In Peoria for Sean’s Birthday

Sean celebrates his 36th birthday today, which means he is leaving his “Dante Year” (Dante was 35 when he began his journey in The Divine Comedy) and enters his “Einstein Year” (Einstein was 36 the year he unveiled his Theory of General Relativity). I have some ideas on general theories he might propose, so we’ll see what he thinks. My best advice to him would be to unify his laws. If it worked for Einstein…

Sean’s grandparents have a big back yard with many bird feeders. I’ve really been having a good time watching all the small birds twitter about. And grandma, grandpa, Suzy and Sean have been very good about my endless falcon talk. They even came downstairs and watched the ABC news story that ran on channel 7 in Chicago featuring Mary banding the Evanston babies (thanks to my friend John for sending that link).

Before I left Chicago, Mary mentioned that there used to be a pair of falcons on a bank building in Peoria and said if I happened to be downtown to look around for them. I mentioned it to my mother-in-law and she mentioned it to her folks. Grandpa V. is a man of action and so he made a few calls to a few people and soon I was on the phone with a bird enthusiast who knew many things of interest. He knew of the Peoria Peregrine Falcons, for instance, but he and his wife had just returned from a month in Holland, so he didn’t know if they’d nested this year. He gave me a few names and numbers and I decided to follow up.

I talked to the president of the Audubon Society in Peoria who was very helpful and then to a man at the Forest Park Nature Center. They both gave me the name of the man who had actually put the nest box up on the Associated Bank Building downtown. I called him, but he wasn’t home. I left a message.

Between the Audubon president and the Nature Center employee, I found out that at the end of May (this year), an adult male and subadult had been seen consistently cruising around the 150 bridge. I, in fact, had seen an adult Peregrine soaring over the river as we crossed that very bridge on the way into town the day before. The adult commonly perches on one of the bridge’s stanchions, I was told. The two had also been seen hunting by a little park on the river by the waterworks bridge. Interesting! I wonder if “subadult” is “Miss Subadult”? Hope so!

Had this email waiting from Dan:

“Have not seen anything of the little male. Today, the 3 remaining are enjoying the extra space on the ledge and the one less mouth to fight with for the food. Your right about the late bloomer, the last on the ledge yesterday still had several puffs of white on its back. These are gone now, but were very obvious yesterday. I bumped into a guy named Preston Kendall yesterday as he and his wife were taking pictures on the parking garage of the 3 remaining birds. He may be able to provide you with some good shots. Mary met him later on the garage roof. I have his email if you are interested. He says he may have a picture of the adult male where you can read the band. He is looking for it and will send it to me when he finds it. I heard that you were able to stop by the garage early yesterday? Did you get any good shots of the family? All for now. Hope your visit to beautiful Peoria is fun and exciting. Dan”

Wow! PICTURES OF THE MALE’S BAND!!! To good to be true. But then … what will I obsess over? Can’t wait to meet Preston Kendall and wife.

Anyway, Happy 36th Birthday to my wonderful husband Sean!

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~ by Steph on June 13, 2006.