Downtown peregrine pair, Dori and Louie, bow during a glowing red sunset, 2 July 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)
Peregrine activity begins to wane in July but there’s still news from western Pennsylvania’s nine nest sites. Some have active families, others do not.
1. Downtown Pittsburgh:
In early June Dori and Louie fledged four youngsters from the Third Avenue nest but observers have seen only two Downtown since mid-June. At the end of June (while I was in Montana) I heard from Art McMorris that a seriously injured fledgling with infected wounds was found on Grant Street and had to be euthanized.
Happily, Lori Maggio saw two healthy youngsters yesterday, July 7, perched on Point Park University’s Lawrence Hall. Their parents seem to be avoiding them.
Dori at the Gulf Tower, 6 July 2016 (photo by Ann Hohn)
Dori and Louie have been visiting the Gulf Tower nest on the other side of town since June 24. In the top photo, they bowed during a gorgeous red sunset. On July 6, Ann Hohn at Make-A-Wish confirmed their identities. Yes, they are Dori (in Ann’s photo above) and Louie.
2. Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh:
Terzo and Hope bow at the nest, 6 July 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)
On June 21 the female resident Hope briefly lost the Cathedral of Learning to rival Magnum but regained it within a couple of days (read more here). Since then Hope visits the nest frequently to bow with Terzo. Their fledgling C1 is doing well. Peter Bell saw the whole family yesterday (July 7) when he heard C1 shouting as she chased one of her parents. I’m sure C1 is learning to hunt but would prefer to mooch from Terzo.
3. Westinghouse Bridge:
Female peregrine at Westinghouse Bridge, 23 June 2016 (photo by John English)
John English and I visited the Westinghouse Bridge on June 23 and found the resident female, an unbanded one-year-old. She “owns” the place but has not nested this year.
4. McKees Rocks Bridge:
McKees Rocks Bridge with ALCOSAN in foreground (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
The McKees Rocks Bridge is hard to monitor but Joe Fedor got lucky. Joe works at the nearby ALCOSAN plant where on June 7 he saw a peregrine fly and land unsteadily on a pier of the McKees Rocks Bridge. On June 9 he saw two peregrines, one of which appeared to be “flying unsteadily as it landed on the ladder on our tall smoke stack. I have never seen a fledgling fly, so I am wondering if it was a fledgling.” Art McMorris says, “Yes, it sounds like a fledgling.” That’s good news for McKees Rocks.
5. Neville Island I-79 Bridge:
Magnum flying at the Neville Island I-79 Bridge, 2 Jul 2016 (photo by Chad Steele)
This year the nest at the Neville Island I-79 Bridge was so hard to see that site monitors could not confirm if the pair was still Magnum and Beau. Two young fledged in early June but one died and the other disappeared within two days. All was quiet until Magnum appeared at the Cathedral of Learning on June 21 and ousted Hope for a couple of days … and then she disappeared. One of her fans, Chad Steele of Canton, Ohio, came to Pittsburgh to check on her. He found her at the bridge on July 2.
Those who know Magnum recognize her purposeful hunched walk along the beams.
Magnum’s characteristic walk-along-the-beam at the I-79 Neville Island Bridge, 2 Jul 2016 (photo by Chad Steele)
Chad’s photos of her bands confirmed her identity. Magnum is back home for now.
6. Monaca-E.Rochester Bridge, Beaver County:
Monaca East Rochester Bridge, 2012 (photo by PGC WCO Steve Leiendecker)
Several people looked for peregrines in the Beaver-Monaca area this year including long time peregrine watcher Scott Gregg. Scott says the peregrines chose the Monaca East Rochester Bridge this spring but their nest — if they had one — was unsuccessful.
7. Tarentum Bridge:
Peregrine eating prey at Tarentum Bridge, 29 June 2016 (photo by Rob Protz)
Rob Protz continues to monitor the Tarentum Bridge where he’s seen a pair of peregrines but no evidence of nesting. He photographed one having a meal on the bridge on June 28, above. Rob also saw one of the peregrines dragging its talons in the river as if to catch a fish. Unusual behavior, but not unheard of.
8. The Graff Bridge, Route 422 Kittanning, Armstrong County:
Two juvenile peregrines at Graff Bridge, Rt 422, Kittanning, 3 July 2016 (photo by Anthony Bruno)
Great news! In their second year at this new nest site, the peregrines have successfully fledged two youngsters. Tony Bruno visited the Graff Bridge several times last weekend to capture these beautiful photos. The best place to watch is from the bike trail on the Manorville side.
Juvenile peregrine at Graff Bridge, Rt 422, Kittanning, 3 July 2016 (photo by Anthony Bruno)
9. Erie, PA Waterfront: Mary Birdsong reports that the peregrine pair is still hanging out at the DonJon building but they have not nested. Alas. Better luck next year.
(See the captions for photo credits. Webcam photos from the National Aviary falconcams at Gulf Tower and Univ of Pittsburgh. McKees Rocks Bridge photo from Wikimedia Commons. Remaining photos by Ann Hohn, John English, Rob Protz, Chad Steele and Anthony Bruno.)