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Mystery solved: Heidecke peregrine

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Bill Anderson sent a photo in last week of a banded bird he saw at Heidecke Lake and asked if I could find help IDing it. It turned into a nice quest.

tagged bird

I first asked Joel Greenberg, a friend and naturalist with a birding blog at He said it looked like a young peregrine and suggested Bill send the photos and tell the story to Mary Hennen

She may be reached at She tracks them for the Field Museum and she ID'd it as ``definitely 06/E.''

And gave this history:

[Her] name is Sloopy and she fledged from Chicago's Broadway nest up on the north side. She hasn't gone thru rehab or been handled (beyond banding) but for whatever reason does seem more tolerant of people. She was sighted earlier in the month in Hammond Indiana. Some immatures just seem more tolerant of people but usually grow out of it especially when they start breeding.

I find that very interesting.

Bill has more photos and stuff posted at and

Here's the background story from Bill:

I photographed the bird shown in the following links at Heidecke Lake near Morris IL on 8/28/09. The bird had tags on its legs and we were wondering what type of bird it was. I first noticed it sitting on a railroad track underneath a railroad car. I was in my boat an after I passed it, it took off and flew ahead of me down the shoreline and landed on top of a different railroad car. I passed it again and took more photos. This repeated itself a couple times before the bird landed under another car on the tracks. We were also wondering if the bird may have been rehabilitated or domesticated because it didn't fly away like other birds I've photographed.

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I don't know if it was the same bird, but I thought I saw an "owl" roosting in the trees in the southeast corner of Heideke in June. Easily, it could have been this bird, as I am definitely not an orthinologist.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on September 3, 2009 8:25 AM.

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