Oct 16 2009


Published by at 7:30 am under Peregrines

Two peregrine fledglings at Univ of Pittsburgh (photo by Kimberly Thomas)Sad news.

Yesterday the body of a young female peregrine born at the University of Pittsburgh this spring was found in the chimney at Webster Hall.  The green tape on her USFW band indicated she was the same bird who's eating in this picture taken by Kimberly Thomas on June 9.

Of the four peregrines hatched at Pitt this spring, she was the smallest female and the one who stayed closest to home.  She visited the nest box on June 29 long after her siblings had stopped going there.

When she was found she'd been dead for a while; her body had dried out.  The maintenance man at Webster Hall thought she may have died of carbon monoxide poisoning because he often saw her perched on a rooftop smokestack.  Alas, she chose a bad place to hang out.

Unfortunately she's not the only juvenile peregrine from the Pittsburgh area to die this fall.  In early September I learned that one of the three young peregrines born at the Monaca bridge died on August 30 when he struck an airplane at Pittsburgh International Airport.  He was probably hunting the smaller birds attracted to the open area near the runways.

Research tells us that more than 60% of young peregrines die in their first year - many of them before they leave home - but it's always sad to learn the details.

(photo by Kimberly Thomas)

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Mortality”

  1. Kathyon 16 Oct 2009 at 7:52 am

    Such sad news, Kate. We know the statistics, but we can’t help but hope each year the new little ones will not become one.

  2. Nathalieon 16 Oct 2009 at 11:19 am

    Research tells us that more than 60% of young peregrines die in their first year – many of them before they leave home – but it’s always sad to learn the details.

    So true, and, yet, still very sad indeed…

  3. Mary Ann Pikeon 16 Oct 2009 at 12:12 pm

    What ever happened to the Gulf Tower peregrine chick that hurt itself this Spring? Was it successfully released eventually?

  4. Kate St. Johnon 16 Oct 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Yes it was, on July 8. Here’s a post that tells the story:
    Update on Gulf Tower Peregrines and CMU Red-tails

  5. Kittyon 16 Oct 2009 at 1:44 pm

    I was eager to see eggs in the nest at Pitt this season. Then, I could bearly stand to wait to see them hatch. And when they did, I watched as they staggered around the nest and squealed to be feed. What babies they were! Then, the dreaded day came that they learned to fly. Even then I knew, because I was told, that they would not be coming back to the nest. And, I accepted that fact as life because thats what we do in our human existence. We give life to our children, take care of them and then send them off into the world. Unfortunately for me, I got attached to the peregrine babies as a viewer to a soap opera that watches every day and wanted them all to do well.

    I’m sad for the peregrine that didn’t make it!
    Mortality, the older I get the less I like that word.

  6. Kimon 16 Oct 2009 at 5:19 pm

    So sad to hear this Kate. We all know the statistics, and try to prepare ourselves for the inevitable, but it is always so sad to hear.

  7. Kristenon 19 Oct 2009 at 1:58 pm

    {sigh} Here’s hoping her siblings are faring well!

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