Peregrine falcon pair protecting nest putting Loop commuters on alert after 1 injured in attack

Jessica D'Onofrio Image
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Chicago commuters wary of downtown falcons protecting nest
Where do peregrine falcons live? A falcon pair has set up shop on the seventh floor of a Wacker Drive building, and Loop commuters are on-guard.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- They swoop and they dive, and they have a lot of commuters on-guard.

All eyes are on a building at Wacker Drive and Monroe Street in the Loop.

Two peregrine falcons are watching over their nest.

But, pedestrians beware, they are protecting their babies.

The birds of prey have made a nest at 100 S. Wacker Dr., on a seventh-floor window ledge.

"We actually worked in this building for years, so we used to be able to see birds nesting outside," commuter Matt Bock said. "I just wanna make sure I don't get attacked."

The building is warning people with a sign about these protective parents, after a commuter was recently injured.

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"My office is right over here, so it's kind of my everyday route. If something happens, I guess something happens, but nothing has yet," commuter Haley Mulherin said.

The peregrine falcon is the official bird of the city of Chicago, and it was once on the state's endangered list.

But thanks to the Chicago peregrine program, the city is now home to 20 breeding pairs, overseen by the Field Museum.

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"They just defend their chicks, and this is the period of time when the chicks are getting bigger. There's a lot invested in those chicks, so they're gonna be more aggressive," said John Bates, the Field Museum curator of birds.

So, for a few weeks as the falcons raise their young, commuters beware.

"If it isn't one thing, it's another. It's all good. You just learn to go with the flow," commuter Sally Fleissner said.

Scott Ervin said he may change his route in hopes he can avoid a close encounter.

"If you've been close to one, they're big, and I don't need one close to me, and I'm not looking at it, so I will keep an eye open, yes," Ervin said.

The Field Museum experts are telling people to just give the falcons some space to raise their chicks.

They said once the chicks are a little older this summer, mom and dad will relax.