Update on the Downtown Peregrines

Four peregrine chicks from the Downtown nest being fed by a peregrine puppet at Humane Animal Rescue (photo from Humane Animal Rescue)
Four peregrine chicks from the Downtown nest fed by a peregrine puppet at Humane Animal Rescue, 11 May 2018 (photo from Humane Animal Rescue)

On Tuesday May 8, 2018 four peregrine chicks were taken from Dori and Louie’s Third Avenue nest in Downtown Pittsburgh through a Special Taking Permit granted to developer BET Investments by U.S. Fish and Wildlife.  (Federal wildlife agents did not come to retrieve the chicks.  They told the PA Game Commission to do it for them.)

Chicks are settling in and gaining weight:

Update from Humane Animal Rescue on their Facebook page, May 11, 2018: We’re pleased to report that the four chicks admitted to our Wildlife Center on Tuesday are progressing well. They’ve each gained weight & have begun to recognize our Peregrine puppet as their caregiver. HAR Wildlife Center staff members continue to carefully monitor the chicks while donning ghillie suits & the puppet, feeding & cleaning them multiple times per day.

You can see the puppet in the photo at top. Here’s what a ghillie suit looks like:

Ghillie suit (photo from Optics Planet)
Ghillie suit (photo from Optics Planet)

Sex of the chicks:

Peregrine chick from Downtown nest being banded at Humane Animal Rescue, 8 May 2018 (photo from Humane Animal Rescue)
Peregrine chick from Downtown nest being banded at Humane Animal Rescue, 8 May 2018 (photo from Humane Animal Rescue)

The sex of peregrine chicks is determined by their weight at banding — females are much heavier than males — but sometimes their weights are borderline.  Among these four, two were clearly males at banding and two were deemed too close to call. “Unknowns” are given female bands because the larger ring will not bind either sex.

Update on the parents, Dori and Louie:

Construction near the peregrines' former nest site on Third Avenue (pohto by Doug Cunzolo)
Construction near the peregrines’ former nest site on Third Avenue (photo by Doug Cunzolo)

The adult peregrines, Dori and Louie, are generally absent now from Third Avenue.  Construction has moved to the roof of Keystone Flats, the building that sparked the controversy and led to their chicks’ removal.  Workers will add another floor and a rooftop deck.  Doug Cunzolo stopped by Third Avenue on Friday morning May 11, 2018, took the photo above and reported:

This morning I stopped up at the 3rd. ave. nest site & talked with 2 of the workers there. They said the adults come by from time to time but not to the nest site itself. They were not there at around 8-8:30 am while I was there. There are cranes from the next door parking lot up over the roof & near the nest site moving steel & concrete block up onto the roof. So too much activity for them I would think.

When I stopped by late Sunday the area was quiet and there were no peregrines around.  Dori and Louie have lots of other places to hang out Downtown.  They have not been seen at the Gulf Tower.

Follow the four chicks’ progress at Humane Animal Rescue’s Facebook page.

Though the developer is paying for the chicks’ upkeep you can show your support by donating at the Humane Animal Rescue’s Donation page. Be sure to select Designation “Injured Wildlife” from the pull-down menu! (The chicks are not injured. That’s just the name that insures the gift goes to the Wildlife Center where they are housed.)

(photo credits: chicks’ photos from Humane Animal Rescue Facebook page; Third Avenue construction photo by Doug Cunzolo)

3 thoughts on “Update on the Downtown Peregrines

  1. Agreed- thank you for the update. I personally contacted the company doing the construction via email and called them directly twice. I know at least two other friends who did the same. The developer chose not to reply, in any form.

    I truly hope that Pittsburgh will remember this choice to relocate the birds and the complete lack of regard that they showed to both the falcons and to those people who attempted to speak up on the birds’ behalf.

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