MCC Clarifications?

With all the excitement of a new position, all the stress of trying to wrap up stuff from my old position and the fledging time underway, I’ve managed to get myself completely confused regarding what is going on with the MCC chicks.

If you will remember, Chick#1 took its maiden flight on Monday, June 18th. Chick #2 was spotted on the ledge by many of us over the next few days, though Herc and Max weren’t seen around the nesting ledge with as much frequency as before. The hope was that they were tending to Chick #1 elsewhere, so splitting time between the nest ledge and wherever that chick was.

On Thursday, June 21, folks from the EPA witnessed a chick spiral down from the ‘el tracks onto VanBuren and Clark. Quickly, they went down to rescue the poor thing before it was hit by a car (again, good going!) and placed a call to Mary, who went down to check things out. The chick, a female, seemed just fine, so Mary and Dan banded her (b/g S/14) and let her go on top of the EPA.

b/g S/14 was thought to be Chick #1 since someone saw Chick #2 on the nest ledge while they were rescuing Chick #1. However, I’ve heard that this person could have possibly witnessed one of the adults rather than the other chick. At any rate, by the time I got to the MCC after work, the nest ledge was vacant. Both Dan and I went to look at different times the next morning, Friday, June 22, and the nest ledge was still vacant. So, it is possible b/g S/14 is actually Chick #2.

I saw S/14 up on top of the EPA building until the sun was nearly down in the evening of Friday, June 22. Most of the time, one of the adults was very close by. Saturday morning, I watched the EPA over several hours and didn’t see either adult or any chicks. Sunday was the same thing, although I did see one of the adults eating on top of the Board of Trade annex around 3pm on Sunday afternoon.

We got email from Mary Monday morning:

“Just to let you know – S/14 went down on Friday night. She was picked up by Animal Control over on Dearborn. Saturday I picked her up from Animal Control and transferred her to SOAR on Sunday. She looks good, ate a quail and was as feisty as ever. If this had happened during the week I would have released her again but because of the weekend I went the route I did. I’ll let you know when she’s ready for release though it’ll probably be a couple of weeks.”

In a follow-up, she explained:

“It’ll be a few weeks because she won’t have the parents hunting for her during the 3 weeks it usually
takes for the birds to learn to fly. After fledging, peregrines usually take the first 3 weeks learning how to fly and the next 3 weeks learning how to hunt. At Soar she’s in a huge free flight chamber. Once she’s zipping around there real well, they’ll toss in a live pigeon. If she kills it -it’s time to let her go.”

“I don’t like to put birds back in the eyrie (or near it) if no one’s been around for awhile. If there’s still a chick in the nest – perfect. If no one is in the nest but the adults and/or another chick is within sight or was present that day – that’s okay too. But once everyone has been out and a few days go by with out seeing the adults, you can’t say for sure if they’ll come back and find that chick. Rather than risk putting the bird
back, the parents not being around and therefore the bird not eating for a few days, not to mention possible grounding, I rather take it to rehab where I know those issues won’t be a factor.”

I didn’t get a chance to go check the nest this morning, but I did take a look around at buildings in the area through my scope between 6am-7:30am. I didn’t see either adult or any chicks. I’ll go by after work and check the nest. Dan says that he didn’t see anything up there this morning, but a woman he works with said she saw a chick up there this AM. It would be nice to see the other chick, for sure!

I’ll edit this post after I check the nest after work today and let you know if I saw anything. So, wow! Feisty S/14! Now we have to think of a name!


~ by Steph on June 25, 2007.

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