Want to do a Fledge Watch at the Gulf Tower?

The Gulf Tower peregrine nestlings are growing fast and will fly for the first time next week -- as early as June 15 but more likely starting Friday June 18. 

Many of you watching the webcam have asked if there will be a Fledge Watch at the Gulf Tower. 

There will be ... if you make it happen. 

Due to constraints on my time and location, I can't organize a Watch at the Gulf Tower but if you visit the area near this building, you're a candidate for Fledge Watch.

Here's what to do:

  • Use this blog as your contact point.  Post a comment that you're interested in Fledge Watch and I'll put you in touch with each other. 
  • If you want to coordinate the Watch, please say so!  The Watch will go best if someone is locally in charge. 
  • Pick a place to locate the Watch.  The best side to watch from is here.  Where will you meet?  Agree on a location and I'll post it on the blog.
  • Show up whenever you can during daylight.  The chicks prefer to fledge when there's low humidity and a good wind but they will fly at any time bceause they become very restless at the fledging stage.
  • The first-flight period will last five to seven days from first bird to last -- probably June 17-24.
  • Bring binoculars and possibly something to sit on.
  • Chances are you won't need this information but I'm including it for completeness:  If a fledgling lands on the ground he will have to be rescued because he can't lift off the ground in the first day of flight.  Call the Game Commission's Dispatch Office at 724-238-9523 and they will send someone as soon as possible.  In the meantime watch the fledgling to guard against further accidents.  Do not chase it!  Do not scare it into the street!  Calmly watch it until help arrives.  (It's easy.  Here's my favorite picture of guarding a fledgling.  I saved this photo from a fledge watch in Canada in the 1990s.  I haven't been able to re-find the source.)
  • Have fun!  Fledge Watch is an opportunity to see peregrines and meet others who love these birds too.

Check the comments on this blog for more information. 

(photo of the Gulf Tower in winter by Derek Jensen, released to the public domain on Wikipedia.  Click on the photo to see the original.)

12 thoughts on “Want to do a Fledge Watch at the Gulf Tower?

  1. I am interested in Fledge Watch.

    Because of my job, I would only be available after 5:30PM throughout the work week. I would however, be available all day on Saturday, June 19th.

    I am truly concerned about the little ones falling into the streets. Should there be a team of Fledge Watchers manning the streets? Would it be helpful to maybe try and enlist some assistance from the city – do you think they would help at all? I am not opposed to calling to find out. (was thinking of a city employee with a flag to direct traffic incase a Fledgling lands in the street)

    I am sorry if I sound obsessed – it’s only because I am 🙂 Watching the chicks Fledge is very stressful and wonderful all at the same time. I am going to have such a case of “empty nest syndrome” .

    Kate, thank you so much for all of the time and effort you have put into this project. You have taught me so much.

  2. Jean Kollar left a message that she lives in Greensburg but will try to be there.

    Which side of the building? The side you want to watch is the side that faces the Strip District, the side that is visible from Liberty at 16th Street (if you happened to be standing back that far).

  3. I would love to take part but I also work … I’m available from 5pm til whenever (and since I work in the USX I’ll also be watching “outside my window”)

    Don’t worry. The Gulf Tower nest has fledged 63 young since 1991 and they almost never end up on the ground. (I can think of only one example in the last decade.) The Gulf nest is 37 floors high and there are buildings next door that have high roofs where the young birds land. I provided the Game Commission number in my post above but it’s unlikely anyone will need it.

    Contrast this to Harrisburg’s nest site (if you’ve been watching that one). Their nest is only 15 floors up and there are no tall roofs nearby. Harrisburg always holds a Fledge Watch because their fledglings often have to be rescued from the ground — as they were this year.

  5. Here is the link to an article about the banding of Beauty’s little girls. Her mate Archer had something to do with them too! :0)

    One was named Jemison, after Mary Jemison, and the other was named Callidora which they say means “Gift of Beauty”! I thought that so appropriate. Because of Beauty and Archer, Rochester has new promise in Falcon nesting.


    I agree with Steve-o. I can’t decide who is doing the watching. Great Picture!!

  6. If I’m looking at the correct corner of the bldg, then the street between the Boy Scouts of America bldg and Mellon arena is a good place to see the gulf tower. W binoculars it seems about as closer as the tent in schenley to the top of COL

  7. Anne Marie, that location (or even Flag Plaza) will give you an oblique view. For a straight-on view try Liberty Ave at 11th St or maybe the upper deck of a parking garage beyond 11th Street.

  8. Thanks Kate! I was wondering about the greyhound parking lot actually… not sure what street that is. I’ll investigate!

  9. 7th floor of greyhound bus station parking lot afford a good view of the nest … however, only about 1/2 of the bldg visible.. (from left to right)… maybe the parking garage one more block away would be better… will check that out the next time. But being up high is nice… no neck problems like at COL! 🙂

    Now … if i just knew someone in the Pennsylvanian… THEIR roof or penthouse would be ideal!!! 😉

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