Oh man, did I get behind! My life has been so busy of late, I haven’t had time to keep up with anything, but I am terribly sorry for the lack of updates! I’ll go back and fill in some of the blanks over the weekend, but let me start with a quick recap of this month’s events. I’ve written some more detailed entries, but haven’t posted them. I’ll try to backdate and post them over the long weekend. Anywho! Without further ado:
125 S. Wacker Falcons – The male at Wacker has been confirmed as Joe (b/g 59/H). Joe replaced last year’s male Etienne, as Etienne died over the winter. The female has yet to be confirmed, but is most likely Rahn, the female from last year. We were all very pleased to see that Rahn found a mate in time for this nesting season after the loss of Etienne in January. Joe and probably-Rahn are currently busy taking care of four chicks and we should be banding them shortly after Evanston.
Broadway Falcons – Broadway has four chicks!
Evanston Library Falcons – On April 9th, the first of the Evanston chicks began to hatch – there are four total. Mary and I went up to the Library yesterday and identified both adults. The male is Squawker (b/g 48/M), the same male as last year. The female is “Nona” (the library came up with that and I love it!) (b/g/ 64/D), the female that’s been at the nest for a few years now. So, all is well with the beloved library birds. By the by, the Evanston chicks will be banded on the 30th of May!
MCC Falcons (the Jail Birds)) – Hercules is absolutely confirmed as the prison’s female for yet another year. The male is probably “Max”, her mate of the last few years (at least), but the numbers have yet to be completely confirmed. All signs point to our jail birds nesting in the northernmost niche on the western side of the jail. Herc and Max can be seen going in and out of the niche, mostly for food drop-offs, with far more frequency now.
South Loop: Museum Falcons – What a year for this poor couple! The museum female has been confirmed as Helen (b/g, 73/D) and the male is again unbanded (I call him “Mr. M.”). It is highly likely this is the same pair as 2007. Helen and Mr. M. set up shop on the northern side of the museum in the triangle niche over the main doors. From 4/7 – 4/24, the pair laid 5 eggs. Apparently, the floor of the nesting area was slanted slightly and every last egg rolled out and smashed on the ground below, probably very shortly after they were laid. The ledge is inaccessible, but a nest box will be put on the roof near this nest site for next year. After laying so many eggs at the museum, the pair laid two eggs at a nearby construction site. They abandoned those eggs not long after. They are still hanging around the museum and today (5/21), we found another egg splatted on the stairs beneath the north triangle niche. While we would love to put the nest box up RIGHT now, the Field Museum is undergoing a complete roof overhaul, so the whole area is unstable at this point. With any hope, our determined pair will come again next year, where they will find a shiny new nest box and a workman free roof.
Pilsen Falcons – This is another sad story, unfortunately. Bryanne (b/g 9/*Y), the female from last year (if not longer), has passed. She was found on the ground in very bad condition. Mary took her directly to rehab where it was found she suffered from complications from a ruptured oviduct. Although everyone worked tirelessly to save Bryanne, she passed a few days later. The male at Pilsen (b/g L/N) abandoned the two eggs shortly after Bryanne was found, so we won’t have Pilsen babies this year. However, “Lynn” should be able to find a mate in time for next year, so hopefully we will have many Pilsen babies in our future.
The River Falcons – Finally, we were able to track this wily pair down. They laid four eggs on the London Guarantee building at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker. We were able to identify the female, “Vee” (b/g V/S). Unfortunately, the eggs were lost in a rain storm in mid-May.
St. Michael’s Falcons – The male, Hops (b/g 58/M) is back again this year with last year’s female Ballistic (b/g 69/C). I have to check up on this one, but last I heard, their two eggs still hadn’t hatched. I’ll ask the woman who watches them for more of an update tomorrow! I haven’t personally been able to visit this site yet this year, but you can check out some absolutely beautiful photos of this year’s birds and also years past if you go HERE.
University of Illinois Falcons – Rosie (b/r *6/D), the long-time UIC female, and her unbanded mate (I call him “The Prof”) have returned and are currently taking good care of four chicks! This pair gave their huge UIC fan club a good scare earlier in the season when a peregrine was found on the ground beneath the nest. We picked the bird up, but it died shortly after. It was a male, new to the area, named Perry. Perry lost a territorial fight with one or both of the UIC birds. Although it was very sad to lose a peregrine, most folks at UIC breathed a huge sigh of relief upon hearing it wasn’t their beloved Rosie.
Uptown Theater Falcons – Zoom (b/r *4/H) and “Guy” (b/g G/G) have returned for yet another round of chick raising! This long-time Uptown pair currently has four chicks.
Waukegan Falcons – Waukegan has four babies this year! You can see them for yourself on Waukegan’s FalconCam.
We have also confirmed adults at St. Mary’s Hospital in the Bucktown neighborhood (thanks to Flickr member Kevin Forsyth). We have checked the area out a few times and thus far have seen only one bird, but we hope to get an identification before the season is up. Kevin has been great about sending in updates, so with any hope this is a new nest being established!
As well, we have a young adult and mature adult peregrine flying around the Loyola Campus in Rogers Park. Both adults have been confirmed, though we haven’t been able to get leg band numbers as yet. I hope to get up that way again with my scope, perhaps over the long holiday weekend. This pair doesn’t seem to be nesting, but we have hopes for next year!
PHEW! Ok! I’ll be out doing peregrine stuff over the holiday weekend and hope to do some more writing as well. I promised I’ll try to find the time to post more reliably! Happy peregrine watching, everyone!