Mar 14 2014

Pittsburgh Peregrines To Watch

Published by at 7:30 am under Peregrines

It's been a busy week for Pittsburgh's peregrines. All of them are courting and claiming territory and the Gulf Tower has pair already laid two eggs.

The cold snap and the work week have slowed down our (human) ability to observe all eight nest sites but a warm weekend is coming so here's an update on the birds' activities and information on where to look for them.

  • At the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning, Dorothy and E2 make courtship flights around the top of the building and bow at the nest.  Typically E2 brings Dorothy a meal, then flies to the nest and calls her to join him at the scrape. These two aren't as loud as the video above would lead you to believe 😉 but they do call to each other.  You can't see them from inside the building.  Best viewing is from Schenley Plaza (click here for instructions) or on the NEW IMPROVED falconcam link with snapshots and archives!   First egg will arrive within sthe next two weeks.
  • At the Gulf Tower Dori has laid two eggs and we're expecting the third late today.  We presume this pair is still Dori and Louie but are awaiting confirmation from the sharp-eyed observers at Make-A-Wish.  Watch this pair at the north face of the Gulf Tower (click here for information) or online at the NEW Gulf Tower falconcam link.
  • The Tarentum Bridge peregrines have been very busy. Last weekend Rob Protz saw them mating, Steve Gosser took this photo.  If you go, best viewing is from the boat ramp under the Tarentum Bridge.  Check the superstructure on the upstream side and the railings on the pylons.  You'll probably see some of us "Falconuts" there if the weather is good. (Click here for directions from the 2012 nesting season.)

Peregrine at the Tarentum Bridge, 9 Mar2014 (photo by Steve Gosser)

  • After a long winter without any peregrines at the Green Tree water tower this site has a very active pair right now.  Several observers saw both birds last weekend and Shannon Thompson watched them mate several times on Saturday.  Here's one of  her digi-scoped photos.  Best viewing of their courtship is from the Olive Garden parking lot area across Greentree Road. You can also watch from the municipal park below the tower but it's hard to see the courtship flights from there. (Click here for directions from 2013)

Peregrine at Green Tree water tower, 9 March 2014 (photo by Shannon Thompson)

And at the other four bridges last weekend..

  • Westinghouse: Nathalie Picard saw one adult on the bridge last weekend.
  • Neville Island I-79 Bridge:  Anne Marie Bosnyak saw both peregrines late in the day on Sunday March 9.  (I saw Anne Marie when I stopped by at noon.)  Click here for directions from 2013.
  • McKees Rocks Bridge:  This bridge has no good viewing location so it's hard to monitor.  Whenever I am in the area I check the power towers and tall structures nearby.  So far I've seen nothing.
  • Monaca & Beaver Bridges:  This pair used the Monaca-East Rochester Bridge for many years but switched last year to the big railroad bridge that crosses from Monaca to Beaver.  I didn't see any peregrines when I scouted last Sunday though Tim and Karena Johnson have seen them.  (Here's what that railroad bridge looks like.)

It's going to be a good weekend for peregrine watching.  Let me know what you see.


(video of Dorothy and E2 bowing via WildEarth streaming, transcribed to YouTube by PittPeregrines.  Photos: Tarentum peregrine flying by Steve Gosser, Green Tree water tower peregrine by Shannon Thompson)


p.s. If you're having trouble seeing the cameras, click here for more information

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Pittsburgh Peregrines To Watch”

  1. Anne Curtison 14 Mar 2014 at 11:01 am

    Very nice story on the peregrines in the current Shady Av magazine! And a well-deserved “shout-out” to you, Kate. The more people who know about these magnificent creatures the better the world is. (If you’ll excuse my hyperbole!)

  2. earnhardt3fanon 14 Mar 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Same issue with “new improved” cameras as with Hays camera. doesn’t work with Firefox. at least the old ones still work.

  3. Kate St. Johnon 14 Mar 2014 at 1:02 pm

    earnhardt3fan, it works for me in all three browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. I know that it won’t work if you have an ad blocker.

  4. John Englishon 14 Mar 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Ah – ad blocker. 1st anyone has mentioned that. Will give it a try.

  5. earnhardt3fanon 15 Mar 2014 at 10:41 am

    Ad Blocker – that was the problem. Thanks

  6. Robon 15 Mar 2014 at 10:58 am

    Additional info on Tarentum:

    Tuesday afternoon (3/11) I saw another possible mating. I was in the parking lot talking to a guy in his pickup truck, so I didn’t have a good angle. But the male was on the navlite, and the female flew over to there, and then I saw a big fluttering of wings (all I could see) which was just like what I saw on Friday 3/8.

    Saw both peregrines around on Friday evening too, but no mating activity. But they are using the same hole as last year, the one where Art and Dan found the decayed egg last year in the upriver arch near the mid-river pier. This is the lowest hole in the second set of six going up from the mid-river pier back toward Tarentum.

  7. Marge V.on 15 Mar 2014 at 12:22 pm

    What a wonderful world!! So many beautiful creatures like the Peregrines!! And so wonderful to have so many pairs in westernPA, Pittsburgh and surrounding area. I see from Rob’s reply that the picture I took of the holes on left side of the bridge where I saw one going in and out of after perching before and after a short flight “around” the pier IS the same one as last year. Hopefully this year will be successful!! Maybe they just needed a little more practice : )
    Thanks for keeping us up to date on all of them, Kate.

  8. Vicki Don 15 Mar 2014 at 7:37 pm

    All such good news for the new year. We are so pleased, living in Green Tree, to have the peregrines return to the tower after such tumult last year. I see them there frequently and look forward to knowing a family will be created. Beautiful photo, Shannon!

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