Man, it’s been one LONG and hot weekend.
As it turned out, Sean was on call this weekend too and spent much of it at the office. I spent most of the weekend at “the office” too, if you count standing under nesting ledges an office environment. For the record, I do! At any rate, I spent morning, noon and night this weekend watching over the Loop-A chicks, watching for the MCC chicks and looking for signs of any grounded Wacker fledglings.
Sadly, in all the hours I watched, there was nary a peep from the MCC nest. In fact, I hardly saw any adult activity much less chick activity. The few times I saw an adult, it was way up in on the corner of the EPA building, in flight or sitting on the nesting ledge snoozing as the last of the light left the sky at night. There is hardly any prey debris under the normal feeding perches nor is there much in the way of “white-washing” on the side of the jail. All in all, these facts seem to suggest that the MCC nest failed this year. The one adult seems to be hanging out in Max-type spots, so my best guess is that I’m seeing Max. Hercules’ favorite perches have been empty for a good long while now, although I’ve been checking for her every night. A part of me hurts to think that something might have happened to Hercules, but the larger part of me knew that it would some day and so I was prepared. The only thing left to do is wait until next year and see who comes back to the nest. I’ll admit, I’m really rooting for Herc.
I wandered around the Wacker building a number of times this weekend and found no downed chicks, so that’s good news. I did see some activity way up in the sky, but didn’t stick around long to watch. There have been a lot of reports from folks in the area who have been seeing the Wacker Four flying with their parents, so all is well in that sector.
This weekend was MOSTLY about the Loop-A chicks, as they were the last of the Chicago chicks to fledge. On Saturday, I had hours of fun watching the Loop-A family do their thing — preening, wing-exercising, feedings, etc… — but by Saturday night, none of the kids had taken the first jump. This morning, they were all three still on the ledge. After watching them a bit, I toddled off to check the other sites and when I returned, in the considerable heat of the afternoon, the ledge was empty. It was so bloody hot, I thought it far more likely that they were snoozing in the shade of the planter than that they’d all flown the coop in my absence. I was proven partially right this evening. I watched for awhile towards dusk, but in all of that time, only two chicks were out. From their size, I’d have to say it’s the ladies.
Did the male fledge? I can’t be sure. I didn’t see him on the ground or on a nearby ledge. I also scoured nearby alleyways and streets for sign, but no male! The Loop-A birds have a very nice area in which to fledge, so I’m not to worried. Tired, hot, foot-sore and in desperate need of a shower, but not worried. Keep you posted!