News from the Garage Top
I noticed the wealth of prey debris littering the garage top as soon as I arrived this morning. Three feather piles lay atop the stairwell roof, a wing hung over the Monadnock ledge, a few piles of feathers graced the Board of Trade annex roof and there were even birds on the northwest niche of the MCC. I set my scope up and looked over at last year’s nesting ledge, spotting a nearly whole starling and a half pigeon – so a little cache of food.
One of the adults flew far over my head and cruised east, looping slowing above the Harold Washington Library. I pulled a Games magazine from my pack and flipped it open to a new crossword puzzle, ready to settle in and spend some hours watching the MCC activity.
As I worked the puzzle, Tyrone came up behind me, followed by Tom. We exchanged pleasantries and talked weather – everyone agreed a storm was on its way. I pointed out the dot in the sky over the library and we all watched the adult turn lazy circles.
With not much going on, I took the opportunity to snap a picture of Tom and Tyrone. I didn’t get one of Tom and James last year and that’s plagued me, as it would be nice to have a photographic record of all the folks that have helped me with the MCC birds. I need to get one of Nichelle, Preston and Wendy too, so hopefully I’ll have a chance to do that soon.
After the photo session, Tom told me he had a vacation coming up and might be thinking of driving to Montana, so we chatted Montana stuff for the next little bit. I expressed surprised when he told me his vacation started tomorrow.
“You still don’t have a destination and your vacation starts tomorrow?”
Tom leaned casually against the stairwell ledge, “Yeah, that’s how I usually do it. It’s just me, so there isn’t much planning that needs to happen. I usually just get up, pack my truck and get on the road.”
Something about that style of travel really appeals to me. Good for Tom. I hope he has a great vacation, wherever his truck takes him.
We all turned back to see where the adult might be and watched as he or she tucked and went into a fast dive over, probably, State and Congress. We lost sight of it behind the library, but not long after, it swooped back up into view carrying a pigeon in its talons. It flew about ten feet over our heads on its way to the Board of Trade Annex. I swung my scope around and zoomed in to see the leg bands, hoping it might be Max. It was Hercules.
Herc went into turbo-plucking mode and I let Tom have my binoculars and Tyrone my scope as I made some notes in my journal. I giggled to myself as they watched her begin to eat, knowing that could sometimes be a little bit of a bloody mess. By Tyrone and Tom’s “ooooh” – “aaaahhh” – “Uh…ugh…” sounds, I guessed it was more than a little gory.
After Herc had eaten a bit of pigeon, she jumped into the sky and headed to the nest for a food drop and we lost sight of her again. One of the adults swooped back out of the nest moments later and circled the MCC to the south and then east, finally settling down on the SW corner of the Manhattan building.
We watched the adult sit up there for a nap ‘n’ preen for the next 45 minutes and then it was time for me to head to the museum. Other than the fact that I haven’t seen a whole lot of Max for awhile, things seem to be going according to schedule for the MCC. I just wish I could see them on the nest ledge!