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Author:  Catbird [ Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:46 pm ]


Since mid-April 2013, Red Girl and Trinity have been the resident falcon pair on the Brandywine Building ledge in Wilmington, DE.

    - Red Girl (black/green band on left leg, red tape on right). Red Girl fledged from the Harrisburg, PA, nest in 2008 and arrived at the Wilmington nest by February 2010.

    - Trinity (no bands). Trinity first appeared at the Wilmington nest in April 2013.

How to Identify the Falcons


Bands on left leg and red tape on the right leg are a positive ID for Red Girl; no bands are a positive ID for Trinity. If the legs aren't visible, use the following tips.

From the front, check for . . .

    - Color and size of head: Trinity's head is darker than his body, and it looks proportionately larger relative to his body than the same comparison on Red Gird.

    - Color of bill and feet: It's a pale yellow on Red Girl and a medium yellow on Trinity.

From the back, check for . . .

    - Length of the wing tips and tail: Red Girl's wing tips usually look shorter than her tail feathers, while Trinity's wing tips usually look about even with his tail.

Background Information

Nest Site:

    - The nest box is located on a ledge on the 19th floor of the Brandywine Building in Wilmington, DE.

    - For information on visiting the nest site, see this topic: viewtopic.php?f=168&t=1249

Additional background:

Summary of 2017 Events

Nesting Season

First egg laid: 3/3 (total of 5 as of 3/13)

Hatches: TBD

Chicks banded: TBD

First fledge: TBD

Summary of 2016 Events

Nesting Season

First egg laid: 3/4 (total of 5 as of 3/13)

Hatches: 1 on 4/16; 2 on 4/17; 1 on 4/18 (total of 4 so far)

Chicks banded on 5/13: Two females and two males

    - Blue Band (female named Soren), ID # ?
    - Green Band (female named Athena), ID # ?
    - Red Band (male named Dynamo), ID # ?
    - Yellow Band (male named Zeus), ID # ?

First fledge: 5/25

    - 5/25: Red band
    - 5/26: Yellow band
    - 5/27: Blue band
    - 5/28: Green band

Summary of 2015 Events

Nesting Season

First egg laid: 3/7 (total of 5 as of 3/17)

Hatches: 3 on 4/18; 1 on 4/20 (total of 4)

Chicks banded on 5/8: Two females and two males

    - Blue Band (female), ID # 55/AK
    - Red Band (female), ID # 56/AK
    - Yellow Band (male), ID # 55/AH
    - Green Band (male), ID # 56/AH

First fledge: 5/27

    - 5/27: Red Girl
    - 5/28: Yellow Boy
    - 5/28: Green Boy
    - 5/28: Blue Girl

Summary of 2014 Events

Nesting Season

First egg laid: 3/3 (total of 6)

Hatches: 2 on 4/14; 2 on 4/15; 1 on 4/16; 1 on 4/19 (total of 6)

    Note: Similar to the situation last year, the last two chicks to hatch on 4/16 and 4/19 couldn't compete with the older, larger chicks for food. On 4/20, USFS raptor biologist Craig Koppie removed these two littlest chicks for extra care and feeding. Despite all that was done, neither of these chicks was able to overcome their developmental issues.

Chicks banded on 5/9: Three males and one female

    - Green Band (female)
    - Blue Band (male)
    - Red Band (male)
    - Yellow Band (male)

First fledge: 5/22

    5/22: Blue Band
    5/23: Red Band
    5/24: Yellow Band
    5/25: Green Band

Summary of 2013 Events

Change in Resident Males

CJ, the father of this year's chicks, was the resident male until mid-April when he disappeared and was replaced by Trinity. CJ fledged from the Wilmington nest in 2006 and returned to the nest in May 2010, remaining there until his disappearance in April 2013. Those of us who follow the Wilmington falcons were very fond of CJ and saddened to learn of his disappearance.

Trinity, the new resident male, arrived in Wilmington as the chicks were hatching in April 2013. He's been an able hunter, helping Red Girl to raise the family and defend the airspace from hawks and other intruders. Trinity - the third Wilmington male after CJ and his father, Caesar - appears to be much larger than his predecessors. Hopefully he and Red Girl will have a long reign together in Wilmington.

