May 28 2009

Meet Me At The Tent

Published by at 7:24 am under Books & Events,Peregrines,Schenley Park

Schenley Plaza tent (photo by Kate St. John)Meet me at the Schenley Plaza tent for the Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch June 2 to 6, weather permitting.  Peregrines usually don’t fledge when the weather is bad so I won’t be there if it’s raining.

I have to be at work Tuesday to Friday, June 2-5, so I’ll be at the tent at these times:

  • Before work:  approximately 7:30-ish to 8:20am
  • Lunch (a late lunch hour, and I have to walk to/from WQED):  1:40pm to 2:20pm
  • After work:  5:20pm until I run out of steam which can be as late as 7:00pm.

June 6th is a Saturday so I’ll be there most of the morning 7:45am to 10:00am – and later than that if I’m having fun.  As is usual with peregrine watching there are hours of boredom punctuated by moments of great excitement.  We’ll be there for the excitement and the comraderie.  So stop by.

Schenley Plaza is on Forbes Avenue between Hillman Library and Carnegie Library and across the street from the Cathedral of Learning.  When you’re driving down Forbes Avenue you’ve just passed Schenley Plaza when you see Dippy the Dinosaur.

If you want to let me know you’re coming, please post a comment.  Comments are moderated (by me) so I will see it before the rest of the world.

And don’t forget to bring binoculars if you have them!

(photo of Schenley Plaza tent by Kate St. John)

22 responses so far

22 Responses to “Meet Me At The Tent”

  1. Kate St. Johnon 28 May 2009 at 9:28 am

    p.s. I ‘ll be wearing a hat with a brim and using binoculars to look at the Cathedral of Learning. It will be hard to miss me. 😉

  2. Lucinda Beattieon 28 May 2009 at 9:30 am

    When do you think the peregrines at the Gulf Tower will fledge?

  3. Kate St. Johnon 28 May 2009 at 9:31 am

    In the same timeframe as Pitt. Perhaps a day earlier. Start looking June 1.

  4. gloriaon 28 May 2009 at 10:06 am

    Kate: Just curious — When the birds “fledge” does a parent go along with them for their first flight or do they just “jump out of the nest on their own”… and “just know” it’s time? and they are ready to “fly”…..

  5. Tracion 28 May 2009 at 10:17 am

    I’m going to try to make it during a lunch period – otherwise I would need to bring my 4 1/2 old – which would mean I’d be watching him more than the peregrines!!

    I think I’d like to go downtown to watch for the Gulf’s fledglings as well. I’ve become rather fond of the Gulf chicks because of their antics – watching them I’ve noticed that I’ve become less and less concerned with one of them falling off the building :)…in a way, I’ve sorta grown through my fear of heights as they’ve grown up.

    Wildlife is such an awesome teacher, if you can be still enough to listen. At least for me!!

  6. Kate St. Johnon 28 May 2009 at 1:24 pm

    >When the birds “fledge” does a parent go along with them …?
    No, but the parents watch them and fly after them to make sure they landed safely. The “kids” need a lot of room to maneuver so they’re given all the airspace.

    >jump out of the nest on their own…?
    They walk on the building to a place with a wide view and flap hard.

  7. gloriaon 28 May 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I am so anxious for all of the kids, both at the GT and the COL. I work in town so I have to figure out where the best vantage point is to see the GT … I think I read in one of your blogs that the old railroad station was the place to get the best view. I will have to go back and search for that post…

  8. Kate St. Johnon 28 May 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Yes it’s the RR station. Who knows maybe there’s a cool place to watch from at the Greyhound Station parking garage. I haven’t been in the new bldg since they completed it and have no idea how it’s laid out. If it faces the Gulf Tower it might be great… but then would they want people standing around in the garage? umm…no.

