Archive for the 'Peregrines' Category

Aug 29 2016

Peripatetic

Hope (69/Z) preens at the Tarentum Bridge, 28 Aug 2016 (photo by Anthony Bruno)

Hope (69/Z) preens at the Tarentum Bridge, 28 Aug 2016 (photo by Anthony Bruno)

Peripatetic: adjective [1] traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods. (definition from Google search)

Hope (69/Z, black/green) is a peripatetic peregrine falcon.  For five years she called the Tarentum Bridge her home until last spring when she nested at the Cathedral of Learning.

In my experience, peregrines stay put when they’ve claimed a prime territory but Hope does not.  On Friday she flew 15 miles back to Tarentum and set up shop for several days.

She’s so comfortable at Tarentum that, unlike her habits at Pitt, she perches in easy view.

Last weekend Tony Bruno and Steve Gosser stopped by for some great photographs. Above, Tony got a photo of Hope’s bands while she was preening.  Look how close she is!

Below, Steve caught the action when a curious mourning dove came close while Hope was eating. The dove escaped.

Peregrine falcon, Hope, confronts a mourning dove at the Tarentum Bridge, 27 Aug 2016 (photo by Steve Gosser)

Peregrine falcon, Hope, confronts a mourning dove at the Tarentum Bridge, 27 Aug 2016 (photo by Steve Gosser)

Peregrine falcon Hope stirs up a watchful mourning dove at the Tarentum Bridge, 27 Aug 2016 (photo by Steve Gosser)

Peregrine falcon Hope stirs up a watchful mourning dove at the Tarentum Bridge, 27 Aug 2016 (photo by Steve Gosser)

...and the mourning dove escapes at the Tarentum Bridge, 27 Aug 2016 (photo by Steve Gosser)

…and the mourning dove escapes at the Tarentum Bridge, 27 Aug 2016 (photo by Steve Gosser)

 

Apparently three days were long enough at Tarentum because Hope flew back to the Cathedral of Learning yesterday afternoon.  She appeared on the falconcam at 3:30pm, dug a little at the scrape and then perched and preened.

You can see her band colors below.  Her greenish right-leg band and black/green left-leg band are a diagnostic combination.

Hope reappears at Pitt, 28 Aug 2016, 3:30pm (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Hope reappears at Pitt, 28 Aug 2016, 3:30pm (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

 

And here’s her familiar face.

Hope at Pitt, 28 Aug 2016, 3:34pm (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Hope at Pitt, 28 Aug 2016, 3:34pm (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

 

She probably was at the Cathedral of Learning during last night’s terrific thunderstorm, but who knows.

Hope doesn’t perch in sight at Pitt so I’m never sure if this peripatetic bird is actually there.

 

(photos by Anthony Bruno, Steve Gosser and the National Aviary falconcam at Univ. of Pittsburgh)

11 responses so far

Aug 27 2016

Hope Is Visiting Tarentum

Published by under Peregrines

Hope at Tarentum, 26 Aug 2016 (photo by Rob Protz)

Hope at Tarentum, 26 Aug 2016 (photo by Rob Protz)

August is a good time for peregrines to wander.

Yesterday evening Rob Protz found Hope hanging out at the Tarentum Bridge, her former nest site from 2010 to 2015 before she came to the Cathedral of Learning.

Earlier in the day Karen Lang and I looked for Pitt’s peregrines with no success. Now we know why.

Rob’s sighting explains where Hope was. I wonder where Terzo goes when he’s not at Pitt …

 

(photo by Rob Protz)

p.s. And after I published this, Dori visited the Gulf Tower at 7:30am.

Dori at the Gulf Tower, 27 Aug 2016, 7:30am (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

Dori at the Gulf Tower, 27 Aug 2016, 7:30am (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

11 responses so far

Aug 26 2016

Meanwhile Downtown

Published by under Peregrines

Peregrine at the gargoyle, 9 Aug 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Peregrine (probably Dori) on the gargoyle at Lawrence Hall, 9 Aug 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

While we watch the Cathedral of Learning falconcam for female challengers, the Downtown peregrines have been seen on camera, too.

