May 07 2009

Never fear…

Published by at 4:20 pm under Nesting & Courtship,Peregrines

Two peregrine nestlings at Gulf Tower (photo from the National Aviary webcam)

...the two nestlings are here. 

If you were worried earlier this week that Tasha was spending too much time brooding her chicks at the Gulf Tower nest, worry no more.  They're alive and well and standing up on their own. 

My heavens, they're growing fast!

(photo from the National Aviary webcam at Gulf Tower, Pittsburgh)

16 responses so far

16 Responses to “Never fear…”

  1. Elspethon 07 May 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Are there just the two? Did she remove the other eggs?

  2. Kate St. Johnon 07 May 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Yes, just two nestlings. The remaining eggs are not viable. One has been removed already. The peregrines will shuffle the other two eggs to the side eventually.

  3. faith Cornellon 07 May 2009 at 7:05 pm

    OF the 4 chicks of Dorothy; seems 1 is sort of getting left out or does she evenlly feed all 4. Faith Cornell. Thank you for a most interesting site.

  4. MJEDon 08 May 2009 at 10:27 am

    Kate, I’m so glad I read your mind about the camera angle at the Gulf Tower. While the camera might not be the best, the shot above shows how we can watch them as they grow. I know that on “banding day” last year, the nests were cleaned and the cameras were moved a bit. I just wanted to share my opinion on leaving the Gulf cam at a distance. Is there a way to donate to a new camera fund or have a fund site set up for that purpose? How much does a camera cost? Thanks for all that you do in keeping us posted with information. It was great to see the picture from the McKees Rock Bridge!!

  5. Kittyon 08 May 2009 at 12:09 pm

    WOW, Dorothy’s nest is a mess!! Tosha is much cleaner than Dorothy.

  6. Joannon 08 May 2009 at 6:29 pm

    One of the chicks is trying out their wings this evening. He or she was spreading them & hopping around the nest while Dad(I believe it was Louie didn’t see the white feathers on the left side) was possibly feeding the other chick. I think it is a girl because it looks bigger than the other one but I won’t say that with 100% assurety. Guess it can’t wait to try it’s wings & fly-very impatient!

  7. Kate St. Johnon 08 May 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Sorry it took me a while to respond. I’ve been away from my computer all day. Here are some answers.

    >seems 1 is sort of getting left out or does she evenly feed all 4?
    The chicks are fed evenly but sometimes one gets his fill before the others are done. I’ve seen a chick sleep through a feeding because he already ate enough.

    >The Gulfcam is back as far as it can go, I believe. The Pittcam will zoom-out slightly next week – but not far at all because there’s practically no distance between the nest and the cam.

    >Is there a way to donate to a new camera fund or have a fund site set up for that purpose? How much does a camera cost?
    You can donate to the National Aviary online here:
    In the Donation Information area, use the drop down box to select “Urban Peregrine Falcons,” then put in a comment (somewhere) that you want your donation to go toward the Gulf Tower camera.
    An outdoor webcam is a one-time purchase of $1000 to $1500. The live camera feed on the web costs an additional $2000 every season. Every donation helps.

  8. Herkon 10 May 2009 at 11:55 am

    A question: What part of the city are we seeing off to the left of the gulf tower?

  9. Kate St. Johnon 10 May 2009 at 8:14 pm

    The camera is pointing eastward. In the distance in good light you can see the Cathedral of Learning. I imagine the Gulf Tower peregrines can see the Pitt peregrines pretty easily.

  10. Jon 11 May 2009 at 10:07 pm

    If the Gulf tower peregrines can see possibly see the Pitt peregrines (and vise versa I image), that brings up another question. How large are peregrine territories usually and how close together can they be without causing territorial disputes?

  11. Kate St. Johnon 12 May 2009 at 9:10 am

    The size of peregrine territories varies depending on food availability. For those who remain on territory all year, the range expands in winter when there are fewer prey items. Conventional wisdom says the territories must be three miles apart but Pitt and Gulf are about 2.5 miles apart and it works fine. At sea cliffs where there many, many birds to eat the territories are closer.

  12. Joannon 13 May 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Tasha’s chicks are getting real adventurious today-they moved away from the overhang on the nest & are closer to the window by the nest(I saw the window one night). The one seems to like bullying the other one & keeps spreading it’s wings. When do they start to lose the white feathers(one of them the bully seems to have more grey showing on one of it’s wings) & grow the gray?

  13. Kate St. Johnon 13 May 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Actually it might not be bullying, it might just be discovering that it *has* wings. These little birds were born with tiny wings – the bones, muscles and skin – but no feathers. As the feathers grow the wings get longer and they discover that they can touch further out than they thought. Just wait until they have full size wings. You’ll be amazed!

  14. Joannon 14 May 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Tasha’s chicks are more adventureous than Dorothy’s as they seem to be getting closer to the camera. I’m just wondering is there flooring under the box area-I can see a piece of wood just in front of where the camera is but there looks like open area to the left of the camera & the one chick is getting awfully close to it today. I don’ want to see the chick fall to it’s death. Also the one chick is losing more of the white feathers around it’s wings & back-I’m starting to see gray feathers.

  15. Kate St. Johnon 14 May 2009 at 2:55 pm

    An amazing characteristic of pre-flight peregrine chicks is that they don’t – they just don’t – walk off the edge. I suppose it’s because eons ago the chicks who made that mistake died doing it and never reproduced. Fledging in a high wind is very dangerous but Tasha’s babies are nowhere near that point right now. And yes, it is open air & about 400 feet to the ground to the left of the nest box. Peregrines like it like that. 😉

  16. Tracion 15 May 2009 at 12:28 am

    I am so glad to hear this because today one of the fledgings at Gulf almost gave me a heart attack. I should say upfront, that I am terrified of heights, which makes me wonder why I am do drawn to these birds!

    But I was clicking away saving images of the fledgings, and they were at that edge you said is 400 feet up from ground. My palms were sweating because they were just too close for my peace of mind. Then suddenly one jumped and I could have sworn it was gone! I almost screamed (my son must have thought I was crazed!)…I captured most of this in sequence with saving images…and then POP, there they were. It had jumped right to that edge and obscured the other chick, so it looked like it had flown over the edge. Just telling the tale makes my palms sweat and my heart pound!! Completely nerve wrecking!

    Needless to say, that was it for me. I’d had enough. I just couldn’t take anymore of them ‘goofing’ around. I was glad to read Kate’s post that this is normal. Because of the view, the COL box feels ‘safer’ to watch now! 🙂

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