs band was never given. they have 4 eggs right now at multifood. so he has returned but we have no birds in edmonton yet. maybe otday

Triumph is banded black/red 58/P. Born at the Mayo Clinic in 2013, he is the son of Bill from the Black Dog nest site in Minnesota. His mate, Genie, is banded black/red 22/X. She was born in 2012 at the Mayo Building at the University of Minnesota.

He is very probably the one who killed the former tiercel, Younger, in a territorial battle in 2016. Younger was an exceptional tiercel, raising seven or eight chicks each year for several years with two females. Before moving to Multifoods after the loss of Younger, Genie was Younger's other mate at his second nest across the street.

I don't know for sure if Triumph is the male who has returned to Multifoods. Cam resolution is too low to be able to read bands there.

Bev, I hope all your birds return very soon, especially Radisson.

Offline bev.

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2018, 09:06 »
I have multi food up so I can try and see but no luck
thanks for info

Offline Alison

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2018, 09:16 »
I have multi food up so I can try and see but no luck
thanks for info

Bev, I had raised this question elsewhere, and it has now been confirmed by Jackie Fallon that Triumph and Genie have both returned to Multifoods. I posted that info on the Multifoods thread here last night.

They are incubating four eggs.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2018, 12:56 »
Follow-up story in the San Antonio Express News

Wintering falcons about to become parents again after their winter stay in San Antonio
By Vincent T. Davis, Staff Writer / Updated 7:22 pm, Saturday, May 5, 2018

A pair of peregrine falcons who wintered atop downtown San Antonio high rises have winged their way safely to their respective homes and are nesting once again with their lifelong mates.

Radisson, from the Canadian province of Alberta, and Triumph, a U.S. bird from Minnesota, have been spotted by representatives of their respective falcon recovery projects, who report both birds are doing well.

In early January, bird enthusiast Lance Aldridge reported seeing the duo diving for prey from the 24-story Drury Plaza Hotel in downtown San Antonio. For a few weeks, the names and homes of the falcons was a mystery for Aldridge, fellow bird watchers and downtown dwellers, who scanned the hotel’s circular spiral tower for a glimpse of the high-flying raptors.

In February, a network of birders, falcon release programs and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service solved the identities of the birds of prey by means of the codes on colored metal bands around their legs.

Jacqueline Fallon of the Midwest Peregrine Society said that Triumph reached his home in Minneapolis in mid-March. She was glad the 4-year-old male falcon had reached San Antonio after worrying if he’d survive his annual migratory trip. Birds making their way home often encounter hailstorms, predatory attacks and not-always-positive encounters with humans.



“I always worry about the birds during migration,” she said. “They can get killed by other birds, hit by cars.”

Migration is essential to a falcon’s health, Fallon said, and it helps when the birds are welcome at their winter site as they were in San Antonio.

“The wintering locations are important,” Fallon said. “That’s as crucial as having a nest box in Minneapolis.”

Now, with Triumph back at the Multifoods Tower with his mate Geanie, there are reports that the pair have four eggs that are expected to start hatching some time after Monday. She said after banding Triumph, his parents, and soon Triumph’s offspring, being a part of the monitoring process is the closest thing to being a grandparent.

Fallon said Triumph and Geanie have been together for three years.

Tracy Maconachie, with the Manitoba Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project , said Radisson arrived at her home in Edmonton around April 14 in time for the breeding season.

“She got back a bit later,” Maconachie wrote in an email, “as it seems most of our peregrines across the Canadian prairies.”

Maconachie said Radisson is now settled in her nest box, with her mate, Chase, at the campus of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. In 2006, the 12-year-old female falcon hatched at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Winnipeg, earning her name.

While Radisson and Triumph stayed together in San Antonio, they’re not mates. But there is a connection.

“Radisson's paternal great-grandmother was Maud, the lone survivor of the first wild nest in the US Midwest at the Multifoods Tower back in 1987,” Maconachie said. “So while we haven't yet found out if Triumph is related to Radisson (and the rest of Manitoba's peregrines) they share some interesting geography — San Antonio and Minneapolis!”

For more information about the project, go to www.species-at-risk.mb.ca/peregrines




source: https://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Wintering-falcons-about-to-become-parents-again-12891162.php#item-85307-tbla-22

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2018, 00:00 »
Guess who ...

Peregrine falcon from Canada returns to winter in San Antonio
By Vincent T. Davis  |  San Antonio Express News  |  28 Nov 2018

She’s baaack!

Radisson, one of two peregrine falcons who made San Antonio their home last winter — thrilling downtown workers and tourists alike — has been spotted back in the Alamo City in recent weeks.

Attorney John Economidy had just stepped out of the Bexar County Justice Center on Nov. 9 when he heard a sharp cak-cak-cak cutting through the afternoon traffic downtown.  He stopped and scanned the gray sky until he saw the source: a familiar peregrine falcon.

