The MCC Male Fledges
The game went pretty last night. The Sox lost, but came from a 2 to 10 point deficit in the 9th inning to lose by only two points, which was rather exciting to watch. Man, they really lit that 9th inning pitcher up. It took at least an hour and a half (plus a nice scotch) to thaw out and calm down enough to actually go to sleep. So, I had a bit of a hard time getting out of bed this morning.
I got up especially early so that I would have time to run over to the garage and let James, Tom, Nichelle and the rest know that Hercules is currently in no mood for interlopers. And that Hercules had completely redefined “interloper” as anyone within a block of her fledglings. So informed, I trucked back home to pack stuff up and head to the ‘el, Midway-bound. We had a hot date with a 10am shuttle bus to Peoria.
While we were waiting on the platform at the Library stop, I walked down to the very end where I could see a clear shot of the MCC nest. Two chicks were out, one, of course, being Mr. Hyper himself – the male. His wings flapped so fast they blurred and his little feet left the ledge several times, causing Sean, Suzy and I to gasp and cringe a bit.
“I really, really bet he is going to go today,” I told them. Both agreed. I wished the male fledgling a silent “good luck” as we boarded the Orange Line.
About four hours later, our bus cruised across the 150 bridge into downtown Peoria. I watched the sky for any sign of peregrines and spotted one about a quarter of the way across the bridge, soaring out over the river. As we left the bridge, I took a good look at downtown. One of the buildings, either the tallest or second to tallest, looked perfect. In fact, it looked a heck of a lot like University Hall on the UIC campus where one of our Chicago pairs nests. The wide ledge at the very top made for an ideal nesting ledge and I wondered if that was the nest box building. I’ll probably find out tomorrow.
We had a very nice afternoon and evening at House of Grandparents and when it came time for bed, I asked if they would mind if I checked my email. Of course they didn’t! Good hosts! I had this email waiting from Dan Cozza:
“Hello Peregrine watchers. As you probably know, there have been 4 chicks this year at the Prison nest. The first, the smallest and probably the only male of the four fledged today just after noon. A few of us on the 15th floor witnessed the first flight and it was a lot like watching beginning figure skaters, as the young fledgling dipped down, came up, tried to land on the plain wall of the building east of the prison courtyard, followed by a big dip down, a recovery, a flight across the courtyard, behind the prison and then into a solid wall just passed the parking lot at Clark and Congress, then down finally on a Range Rover. By the time we got to the site, it was gone, as the parking lot attendant was trying to catch the “eagle”. The young male took off back east but was not seen again. While looking in the area to make sure the male was safe and not on the ground somewhere, I bumped into two other peregrine watchers and one shared his photo of one of the parents he took last year. It is attached. Keep watching as the remaining three are ready to fly and the one that did may come back into view soon. Dan”
So, he did go. I thought that little guy wasn’t going to stay around for long. Hope he’s just fine and gearing up for his next flight on the top of a building somewhere downtown!