They’re Here Somewhere

View of Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington tower (photo by Shane Cooper)
View of Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington radio tower (photo by Shane Cooper)

Pittsburgh’s downtown peregrines have not courted at the Gulf Tower nest since March 1.  Even then they were largely absent in January and February when they should have been visiting the site more often.

What happened?

Peregrines are extremely faithful to successful nest sites but they will leave if they feel the location is no longer safe for raising their young.  In a city, humans walking above them, construction on the floors above or near their nest, or faces peering at them from indoors will send them away.

Construction had been going on at the Gulf Tower until quite recently.  Perhaps that’s why the peregrines are missing, though we will never know.

We do know Dori and Louie have not left Pittsburgh.  One of them flew past the Gulf Tower yesterday and they’ve been seen on the Monongahela River side of town.

For peregrines, biology rules in March.  In our area there’s a three week window when they typically begin laying eggs:  March 10 to April 2.  By April 2 the first clutch has begun.

So where are Dori and Louie now?

Downtown is their territory.  They’re here somewhere.

(photo by Shane Cooper.  Click on the photo to see the original.)


10 thoughts on “They’re Here Somewhere

  1. Sad we won’t be seeing Dori and Louie this year on the cam but hopefully they will be just fine and have beautiful ‘children’ again. 🙂

  2. Hi Kate. Occasionally during the last few summers I have spotted a bird perched on a telephone pole near the corner of West Liberty Ave and Pioneer on the other side of the Liberty Tubes. Usually around 7:30 in the morning. Unfortunately I was driving and could not get a real good look to tell if it was a peregrine or red tail. I wondered if that could have been Louie or if he would not have gone that far. Pigeons hang out underneath the South Busway where it crosses over West Liberty and on the street lights.

    Is it possible they made a new nest at the Gulf and are not using the nest box for some unknown reason?

    1. From the sound of it I would guess your bird on West Liberty Ave is a red-tail. (It’s hard to identify birds while driving though I’ll admit to trying sometimes. When the light is red there I watch the pigeons. )
      Gulf: Unlikely they would have picked another place on the same building since the nestbox was so much more suitable than any other ledge.

  3. I work in Centre City Tower – I’m distracted a few times a day by falcons flying… lots of circles between our building and PNC Park…..they’re here somewhere!

  4. Thanks for the information on the Gulf Tower pair. The photo is wonderful. Can you please let us know which of the buildings is the Gulf Tower? We haven’t lived in the Pittsburgh area for many years, and although I know the U.S. Steel building, I am not familiar with many of the others.
    By the way, the San Francisco connection to their falcon web cam will give you means to connect with the San Jose falcons as well. They nest on the City Hall building there, and the camera coverage often gives us a wonderful view of some of their out-of-nest activities, too.

  5. I live on ft Pitt blvd just above the Mon Warf. We don’t know much about Falcons but we live on the 14th floor of our building and are pretty sure the rooftop next to us is a Falcons dining room. He sits on an old TV antenea eating the birds he catches. We see him hunting occassionaly but he’s so fast it’s hard to keep track of him so we’ve not seen a catch. The rooftop next door is eye level with our living room windows and he sits about 30 feet from us. If we move slowly, he keeps an eye but continues to eat.
    We’d love to know how to tell for sure it’s a Peregrin, maybe it’s Dori or Louie? Anyone want to visit and watch for him?

  6. Linda, If you can send me a photo I will identify the bird for you. I suspect that it is Dori or Louie because they’ve been hanging out at your side of town. (See this blog for a picture and another sighting:

    What building are you in? What building is the bird perching on?

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