Regina City Hall has some unusual occupants: peregrine falcons.
The female bird has been there for at least three years, according to falcon expert Paddy Thompson. He said she was originally released in Brandon, Man., and is banded so they can keep track. He said the origins of her partner is unknown, as the male bird is not banded.
Thompson said the pair had four eggs, a regular amount. What’s more unusual is that all four eggs hatched, producing three female chicks and one male.
However, Thompson said it’s unlikely all chicks would survive, with up to 70 per cent of chicks perishing. Two of the females experienced falls.
“When they get bumped out of the nest, either by wind or whatever, and they fly earlier than they’re supposed to, they often end up on the ground,” Thompson explained.
One broke a wing while the other broke its back. Thompson said the one with a broken back hit something when it fell on to the City Hall mezzanine and can now hardly move its legs. If its condition doesn’t improve in a few days, it will be euthanized.
The falcons are a tradition of sorts that started when pairs of falcons were released in cities across Canada in the 1980s.
Thompson was part of the release in Regina. He continues to work with the falcons.
“I band them when they’re about 20 days old, when they’re young, and after that, they’re on their own,” he said. “When they get into trouble we have to kind of look after them, but that hasn’t been the case in Regina for the most part.”
Thompson said the elder birds will try and look after their young until the end of August, then it’s sink or swim. He said the majority of chicks die due to starvation.
“If they don’t learn that skill well enough, then they tend to die,” he said.
Thompson said if anyone finds a falcon chick they should contact City Hall. He hopes the falcons will continuing returning to Regina.