Three Boys, No Girls


You could have knocked me over with a feather. I was sure this year’s peregrine chicks at the Cathedral of Learning were a mix of males and females. Nope. At the Banding we learned all three are male.

The event began as usual. The PA Game Commission’s Beth Fife and Doug Dunkerley advanced to the nest while Dorothy and E2 tried to strafe them. Doug held up a broom to be the highest point for the adults to attack but neither tried to hit it.  Instead Dorothy landed on the ledge.

“Stay away from my babies!”


Beth collected the chicks and sent them indoors, then she began to clean the nest.

Just when Beth was handling the unhatched egg, Dorothy jumped too close and Beth had to capture her.  The egg broke against Beth’s shirt.  Whew, it was rotten!


It was a good thing Dorothy came in for a checkup.  She had some parasitic insects under her wings (caught from prey) and now they’re gone.  Thanks to Dr. Bob Wagner for the health check!   Here’s Dorothy having her armpits examined.


The three chicks were given health checks, weighed and banded.  They are three healthy boys.


In less than a hour they were back in the nest.  Another successful year.  🙂

(Thanks to Pat Szczepanski for the first three photos.  The next two were from my cellphone.)


UPDATE:  23 May, 4:15pm,   More photos!

These two photos from Donna Memon show how Dorothy & E2 feel about Banding Day…
(You tell ’em, Dorothy! Cool flying, E2!)


…And how cute baby peregrines are.  (Smiling for another camera.)

(two photos by Donna Memon)

17 thoughts on “Three Boys, No Girls

  1. Under half an hour by my watch. I wonder if Dorothy knew about the bugs…she’s been sunbathing more this year than in the past it has seemed. Once a day lately she’s been pancaked on camera, and who knows what she does off camera. Glad they cleaned her up. Hope E2 is keeping himself well.

  2. It was quite a well-coordinated operation. Very impressive to witness.

    Thanks to Beth for allowing me to be there this morning.

  3. So glad they are safe and healthy! This is my first year watching (so cool); though I will admit, I had no idea what was happening when the humans came in!

    Is there a way the webcam can be dropped back into its previous position? It is very high now, I cannot see the front of the nest, and the new position adds distance to the back of the nest making that harder to see. I love these little guys, and I don’t want to miss anything!

    1. Streaming camera position: Unfortunately we didn’t know the camera had been bumped until a couple of hours after the event. By then it was too late to fix it, so for the remaining two weeks of viewing it’ll be slightly off. Next year we hope to replace that camera with a better one that’s in focus (!)

      p.s. You can see the front of the perch on the snapshot camera:

  4. Great photos and story, Kate. Bless everyone involved. Thanks, Donna, for the wonderful hotspot! It meant I didn’t have to totally miss the action.

  5. Thanks so much. I got to see the banding on web camera of the falcons at Rachael Carson building this year and now here . they should be fleading (i think thats right ) soon check them out also. I have been watching the falcons for 9 years now. Hey any word on Gulf tower friends.

  6. I created 2 more hotspots: one of the chicks being returned (you can see the camera getting bumped); one of Dorothy’s return (she looks around for Beth 🙂 )

  7. Just wondering, I know you said the unhatched egg was inadvertantly broken, but were they still able to tell if the egg had an embryo/fetus or was unfertilized?

    1. It was very rotten with liquid inside. I don’t know if anyone examined it. I do know that I personally did not want to get near it. It stank!

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