ALL IS WELL, UIC!
Just a little off-season excitement to report to all those interested in the UIC pair – Rosie and “The Prof” (my name for the unbanded male).
At about 4pm yesterday, I got a call from some folks at the Behavioral Sciences Building on the University of Illinois at Chicago’s east campus. The folks, in this case, were my good friend Jeff and another friend I haven’t talked to in awhile, Kathy.
Jeff and I were in the same tiny class in graduate school. I took off after receiving my masters, but Jeff stayed on and is currently working on his dissertation. Kathy taught one of the HUGE freshman/sophomore heavy physical anthropology courses and I had the good fortune to TA for her for a year.
Jeff has shown an interest in coming out with me to watch the falcons and has even gone out on his own to see the Uptown pair, which is close to where he lives. But, he’ll be the first to admit that while he knows a LOT about iconography, he doesn’t know a great deal about raptors. So, when he called, the first thing he said is, “Ok…I THINK there might be a peregrine dead over here at UIC, but I fully admit I may be wrong here.”
The location of the bird, on one of the roofs of beehive like BSB, directly across from the UIC bird’s nesting area on University Hall, the tallest building on campus, seemed ominous. I played 20 questions with Jeff and on about the third question, heard Kathy’s voice in the background. By the time I’d finished questions, I felt very confident we, at least, had a raptor down.
After making a few calls, I caught the bus over to UIC to check the situation out. When I finally got to one of the higher BSB terraces and started looking around, I spotted the bird pretty quickly. It lay on its back about 20 ft below me on an inaccesible rooftop – a Cooper’s Hawk with a broken neck.
The most common bird of prey mistaken for peregrines is the beautiful Cooper’s Hawk, so I was pretty proud of Jeff and Kathy for calling the whole thing in. Absolute pity to lose the Cooper’s, but I was glad not to have to report one of UIC’s beloved peregrines DOA.