Yesterday (the 16th), Dan Cozza sent Mary and I email saying he’d seen a peregrine chick on the jail ledge on his way into work at 7am! I’d spent a large amount of time on the ‘el platform beneath the ledges over the weekend and had some suspicion we’d be seeing the chicks soon. They were very, very noisy and active in the nest.
I hustled over after work to take a look and ‘lo! A chick! So, this morning, I got up extra early so I could go check them out before work. As I rounded the corner on Clark, I immediately saw not one chick, but three!
I watched them for quite some time. One of the chicks is huge – so, a female who takes after her mother. One of the chicks is pretty small and has almost no puffs of baby down left – so, a male! The other one is sort of in between. I’ve been vacillating back and forth between a large male and a small female.
All three babies look gorgeous, of course. The male is already doing a LOT of wing flapping, so I figure he’ll make the big jump first. I just have to keep my fingers crossed that he manages to glide down to one of the roofs across the way instead of onto busy Clark Street or the ‘el tracks.
As usual, Dan and the EPA folks are acting as the chicks’ guardian angels. They have a good view from their building, so they can monitor the birds all day. I’m jealous!!
As for me, I’ll be going over morning and night to make checks for chicks on the ground. Everyone keep your fingers crossed!!
In other news, I’m sad to report that one of the Evanston babies was killed when he ran into a building. Every year, I have to remind myself and other peregrine lovers that the mortality rate for juvenile birds is over 60% in that first year. It’s just the way things are, like it or not. We all do what we can to help the kids out when they are fledging, but once they are fully fledged, we just can’t do anything but stand back and let them make a go of it. Still and all, I’m sad to hear about the Evanston loss – poor little guy.