St. Mary’s hospital graced with nesting family of falcons

May 21st, 2021

If you found yourself walking or driving down Queen’s Boulevard past St. Mary’s on Thursday afternoon, you may have heard some commotion. Two climbers from the Canadian Peregrine Foundation (CPF) were on site, scaling the side of the building to retrieve four chicks who are nesting on a ledge on the side of a building.

The chicks — named Care, Faith, Compassion and Discovery after the hospital’s mission and vision — were brought up to a higher floor to be banded, weighed and assessed. The banding process helps organizations like the CPF track where the birds are by showing large identifiers that can be seen with binoculars or a camera. The process involves an identifying band placed on each leg: one for Canada, the other for the U.S.

Unsurprisingly, the parents aren’t quiet about how they felt during the process.

Peregrine falcons were once on the endangered species list after their populations plummeted due to pesticide use. Decades of efforts toward recovery have finally begun paying off for a species who juvenile mortality rate is about 80 per cent.

They are no longer endangered, having made their homes on tall buildings in cities across North America. Still, they’re a protected species, and without the work of organizations like the Canadian Peregrine Foundation, things like failed flight attempts, disease, predators and poachers would take their toll on the population.

During a year of hardship, St. Mary’s is proud that these birds have chosen our hospital as a place to nest. We hope they’ll continue to choose our roofs to call their home.