Another strange night at Gulf Tower

9 April 2010

It was another strange night at the Gulf Tower peregrine nest in Downtown Pittsburgh.

As I mentioned yesterday, Dori and Louie were active the night before, unexpectedly on and off the nest.  Then yesterday afternoon I received a clue.  Barb Becker at Make-A-Wish told me that Louie and Dori were both at the nest when a third peregrine wailed in the distance.  Hmmmmm!  Sounds like Tasha is still in town.

This morning I checked last night’s video archives and saw that Louie incubated most of the night.  It’s highly unusual for the male to do this, so something odd must have been going on.  Here’s the sequence of events:

  • At 1:25am Dori looked around.  There was a high wail in the background.  Who?  Dori got up and left the nest.  (00:20 in the archives)
  • Within two minutes Louie “eep”d off camera and arrived to incubate the eggs.  Other than this it was silent.
  • An hour and a half later, Dori returned and asked to incubate the eggs but Louie would not get up.  Dori stood at the nest near him for more than ten minutes but didn’t force the issue.  Eventually she left, shown above.  (1:40 through 2:00 in the archives)
  • Finally at 6:20am she returned and stood over him making a lot of noise.  She seemed to be saying, “Get up!”   Louie left.  (5:20 archive)

These two are dutiful parents.  The temperature dropped yesterday in Pittsburgh from the high 70’s during the day to the 30’s last night.  Perhaps Louie knew Dori had some unfinished business that could take her away from the nest unexpectedly so he decided to incubate all night … just in case.

(photo from the National Aviary webcam at Gulf Tower)

15 thoughts on “Another strange night at Gulf Tower

  1. During the afternoon yesterday, I too thought I heard a third peregrine while Louie & Dori were in the nest. They both even appeared to look up at the sky!

  2. Kate: Yesterday around noon I was told that there were 6 or 7 falcons flying around together over downtown – were they really falcons, or possibly some other large bird?

  3. Fascinating! I made some Hotspots so people can easily find what you described. Could it realy be Tasha 2?

  4. very interesting, i just found this website 2 wks ago. i can not stop watching, at least my family knows where to find me! cannot wait to finally see the babies! i am hooked! thanks!

  5. Earlier this morning, around 7:30am, I got a webcapture which I believe shows 6 eggs!! I emailed it to Kate because it’s hard to tell – but I think there are six!! WHEW! How will they ever manage to cover them all – especially if she lays another?

    As for the intruder being Tasha – I doubt it. Tasha was old and from what I understand – a fighter. I believe she would have fought to the death to keep her nest. From my perspective, she took the fight away from the eggs – I just can’t perceive her as ‘running’. Plus, she had that old injury and Kate reported that the wing was drooping – Could she have even survived a fight with a young, vital, determined female?
    It could be her but I find that doubtful.
    I believe it’s a fresh female, scoping out existing territory. Last year, there were Peregrine sightings at some of the local bridges; our area is simply attracting more birds!!! That’s what I honestly feel is happening. There was a strange male flying over the COL and now another new female might, as Dori did, be looking for a viable mate and nesting sight.
    And for me personally, this is awesome!! It means the Falcons have definately made a come-back and the species is thriving.

    I guess we’ll have to just wait and see 🙂

  6. Dori’s on the nest now and I heard some distant Kaaaaking calls. Who knows what going on.

    BTW, just wondering if anyone has checked in Dorothy and E2’s son and his mate at the Tarentum bridge lately?

  7. This is better than a soap opera!!
    You have to wait until the next episode and here I keep my browser open and click whenever I want to see who’s in the nest at Gulf. The COL was the spot to watch when it was discovered there was a new male there a couple years ago. Now, I have expanded my scope to other peregrine webcams. I wonder if other birds like eagles have this much excitement at nesting time.

  8. Kate, does anyone know for sure exactly how many eggs Dori has laid? Seems to be a bunch there each time she or louie tries to sit on them.

  9. As of Friday afternoon there were 5 eggs: 2 from Tasha, 3 from Dori. I will hear about the latest count on Monday.

  10. I thought Kate said that the eggs may start hatching after April 19 at the Cathedral of Learning,

    but I can’t find where she said that. The various blogs are getting a little confusing, when one tries to go back and find something. Also, I can’t figure out what “Hotspots” are or how to access videos of previous events. Also, what is a “Hashtag “pghfalconcam” ? duhhhhhh

    Dr Scott Shalaway has a regular column in the Post-Gazette Sundays, (last page of the sports section titled OUTDOORS. )


    He also has a RADIO PROGRAM, “Birds and Nature” on 1360 AM from noon to 2pm.

    I emailed him about the April 19th date, but now I am not sure since I cannot find it.

    Call his show at 412-333-1360 from noon to 2pm if anyone has more reliable information.

    It seems to me that now is the time to alert the schools’ biology teachers to start watching the Falconcams for the next few weeks. (And everybody else who might get a hoot out of watching the Falcons.)

  11. Carlana – the hatching date is determined by two things: The laying date of the eggs and the amount of time that has passed. Per Kate: “Peregrine eggs hatch 33-35 days after incubation begins, but it is hard for most people to tell when incubation begins in earnest,” and she said earlier that Peregrines usually start to brood in earnest at the time of the third egg.

    So we know the third egg was laid on March 17th (yay for cameras!), and it we add on 33 days, that means that the eggs should start hatching around… April 19th!

    Dori’s third egg was laid on April 7th, so we may see her hatching start the week following Mother’s Day! (How appropriate is that??)

    (And yes, following the excitement of the two nests, is confusing to me, too.)

  12. Carlana – while watching the live video, look at the icons just below the image. One looks like three spoons. Click on it and a smaller pop-up window will appear with two tabs called “Broadcasts” and “Hotspots.” “Broadcasts” refers to archived video. The cameras are on EST, not EDT, so that 11:00 a.m. will appear as 10:00 a.m. The chat at the Gulf Tower location is not working, so we falcon watchers chat about both falcon cams on the Cathedral of Learning website.

  13. Dear Jennie and Larisa,

    Thanks for the prompt reply and information.

    Some such little guide as a permanent sidebar would be helpful to new comers in the next few months,( due dates for hatching, etc. ) The blog messages where the info was first given, seems to have disappeared, or at least I couldn’t find it.

    I don’t think Mary Cleo Dori has enough names. Her real name is Brunhilda. Poor Louie looks like he is running for his life, as he gets off the eggs with her standing over him.

    This has become a guilty pleasure. My baby monitor that I use to listen to c-span picks up the falcon racket so I can come from several rooms to check out the action. I recommend it to fellow falcon watchers.

    I also want to thank Kate for pointing out the white or lighter feathers between E2’s eyes and above his beak. It is a quick way to tell which bird is on the eggs. Brunhilda usually sprawls and her wing tips are usually in the air, while the other falcons seem to make a neater package.

  14. Confirmed again today: There are 5 eggs at the Gulf Tower nest. 2 are Tasha’s, 3 are Dori’s.

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