They’re Still Babies

Peregrine fledglings at Univ of Pittsburgh, 8 June 2009 (photo by Kimberly Thomas)

Today at lunchtime I walked around the Cathedral of Learning looking for peregrine fledglings on my way to the Schenley Park tent.

As I came to the Bigelow side of the building I found two perched on the 25th floor roof-edge so I called Kimberly Thomas who works on 27 and left a message.  "Look outside your window."  Kimberly had her camera ready and sent me the pictures tonight.

Based on size, these two fledglings appear to be brother and sister though we couldn't tell that from the ground.  Down at Schenley Plaza we watched them and waited for something interesting to happen.  Soon they made us laugh.

The fledglings puttered, looked for their parents, and stared at everything that moved.  Suddenly a pigeon flew by and landed on the same roof edge about 30 feet away.

"Food!" thought the female fledgling.  Since she hasn't flown much she didn't even consider using her wings to get to the pigeon. Instead she walked the wall until she was 10 feet from it.  The pigeon stretched its neck very tall.  (What's that about?)  The peregrine paused and bobbed her head.  She seemed to be thinking, "How am I going to get that pigeon?  I don't think I can walk fast enough to catch it."

It was a stand-off for about two minutes and then the pigeon turned his back, walked away and laid down on the wall.

The peregrine laid down too.

"If only Mom were here she'd catch that pigeon and we could eat."

Still babies!

For two more photos of the fledglings exploring the roof, click here and here.

(all photos by Kimberly Thomas)

13 thoughts on “They’re Still Babies

  1. Ohmygosh they say. The world is really big outside the nest. Do the parents still feed them or just make them chase them & exchange food? I know they are wild creatures & instinct makes them mature but they so pitiful. Its wonderful that your friend got this picture. None of us want to let go I guess. Faith c.

  2. Their parents are still feeding them. As of last night one of the four still hadn’t flown so those who had fledged were still visiting the nestrail for a free handout – or so they hoped!

  3. Beautiful photos, Kimberly! Thanks for keeping us up-to-date with the fledglings. I miss seeing them at the nest box.

  4. I have enjoyed watching the falcons for the last couple of years. Thank you so much for your beautiful photos. I’m going to miss watching them in the birdbox but I realize that it’s time for them to fly. They are truly magnificant to watch!!

  5. Both nest boxes are empty tonight… does this mean they have all fledged?
    Just a note: sad to see the nest boxes empty, but happy to know they all survived fledging…
    Kate, you are a great wordsmith, I kept coming back to this site for your commentaries about the falcons… it kept me interested. I am hoping to play a more active role in bird watching in the months to come. Thank you for peeking my interests. Hope to see the youngsters flying thru downtown in the weeks to come…
    Thanks again for all you do!

  6. Amazing. Thanks so much to you and Kimberly for rare photos. Thanks also for invitation to the outdoors.

  7. I haven’t been able to get to Oakland so far this week. I guess since the nest box has been empty all four have fledged?? Do they all seem to be safe from any flying accidents? I’m hoping to get over there before the end of the week to see what I can see.

    It’s strange, after all of these weeks, not seeing them in that nest. I so looked forward to seeing them every day!

  8. This afternoon between 5:30 to 7:00 pm I went to observe the peregrine family since my last time on Sun afternoon. I could only found one baby rest on the edge of balcony of some floors, (the same spot that female baby bird playing the drama and made us worried on Sun early evening.) I believe that was the last female baby bird (by the size?) who are behind all the siblings in fledging because she tried to flap her wings to fly couple of times but seemed not to have enough strength or confidence and folded her wings afterwards each time and stayed on the edge. At one moment, she walked all the way along the edge toward the west side. What was that about? Bingo, there was a pigeon on the end of the balcony edge. The rest of the story just like what Kate described in “They are still babies”. Because the pigeon didn’t wait for the baby bird to come near and the pigeon flew and left the baby peregrine just stayed and watched. Around 6:40 pm, three peregrine flew toward the rooftop and gathered near the antenna and I could hear baby birds whining sound from them while they were landing. I am not sure if they were the rest of the siblings waiting for E2 and Dorthy for food. That female baby on the balcony probably took off later because I couldn’t find her anymore later and another pigeon rested on the same balcony edge and seemed to take it easy for quite a while. Then I went home.

  9. I was in Oakland this evening around 5pm – but didn’t see much action. I saw three fledgings and two of them sat on the 16th or 15th floor roof ledge for almost 4 hours; doing nothing. 🙂 I was there off and off until almost 8:30. Lin and Howdy showed up and then all of sudden action began!! A parent flew in and there was a food exchange we believe with the male fledging. Then the parent flew to the lightning rod. The two girls stayed on their ledge – then when no food seemed to be headed their way; took off!! At one point I saw four birds in flight – but I can’t say for sure that all were the fledges.

    We only saw one parent. Is it normal for an adult to be away for such an extended period of time? I didn’t hear any noise from any of them until about 8pm.

    Aroud 7pm, I was up on Flagstaff hill with my child and was able to still see the girls on that ledge. I am just totally enthralled with my new binoculars. I looked everywhere I could think to look for adults maybe perched somewhere watching over the kids – but just couldn’t locate them.

    The whole experience has just been remarkable.

  10. Good Job, Traci. keep watching the falcons and record your observation. I am glad you enjoy the full power of your new binoculars. I thank Kate for this opportunity to learn about the falcons. That Sat and Sun on early June brought me a nice experience to watch birds with the falcon-enthusiasts.

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