May 21 2013
Beginning this weekend — yes, Memorial Day weekend — the four young peregrines at the Downtown nest will prepare for their very first flight. They’re older than the Pitt nestling so they may fly as soon as May 29.
The Downtown nest area doesn’t have space for a Fledge Watch party but you can still watch from the sidewalk. It’s only a third as high up as the Cathedral of Learning so you’ll get great views. This photo — taken without a zoom lens — shows the nest opening last year with a chick standing at the edge. The red arrow points to him. He’s brown with white fluff on his head.
Where to watch: Third Avenue between Wood and Smithfield on the sidewalk near the Carlyle parking lot. Look up and see this view. After they fledge they’ll be on buildings in the vicinity of Point Park University. For more information, contact me by leaving a Comment below.
Normal behavior: A fledgling perched on a building is safe — and loud. He begs for food, his parents feed him, and he waits to digest his food before he leaves. He may wait overnight if he feels safe. This is normal.
If you find a fledgling standing on the ground, it’s in danger. Protect it from being hit by a car(!) and call the PA Game Commission at 724-238-9523. A Wildlife Conservation Officer will be dispatched to rescue it because…
In their first day of flight young peregrines don’t have the wing strength to take off from the ground. If they become grounded they must be delivered to a high place so they can start over.
IMPORTANT: Before you do anything else, read this description –> Falcon or Hawk <– so you know what a young peregrine looks like. They are tricky! and resemble red-tailed hawks who often stand on the ground to eat (and don’t need to be rescued by the Game Commission).
Call this phone number if you find a peregrine in trouble: 724-238-9523
(photo by Kate St. John)
p.s. Parking is free Downtown on Sundays. If you plan to spend some time watching bring a lawn chair, water, and binoculars to make your stay more enjoyable. Don’t forget your camera!