May 17 2017

Three Female Chicks Banded at Gulf Tower

Published by at 9:00 am under Nesting & Courtship,Peregrines

Female peregrine chick at the Gulf Tower banding, 16 May 2017 (photo by John English)

Female peregrine chick at the Gulf Tower banding, 16 May 2017 (photo by John English)

Yesterday afternoon three female peregrine chicks were banded at the Gulf Tower in Downtown Pittsburgh. It was quite a media event with videos from KDKA and the Post-Gazette, linked below.

Here’s the story in pictures.

Before the banding, Dori guarded her nestlings. This blind is always closed except on Banding Day.  Dori knows something is up.

Dori and three chicks at the Gulf Tower nest. This window blind is closed during nestsing season, only opened on Banding Day (photo by Kate St. John)

Dori and three chicks at the Gulf Tower nest, 16 May 2017. This window blind is closed during nesting season. It is only opened on Banding Day (photo by Kate St. John)

 

As the banders came out on the ledge, Lori Maggio took photos from the ground.  Here Dan Brauning, lead bander and Wildlife Diversity Chief at the PA Game Commission, holds up his hand so Dori can’t get too close.

Dan Brauning holds up his hand so that Dori won't his his back. Banding Day at the Gulf Tower, 16 May 2017 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Dan Brauning holds up his hand so that Dori won’t hit his back. Banding Day at the Gulf Tower, 16 May 2017 (photo by Lori Maggio)

 

This chick waits patiently though she wasn’t always quiet.

Female peregrine chick st Gulf Tower banding, 16 May 2017 (photo by John English)

Female peregrine chick at Gulf Tower banding, 16 May 2017 (photo by John English)

 

The process is set up like an assembly line to minimize the time the chicks are indoors.

Banding Day at Gulf Tower, 16 May 2017. Each chick awaits the next step (photo by John English)

Banding Day at Gulf Tower, 16 May 2017. Each chick awaits the next step (photo by John English)

 

Dan Brauning applied the bands …

Banding one of the three female chicks at the Gulf Tower, 16 May 2017 (photo by John English)

Banding one of the three female chicks at the Gulf Tower, 16 May 2017 (photo by John English)

 

… then each chick got a health check from the National Aviary‘s Dr. Pilar Fish with assistance from Teri R.

Dr. Pilar Fish and Teri from the National Aviary check the health of each chick (photo by Kate St. John)

Dr. Pilar Fish and Teri R. from the National Aviary check the health of each chick (photo by Kate St. John)

 

You may recall that one unhatched egg remained at the nest.  The PA Game Commission collected it for routine chemical tests to provide a data point in the decades-long recovery of peregrine falcons.

Dan Brauning collected the unhatched egg so it can undergo routine chemical tests (photo by Kate St. John)

Dan Brauning collected the unhatched egg so it can undergo routine chemical tests (photo by Kate St. John)

 

As the chicks were returned to the nest, Dori and Louie dove and kakked.

Dori and Louie fly near the nest as the chicks are returned at th Gulf Tower (photo by Lori Maggio)

Dori and Louie fly nearby as their chicks are returned to the Gulf Tower nest (photo by Lori Maggio)

And then Dori resumed guard duty.

Dori guards the chicks from the perch above the nest (photo by John English)

Dori guards the chicks (photo by John English)

 

(photos by Kate St. John, John English and Lori Maggio)

Click on the links below for video coverage of the Gulf Tower banding on 16 May 2017.

From KDKA:

Gulf Tower’s Peregrine Falcon Chicks Banded, Given Check-Up

 

From the Post-Gazette:

Peregrine falcon chick gets a check-up

Dr. Pilar Fish, a veterinarian from the National Aviary, examines a 27-day-old peregrine falcon after Pennsylvania Game Commission bands the chick at the Gulf Tower. (Video by Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette)

Posted by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

 

 

 

 

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Three Female Chicks Banded at Gulf Tower”

  1. Janeton 17 May 2017 at 10:28 am

    It sounds like the chicks at Gulf were alot quieter than the ones at Pitt. I guess the Pitt chicks learned to be really loud from their mother. So happy that all are healthy. Hoping for six successful fledges.

  2. Kate St. Johnon 17 May 2017 at 11:05 am

    Cindy, we don’t know which one was at the front of the box.

  3. Kathy Bramanon 17 May 2017 at 11:53 am

    A joy to see every single year. Thanks, Kate!

  4. Anne Curtison 17 May 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Kate-just a terminology question. At what point do they stop being called hatchlings and start being nestlings, or is it interchangeable? Fledglings seems more obvious!
    Anne

  5. Kate St. Johnon 17 May 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Anne, I’m not sure that there’s official terminology but I use “nestlings” and “chicks” somewhat interchangeably during the white downy stage. Hatchlings are very young, only a day or two old.

  6. Melanieon 17 May 2017 at 1:00 pm

    So fun! Thanks Kate, looking forward to watching the end of the season, and then we wait…for next year.

  7. Michelle Oon 17 May 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Thank you. Very happy things turned around.

  8. Claireon 17 May 2017 at 7:38 pm

    I didn’t realize how big the eggs are until seeing that one in an egg carton. Much bigger than it seems on camera!

  9. Julieon 18 May 2017 at 7:15 pm

    I just noticed the Pitt nestlings had been banded, this evening. I checked your blog, and sure enough, you had all the details and wonderful photos and video of the nestlings from both Pitt and Gulf. They look much smaller on camera. It is so interesting to see them in human hands to find out they are some big babies. Thank you so very much for sharing this information. Onward to fledge time.

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