Lakeview and a New Friend

The Lakeview site has long been a mystery for Mary. The site has been active since 1997, yet as far as Mary knows, it’s failed every year. The nest is on the 20th (or so) floor of a skyscraper and is completely inaccessible, so the only way to monitor the site is from the ground. Every year, Mary and a number of other volunteers have watched and waited, but nada.

However, adults don’t usually come back year after year to a completely failed site. Something had to have gone right at some point in the past. This is why we were making one of several season visits to stand out on the sidewalk below and watch the building.

Mary and I were out for about three hours. Two adults were very active, popping in and out of several niches that rise in two rows up the west face of the building. Although we saw a ton of activity, we saw no hint of a chick or fledgling, nor did the adults pop in with food for an obvious chick feeding. Puzzling.

In those three hours, we met a lot of curious passers-by who would stop, ask questions and then fill us in on what they’d seen of the neighborhood peregrines. One such passer-by was a man named Ron. Ron lived on the top floor of a building near the nest building. Turns out, Ron was a font of information. Of course he knew about the peregrines, he told us, he’d been watching them for the entire time he’d lived in his place, for 10 years or more. In fact, the adults often landed right on the railing of his balcony and he had pictures! I tried not to drool at the thought of possibly filling in some missing data from previous years.

“Could you … send us those pictures? Maybe we might be able to identify the adults or something.” I said.

“Yes! Of course!” said Ron. “And if you’d like to come up and take a look at the site from my balcony, you’d be more than welcome any time I’m around.”

Unfortunately, we could not go up this day. We’d already been out a long time and I, for one, needed to get back to the insects. Mary told Ron that we’d love to schedule a time to come up and see the view from his place and that we would be in contact.

This is really excellent news. Ron took a look at some of the pictures of juvenile peregrines we had on us and said that he’d never seen a bird that looked like that in all his years at the site. We are both hoping that this new contact and vantage point might help us understand why!

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~ by Steph on June 28, 2010.