DOWNTOWN — Peregrine falcons are delighting South Loop residents.
Photos of the birds — famed for being the fastest creature in the world — have been posted in the Hello South Loop Facebook group several times recently, garnering hundreds of reactions and comments.
On Monday, a resident posted a photo of a falcon perching on his balcony near 16th and State streets and more than 300 reacted.
Several weeks before, on July 18, more than 70 people posted comments when another person shared a photo of a falcon on his balcony. Others posted photos of their own falcon sightings in the area.
“Well, your balcony belongs to them now,” one person teased.
“What a badass porch guest!” another commented.
Mary Hennen, director of the Field Museum’s Chicago Peregrine Program, identified that falcon as Izzie. The photo was taken near where Izzie was born and not long after her first flight, Hennen said.
Peregrine falcons have lived in Chicago for years and they’re even designated the official bird of the city. They prey on smaller birds and can end up weighing up to 2.75 pounds and being 20 inches long, according to the Field Museum.
The raptor species can dive at 200 miles per hour, eating birds they capture — like pigeons — in mid-flight.
The birds often stick around Chicago for the winter, according to the Field Museum, and they’ll start courting come January.