Harlequin Lovebirds Welcome Firstborn

Peregrine egg successfully hatches; fledgling to be named "Harlequin"

May 30, 2011, 14:14 ET from Harlequin

TORONTO, May 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The cross-border romance of Harlequin's hottest couple – a mating pair of peregrines – that started off with high-altitude flirting, has had a happy result – a baby!  The peregrines nesting on the uppermost ledge of a building across from Harlequin's world headquarters in the North York area of Toronto, after challenges with the first two eggs, have hatched their third egg.

Harlequin employees have been aflutter over the peregrines, since they were first spotted by Harlequin Publisher and CEO, Donna Hayes in April, anxiously watching them and hoping they would be successful in producing offspring.

The mating pair, identified by the Canadian Peregrine Foundation as Quest, a peregrine falcon born, across Lake Ontario in Rochester, New York and her mate,  Kendal, a peregrine born at 18 King St East in Toronto in 2009, have successfully mated for the first time.  This is the first-ever satellite tagged bird (Quest) to produce young.  In fact, the first two eggs that were laid were rejected by Quest, making it even more crucial for the third and final egg to have a successful outcome.  

"We are thrilled with the hatch of baby Harlequin," said Ms. Hayes.  "Quest and Kendal  have become part of the Harlequin family and we are looking forward to getting a closer look at baby Harlequin at the banding ceremony that will take place in a couple of weeks. "

Marion Nash, director of the Canadian Peregrine Foundation directs people to their website (www.peregrine-foundation.ca) to follow the Harlequin peregrines' story, to pledge support or to help with the fledge watch now that Quest and Kendal have offspring.

 "This is a very special hatch for the Canadian Peregrine Foundation as Quest is the first satellite tagged bird to produce young," said Ms. Nash.  "We hope this success will lead to more satellite tagging of peregrines which provides us with invaluable data on their habits and migration patterns."

Ms. Nash also noted that the Canadian Peregrine Foundation will now set up a fledge watch, to ensure baby Harlequin survives its first few days and its first flights.

"Often during the first two to three weeks, as uncoordinated babies, the fledglings lose altitude and come to the ground, get themselves in all sorts of trouble or hit the building trying to land," said Ms. Nash. "We man the street in teams to keep an eye on them and rescue them when needed and get them back to the rooftop or to a vet if hurt.  The fledge watch starts early in the morning and goes until dark for as long as needed—until the babies are doing well enough without us.  There can still be accidents after that, so we are on standby right up until they migrate in the fall.  Now that we have a hatch we will be calling on our current volunteers to assist, as well as recruiting new ones on our website.  Volunteers can fill out a form on our site."

Harlequin encourages anyone who wishes to learn more about peregrines, pledge support or discover what they can do to help this threatened species to visit the Canadian Peregrine Foundation at www.peregrine-foundation.ca.

SOURCE Harlequin