Photograph by Rob Curtis.
of the world's most dazzling birds at one of the region's
finest birding spots.
peregrine falcon plummets from the sky to seize its prey
at Montrose Beach near Magic Hedge. A kingfisher is about
to become food and waste. Trash blows across the sand under
the drama. Rob Curtis snaps the picture.
first the bird and the issues seem black and white. So many
things do. Life and death. People and nature. Chicago and
wilderness. Killer and saint. Predator and prey. But then
come the grays. Grays too are beautiful. Then comes color.
dividing the world into opposing camps usually makes perception
poorer. There's less beauty, less subtlety and also
pick up trash and we make trash; sometimes we kill trees
to restore the forest. Predators? The kingfisher, too, is
Tory Peterson's Field Guide to the Birds (1980) lists
the peregrine falcon's habitat as: "Mainly open country...formerly
the species gradually died out entirely from the lower 48
states, declining fast in Canada as well. The disasterous
data for peregrines helped us see the impact of DDT on the
continental ecosystem. EPA (colorless bureaucrats? good
guys in white hats?) clamped down hard, as was needed. The
Chicago Academy of Sciences headed up successful efforts
to restore a population of peregrines in and around Chicago.
Now one pair even nests on the Northern Trust building near
the Sears Tower. Watch for them over lakefront parks, and
around the canyons of the Loop.
vs. nature. Predator vs. prey. Black vs. white. And grays
taken at Montrose Beach on Chicago's lakefront by Rob Curtis.
Words by Stephen Packard and Judy Pollock.