May 15, 2018
There’s a new pair of peregrines in the Pittsburgh region and they’ve already got a family.
Back on March 4 I saw one peregrine perched on the Elizabeth Bridge as I was driving home from Westmoreland County. I was excited because March is peregrine nesting season, they’d never nested at this bridge before, and they hadn’t been seen here since 2015. One bird doesn’t mean a pair … but it was worth a look.
Reports fell silent for seven weeks and then two peregrines were active at the bridge in late April. Did their eggs hatch? If so, where?
On May 2, Elizabeth Cain saw them checking out several cubbyholes. On May 6 Dana Nesiti photographed an adult carrying food into this truss connector. They certainly have chicks!
Dana circled the peregrines’ location on his photo below. The connector is labeled “U9” because the bridge is under renovation. Notice the paint-shrouding at deck level!
Here are more of Dana’s action shots.
I stopped by the Elizabeth Bridge on Sunday May 13 and saw the peregrines team up to chase away a turkey vulture and wail at a passing raven. They were invisible from the gazebo on South Water Street so I digi-scoped them from the Waterfront parking lot. Notice that the female has closed her eyes!
If you’d like to see these birds for yourself, stop by Elizabeth Waterfront Park on the Monongahela River in Elizabeth, PA. Go all the way down to the river. They might be out hunting when you arrive, but be patient and they’ll come home. Here’s a map:
The Elizabeth Bridge peregrines bring our southwestern Pennsylvania total to 9 nest sites:
- Downtown Pittsburgh
- Cathedral of Learning
- Westinghouse Bridge (Turtle Creek near Monongahela River)
- Elizabeth Bridge (Monongahela River)
- McKees Rocks Bridge (Ohio River)
- Neville Island I-79 Bridge (Ohio River)
- Monaca-Beaver area bridge (Ohio River)
- Tarentum Bridge (Allegheny River)
- Graff Bridge, Rt 422, Kittanning (Allegheny River)
Erie, PA’s peregrine pair makes it 10 nest sites in all of western Pennsylvania.
I’m doing a tour of the other peregrine nest sites this week. Stay tuned for more news.
(photos by Dana Nesiti, Eagles of Hays PA and Kate St. John (see captions). Map embedded from Google maps)