I just happened to be gazing out one of my living room windows that overlooks Lake Michigan right around noon today when I saw two peregrine falcons fly by. It's been a long time since I saw one, much less two together, in this neighborhood (though they are still very much here, just not nesting successfully any more). It is sheer joy to see them, it's even possible that they already pairing up. Mating season in Chicago is usually around February, let's hope they try again this year. The University of Chicago some years ago mounted nest boxes on two campus buildings the birds seemed to favor, but they've not yet quite got the idea of how to use the boxes. Last year one of the campus peregrine-spotters saw one standing on a nest box. Maybe it was checking out its suitability for raising a brood. Stay tuned for updates as courting/nesting season approaches.
From my new office I will have a new view of one of their flight paths to the corner of campus where they hang out these days. The photo above was from one of their alternative sites (in 2005), which apparently the birds found ideal for laying eggs. Until, that is, the first hard rain of late spring. Beauty? Brawn? Yes. Brains? Maybe not so much.
2 weeks ago