All Gone, But Not Flown

E2 looks up from the nest; the nestlings are all ledge-walking (photo from the National Aviary webcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Surprise!  After months of watching peregrines on camera the babies have walked away, leaving only “Dad” in sight.

Here’s E2 looking up to the nestrail where his youngsters are perched.  Today all four graduated to the ledge-walking phase.  As far as I know they haven’t flown yet. 

At Fledge Watch at lunchtime I saw three of them on the nestrail flapping like crazy.  By the time I got back to my desk and had a chance to check the camera, the fourth had left the nest and was probably up there too.  That’s a surprise!  I didn’t expect them to be so active when it’s cold and sprinkling and very, very gray.  

Perhaps one of them will fledge later today. …Wish I could be out there watching!

(photo from the National Aviary webcam at University of Pittsburgh)

14 thoughts on “All Gone, But Not Flown

  1. I saw that there weren’t any chicks or fledglings in the COL nest & I did respond but to the one you posted yesterday about the 4 girls watching their brother come down off of the nestrails asking if they were all up there today. Louie flew onto the GT nest & looked kind of lost-he kept bowing like he was sniffing for a scent of his girls & Tasha flew in to take whatever was left from the girls meal then flew off. I see one of the girls is back & on the window ledge right now. Hopefully someone will capture the fledglings on camera & post it when they start flying.
    I was just wondering-the adults look like they are gray & white but the fledglings look darker with red color around the heads-will the colors change as they grow older?

  2. Just after 3 this afternoon I saw all four youngsters on the rail — 3 on the far right, one far left. Thanks, Kate, for showing me where to look. My fellow librarian, Renée and I are thrilled to step outside the library (CLP – Main) and see the birds with our unaided eyes.

  3. This has been so exciting. I had checked in on the falcon nests when the eggs were first laid. Then I got sidetracked by numerous other things of life. So I have made it back just in time before they fledge. I have been enjoying your observations so much as I, too, love the birds. We have recently moved to the country and one of the things we first noticed several years ago was the abundance of thistle and milkweed on our property. Having a feeder for goldfinches for several years we were thrilled to know that they would be a part of our future home. Well, now we are seeing them daily and listening to their wonderful sounds at their feeder outside our dining room window. We also have a kildeer on eggs where we were planning to try growing corn in a vegetable garden. The corn planting is on hold, needless to say. Three robins fledged the other day from a nest (left from last year) under the deck steps and three other robins are fledging in our barn. Other daily visitors include a pair of pheasants, a mockingbird, and meadowlarks. Last night a yellow-shafted flicker was having great fun taking a dirt bath in the lower driveway. Nature is so wonderful and amazing. I consider the birds and flowers blessings in my life. I have added your blog to my favorites so I will be checking in on a regular basis. Thank you again.

  4. Kate: I just watched one of the girls at GT “baby flying” from ledge to ledge across the Tower, while her sister sat at the nest box watching. Mom/Dad was perched on a railing a couple of stories above – it almost seemed like this little adventurer was trying to get to mom – or maybe mom was encouraging her to “go for it”. Thanks for all your insights and information! Nancy

  5. There is a lot of wing-stretching and flapping going on at the Gulf Tower – looks as though they are getting ready for a take-off 🙂

  6. Hi Kate, Just wondering when a baby takes it’s first flight is it usually a short one and they return to the nest area or do they just keep on flying? This morning mom and dad were doing a lot of soaring around the COL and at one point we caught a bird doing a very small circle with lots of flapping and then right back to the rail. So much fun watching them in person!

  7. The babies may take a long or short first flight. It depends on how much they flap, where the wind takes them and where they decide to land.
    If you were watching this morning at 8:30am, you probably saw Dorothy & E2 soaring and flapping. E2 was flying around the building, very upset because he perceived danger to his babies. While he was doing that Dorothy flapped out and back to the nestrail so that she could be close to her babies to guard them. The babies were on the nestrail at that time.

  8. I’m watching either Tasha or Louie with one of their daughters at the GT-one of them brought food to the nest & the one daughter was trying to get at the food but the parent didn’t seem to want to share & flew to another part of the nest & she followed. It looks like they are still feeding them though. The daughter seems to be screeching at her parent as if to say “feed me already or give me some”.

  9. 7:45 somebody brought food/3 chicks in nest, 1 was sleeping in nest, 1 sleeping on rail & 1 looking & rooting thru feathers looking for food I guess & all looking so since the delivery came they are busy. Faith.

  10. 8:35; those kids are still hanging around nest, flapping, sitting & looking. The smallest crow or whatever bird, but was really black & small was gobbled pretty fast. Maybe a lazy Friday AM for them, its cloudy here in Bridgeville. Faith.

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