Before peregrine nesting begins a few of us visit the Pitt and Gulf Tower nests to conduct routine maintenance. Sometimes we have a lot to do -- add gravel, clean the nestbox, fix the cameras -- but this year the only thing needed was a cleanup of the weatherproof covers on the National Aviary's falconcams.
Last week when Bob Mulvihill and I visited the Gulf Tower camera we didn't see any peregrines. Yesterday at Pitt we saw two!
It was 16 degrees when we ventured out on the ledge. Phil Hieber took photos, Bob cleaned the cameras, and I brought my hiking stick to hold high as a substitute target for peregrine attacks (instead of attacking our heads).
We were surprised to see that Hope, the female peregrine, was waiting for us. How did she know we were coming?
As Bob got closer, Hope flew off, then silently strafed back and forth as you can see on the video.
Soon Terzo joined her. He was silent, too.
In less than 3 minutes Bob was finished and we went back indoors.
Hope and Terzo are staying close to home this month. They're getting ready for nesting season, too.
p.s. This morning it's 2 degrees F and windy so the wind chill makes it feel like -16. Good thing we were out there yesterday.
(photos & video shot by Phil Hieber on Bob Mulvihill's mobile)