One Fledged!

Three peregrine chicks perch on the nestrail at Univ of Pittsburgh (photo by Mark Klingler)

OK, so I used an exclamation point in the title but the event was far from dramatic. 

When I arrived at Schenley Plaza at lunchtime I saw three peregrine chicks on the nestrail (pictured here) and both adults on the lightning rod.  I couldn’t find the fourth chick but I figured he was behind the nestrail.  Except for run-and-flap exercises by the “girls” on the nestrail, all the birds were calm and almost bored under the gloomy, chilly, overcast sky. 

My friend Karen came over from Alumni Hall and we sat and chatted about current events and peregrines in other cities, and then she said, “Oh, by the way, one fledged.” 

“Where?  Here at Pitt?”

“Yes, look at the stone peak to the left of the southeast dining ledge.” 

And there he was, just sitting there minding his own business – even before we arrived.  Dorothy and E2 could tell he was fine and were busy watching the three girls to see if they were about to fly. 

Karen and I continued to watch for another half hour but nothing happened.  

As I said in an earlier post, Fledge Watch can be hours of boredom punctuated by moments of excitement.  I guess we were all at work when today’s exciting moment occurred.

(photo of three peregrine chicks on the Cathedral of Learning nestrail yesterday, courtesy of Mark Klingler.)


p.s  This fledge event was so understated that I forgot to mention it to “J” who was sitting on the other side of the tent.  Sorry, J!

p.p.s. Check my Peregrine FAQs for more information.  Today I posted an entry about the fledging process.

12 thoughts on “One Fledged!

  1. Around 10:15 this morning my Mom & I were on our way to the library. We happened to look up towards the Cathedral and saw one chick flying then land on the stone peak.

  2. Now I see what the nestrail is…so is the nest box behind and below this? (How many stories up?) Guess I should check the Perengrine FAQs incase this was answered…It was sad to see the empty nest and I feel the same way when it’s time to release the monarchs I raised from eggs…they feel like they are your “kids” and you want them to be safe…

  3. Marcy, The nest is behind the stone cutout on the far right. It’s nearly at the top of the building – 400 feet above ground. You can’t see the nest from inside nor from outside the building.
    Yes, it’s a let-down to see an empty nest. It’s going to be even harder when the juveniles start to leave Oakland – and that’s only about 6 weeks away.

  4. What a great way to end a very long week! This evening I was at the tent with my little boy and a married couple and we saw the male FLY!! It was amazing!! One of the parents was up on the lightning rod on top the Cathedral and the young male flew off what I believe was the 32nd floor and made a big loop around and up to the parent – his wings flapped wildly and it almost looked like he was trying to land or maybe get fed?? He couldn’t sustain whatever he was doing so sorta dropped in the air and then flew another big loop back to try again!! Again he seemed to be trying to land, this time higher up the rod, above the parent bird, but couldn’t sustain it and sorta dropped in the air and then flew around to the back of the building out of sight!!

    Just breathtaking!! and a sight I will never forget!!!

    Later in the evening, several more of us were present and he flew again!! I thought he was the parent at first!! Kate clarified that it was him. At one point, we watched one of the females flap, flap, and flap her wings like a wildwoman…I thought for sure she would fly. But she didn’t. Maybe she did after we left??

    I can’t encourage people enough, to come to the Cathedral to watch them!! It’s amazing and addictive and such a miracle to see!!

    Thanks Kate for being there and explaining everything!! The whole experience from pre-egg, to egg laying, to hatching and now to fledging has been absolutely enthralling and I’m forever hooked!! 🙂

  5. So, I left Schenley around 7:50. I never saw E2 come back, but I did see the new flier do a series of loops out towards the student union. He flew for around 2 minutes, then high tailed it back to the COL. Last I saw he was hanging out just to the left of the nesting ledge, exactly opposite of E2’s “favorite spot”. Nothing else exciting on the rail but some wings flapping, maybe tomorrow another one will take flight.

  6. Yay!!!! So happy to hear that one fledged!!!! I will be crossing my fingers for them, it is so nerve wracking when they fledge because they are away from the safety of their parents, but it is exilerating at the same time.

  7. Cannot make final fledging opportunity for me today. However, on the web cam saw the shadow of 1 sitting on the rail off to the side of the nest box. Oh the wonderful sights next year for sure. Faith c.

  8. Can’t be at Schenely until later – but was amazed that I can ‘see’ one of the girl’s shadow in the empty next box!! She must be sitting on the nestrail. I can see her shadow occassionally flapping its wings!! Not quite as good as being there – but still cool!! Sort of like viewing a ‘shadow box’!! 🙂

  9. Did what appears to be a wooden stake, somehow blow into the Gulf Tower nest? I saw a falcon in there early this morning – but that stake wasn’t there yesterday. I can’t imagine there is debris like that out on the building?

  10. No problem Kate. Like I told you yesterday, I couldn’t really see much anyway. I saw the 2 parents on the antenna against the gray sky but could just barely make out the chicks on the nestrail against the tan/brown of the building. It was still nice meeting you. Keep up the great work on the blog.

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