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Five Peregrine Falcon nest sites in the Windy City

A Peregrine Falcon watches from a perch in a tree.
Peregrine Falcon by Jeff Cole.

We are fascinated by Peregrine Falcons, and we are especially thrilled by Peregrine Falcons that nest in cities. We highlighted five of our favorite webcam-equipped city nests earlier this year, and we asked Josh Engel, a research assistant at the Field Museum in Chicago, to write about the Chicago Peregrine Program in our October 2016 issue.

The program’s goal is to bring a breeding population of Peregrine Falcons back to Illinois and the entire Midwest. As part of it, Josh and his colleagues monitor more than a dozen nest sites in the Windy City and about 20 more outside the city limits.

The locations are all plotted on a map on the Field Museum’s Illinois Peregrines webpage. You can find the five sites below the next time you’re in Chicago. Josh and his colleagues monitored them both last year and this year.

1. South Wacker Dr. and West Adams St., Chicago
In use for 30 years, this is the oldest Peregrine Falcon nest site in Illinois. In 2016, four eggs were laid, all of which hatched and fledged. In 2015, four eggs were laid, and all hatched. The four fledglings needed assistance.

2. North Broadway and West Victoria St., Chicago
2016 was the 23rd year for this site. Four eggs were laid, three of which hatched. All three chicks fledged. In 2015, five eggs were laid, only two of which hatched. Both young fledged without issue.


3. University Hall, University of Illinois at Chicago
2016 was the 18th year Peregrines nested on this 28-story building. Four eggs were laid. Two hatched. In 2015, three eggs were laid, two of which hatched. In both years, one chick was grounded after its initial flight but was placed back on the building and eventually fledged successfully. The other fledged without issue.

4. Evanston Public Library, Orrington Ave., Evanston
2016 was the 13th year in a row that Peregrines have nested on the library, one of the sites we featured this spring. Five eggs were laid, three of which hatched. All fledged successfully, but one was found deceased. In 2015, four eggs were laid, all of which hatched. Two of the four young were grounded, retrieved, and released at a safe location.

5. Wilson Avenue Intake Crib, Lake Michigan
In 2016, the fourth year that falcons nested at the offshore site, three eggs hatched, but the nest failed. In 2015, four eggs were laid, three of which hatched. All three young fledged.


Our October 2016 issue, containing Josh Engel’s article about the Chicago Peregrine Program, will go on sale at Barnes & Noble and other newsstands tomorrow, September 6.

Tell us about your Peregrines

We’re eager to learn about additional Peregrine Falcon nest sites, and especially those with a webcam. If you know of an active nest, please tell us about it. Leave a comment below, or send an email to [email protected].

Read more about the Chicago Peregrine Program.

Study: How promiscuous are the Peregrine Falcons that inhabit our cities?


See photos of Peregrine Falcon.


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