The raptor circled over the River Walk and landed on the sunburst logo of the old Frost National Bank building. A minute later, the falcon was airborne again, touching down on the circular spiral tower atop the 24th floor of the Drury Plaza Hotel.  A photograph, captured with a long lens this week, revealed the bird’s identity through its leg band.

Radisson, a female falcon from Winnipeg, Canada, and Triumph, a male falcon from Minneapolis, Minn., created quite the buzz when they made the tower their roosting place for a couple of months earlier this year.  Downtown workers and bird enthusiasts were thrilled to see the birds fly between buildings and swoop down on their prey.

“They have lot of prey here with the grackles and pigeons,” Economidy said.

There’s no sign of Triumph — yet. Bird watchers in Minneapolis say he appears to have left his home base.

“No one has seen him for the last two weeks,” said Jackie Fallon, vice president of field operations for the Midwest Peregrine Society. She banded Triumph as a fledgling. “I really don’t know with 100 percent authority (but ) my best guess is he’s gone. I’m hopeful he has a safe journey south. It’s always great for us to know where the birds are migrating to.”

January sightings

Economidy and raptor followers first saw the pair in January after Lance Aldridge, a court coordinator with the 175th District Court, alerted them to the birds’ presence.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, bird community and falcon release programs identified the falcons by bands that recovery programs have placed on their legs. Triumph reached his home in Minneapolis in mid-March.

Tracy Maconachie, with the Manitoba Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project, said Radisson arrived at her home in Edmonton around April 14 in time for the breeding season.

“This one’s back for the second year and that’s really exciting,” Aldridge said Wednesday. “Everyone is excited the falcon is back.”  The court coordinator said most of the time his co-workers don’t believe his descriptions of the falcons swooping and diving after prey. Then he passes them his binoculars and they’re amazed that they’re seeing a wild bird downtown.  “It’s a good distraction from the other sad things that might be going on at the courthouse at the time,” he said. “It’s been kind of neat. Everyone is excited that they came back to the same spot.”

Economidy said the Corpus Christi HawkWatch set a Texas record this year, with 393 peregrine falcons counted at the migration site from Aug. 1 through Nov. 5. The Florida Keys hawk watch holds the U.S. record at 4,559 spotted during the 2015 fall migration season.

For the past several weeks, Economidy and fellow bird enthusiasts have searched the sky for a sign of the birds. Some bird enthusiasts had thought the falcons might be bothered by a construction crane installed near the hotel and bypass San Antonio.  But it appears that isn’t an overriding concern. Radisson was back soaring between office buildings as she was earlier this year.

While Triumph and Radisson spent their time together here last winter, they aren’t mates.

Back home at the University of Alberta, 12-year-old Radisson joined her lifetime mate, Chase. The video blog recorded her return on April 14.  The pair hatched four chicks this year, two males and two females. The smallest one was removed and placed in an incubator after it appeared the parents were ignoring it in favor of the strongest fledglings.

From birth, the birds are monitored closely via remote camera. Both the male and female take care of the birds, feeding them and keeping them warm. All of the chicks, including the little one, lived to take first flights. Unfortunately, one of the girls crashed into a building and died.

Maconachie said the deadly crash isn’t an uncommon fledgling accident. She said five to seven of every 10 chicks will die in the first 12 months.

“We try to spend a lot of time getting them through the first 10 days,” she said. “After 60 days, they’re adventuring more and they’re more independent. When they leave they have a whole continent to explore. “It’s a little like letting your kids go to the university,” she added. “You hope they come back to visit and they’ll stay safe.”

A new dad

For Triumph, home is an office tower in Minneapolis. He was born at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., but chose Minneapolis as his home base.  According to the Mayo Clinic Peregrine Falcon project, Triumph and his mate of two years, Genie, became the parents of three chicks in June.  By September, all three chicks were self-reliant and on their own.


source: www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Peregrine-falcon-from-Canada-returns-to-winter-in-13429813.php?cmpid=gsa-mysa-result#photo-15122122

Offline Alison

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2019, 14:26 »
Radisson, looking beautiful

Jerry Walls: Migration of the peregrine falcon

January 15 2019




Radisson, a 12 year old female peregrine falcon, prepares to leave her perch on the circular light tower atop the Drury Plaza Hotel to make a dive on a nearby pigeon on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 in San Antonio.

Photo: Marvin Pfeiffer, Staff Photographer

https://www.yourconroenews.com/neighborhood/moco/opinion/article/Jerry-Walls-Migration-of-the-peregrine-falcon-13535119.php

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: Radisson in San Antonio
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2020, 13:27 »
Winter 2019/20

No reports of Radisson in San Antonio this winter, doesn't mean she wasn't there or nearby, just that we didn't get a report of her there.