On this cold, icy morning it's hard to remember last summer's heat, but after I published Jim Logan's peregrine photos last week I learned about this hot young bird in Downtown Pittsburgh.
Just after 2:00pm on July 6, 2012, Rachel Papa looked out her 24th floor window in the Grant Building and saw a large raptor standing on the patio planter with its mouth open.
It was an unbanded immature peregrine falcon and he was panting.
The patio was in shade but it was not comfortable out there. It was 97oF, 13o above normal on a hot day in the hottest year on record.
The peregrine merely gazed at Rachel as she took his picture through the window.
Here, the bird is alert and curious.
And here he seems to be saying, "I'm telling you, it's hot out here!"
These photos show that the peregrines' impromptu Third Avenue nest produced young last year, but our watchers saw only one fledgling not four or five as is usual at the Gulf Tower nest.
If Dori and Louie do the math and feel that the Gulf Tower is safe, they'll go home to Gulf this spring.
We certainly hope so. As @PittPeregrines says on Twitter, "Talons crossed!"
(photos by Rachel Papa)