May 17 2017

One Male, Two Females Banded at Pitt

Published by at 7:15 am under Nesting & Courtship,Peregrines

Female peregrine chick, C6, shouts during Banding Day (photo by Kate St. John)

Female peregrine chick, C7, shouts during Banding Day (photo by Kate St. John)

Yesterday one male and two female peregrine chicks were banded at the Cathedral of Learning. All three are in good health and very vocal.  They were so loud they were nearly deafening!

Here’s their story in pictures.

Before the chicks were retrieved, Tammy Colt of the Pennsylvania Game Commission laid out the bands, one set for males’ small legs, the other set for females’ larger legs.  The silver bands are unique 9-digit US Fish and Wildlife bands which cannot be read from afar.  The black/green bands can be read through binoculars or in photos.

The bands that will be used for male and female peregrine chicks (photo by Kate St.John)

A view of the bands for male and female peregrine chicks (photo by Kate St.John)

 

Wildlife Diversity Chief Dan Brauning shows how the silver bands interlock.

Dan Brauning shows Tammy Colt how the bands interlock (photo by Kate St. John)

Dan Brauning shows Tammy Colt how the silver bands interlock (photo by Kate St. John)

 

Meanwhile the mother peregrine, Hope, knows something is going to happen.  She guards and waits for the action to begin.

The mother peregrine, Hope, knows something is going to happen (photo by Kate St. John)

The mother peregrine, Hope, knows something is going to happen (photo by Kate St. John)

 

As Dan and Tammy approach the nest, Hope shouts to defend her chicks.

Hope shouts as Dan Brauning and Tammy Colt approach the nest (photo by Kate St. John)

Hope shouts as Dan Brauning and Tammy Colt approach the nest (photo by Kate St. John)

 

From Schenley Plaza, Kim Getz saw Hope and Terzo strafe the area and dive on the banders.

Hope and Terzo circle and dive at the banders (photo by Kim Getz)

Hope and Terzo circle and dive at the banders (photo by Kim Getz)

 

Each chick was collected in a drawstring bag. The chick is weighed while in the bag to determine its sex. Even at this age males weigh 1/3 less than females.

The chicks were transported in bags. Who's inside? (photo by Kate St. John)

The chicks were transported in bags. C8 is inside. (photo by Kate St. John)

 

The male chick, C6, waits and watches before his bands are applied. He was silent at this point, but not for long.

The male chick, C6, waits and watches (photo by Kate St. John)

The male chick, C6, waits and watches before his bands are applied (photo by Kate St. John)

 

As his black/green band is applied, C6 grabs the bander’s thumb with his talons.  Ouch!

Ow! C6 grabs the bander's finger with his talons (photo by Kate St. John)

Ow! C6 grabs the bander’s finger with his talons (photo by Kate St. John)

 

The first female chick, C7, was loud from the start!

Female chick, C7, shouts during the banding (photo by Kate St. John)

Female chick, C7, shouts during the banding (photo by Kate St. John)

 

The second female chick, C8, was temporarily quiet. Notice how large her toes are!

The second female chick, C8, shows off her long toes and talons (photo by Kate St.John)

The second female chick, C8, shows off her long toes and talons (photo by Kate St.John)

 

In less than half an hour the banding was done.  Dan returned the chicks to the nest.

Dan Brauning returns the chicks to the nest (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Dan Brauning returns the chicks to the nest (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

 

And Hope checked on her nestlings.

After the banding, Hope checks on the chicks (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

After the banding, Hope checks on the chicks (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

 

All’s well that ends well.

 

(photos by Kate St. John, Kim Getz and the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “One Male, Two Females Banded at Pitt”

  1. Sarah Lynnon 17 May 2017 at 7:43 am

    Thanks for these pictures. It’s just fascinating.

  2. Peteron 17 May 2017 at 8:05 am

    Great pictures Kate!

  3. Janeton 17 May 2017 at 8:11 am

    Thanks so much Kate for the update. Great pictures too!

  4. Gretchen Harperon 17 May 2017 at 8:16 am

    Thanks so much and for the updates
    What a pleasure to watch them grow

  5. Donnaon 17 May 2017 at 8:20 am

    Awesome pictorial, Kate! Did they put colored tape on the USFW bands?

  6. Kate St. Johnon 17 May 2017 at 8:25 am

    Donna, no they didn’t use colored tape. They only had black tape this year & didn’t use it.

  7. Pa Galon 17 May 2017 at 8:20 am

    Thanks for the story and the pics. It’s great to hear that all the chicks are in good health.

    On being returned to the nest, there was one bold chick which was giving Dan the business. It was sitting in front of the nest box while its two siblings were huddled together at the back. So much fun to see the difference in behaviors!

    Thanks again, Kate, for all that you do for us!

  8. Trini Regaspion 17 May 2017 at 9:14 am

    Nice pictures, Kate. Could they actually tell the order in which they hatch or were they numbered just on who happened to get weighed first?

  9. Kate St. Johnon 17 May 2017 at 9:28 am

    Trini, it’s just the order in which they were banded. Frankly we’re going to lose track of who’s who almost immediately.

  10. Sonja Braunon 17 May 2017 at 9:45 am

    I enjoyed the photos and the narrative so much. Love all their facial expressions!

  11. Dianeon 17 May 2017 at 10:19 am

    As always, wonderful follow-up story and photos, Kate … can’t thank you enough !!

  12. Cindy Lisiakon 17 May 2017 at 11:01 am

    I watched when Dan returned them to the nest. Which one was in Dan’s face telling him off after being let of their bag. I noticed Dan was amused by the little one’s attempt to defend his/her territory.

  13. Patricia Mundaon 17 May 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Kate, you are amazing. Thanks for the great pictures and information.

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