Lori Maggio, Ann Hohn, and the Gulf Tower falconcam provide these photos of Dori and Louie’s whereabouts, July 29 through August 23.

Peregrine taking off from the gargoyle, 29 Jul 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Winged gargoyle? It’s a peregrine! 29 Jul 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

 

Peregrine on the shield at Wood Street Commons, 1 Aug 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

On the shield at Wood Street Commons, 1 Aug 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

 

Dori says "hi" at the Gulf Tower, 9 Aug 2016 (photo by Ann Hohn)

Dori says “hi” at the Gulf Tower, 9 Aug 2016 (photo by Ann Hohn)

Ann’s photo, above, at the Gulf Tower was taken on the same day as the top photo at Third Avenue.  These sites are only four blocks apart.

 

Peregrine at the Times Building, 15 Aug 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Dori at the Times Building, 15 Aug 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

 

Dori gazes at her domain, Gulf Tower, 20 Aug 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

Dori gazes at her domain, Gulf Tower, 20 Aug 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

 

Louie visits the Gulf Tower nest at 8:45pm, 23 Aug 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

Louie visits the Gulf Tower nest at 8:45pm, 23 Aug 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

 

(photo credits are in the captions)

 

5 responses so far

Aug 17 2016

Only A Month Ago

Published by under Peregrines

C1 on Heinz Chapel steeple, 14 July 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

C1 on Heinz Chapel steeple, 14 July 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

August has been boring for watching Pittsburgh’s peregrines outdoors.  It’s hot, the adults are molting and lethargic, and the youngsters have left town.  Even when female ownership changes at Pitt we never see it happen.

A month ago outdoor watching was more interesting.  On July 14 Lori Maggio photographed C1 perched on the Heinz Chapel steeple.

C1 on a gargoyle at Heinz Chapel steeple, 14 July 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

C1 on a gargoyle at Heinz Chapel steeple, 14 July 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

 

C1 at Heinz Chapel steeple, 14 July 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

C1 at Heinz Chapel steeple, 14 July 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Shortly thereafter C1 left town to begin life on her own.

Since then the best place to watch the peregrines has been on the nestcams:  Cathedral of Learning and Gulf.

 

(photos by Lori Maggio)

11 responses so far

Aug 14 2016

Update Your Scorecard

Magnum at the Cathedral of Learning nest, 12 August 2016, 5:15pm (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Magnum at the Cathedral of Learning nest, 12 August 2016, 5:15pm (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Get ready to update your scorecard.  There have been two! changes in female peregrine ownership at the Cathedral of Learning so far this weekend.

Friday evening “NR” saw a black/red banded female at the nest and posted a comment that Magnum was back on August 12 at 5:15pm — that’s 17:15 time code on the camera.  The photo above clearly shows Magnum’s bands.

Then Saturday night, August 13 at 6:52pm, members of Pittsburgh Falconuts saw Hope on camera calling loudly.  Terzo was nearby but he waited almost four minutes to join her.  Though her black/green bands are hard to read here, we know it’s Hope based on multiple snapshots.  She visited the nest again alone in the 8 o’clock hour.

Hope returns to the nest, 13 August 2016 at 6:52 pm (photo from the National Aviary snapshot camera at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Hope returns to the nest, 13 August 2016 at 6:52 pm (photo from the National Aviary snapshot camera at Univ of Pittsburgh)

 

So here’s the state of play at the Cathedral of Learning pre-dawn on August 14.  I’m writing this before they wake up and change things again!

  • 30 Nov 2015: Hope arrives at the Cathedral of Learning
  • 8 April 2016 (same day):  Hope retains site after unbanded immature female visits the nest.
  • 23 April 2016 (same day): Hope retains site after a banded adult female (black/red) visits the nest.
  • 22 June 2016:  Magnum (black/red 62/H) claims the Cathedral of Learning.
  • 24 June 2016: Hope regains the site.
  • 2 August 2016: Unbanded young female claims the Cathedral of Learning.
  • 6 August 2016: Hope regains the site.
  • 12 August 2016:  Magnum (black/red 62/H) claims the Cathedral of Learning.
  • 13 August 2016: Hope regains the site.

