Jul 15 2009

Serious Games

Published by at 7:05 am under Peregrines


Juvenile peregrine falcon plays among rooftop rubble (photo by Kimberly Thomas)

Look closely and you'll see a juvenile peregrine falcon spreading her wings among the rooftop rubble. 

This picture was taken in early June when the young peregrines were staying very close to home.  Nowadays they're usually away from the Cathedral of Learning, exploring western Pennsylvania and making wider and wider forays away from town, so when I saw three in the past two days I was quite pleased. 

On Tuesday at lunchtime the youngest of the four peregrines was perched low on Heinz Chapel roof looking hard at the treetops nearby.  I could tell who she was because she has green tape on her FWS band.  And I could tell she was hunting because she bobbed her head as she scanned the trees.  The robins warned, "Danger! Peregrine!" but some of the other birds didn't believe it.  "Danger?" they thought, "From her?"  Sure enough she swooped off the roof, grazed the treetops and grabbed a bird for lunch.  Good job!

Then yesterday morning at work I looked out the window as I walked down the hall.  Way out there I could see two peregrines flying around the top of the Cathedral of Learning.  They acted like juveniles so I ran to get my binoculars.  Yes!  Two young peregrines were playing Chase-me and Talon-touch games.  What joy to see them having fun!

Soon the young peregrines will leave Pittsburgh for good.  They'll benefit from these serious games that prepared them for life.

(photo by Kimberly Thomas at the University of Pittsburgh)

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Serious Games”

  1. faith Cornellon 15 Jul 2009 at 9:57 am

    How I envy your physical place in Oakland. Yesterday we at Presby. for some more testing for my husband & I only had a small window overlooking rooftops & I just kept looking & looking for wings. I almost was praying for one to fly by. The sharing of the picture and the enjoyment of seeing through your words to us are happiness indeed for these wonderful beings. Thanks once again for the many people who have input into this site. Faith C.

  2. Jon 15 Jul 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Wow, what a mess on that rooftop. That’s cool you got to see a successful hunt by one of the chicks. BTW, has there been any further new on the injured chick from the Gulf Tower or did you post an update and I missed it?

  3. Kate St. Johnon 15 Jul 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Yes, there is an update and it’s good news!
    I posted it in the comments on July 9 at:

  4. Johnon 15 Jul 2009 at 5:10 pm

    I love this photo.

  5. Tracion 15 Jul 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Amazing photograph!! I was at the Plaza this past weekend and saw one in flight. I was with someone who had never seen one, although she had heard me talking about them. She was stunned. I don’t know if it was a juvenile or an adult but it was moving!! Incredibly fast.

    After it was gone, we didn’t see any others. It’s nice to know they are still hanging about…at least for now. 🙂

  6. Marion 17 Jul 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I love seeing and reading about the peregrines. I have been following both the Gulf Tower and the Cathedral of Learning birds for the last several years.

    Thank you!

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