Falcons thriving atop city hotel

A family of four peregrine falcons seem to love their stay at one of Red Deer’s biggest hotels.

A young Peregrine falcon watches from its perch on the Capri Centre building as a pigeon flies past Wednesday afternoon. A pair of the young raptors are learning to fly from their nest atop the hotel and convention centre.

A family of four peregrine falcons seem to love their stay at one of Red Deer’s biggest hotels.

The parents and two chicks have made a temporary home on the rooftop of the Capri Centre, which suits the hotel general manager just fine.

When Gil Vallee gets the chance to step away from his desk, he heads outdoors to see what the peregrines are doing 14 storeys up.

He’s not disappointed.

The parents are teaching their young to hunt prey “very aggressively.”

Vallee has even seen the parents catch some kind of bird and then drop it, while a young one swoops down to grab it.

“They perch on the side of the building throughout the day,” Vallee said. “It’s really great watching, when the (chicks) were so young and helpless, to being very graceful and beautiful birds.”

Alberta Fish and Wildlife and hotel staff initially had concerns about how the family would fare. Four out of five chicks born on top of the hotel died due to exposure from wind and rain.

The remaining one was barely surviving, so Red Deer wildlife biologist Dave Prescott gave it some raw chicken.

A male chick from Edmonton was brought to the roof in mid July.

A three-sided plywood box was added to help protect the two youngsters from the cold. Since then, no one has returned to the roof so that the chicks could feel safe as they learned to fly.

Vallee understands the birds will fly the coop towards the end of August or early September.

Peregrine falcons migrate south, with some heading as far away as Argentina.

Wherever this foursome travels, Vallee said he’d hold out a ‘Welcome’ sign upon any of their return.

“They took care of my pigeon problem,” he said, laughing.

Fish and Wildlife officials believe this is the fourth time that the falcons have chosen the Capri Centre for their high nesting spot.

Another three peregrine falcons are believed to be living on top of the Telus tower, on the north side or Red Deer, where a manmade nesting box was set up.

Alberta has developed a recovery program for the peregrine falcon, which is legally a threatened species in Alberta.

The peregrine can reach speeds over 322 km/h in a dive, making it the fastest animal in the world.


Just Posted

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

Red Deer dancer attends national summer school

Dancers with others from across Canada and beyond

Innisfail Airport to host convention

2019 Canadian Owners and Pilots Association’s event

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Ontario govt caps off summer session by passing bill to cut Toronto council size

TORONTO — The Ontario government passed a controversial bill to slash the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia spat affecting Canadians embarking on hajj, community members say

TORONTO — Members of Canada’s Muslim community say recent tensions between Ottawa… Continue reading

Tug carrying up to 22,000 litres of fuel capsizes in Fraser River off Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The smell of diesel filled the air as crews worked… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Nebraska executes first inmate using fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than… Continue reading

Canadian train travellers narrowly avoid deadly Italian bridge collapse

TORONTO — A pair of Canadian student travellers bemoaning what appeared to… Continue reading

Keep bribes quiet for 10 years, FIFA won’t punish you

LONDON — FIFA has officially eradicated corruption. All it took was pressing… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month