R.I.P. Rahn and chick

•May 24, 2013 • Comments Off on R.I.P. Rahn and chick

Rahn Mothering Her ChicksSad news to report. Rahn was found dead by CBCM about three miles west of the nest site today. We are not entirely sure what happened to her as her body was in very bad shape. Rahn nested at the South Wacker site starting in 2006 and over the years fledged 15 young from that nest.

I wrote about Rahn previously because the team was very happy that she’d finally found a mate, laid eggs and hatched them after a couple of difficult and chick-less years. This is such sad news for the team and for all of the people who watch the Wacker nest (the oldest nesting site in the state). That said, I do find some solace in the idea that Rahn did live to see her young hatch.

Rahn’s new mate, Curtis, is carrying on raising the chicks on his own. He did lose one of the five, but five was a huge number of mouths to feed even for a pair of adults, so it is probably for the best.

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Update on a few nests…

•May 20, 2013 • Comments Off on Update on a few nests…

May 20th at the South Loop NestGetting a lot of catch up work done for insects and scholarship committee today, so I was at my desk all day, which means I got to watch some falcon cam!

The South Loop Duo is doing great. I got a call from someone worried because she hadn’t seen a chick on the feed for hours. I told her that I would bet money that the chicks were sleeping directly under the camera and, thankfully, while I was on the phone with her, one chick popped into view. Helen came in not long after to feed her two, so our caller was relieved. This will happen more and more as the chicks get older and more mobile, so don’t worry if you don’t see them!

The Evanston Four are getting big. I think we will be banding them sometime next week, though I probably won’t go up for that, since there will be plenty of hands on deck and thanks to the Evanston monitors, we always had adult ID’s in early season. I got to see Squawker come into the nest with food. He jumped down, looking ready to feed his chicks, when Nona came in and sent him on his way so that she could do the feeding. I have a two composites posted on Flickr.

Two of the five Savanna eggs appear to have hatched. The Savanna cam has been a bit difficult this year as it times out frequently and sometimes isn’t up for days. Today, though, I finally got a look at the two chicks and even witnessed a feeding. They look great too! The composite is up on Flickr.

Waukegan also appears to have two. One of the adults came in to feed them as I was watching and then laid down next to them to nap a bit. Being a parent is hard work! The composite is up on Flickr.

New Wrigleyville Pair

•May 16, 2013 • Comments Off on New Wrigleyville Pair

Wrigleyville Adult Male with EggsMatt and I went up to Wrigleyville to meet with a woman lucky enough to have peregrines nesting in the planter box on her balcony. Talk about front row seats!

Both of the adults are unbanded. The male is very, very tiny, but pretty. They currently have four eggs and all seems healthy and going as planned. They are about two weeks behind everyone else, so their eggs should be hatching sometime this week.

I have to say that the peregrines have great taste. The view over the wide expanse of Lake Michigan was breathtaking. I wonder what it would be like to watch a summer storm from that vantage point. Talk about spectacular.

Wacker Looks Good!

•May 15, 2013 • Comments Off on Wacker Looks Good!

Wacker Adult Female: RahnI spent an hour at the Wacker site this morning while Matt and Mary were off at another site. What an hour it was!

Rahn, the Wacker adult female since 2005, has had a bit of a tough time at Wacker. Her first mate was Etienne, a beautiful male from Etobicoke, Canada. I credit Etienne for being able to pronounce Etobicoke correctly. Etienne died in 2008, sadly, but Rahn soon found a new mate named Joe, who was a tall drink of water from Milwaukee. In 2011, Joe disappeared. We think he was killed in a fight with another male as the dead body of another male was found beneath the nest at the time Joe disappeared. Doesn’t take Jessica Fletcher for that one. That year, Rahn laid eleven eggs, but since she didn’t have a male, none of them hatched. In 2012, an unbanded male was seen hanging around the Wacker site, but Rahn again laid a bunch of infertile eggs and the nest was abandoned. This year, we all had our fingers crossed that Rahn would have a mate and finally raise some chicks again.

Wacker Adult Male: CurtisGood news on the first point! Rahn has a mate. His name is Curtis (b/r 57/D). Curtis was born in 2010 on the EMS building at UW-Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Rahn likes those Milwaukee boys. He’s quite a good looking bird and was present and protective as soon as I popped my head out to check out the nesting particulars. As to Rahn, she was sitting on five eggs! This is good news on the second point!

Now all that has to happen is for the eggs to hatch.

Catch-up, as usual

•May 13, 2013 • Comments Off on Catch-up, as usual

I know making a bunch of posts all on one day is NO way to run a fine blogging establishment, but unfortunately, that’s just the way it goes with me sometimes.

I wanted to mention that I’ve had some really nice emails from folks who found this blog. Keep the sightings coming! This is great information for us. Today, I will be meeting with a brand new contact named Glen to get a fresh view on the activity around the MCC nest. I am so excited! This kind of interaction is exactly why I started this blog and also the Flickr group. So, thank you to you all!

For my part, I will try a lot harder to be more timely with posts. I do ask for a bit of patience, though, because a lot of times I wait to post anything until I have a full, clear picture. I’d rather be as accurate as possible, even if that means I’m not the first to break the story. Maybe some of our 24-hour news channels could take a page from that book? 😉

UIC Update

•May 13, 2013 • Comments Off on UIC Update

UIC_13May13_1130aJust checked the nest cam and saw a nest exchange. UIC has FOUR eggs, not three.

Note the scraped Nitz and her mate have constructed. It is so perfect, it almost looks like someone went out and built a small campfire pit! It watched Nitz stretch her back legs out from under her to kick a big rock into the correct alignment. Pretty OCD, but the scrape is very photogenic.

Hatching Update

•May 13, 2013 • Comments Off on Hatching Update

Wow, did it get busy fast. I have a breather for the morning, so I wanted to quick catch up. Here’s what we have:

  • Chicago, Broadway: Five eggs were laid in early April. This means we should have chicks hatching around May 13-15.
  • Chicago, Millennium Park: Four eggs were laid in early April. On 09-May, Mary and Matt checked the nest and there were three chicks, about 1-2 days old.
  • Chicago, Pilsen: Four eggs were laid in early April. On 05-May, the nest was checked and there were at least two chicks, about 1-2 days old.
  • Chicago, River Birds: Five eggs were laid in early April. On 05-May, the nest was checked and there were at least three chicks, about 1-2 days old.
  • Chicago, South Loop: Four eggs were laid in early April. On 05-May, two chicks hatched. Since then, two eggs have remained, and probably will remain, unhatched. This is not uncommon and is no cause for alarm.
  • Chicago, St. Mary’s Hospital: Five eggs were laid in early April. By 10-May, two of the eggs had hatched.
  • Chicago, UIC: Three eggs were laid by the new UIC pair starting 01-May. This means chicks won’t begin hatching until early June, which is when we’ll be banding at most of the other sites. Due the the nest turnover, the new UIC pair got a late start.
  • Chicago, Wacker: One egg was laid on 08-Apr. I will be going there this week to see what is going on.
  • Chicago, Wrigleyville: This is a new nest. Matt and I will be going there later this week to get an update. Four eggs were laid in early April.
  • Evanston: Four eggs were laid in early April. The chicks started hatching on 06-May. All four are hatched now.
  • Savanna: Five eggs were laid in early April. Unfortunately, the nest cam has been very flakey, but we believe at least one chick has hatched by now from the brief glimpse we got from the camera last week.
  • Waukegan: Three eggs were laid in early April. One chick was visible on camera by 06-May. More may have hatched by now.

We have another 10 or so sites that are on the observation list, so will have to see about those!