In As Little As Two Weeks

Peregrines, Titan and GG, mating in Lakewood, OH (photo by Chad+Chris Saladin)

Hold onto your hats!  Peregrine courtship is in full swing and in only two weeks we may see the first peregrine egg in Pittsburgh.

Chad+Chris Saladin captured this shot of Titan and GG mating in Lakewood, Ohio early this month.  Our peregrines are on the same schedule so you may be lucky to see this too, if you visit one of Pittsburgh’s nest sites.

  • University of Pittsburgh, Cathedral of Learning:  Dorothy and E2 are at home every day.  Their courtship includes fancy flying, food offerings from E2 to Dorothy, and mating, of course.  On Monday I watched E2 chase a distant peregrine out of his airspace.  He flew like an arrow, pumping his wings so the other peregrine could see him coming.  By the time he caught up to that bird he was a speck in my binoculars.  The intruder left quickly without a fight.
  • Gulf Tower:  The downtown peregrines have come home to the Gulf Tower!  Day after day they court and perch at the nestbox and the female digs in the gravel to prepare the nest.  We presume this pair is still Dori and Louie who last nested here in 2011.  Webcam snapshots of the female show Dori’s unique look including the color of her bands (haven’t read them yet) and her white shoulder “headlights.”  Sooner or later we’ll know for sure.  (Stay tuned for news of the falconcam.)
  • Tarentum Bridge:  Visit the Tarentum boat launch under the bridge to see this pair in courtship.  Leslie Ferree took pictures last Sunday and posted them on the Pittsburgh Falconuts Facebook page.
  • Monaca Bridges, Beaver County:  Last year this pair nested on an inaccessible railroad bridge over the Ohio River where Tim and Karena Johnson saw them mating last Sunday.  There are so many bridges to choose from that we can only hope they’ll return to Monaca-East-Rochester where they were easier to see and band.
  • Neville Island I-79 Bridge:  Anne Marie Bosnyak visited the area on February 15 and found both peregrines perched in a tree on the Glenfield side of the river.
  • Westinghouse Bridge:  Our #1 observer at this site, John English, has not been able to spend much time there so we have no recent sightings.  If you’re in the area, take a look.
  • McKees Rocks Bridge:  eBird reports that a peregrine was seen on Brunot’s Island (near the bridge) and Leslie Ferree saw one last Sunday.  If you’re looking for waterfowl near the penitentiary at Doerr Street or on the Mckees Rocks side of the Ohio, check the power towers for a peregrine.
  • Green Tree water tower:  Until yesterday morning the news here was “missing for many months” but yesterday Mary Jo Peden saw a peregrine perched on the water tower and Karena saw one (or both?) as well.  This is the easiest site to check if you’re in traffic heading to town on the Parkway West.

Right now is the very best time to watch peregrines because they want to be seen — by other peregrines.  Stop by any of these sites to check out their activity.  Keep alert for peregrines on bridges and other tall structures and you might find a new nest site.  Let me know what you see.

In as little as two weeks — March 13 — one of these nests may have an egg.


(photo by Chad+Chris Saladin. Click on the image to see the original.)

7 thoughts on “In As Little As Two Weeks

  1. Kate…I, also, saw the Green Tree peregrine around 12:10 pm, perched on the top railing, under the Cap “G”. I was going to wait until I saw it again, as I did not have long to look without wrecking the car, but hearing others saw it, I thought it time to reveal my sighting. Let’s hope it is a better year for them in Green Tree.


  2. And I’m back in circulation starting this coming Wednesday 🙂 I have 2 brand new eyes to focus on falcons 🙂 I’ll be redoing the Westinghouse webpage soon with new observation point and maps. Will post when done.

  3. It’s been so good to see Dorothy and E2 again lately. I knew they were there all along, but I’d only see them once every couple of weeks, and now I’m getting a look every couple of days. My friends are on “pole-watch” again when walking with me (“Pete! Look out for that pole!”) since my eyes aren’t always on what’s ahead.

    I was just talking with some friends at work yesterday about eggs since the Hays eagles are grabbing all the headlines. I put my early money on March 19th. I reserve my right to place a second bet in a couple weeks though. 🙂

  4. We are watching closely from kingston ontario, my son (5) was fascinated by Dorothy and E2 last year and has been asking to check up already. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Yes, I’ve been at the Tarentum bridge a few times this month and have seen 2 each time. First time one was on the 3rd ring of the nav. pole while one came flying out of the opposite hill under the hotel sign into a hole behind the one perched. Last weekend I saw them on the bridge structure itself top near the walkway, behind the nav. light pole — one facing inward, one facing outward. Took a few poor shots (just for personal record) but too windy/rainy for good shots. Plan to keep checking.
    Hopefully Rob P., Steve G., myself, or someone will eventually maybe have better idea of where the nest ends up this year.
    Peregrine city — Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.

  6. Re: PEFATars. . .

    At 9:24 AM (Sat Mar 1) I saw one PEFA from long range by the bandshell in the park, who did not want to be seen! She flew from the area of the upriver navlite up to the catwalk above the mid-river pier. I had to move a short ways to get a clear view, and she did sally out briefly where I could see her, but went behind the ironwork where I couldn’t see her anymore. Definitely hiding from ME! Not unusual after all the disturbance by PENNDot last year.

  7. I saw an adult peregrine perched on a lamp post on the Westinghouse bridge Friday 3/7 at 6:20 pm. There is hope!

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