MCC and the River Birds

DSCN0327I’m just back in from a morning spent watching the MCC pair from the garage top. They were very, very active and took lots of food into the nesting niche on the western side.

(To the left: One of Sean’s pictures from our Sunday walk on the river. It’s the Merchandise Mart reflected in the glass of 333 W. Wacker. He took a lot of really nice pictures of buildings while I scanned the sky for the River Pair, a pair of peregrines that nests in different locations along the river.)

Hercules landed across the way on the Chicago Board of Trade Annex and I watched as she plucked a starling and ate a bit before taking it into the nest. Before she left, she stood on the very edge of the ledge and gave me a nice, long look at her legbands. If only Max would do that!!

Tyrone, a new security guard this year, came up to visit and watch the birds. I let him look through my scope as Hercules ate yet another bird on the corner of the LaSalle Atrium Building (the red brick building to the east of the MCC, and SE of the garage). After we talked awhile, he asked if Tom, the maintenance guy from last year, had been up to visit. I told him Tom hadn’t, but I’d love to see him and say hi. Nice guy that Tyrone is, he went off to find Tom.

About ten minutes later, Tyrone came back followed by Tom! It was a nice reunion and we spent the next half hour catching up. He said from now on, he’ll try to come up and visit when I come. Excellent!

Let’s see, what else? Yesterday, Sean and I took a long walk up the river from Congress to Michigan. Sean took lots of great building pictures and I watched for the “River Birds”, a pair of falcons that has nested along the river in a few different spots.

Mary has received a few calls from people on the river reporting falcon activity, so she’s pretty interested to see if it is the River Birds and if they are nesting. However, although Sean and I spent about 2 to 3 hours on our river walk and I scanned the sky tirelessly, I saw not one falcon.

I felt pretty bummed when we turned south on Michigan to head back home. As we reached Millenium Park, we stopped and I got my binoculars out to take a look around. Quite quickly, I spotted an adult peregrine sitting on the very top of the spire on Prudential Plaza, the building directly to the west of the Amoco building (now Aon tower?).

The spire has a number of grated platforms and I could see bird carcasses littering them all, so I surmise this is a favorite eating spot for this bird. He or she perched up there for about 20 minutes before diving off and disappearing behind the building, going northwest. I couldn’t see where he or she went, but I plan on going back up there with my scope to watch.

Perhaps this was a River Bird, perhaps this was one of the other downtown birds – at this point it is hard to say. I hope I can track it the next time I see it.

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~ by Steph on May 14, 2007.