May 30 2008
…for Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch!
Late next week the peregrine falcon chicks at University of Pittsburgh will be ready to fly (called fledging) and I’ll be there to watch them.
Fledging is the most dangerous time for a young peregrine. He flaps at the edge of a 400-foot drop and launches into the blue. He has to learn to steer and land on his very first voyage. If he doesn’t make it, he could land in the street.
Fledging is also the most exciting time for a peregrine watcher. The entire peregrine family is busy: the parents give flight demonstrations, the young walk the edge of the building and flap their wings, one of them takes his first flight and the parents follow to make sure he’s OK. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
The peregrine chicks are likely to fledge between June 7th and 9th so starting Thursday June 5th I plan to be at the Schenley Plaza tent before 8:15am, after 5:15pm, and during my lunch hour 1:30-2:30pm every day including the weekend. Fortunately, peregrines try not to fledge during bad weather so I get a reprieve if it’s raining.
You’re welcome to stop by for Fledge Watch. As with any hawk watch, there are stretches of boredom (opportunities to chat) punctuated by moments of excitement (peregrines flying). Unlike a rural hawk watch this one comes with amenities: a tent, indoor restrooms, free wireless Internet, places to buy food, and on-street parking.
Schenley Plaza is at the intersection of Schenley Drive and Forbes Ave across from the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning. The tent (pictured above by my cellphone) is visible from Forbes Avenue. Click here for a Google street map.
How will you find me? I’m the one near the tent wearing a hat and looking at the Cathedral of Learning with binoculars.