Oct 14 2016
Out in the wilderness, peregrine falcons nest on sheer cliffs. Pittsburgh doesn’t have those cliffs but we do have nesting peregrines at two sites on buildings and five on bridges.
It’s easy to see that a tall building resembles a cliff …
… but bridges are open structures without sheer walls.
Why do peregrines like bridges?
I found the answer in a blog post from The Center for Conservation Biology. CCB monitors peregrines in Virginia where many falcons prefer bridges at the coast.
As you read the article linked below, watch for a photo of the Benjamin Harrison Lift Bridge where Hope (black/green, 69/Z) pictured above, was banded. She has nested at both kinds of sites in Pittsburgh: six years at the Tarentum Bridge and now at a building, the Cathedral of Learning.
p.s. The article explains that peregrine nestlings from the Lift Bridge are hacked in the Shenandoah Mountains. Hope was one of those birds.
Hope at Tarentum by Steve Gosser
Cathedral of Learning and Tarentum Bridge by Kate St. John
peregrine on nest by Bryan Watts linked from CCB blog)