•April 1, 2013 • Comments Off
IMPORTANT: If you see or photograph a peregrine with bands on its legs, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are in another state, I can make sure that the sighting is reported to the monitors for that state, so feel free to send the info to me. Birds banded in the Midwestern US receive black over red or black over green bands, as you see below (click on the pictures for larger versions). We have birds from Midwestern Canada come through fairly regularly with black over black bands. You will notice that both legs are banded. The band on the right leg is a US Fish and Wildlife band, usually purple or silver. This band generally cannot be read unless you are very close to the bird or have it in hand. The bands on the right are designed to be read from farther away. Any information about bands is relevant to us – even if all you can say is “I saw a banded peregrine on April 10, 2012 at the corner of State and Maine in Detroit, MI.” Try to answer as many of the following questions as possible:
- Date and location of sighting, as precise as possible.
- Was the peregrine banded or unbanded?
- What were the colors of the bands?
- Could you read the letters or numbers on either the top or the bottom band? If so, what were those letters or numbers?
- Were either the letters or numbers sideways? (see Zoom’s bands below on the far left: black over red, sideways 4 over H)
•May 2, 2011 • Comments Off
The constantly updating official Field Museum Peregrine Falcon page is up! This means I’ll be scaling back on this site a lot, but I will still post little tidbits now and again. This message will always be at the top, so look below this message for my latest update.
If you get a picture of a wild peregrine falcon in Illinois, please post them at Flickr Group – Midwest Peregrine Falcons. If you do not have a Flickr account, please contact me at email@example.com as every picture may have important data for the ongoing study! As always, my peregrine photos can be found on Flickr as well. I have updated nesting info within the sets.
•May 20, 2013 • Comments Off
Getting a lot of catch up work done for insects and scholarship committee today, so I was at my desk all day, which means I got to watch some falcon cam!
The South Loop Duo is doing great. I got a call from someone worried because she hadn’t seen a chick on the feed for hours. I told her that I would bet money that the chicks were sleeping directly under the camera and, thankfully, while I was on the phone with her, one chick popped into view. Helen came in not long after to feed her two, so our caller was relieved. This will happen more and more as the chicks get older and more mobile, so don’t worry if you don’t see them!
The Evanston Four are getting big. I think we will be banding them sometime next week, though I probably won’t go up for that, since there will be plenty of hands on deck and thanks to the Evanston monitors, we always had adult ID’s in early season. I got to see Squawker come into the nest with food. He jumped down, looking ready to feed his chicks, when Nona came in and sent him on his way so that she could do the feeding. I have a two composites posted on Flickr.
Two of the five Savanna eggs appear to have hatched. The Savanna cam has been a bit difficult this year as it times out frequently and sometimes isn’t up for days. Today, though, I finally got a look at the two chicks and even witnessed a feeding. They look great too! The composite is up on Flickr.
Waukegan also appears to have two. One of the adults came in to feed them as I was watching and then laid down next to them to nap a bit. Being a parent is hard work! The composite is up on Flickr.
•May 16, 2013 • Comments Off
Matt and I went up to Wrigleyville to meet with a woman lucky enough to have peregrines nesting in the planter box on her balcony. Talk about front row seats!
Both of the adults are unbanded. The male is very, very tiny, but pretty. They currently have four eggs and all seems healthy and going as planned. They are about two weeks behind everyone else, so their eggs should be hatching sometime this week.
I have to say that the peregrines have great taste. The view over the wide expanse of Lake Michigan was breathtaking. I wonder what it would be like to watch a summer storm from that vantage point. Talk about spectacular.
•May 15, 2013 • Comments Off
I spent an hour at the Wacker site this morning while Matt and Mary were off at another site. What an hour it was!
Rahn, the Wacker adult female since 2005, has had a bit of a tough time at Wacker. Her first mate was Etienne, a beautiful male from Etobicoke, Canada. I credit Etienne for being able to pronounce Etobicoke correctly. Etienne died in 2008, sadly, but Rahn soon found a new mate named Joe, who was a tall drink of water from Milwaukee. In 2011, Joe disappeared. We think he was killed in a fight with another male as the dead body of another male was found beneath the nest at the time Joe disappeared. Doesn’t take Jessica Fletcher for that one. That year, Rahn laid eleven eggs, but since she didn’t have a male, none of them hatched. In 2012, an unbanded male was seen hanging around the Wacker site, but Rahn again laid a bunch of infertile eggs and the nest was abandoned. This year, we all had our fingers crossed that Rahn would have a mate and finally raise some chicks again.
Good news on the first point! Rahn has a mate. His name is Curtis (b/r 57/D). Curtis was born in 2010 on the EMS building at UW-Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Rahn likes those Milwaukee boys. He’s quite a good looking bird and was present and protective as soon as I popped my head out to check out the nesting particulars. As to Rahn, she was sitting on five eggs! This is good news on the second point!
Now all that has to happen is for the eggs to hatch.
•May 13, 2013 • Comments Off
I know making a bunch of posts all on one day is NO way to run a fine blogging establishment, but unfortunately, that’s just the way it goes with me sometimes.
I wanted to mention that I’ve had some really nice emails from folks who found this blog. Keep the sightings coming! This is great information for us. Today, I will be meeting with a brand new contact named Glen to get a fresh view on the activity around the MCC nest. I am so excited! This kind of interaction is exactly why I started this blog and also the Flickr group. So, thank you to you all!
For my part, I will try a lot harder to be more timely with posts. I do ask for a bit of patience, though, because a lot of times I wait to post anything until I have a full, clear picture. I’d rather be as accurate as possible, even if that means I’m not the first to break the story. Maybe some of our 24-hour news channels could take a page from that book?
•May 13, 2013 • Comments Off
Just checked the nest cam and saw a nest exchange. UIC has FOUR eggs, not three.
Note the scraped Nitz and her mate have constructed. It is so perfect, it almost looks like someone went out and built a small campfire pit! It watched Nitz stretch her back legs out from under her to kick a big rock into the correct alignment. Pretty OCD, but the scrape is very photogenic.
•May 13, 2013 • Comments Off
Wow, did it get busy fast. I have a breather for the morning, so I wanted to quick catch up. Here’s what we have:
- Chicago, Broadway: Five eggs were laid in early April. This means we should have chicks hatching around May 13-15.
- Chicago, Millennium Park: Four eggs were laid in early April. On 09-May, Mary and Matt checked the nest and there were three chicks, about 1-2 days old.
- Chicago, Pilsen: Four eggs were laid in early April. On 05-May, the nest was checked and there were at least two chicks, about 1-2 days old.
- Chicago, River Birds: Five eggs were laid in early April. On 05-May, the nest was checked and there were at least three chicks, about 1-2 days old.
- Chicago, South Loop: Four eggs were laid in early April. On 05-May, two chicks hatched. Since then, two eggs have remained, and probably will remain, unhatched. This is not uncommon and is no cause for alarm.
- Chicago, St. Mary’s Hospital: Five eggs were laid in early April. By 10-May, two of the eggs had hatched.
- Chicago, UIC: Three eggs were laid by the new UIC pair starting 01-May. This means chicks won’t begin hatching until early June, which is when we’ll be banding at most of the other sites. Due the the nest turnover, the new UIC pair got a late start.
- Chicago, Wacker: One egg was laid on 08-Apr. I will be going there this week to see what is going on.
- Chicago, Wrigleyville: This is a new nest. Matt and I will be going there later this week to get an update. Four eggs were laid in early April.
- Evanston: Four eggs were laid in early April. The chicks started hatching on 06-May. All four are hatched now.
- Savanna: Five eggs were laid in early April. Unfortunately, the nest cam has been very flakey, but we believe at least one chick has hatched by now from the brief glimpse we got from the camera last week.
- Waukegan: Three eggs were laid in early April. One chick was visible on camera by 06-May. More may have hatched by now.
We have another 10 or so sites that are on the observation list, so will have to see about those!
•May 6, 2013 • Comments Off
A nest turnover has happened at UIC. 16-year old Rosie was driven from the territory by a new pair of peregrines in mid-April. Both of the new adults have black over green bands, so it looks like Rosie’s unbanded mate also either did not return this year or lost the territory to the newcomers as well.
Mary and I went up to observe the new adults who are currently sitting on three eggs. The eggs were laid around 01-May. When we arrived at UIC, a very small peregrine with beautiful coloring (his yellow was more of an orange yellow) was sitting on the eggs. From his size, we were guessing it was the male, but without leg bands, you never know. After about 40 minutes, we saw the other adult fly by, so I wandered down the way to check other windows. I found the adult sitting on a ledge south of the nest ledge and was able to identify her as Nitz (b/g 2/*Y) born in 2001 at the Froedtert Malt building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Well, this is to say I identified her as b/g 2/*Y. I didn’t have my cell with me, so we couldn’t check the banding database. However, I did tell Mary that the bands sounded awfully familiar for some reason. As it turns out, that’s because Nitz has actually tried to nest in Chicago before. In 2004, she was identified at the Lawndale site with a mate. As far as we know, the pair was unsuccessful that year. In 2006, she was again identified at Lawndale. This time, her mate was identified too. He was Dave (b/g 14/K) born in 2001 at the Uptown Theater site in Chicago. Although copulation was observed, the pair was again unsuccessful. In 2007, the site was demolished, so we lost track of Nitz and Dave.
After an hour or so, Nitz finally took off for the nest to kick the male off the eggs. He left a little reluctantly, but when he did, he was out of there like a shot. I got one quick picture of his retreating back, but the only band visible was the back of the USFW band. We do know from the nest cam that his is black/green, though. I’ll be interested to see if this is Dave.