Oh No! Red Hit Those Windows Too!

At 9:30am I got a phone call from Bill Powers that he’d heard a peregrine had fallen on Henry Street, another victim of the Software Engineering Institute windows.

I couldn’t believe it!  Was this an old report about Yellow?   Could a second young peregrine have crashed in the same place so soon?

After several phone calls we determined this was a new accident so I ran to Henry Street with my bird-rescue towel, calling the PA Game Commission’s Beth Fife as I ran.

Fortunately by the time I got there, Red had flown.  Eyewitnesses say he was standing stunned on Henry Street behind SEI where the mirrored office building and mirrored garage are connected by a mirrored second floor walkway.  His imprint was on the walkway glass.  Pigeons circled overhead, reflecting in the glass a thousand ways.

I called Beth again to let her know the bird had flown.  She said he was probably perched somewhere gathering his wits.  I walked back to work, looking for Red on the ground and on low buildings.  Eventually I found him perched on a building three blocks from the scene.

Beth assured me this is good news.  He can fly.  He can see well enough to navigate.  He can perch.  He just needs some quiet time to recover.

Oh, how I hope he recovers completely and stays away from Henry Street!

Meanwhile, let’s work with CMU to correct that hall of mirrors at SEI.  It’s a prime opportunity for bird-friendly redesign.

(photo of Red from about a month ago, taken in early June by Nancy Weixel)


p.s. This incident earned “Red” a real name.  Karen Lang named him Henry because his accident happened on Henry Street.

14 thoughts on “Oh No! Red Hit Those Windows Too!

  1. Thank heavens he’s alive and (hopefully) will make a full recovery. Is someone at CMU taking responsibility to correct this horrible problem?

  2. Wow, just when one problems (Webster Hall chimneys) gets fixed, another thread (SEI windows) crops up. I’ve never been on CMU campus and don’t know anything about the area so I don’t know what could be done to ameliorate the situation.

  3. The Peregrines have the public’s attention. I think it is in the best interest of CMU to try to prevent further accidents/possible fatalities. Two in the same area isn’t coincidence. I’m glad he seems OK.

  4. I thought about looking up who to contact after Yellow’s accident. This really does illustrate the need to find some solutions, even just for the top floor or two there.

    I’m curious, have there been many issues downtown? Don’t think I’ve ever read anything about our downtown falcons. Hope the new PNC building will include bird safety along with all of their green innovations!

  5. I’ve been looking into solutions too. If you look at the glass you can see imprints of their bodies. Both Yellow & Red hit the lower half of the window-walls. 🙁

  6. This is tragic. I also hope an inexpensive solution can be quickly found and applied. I like the idea of decals that would indicate the presence of a physical barrier. The building in question does truly reflect the sky as a continuum.

  7. I haven’t heard much about the peregrines smacking into a building downtown. I think the windows are too dirty to confuse them. It happens every once in a while but nothing to this magnitude.

    Kate, let us know what we can do to help get a grass roots movement going

  8. Would there be any use in trying to relocate that group of pigeons? Why do pigeons flock at that particular corner? The restaurants are on the other end of Craig St. Maybe the pigeons could be attracted to a more wide-open place to flock?

    If people are feeding pigeons at that spot, maybe a few “do not feed the pigeons” could be used.

    Hope a solution is found.


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