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Young falcon found in State Street alley returned to nest

Updated: June 7, 2012 2:41PM

A young Peregrine falcon found in an alley off State Street was returned to its nest Thursday.

The falcon, said Field Museum Ornithologist Mary Hennen, was likely learning to fly when it hit the ground Wednesday in an alley behind the Walgreens at 151 N. State. It was likely too disoriented to try to return to flight at that point.

“Its first flight is a glide down to another level — the problem is they don’t know how to fly yet,” Hennen said. “In the city you are immediately succumbed by people and traffic, which is disorienting.”

Restaurant worker Jun Bisonia, 45, who was making a cell phone call in an alley behind the store at 151 N. State, found the bird by a trash bin. Bisonia’s co-workers said he put the bird in a box before contacting authorities. The police then brought the bird to the Field.

The bird was not injured in the fall, Hennen said. The bird had a tracking band, put on the bird when it was just a few weeks old, so officials were able to return it to its nest in Millennium Park.

Hennen said there are about 27 breeding pairs of Peregrine falcons throughout Illinois. There are several nests in the Chicago area — often on tall buildings — which are ideal for the high nests the birds prefer and for helping them prey on pigeons.

The Field keeps on eye on them, but largely lets them get by on their own.

“We don’t own the birds. No one does. We just monitor the state population, kind of a liason between bird and the public,” Hennen said.

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