Flickr user John (Chicago Man) contacted me a few days ago to share some pictures he took of a peregrine in Chinatown. Incidentally, John also got the pictures of Max back in April, so he’s quite a spotter! Sunday, Sean and I went down to the spot John had given me and watched for about three hours. It appears there is a new nesting pair in Chinatown! It doesn’t look like they have eggs as the pair was in courting mode, not nesting mode.
I was only able to identify the male, but the identification was a great surprised and treat for me. He is 2011 North Broadway chick “Huff”. I both helped band Huff and named him after Scott Huff of the now retired podcast Huff and Stapes. I named two other chicks that year – Stapes and Bray.
Since it is rare to have definitive sightings of chicks after they fledge, it’s always gratifying when we get word that one has lived through the harrowing first year. It’s even better when we get word that the chick, now and adult, is nesting. It’s even BETTER when that chick is one that you named. To put this into perspective, I’ve helped band around 125 chicks over the last nine years. Of those, I’ve named 15 — naming rights are nearly always given to the building or site occupants. There is about a 60% mortality rate for peregrine falcons in their first year of life, so that leaves six chicks that I have helped band and name in the lat nine years that would still be likely to be alive. Given the wandering nature of peregrine youth, those six chicks could be anywhere, from Argentina to the Yukon Territory. I hope that helps explain why I was so surprised and delighted when I id’d Huff. This all said, Huff made it quite a lot easier for me, since he’s decided to pick a nesting spot about a mile from my house.