I had a dream last night. I was sitting at a white kitchen table in a completely white, barren room. In front of me sat a plate of french fries. To the left of my plate, I saw a salt shaker. To the right of my plate, I saw a giant bottle labeled: “KETCHUP!” I heard a sound, looked around the room and when I looked back, the bottle had changed. It now read: “CATSUP!!” Another noise caused me to look around and again when I looked back, the label had changed: “CATCH UP!!!”
Doesn’t take Freud to figure that one out. I am so behind, I’m having anxiety dreams with a side of fries.
Ok, let’s start off with this weekend. I received an email from a woman named Sandra on Friday describing a potential nest on Lake Shore Drive. Since Sean and I were planning on going up that way on Sunday anyway, I wrote back to her and let her know. On Sunday, Sean and I selected the slowest bus in Chicago (with a very rude driver, which, in my vast experience of Chicago bus drivers is a rarity), but finally made it to the area and met with her.
Sandra, a teacher, gave us an excellent account of what she’d observed from her window two years running. Last year, she’d seen a lone adult perching on a building two blocks to her north throughout the breeding season. This year, she’d been thrilled to see not one, but two peregrines on that same building. She’d seen copulation and noticed the pair favoring a ledge area, possibly nesting. She told us that she’d seen the pair that morning, but that (of course) they had gone before we’d arrived. However, she showed us a large number of photos she’d taken and also a few fun videos. Certainly looked promising!
Since I had completely spaced it was Easter Sunday, I felt a little bad about taking up too much of Sandra’s time, but when she offered to take us up onto the roof of her building, I couldn’t pass it up. Her building, a 30+ story modern type construction, gave us a great view of the much shorter (15 stories?) vintage (1920′s?) building’s south side. I handed Sean my binoculars and he spotted a peregrine right away.
The peregrine was sitting on “something” in a rather wide rain gutter surrounding the pitched roof. Her mate perched above her on the cornice of a window box. We watched the pair awhile until finally she got up, waddled around the gutter and then hopped up to perch on its lip. I looked very hard, but at that distance couldn’t tell if she’d been sitting on eggs. I did managed to get a few shots of her sitting down in the gutter for Mary, however, and had a small hope that the pictures might show something (alas, they did not).
After a time, we decided to let Sandra get on with her Easter. We thanked her profusely for her kindness and keen observations and then took our leave. Before we left the area, I checked around the base of the peregrine building, paying close attention to the area of grass beneath the drain pipe. I saw very little debris on the ground and no sign of egg shards, so that’s good news for now.
I write this, however, on a very rainy Monday morning so we’ll have to see how things go. Gutters aren’t the best nest location for sure. At any rate, I took my pictures in to Mary this morning and passed on Sandra’s information. As it turned out, Mary had another email from a man who probably lives in Sandra’s same building about these same peregrines. He had a picture of one of the adults perching on the barrier that surrounded Sandra’s building’s roof access area, in fact. I am very, very curious who these two are and hope that we’ll have a chance to ID them at some point.
ON TO OTHER NESTS. Let’s see. I spent hours chasing the South Loop (previously Museum) falcons from Chinatown to the Loop and back again one day last week, but sadly did not find out where they’ve chosen to nest (or even if they have). I will try again as soon as the blisters on my feet heal.
We have EGGS at Evanston, Wacker (must be in the box you can’t see, Loraine, but Joe and (probably) Rahn are there!), Waukegan, Broadway, Uptown Theater, St. Michael’s, UIC, London Guarantee, and the MCC (probably). We have active adults near Belmont & LSD (above), St. Mary’s Hospital, Pilsen, University of Chicago, South Loop and on the Loyola campus. Copulation has been observed at three of those sites.
I’ll try to keep things up to date as best I can here, but be patient. I’m currently trying to juggle three jobs at one time, so my writing time has been pared down considerably. Just FYI, Mary puts out an official newsletter about two to three times during the season. If you want to sign up for that, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy falcon watching!