May 20 2014

Two Males, One Female and Two …?

Published by at 1:00 pm under Peregrines

Peregrine chick from the Gulf Tower nest, Banding Day, 20 May 2014 (photo by Kate St. John)

Today’s peregrine banding at the Gulf Tower was a happy return to Pittsburgh’s first nest site. Peregrines nested there continuously from 1991 to 2011 but left it in 2012 and 2013 while workmen were installing the new lighting scheme on the roof.

After two years on a short building Dori and Louie came back to the 37th floor and so did Dan Brauning, PA Game Commission Wildlife Diversity Chief, and Tom Keller, PGC biologist.  Dori remembered the routine and was on guard as soon as Gulf Tower Maintenance popped open the access window.  She’s seen this before!

Dori waits to defend her chicks against the banders (photo by Kate St. John)

Dan and Tom carefully went out on the ledge.  Not only is it a sheer drop to the street but Dori and Louie attacked while the men very gently collected the chicks.

Dori strafes Tom Keller (photo by Kate St. John)

Indoors all five chicks passed their physical exam with flying colors but it was hard to sex them by weight. At 28-30 days old there was one obvious female, two males, and two others on the weight borderline between male and female designation. Dan gave them female bands and listed them as “unknown.” We’ll certainly find out what sex they are when they nest.

Three Gulf Tower chicks after banding (photo by Kate St. John)

The “kids” were back in the nest in no time, had a quick snack and fell asleep.  The excitement was so much for them that they slept for several hours … like babies.  🙂


I’ll be putting my best photos into a slideshow soon.  Watch this space for more!


(photos by Kate St. John)

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Two Males, One Female and Two …?”

  1. Kathy Bramanon 20 May 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Thank you, Kate. It is so exciting that they are back at the tower. Glad today went well.

  2. carol kyrimeson 20 May 2014 at 5:15 pm

    The respect I have for the game commission from what I’ve seen this and last year has increased columns. Thanks above all for all the education

  3. Maureen Carron 20 May 2014 at 5:55 pm

    I totally enjoyed photographing the Gulf Tower banding many years ago. I fell in love with Peregrines & admire all the people who protect & preserve them.

  4. John Thomsonon 21 May 2014 at 6:06 am

    I thank everyone involved in the care and protection of these beautiful forms of life. It is so heart warming to see their life unfold right from our living room. Kate I thought you said you didn’t take photos of birds? Thanks for showing us the “surprise”.

  5. faith ann cornellon 21 May 2014 at 8:22 am

    new email; was hacked couple months back; so happy to see the banding, brings life back to a better perspective for me. love watching eagles also, we are very fortunate here. Thanks Kate for educating us. I have shared so much with other people I try to keep my mouth shut occasionally because I think sometimes they do not understand bird watching.

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply