While many birds still have babies in the nest, the season is over for our peregrine falcons. Their nestlings fledged in early June and their young will soon be off on their own.
In July the webcams show us nothing but shadows, weeds and old feathers. Rather than pay to broadcast an empty nest the Pitt webcam stopped streaming in mid-June and the Gulf Tower camera will stop soon.
It's a shame to have nothing to watch. To fill this gap - and because I miss seeing the peregrines myself - I made a slideshow of Pitt's season highlights for my blog and for the Aviary's website. Click here or on E2's picture for the blog slideshow. The Aviary's will be slightly different.
Meanwhile, I'm sure you're wondering how I got this recent close-up of E2 since I just said nothing's on the webcam.
All year long E2 avoids the limelight. Unlike Dorothy, E2 prefers not to perch near windows. He avoids having anyone see him up close and this makes it extremely hard to read his bands and confirm that he is indeed the peregrine father at Pitt.
The solution is rather simple. In July E2 likes to visit the empty nest - who knows why - so we zoom the webcam and use the motion-detection snapshots to read his bands. Here he is four days ago blatantly presenting his banded leg to the camera.
If I go by his appearance I'm sure it's E2 with his white forehead and swaggering stance, but his bands are a little hard to read. I'll have to wait for another good snapshot to be sure.
(This and the slideshow photos are from the National Aviary's webcam at Univ. of Pittsburgh)