As of this writing I have no idea where Magnum is but she knows her way around.  She’s been to the Cathedral of Learning before, possibly on April 23 and certainly on June 22.  Her home base has been the Neville Island I-79 Bridge, to which she returned after her last visit.

I don’t know how long Hope will stay this time.  Don’t even ask!

As I said on August 6, no humans ever see how these turnovers occur.  As far as I can tell no peregrines get hurt.

Thank you to NR and to all of you who check the Cathedral of Learning falconcam for peregrine activity.  Without your help we’d never know how interesting this summer has been.

 

(photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

14 responses so far

Aug 06 2016

Another Turnover

Published by under Peregrines

If you’re keeping track of female peregrine ownership at the Cathedral of Learning, it changed again this afternoon.

On Tuesday, August 2 an unbanded young female (1.3 years old) arrived on the scene and bowed with Terzo at the nest.  She was present for four days.

Then at 3:25pm today, August 6, Hope reappeared on camera with Terzo.

The action so far has been:

  • 30 Nov 2015: Hope arrives at the Cathedral of Learning
  • 8 April 2016 (same day):  Hope retains site after unbanded immature female visits the nest.
  • 23 April 2016 (same day): Hope retains site after banded adult female visits the nest.
  • 22 June 2016:  Magnum (black/red 62/H) claims the Cathedral of Learning.
  • 24 June 2016: Hope regains the site.
  • 2 August 2016: Unbanded young female claims the Cathedral of Learning.
  • 6 August 2016: Hope regains the site.

I hasten to add that no humans ever see how these turnovers occur.

@PittPeregrines‘ video above pretty much sums it up.

Stay tuned.  I’m sure there will be more turnovers in the future.

 

(video from @PittPeregrines on Facebook)

37 responses so far

Aug 03 2016

Another Female Visitor

Published by under Peregrines

Unbanded young female peregrine visits Cathedral of Learning nest, 2 August 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Unbanded young female peregrine visits Cathedral of Learning nest, 2 August 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Yesterday at 5:30pm Carol D. and Megan Briody saw something that the rest of us missed:  This unbanded 1-year-old female peregrine bowed with Terzo at the Cathedral of Learning nest.

Apparently Hope was not at home.

Hope was last seen on camera on Sunday evening, July 31 at 6:49pm. No peregrines visited the nest on Monday.  Then yesterday afternoon, August 2, Terzo visited alone several times and often looked up. Was he looking for someone?

At 5:29pm Terzo came to the nest and called to someone.  Soon an unbanded young female arrived and they bowed for five minutes. Her color is a mix of gray and brown because she’s molting into adult plumage.

Unbanded young female, back to camera, bows with Terzo (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Unbanded young female, back to camera, bows with Terzo (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

When the session began Terzo was in the back corner but the male peregrine (almost) always leaves the ledge first so the two had to change places.  That maneuver was so clumsy that it looked as if the young female chased Terzo away.

But no, Terzo paused on the nestrail to watch her as she bowed again.

Unbanded young female bows to Terzo (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Unbanded young female bows to Terzo (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

He left.  And then she left.

Unbanded young female peregrine leaving Cathedral of Learning nest (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Unbanded young female peregrine leaving Cathedral of Learning nest, August 2, 5:32pm (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Female “intruders” at this site have become a routine occurrence.  As I said in my reply to Carol D, Hope has probably gone wandering. Her behavior shows she’s a weak owner of the Cathedral of Learning so I won’t be surprised if she’s chased away next spring and replaced by a new female.

 

p.s. Click on these links to read Carol D’s and Megan‘s reports. (You might have to scroll down.)

(photos from the National Aviary falconcams at Univ of Pittsburgh)

NOTE: You may have noticed that the time stamp on the snapshot camera was about 4 minutes off. I fixed it this morning.

 

24 responses so far

Jul 30 2016

Summer Pair Bonds

Dori and Louie bow at the Gulf Tower nest before dawn, 30 July 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

Dori and Louie bow at the Gulf Tower nest before dawn, 30 July 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

In late July, the nesting season is over but Pittsburgh’s adult peregrines still see each other every day and sometimes visit the nest to bow and cement their pair bonds.

