Mar 17 2017

Why Is She Shouting? and Other News

Hope shouts at Terzo, 2:20pm 15 Mar 2017 (screenshot from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Hope shouts at Terzo, 2:20pm 15 Mar 2017 (screenshot from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Ever since the female peregrine at Pitt laid her first egg on March 15 lots of people have been watching her on camera. The first question on everyone’s mind has been, “Why is she shouting?!?”

Indeed, Hope spent a lot of time shouting at the top of her lungs on Wednesday.  Here’s just a tiny dose of her voice.

She’s always been a vocal bird but this is over the top.  People can hear her inside the Cathedral of Learning and as far away as O’Hara Street behind Soldiers and Sailors Hall.  Peter Bell @PittPeregrines said, “She’s so loud you can hear her over all the traffic!”

So why is she shouting?

I don’t know but I can tell you what was happening off camera.

Before Hope began shouting, she and her mate Terzo were communicating softly over the egg and bowing in courtship.  (Note!  This behavior is a happy thing. It is not fighting.)

After he bowed, Terzo flew up to a perch above the camera about six feet away from the egg.  Hope looked right at him and began shouting.  When he flew away she shut up and sat down on the egg.  When he came back she resumed shouting.

Peregrine shouting, also called wailing, means “I want [____] to change.”  None of us speak ‘peregrine’ so we don’t know what’s in that blank.


In Other News:

Hope was silent on Thursday March 16 because she was busy chasing off an unbanded female intruder.  The intruder visited the nest twice and even bowed with Terzo at 12:24pm.

In the video below you can hear Terzo and the visitor chirping for 30 seconds before Terzo jumps into the nest.  Look carefully at the female and you’ll see she resembles a bird who visited three times last year: April 8, August 2 and November 14.


Will this be a quiet nesting season at the Cathedral of Learning?  No.

Watch the nest on the National Aviary falconcam at the University of Pittsburgh … and be ready to press the mute button.


p.s. Here’s information on what happens when intruders show up: Peregrine Fidelity to Their Mates, Fighting.

p.p.s  Three eggs at the Pitt nest as of Monday morning, March 20.

(screenshot and videos from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh streamed by

19 responses so far

19 Responses to “Why Is She Shouting? and Other News”

  1. Deeon 17 Mar 2017 at 9:32 am

    Expains C1 a bit better now.

    I laughed at the part about this being over the top and Peter Bell’s comment -too funny.

  2. Janeton 17 Mar 2017 at 9:53 am

    Kate, do you think this unbranded female will come back, or do you think Hope chased her away for good? Thanks

  3. Kate St. Johnon 17 Mar 2017 at 10:01 am

    Janet, I think the unbanded female will return. She has been coming to the nest for almost a year.

  4. Cindyon 17 Mar 2017 at 11:02 am

    I’ve caught the unbanded female alone with the egg. At least she appears to be alone. Any danger to the egg from her?

  5. Kate St. Johnon 17 Mar 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Cindy, no danger is likely. When she visited last year there were eggs and she did nothing to them.

  6. Joon 17 Mar 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Terzo certainly doesn’t seem to be discouraging her!

  7. Janeton 17 Mar 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Kate, looks like Hope laid a second egg.

  8. Patti fernedingon 18 Mar 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Just wondering if it is normal to be off the eggs for so long. It seems every time I look she is not on the eggs. Unlike the eagles that usually only get off for short periods or to change which eagle is incubating. Is this hurt the eggs in any way if she is not on them for long periods?

  9. Kate St. Johnon 18 Mar 2017 at 12:14 pm

    This is normal because UNLIKE EAGLES peregrines do not begin incubation (keeping the eggs warm) until the female lays her next to last egg. More info here:

  10. Cindy Lisiakon 18 Mar 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Maybe Hope want Terzo to get off his duff and patrol to keep away unwanted intruders. His “honey do” list?

  11. Kate St. Johnon 18 Mar 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Cindy, male peregrines do not defend their mates against female challengers, so Hope can’t/won’t expect Terzo to do that. Here’s more info on how this works:

  12. Bethany Kargeron 18 Mar 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Every time I look at the scrape, those 2 little eggs are just sitting there and Hope is no where to be seen on just sitting on the edge of the scrape. I understand she obviously isn’t incubating them yet. But I really don’t think she’s cut out for motherhood. Perhaps she’d rather be at the mall. I have concerns for this year’s nesting activity, especially after last year. But, to attempt to be positive, it is another year without all the drama from the start of the season last year.

  13. Rhae Brownon 19 Mar 2017 at 9:14 am

    Bethany, I agree that last year was upsetting for humans to watch. However, C1 was the first successful fledgling from the Cathedral in three years! It seems to me that Hope is doing something right!

  14. Kate St. Johnon 19 Mar 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Rhae, yes I would call this a case of “Far from good, but good from afar.”

    A mother who kills & eats her kids (as Hope did) is far from good … but if we are counting fledged young, one success is good from the distance of three years.

    At the end of her life the previous female peregrine, Dorothy, did the best she could to lay eggs and raise young no matter the odds. She was an excellent peregrine mother.

  15. Kittyon 19 Mar 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Yes, last season Pitt’s Nest female peregrine’s actions were unheard of in the years of watching them lay eggs and fledge via web cam. In addition, I never heard the disturbing shouting before either. Hope is a little scary after last season. Wow,Should I be afraid for Terzo!

  16. Kate St. Johnon 20 Mar 2017 at 5:51 am

    Kitty, I think Terzo will be OK.

  17. Debbie Kon 20 Mar 2017 at 8:37 am

    I don’t know when the third one was laid, but when Hope got up earlier this morning there were three eggs!! I ‘hope’ everything goes well this season.

  18. Bethany Kargeron 21 Mar 2017 at 11:31 am

    Has Hope begun incubation? Everytime I check the Gulf nest, the mom is on the eggs. I just checked the Pitt nest, and Hope is no where to been seen and those 3 pitiful eggs are just sitting there.

  19. Kate St. Johnon 21 Mar 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Bethany, I don’t know if Hope is incubating. If she’s away for a long time, she might be chasing an intruder.

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