30 May 2013
This morning was way too exciting!
When Paul, the owner of this pickup truck with a roof rack, returned to his vehicle near Third and Wood there was a large raptor on his roof. He thought it would fly when he drove away but it didn’t. Grounded young peregrines like this one just stand there.
As Paul drove through Downtown Pittsburgh motorists and passersby shouted, “There’s a bird on your roof!” How to get rid of it? Paul drove to the National Aviary (1.8 miles away including crossing the Allegheny River) in hopes they could solve his problem. The peregrine hung on.
Aviary staff Chris Gaus and Teri Grendzinski called the PA Game Commission emergency number 724-238-9523 and captured the bird for safe keeping until a Wildlife Conservation Officer could arrive and return the bird to a high launch near its Downtown nest. In the meantime the Aviary nicknamed the bird “Paul” for the driver who rescued him.
We hope “Paul Peregrine” will learn from this mistake and not go car surfing again any time soon.
Thanks to the National Aviary staff Teri and Chris for the rescue and Ericka Houck for the Twitter photo.
NOON UPDATE on “Paul’s” return: Here’s a photo from Amanda McGuire showing “Paul” returned to the rescue porch across the street from the nest. (The nest itself is inaccessible.)
UPDATE on 30 May 2013, 5:00pm: At 3:30pm I received news that a second fledgling was standing on the sidewalk near Point Park University. Point Park police sheltered her and the PA Game Commission took her up to the same high spot where “Paul” was perched. When they dropped off his sister (yes, she’s female), “Paul” flew away (yes, he’s male; the size difference was obvious). “”Sis” is getting re-oriented and will eventually leave on her own.
Three of the four Downtown chicks flew today. I wonder where the third bird is.
(photos by Ericka Houck at the National Aviary and Amanda McGuire at Point Park University)