The Downtown pair, Dori and Louie, are especially early risers.  Here they are this morning, Saturday July 30 at 5:53am.  In the distance you can see the sky lighting up in the east and the silhouette of the Cathedral of Learning.  The sun rose at 6:16am.  (They also visited before dawn on July 24.)

The Cathedral of Learning peregrines aren’t such early birds but they’re bowing too.  Sometimes Hope is impatient for Terzo to join her at the nest.  Below, she shouts, “Come here!” on 25 July at 8am.

Hope shouts, "Come here!" to Terzo, 25 July 2016 (phto from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Hope shouts to Terzo, “Come here!”, 25 July 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Yesterday they bowed twice — at 4:11pm and 6:22pm, July 29.  Here’s their second session.

Tezro and Hope bow at the Pitt peregrine nest, 29 July 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Tezro and Hope bow at the Pitt peregrine nest, 29 July 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Now that the “kids” have grown and flown, the adults spend time with each other.

 

(photo from the National Aviary falconcam at the Gulf Tower)

10 responses so far

Jul 29 2016

Urban Birds Have It All

Peregrine falcon, Dorothy, at the Cathedral of Learning, Feb 2011 (photo by Patricia Szczepanski)

Peregrine falcon, Dorothy, at the Cathedral of Learning in February 2011 (photo by Patricia Szczepanski)

Twenty-five years ago peregrine falcons moved into the City of Pittsburgh.  Since then lots of cool raptors have come here, too, including red-tailed hawks, Coopers hawks, turkey vultures and, most recently, bald eagles.

City living provides food and protection from predators but birds face new challenges by living near humans.  Jean-Nicolas Audet of McGill University wondered if these challenges put city birds at a disadvantage compared to their country cousins so he designed some tests to answer these questions:  Which group is better at problem solving? Which group is more immune to disease?  And since both traits require lots of energy, is there a trade-off such that smarter birds have lower immunity?

The Caribbean island of Barbados has both city and country habitats and an endemic species that lives in both places, the Barbados bullfinch (Loxigilla barbadensis).  Audet tested the bullfinches and the results were surprising.

“We found that not only were birds from urbanized areas better at innovative problem-solving tasks than bullfinches from rural environments, but that surprisingly urban birds also had a better immunity than rural birds,” says Jean-Nicolas Audet, a Ph.D student in the Department of Biology and first author of the study published in the journal Behavioral Ecology in 2016.

As earth’s human population grows and more habitat is converted to cities, more birds may have to choose the urban environment.  If they can adapt, it will be a smart move.  As Audet says, “Urban birds have it all.”

 

Read more about the 2016 study and find links here to The town bird and the country bird: problem solving and immunocompetence vary with urbanization.

(photo of Dorothy in 2011 by Patricia Szczepanski. video from McGill University on YouTube)

2 responses so far

Jul 20 2016

Peregrines Don’t Mess Around

Terzo and Hope bow at the Cathedral of Learning nest, July 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Terzo and Hope bow at the Cathedral of Learning nest, July 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Peregrines Don’t Mess Around.  This is true of many aspects of peregrines’ lives but here I’m referring to a new report about their sex lives.

Last weekend mentalfloss.com reported that DNA studies of peregrine breeding pairs and young in Chicago indicate that all the offspring have been born of the established pairs.  In other words, peregrines aren’t having extramarital affairs.  Peregrines don’t mess around.

The report also confirms that peregrines love their cliffs more than their mates:

“Even greater than their loyalty to each other was the falcons’ loyalty to their nesting sites. It makes sense; while a partner might die in a collision with a building or a power line, a safe nesting niche is forever.”

Read more at …

Given the Opportunity to Cheat on Their Mates, City Falcons Stay True

 

{Here’s another link to the same study in case the one above doesn’t work.}

(photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

 

p.s.  In case you missed it:  Yesterday July 19 at 1:45pm I saw all three peregrine family members at the Cathedral of Learning.  C1 flew in (squawking!) and landed at the 23rd floor northeast corner.  Terzo evaded her and hid in a nook at 32 east.  Hope flew in and landed on a 28th floor stone peak below Terzo.  Both parents were avoiding C1’s demands.  (No worries. This is normal behavior.)

p.p.s. Thanks to @PittPeregrines for alerting me to this article.

21 responses so far

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