  9. Joannon 28 May 2009 at 4:16 pm

    There is a story on a local ABC station here in NY regarding 3 sets of peregrine chicks born on 3 NY bridges. the link is You can then see a slide show of the chicks born on the 3 bridges. They look really cute-it must have been banding day for them since I don’t think a photographer could have gotten that close to the chicks by climbing the bridges. Also, here in NJ our Jersey City peregrine gave birth to 3 chicks over the holiday weekend. The website to see them is I’ve been watching Mom feed the chicks twice today-it looked like she brought in a robin for them earlier this afternoon. She seems to be a bit neater than Dorothy she was cleaning the nest this morning-getting rid of the feathers.
    too bad I live in NJ because I won’t be able to see the chicks flying there in Pittsburgh-hopefully someone will post a link if the news covers their maiden flights.

  10. Kate St. Johnon 28 May 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Thurs 5/20, 4:20pm: For those of you watching the webcams, we’re having a thunderstorm right now. You’ll see that the chicks at both sites are beginning to huddle under the nestbox roofs. Their parents teach them to seek shelter when there’s lightning. It’s helped by the fact that it gets dark during a storm and birds normally think of roosting when it’s dark.

  11. Stephenon 28 May 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Do all the chicks fledge on the same day? That one there looks quite a bit more downy than the others, and one looks like he (she?) is ready to go right now.

  12. gloriaon 28 May 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Am I only seeing one kid at the GT tonight? It’s getting dark and I can’t tell if they are both there or just the one? It’s approx 8:48 pm.

  13. Kate St. Johnon 29 May 2009 at 6:47 am

    Good question, Stephen! No they don’t all fledge on the same day. The oldest chicks and the males fledge first. Older chicks have more mature flight feathers so they are ready to fly sooner. The males fledge earlier because they are lighter weight than their female siblings and can get better “lift” at a younger age. Consequently, Fledge Watch lasts over a period of days.

  14. Kate St. Johnon 29 May 2009 at 6:48 am

    There are many places off-camera for the chicks to stand. They ledge-walk out of view at this age.

  15. Patsyon 29 May 2009 at 7:56 am

    Kate, was reading a blog you wrote a while back in which you referenced Marcy Cunklemans suet and how well the birds like it. Do you have a recipe for it. I have not had very much luck with the commercial suets. Only birds that seem to bother with it are the starlings.

  16. Kate St. Johnon 30 May 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Marcy posted it on PABIRDS last January. In her words….

    Here is the info I hand out when I give birding programs and have shared with many on Pabirds.

    1/3 CUP OF SUGAR

    This is an all weather suet which can be used all year. I would suggest making a double batch or more at a time. Once the birds find this, you will be filling a suet log or suet cage, more quickly than store bought. I tried an experiment using the homemade and store bought suet side by side. The homemade was used up more quickly than the store bought suet. See if this happens to you. You can add raisins, nuts and other bits of fruit to this mixture. You HAVE to use LARD, which you can buy in buckets or 1# blocks. You can use plain peanut butter instead of crunchy and whole wheat flour instead of white flour. Do NOT use anything else, except white sugar.

    Marcy Cunkelman
    Conemaugh Twp. Clarksburg, PA Indiana Co.

  17. Patsyon 31 May 2009 at 7:33 am

    Kate, thank you very much for the recipe, and thanks so much for all the information you offer on this site. I am new to watching the falcons, and have learned so much from your postings and links.

  18. Donnaon 31 May 2009 at 8:40 pm

    This is the suet recipe I use. I store it at room temp. I have had red-bellied woodpeckers feed this to their young on my deck. It also attracts orioles, which I cannot attract any other way. Squirrels also love it, unfortunately.

  19. Kate St. Johnon 31 May 2009 at 9:44 pm

    By the way, even wild birds can get gout from rich food. See Julie Zickefoose’s blog about how her bluebirds got gout from this suet:

  20. Donnaon 01 Jun 2009 at 10:22 am

    Wow, I didn’t know that birds could get gout. They are officially cut off!

  21. Shari Andersonon 01 Jun 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Did some of the birds leave already?

  22. Kate St. Johnon 01 Jun 2009 at 2:52 pm

    At Pitt one of them is ledge-walking. See this blog + comments for more info: