Lily, the Downtown Hamilton peregrine falcon, has died

Heartbreaking news has emerged that Lily, one of the treasured peregrine falcons who resides in Downtown Hamilton, has passed away.

Lily has lived atop the Sheraton Hotel in Jackson Square for years after originally being banded at the Grand Haven Board of Light & Power Plant in Michigan in 2010.

The Hamilton Community Peregrine Project (HCPP) has done the work of tracking and providing regular updates on Lily in her Downtown Hamilton home since she first appeared in 2015 alongside male peregrine falcon Ossie, who himself hatched at the Osler Hospital in Etobicoke in 2012.

Lily and Ossie spent every subsequent winter living atop the Sheraton Hotel and hatching eggs, many of which successfully fledged.

However, the Hamilton Community Peregrine Project broke the sad news of Lily’s passing on the evening of Sunday, January 23rd, citing dehydration, frostbite, and some recent injuries as the likely collective cause.

“At 6:30 pm she passed away, despite the best efforts of the Owl Foundation (to whom we are extremely grateful),” wrote The HCPP in their latest update.

However, the sadness of Lily’s passing was countered with a spot of brighter news as well, with the HCPP noting the arrival of two new adult peregrines on top of the Sheraton Hotel joining Judson, Lily’s most recent falcon companion.

“We don’t know if this implies that some of Lily’s injuries were from a territorial battle, or if this new bird is just seizing the obvious opportunity to move in on a nesting territory with only one adult present,” wrote the HCPP.

“Judson appeared a little bit upset, but did not try to drive off the newcomer. So, despite the sadness, it looks like we will not have to worry about having a female for the coming nesting season. We will keep a close watch in the coming days, to see if we can identify the new bird.”

Read more on the HCPP website.

Lead image courtesy of Hamilton Community Peregrine Project

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