Nesting Season

First egg laid: 3/7 (total of 5)

Hatches: 3 on 4/16; 1 on evening of 4/18 or morning of 4/19 (total of 4)

    Note: The last chick to hatch couldn't compete with the other chicks for food. USFS raptor biologist Craig Koppie removed her from the nest late on 4/19, nursed her back to health, and returned her to the nest on 5/3. She was accepted right away by her family and during the banding on 5/14, she received a bright orange band.

Chicks banded on 5/14: Two females and two males

    - Orange Band (female)
    - Blue Band (female)
    - Yellow Band (male)
    - White Band (male)

First Fledge: 5/25

    -5/25: Yellow Band and White Band
    -5/27: Blue Band
    -5/30: Orange Band

Summary of 2012 Events

Nesting Season

First egg laid: 3/9 (total of 5)

First hatch: 4/20 (total of 4)

Chicks banded on 5/10: Four females

    - Yellow Band
    - Red Band
    - White Band
    - Green Band

First fledge: 5/30 (White Band)

Summary of 2011 Events

Nesting Season

Red Girl and CJ were remarkable parents in their first nesting season together. They successfully managed to raise five young falcons that fledged.

First egg laid: 3/16 (total of 5)

First hatch: 4/26 (total of 5)

Chicks banded on 5/26: Two females and three males

    - Red Band (male)
    - White Band (male)
    - Yellow Band (male)
    - Green Band (female)
    - No Band (female) This chick couldn't be safely caught, so she went unbanded.

First fledge: 6/2

Post-nesting Season

All 5 chicks managed to fledge, but not all were successful at flying.

    - One of the males, Yellow Band, was found dead on 6/5, most likely from a collision with a car.

    - The two females, Green Band and No Band, were grounded several times after fledging and taken to Tri-State Bird Rescue for observation. Unfortunately they were then transported to New River Gorge, a hack site in West Virginia. And once they fledged from there, neither falcon was seen again.

Summary of 2010 Events

Late February 2010

When the new Webcam went online, we got our first glimpses of the Wilmington falcons. This pair - the resident female and the resident male that we called Caesar - had previously raised 21 young from 2004 - 2008. (In 2009, they also raised 4 chicks that were banded but then died or disappeared before they could fledge.)

Just as we were learning to ID the Wilmington falcons, the resident female disappeared. And about the same time, a new unidentified female joined Caesar in the nest box.

Early March 2010

This was a trying time for those of us following the Wilmington falcons.

    - On March 1, much fighting among 3 falcons was observed over the Wilmington sky.

    - On March 15, a ferocious battle between two males in the nest box was observed (and captured on video) by some of the nest cam watchers.

    - Also on March 15, we received the sad news that the resident female had been found dead.

Mid March - May 2010

On March 21, we were overjoyed to learn that the new female had been identified as Red Girl from the 2008 Harrisburg, PA, nest. Many of us on the forum had watched her parents - Mom and Lil' Dad - raise chicks over the years, and we had fond memories of Red Girl as both a chick and a fledgling.

As the nesting season got underway, our hopes were high that Red Girl and Caesar would be successful in raising a family.

    - March 24: Red Girl laid the first of 4 eggs, and she and Caesar dutifully tended to them for the next month.

    - April 26: Tragedy struck when Caesar disappeared, just about the time that the eggs were due to hatch. Red Girl was forced to leave the eggs untended for long periods while she searched for food on her own.

    - Early May: Red Girl sporadically tended to the eggs, but we began to lose hope that any would hatch. However, it did appear that she found a new suitor when a mystery male appeared on the scene.

    - May 14: The eggs, which were determined to be nonviable, were removed from the nest box in the hopes that Red Girl and her mystery male might start another clutch. (Unfortunately, another clutch was not in the offing for 2010.)

On May 17, we received exciting news about Red Girl's new mystery male. He was positively identified as one of the 5 chicks banded here at the Brandywine Building in 2006. As the son of Caesar and the previous Wilmington female, we started calling the new male CJ for Caesar Jr.

June - December 2010

Red Girl and CJ solidified their bond as the new Wilmington pair. They were spotted frequently in the nest box, on favorite perches at various Wilmington buildings, and in flight above the city.

Remembering the Previous Wilmington Falcons

The memory of the previous Wilmington falcons lives on in CJ and the many other falcons that they raised together in prior years. A picture gallery of these beautiful falcons and their offspring from previous years can be found here:

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