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Oshawa, meet Atlas

Young chick the latest peregrine falcon to be born on hospital roof

Peregrine Falcon

Kevin Empey, president and CEO of Lakeridge Health, shows off Atlas, a baby peregrine falcon born on the roof of the hospital.

By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express

Mark Nash had a pretty good feeling there was a nesting peregrine falcon on the roof of Lakeridge Health when he heard maintenance workers were getting dived at.

“It happened very typically, in that the staff were being harassed on the roof by peregrines that weren’t too happy about that human being in their space,” the director for the Canadian Peregrine Foundation told The Oshawa Express. “Of course, the peregrines have come to the Lakeridge hospital, declared that upper elevation as their own and they don’t like anybody in that airspace.”

It was after those attacks that hospital CEO Kevin Empey got in touch with Nash.

Now, a couple of months later, the single chick that survived from the four eggs laid by its mother made his public debut to be tagged for future tracking.

Atlas, named as the result of a staff naming contest at the hospital, will have the tag so researchers and conservationists can determine where new nests might be made in the years down the line.

This isn’t the first time that Alfrieda and Simcoe – the two falcons that have made the hospital roof their nesting place – have welcomed a new chick. Last year, the first the duo made a home on the hospital roof, the couple welcomed Salveo, a girl.

Atlas came in at a lighter weight than his big sister, weighing 750 grams compared to her 910.

Empey says there are plans to install a high-definition web camera on the roof to monitor the nest and any future hatchlings from it. However, that will have to wait until Atlas is able to fly on his own and leave the nest.

“I’m not sure we can do it now because mom and dad will be so protective,” Empey said.