Two Male Chicks Banded at Pitt

  • Banding Day 2019 at the Cathedral of Learning

Yesterday morning, 14 May 2019, two male peregrine chicks were banded at the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning.  Here’s the story in pictures by Peter Bell with additions from John English, Kim Getz and the National Aviary falconcam.

This spring is the fourth year Hope and Terzo have nested at Pitt and the fourth year their chicks have been banded, so they knew something was about to happen when they heard the event assembling indoors.

Hope was especially vigilant and a very protective mother. She stood on the nest between her chicks and Lead Bander Dan Brauning of the PA Game Commission and would not leave! Dan had to gently brush her away before he could place the chicks in a box for safe transport.

Fortunately PGC Biologist Sam Ruano had Dan’s back while Hope flew back and forth, strafing the area just above the soft broom that Sam held up as her target (rather than their heads).

Indoors, the chicks were given health checks (both healthy), weighed to determine their sex (both male), and given two leg bands: a black/green color band that can be read from a distance, and a silver USFW band.

Dan permitted me to stick a bit of colored tape on the USFW silver bands so that observers can tell the birds apart on the falconcam and with binoculars: Red for chick#1 (C1), Yellow for chick#2 (C2). The tape will fall off within a year but we’ll find it useful in the meantime.

The chicks were returned to the nest in less than half an hour and Hope immediately came to protect them. Dan wrapped up indoors with a Q&A and showed us the unhatched egg.

The peregrines also received a lot of media attention:

Watch them on the National Aviary falconcam at Univ. of Pittsburgh.

(photos by Peter Bell, John English, Kim Getz and the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

5 thoughts on “Two Male Chicks Banded at Pitt

  1. Thank you for sharing the great photos of the two males who were banded. Hope’s instincts as their mother was wonderful to see. Now if she would just figure out that hatchlings are not a source of food and stop her bizarre behavior. One can always hope!

  2. You don’t realize just watching the falconcam just how big those babies are. They ain’t little balls of fluff. Seeing them in someone’s hands gives some perspective. Thanks for the great piece.

  3. Kate, do you have the banding numbers, or can you tell me who to contact? BCAW keeps track of banding information. Thank you!

    1. The PA Game Commission does not give out the band numbers so I do not publish them if I know them. You can call the PA Game Commission (PGC) at 724-238-9523.

  4. Hello Kate,
    I have not seen Terzo on camera for nearly a week. I check in on the nest multiple times a day. I am wondering if others who watch more frequently have seen him.
    Thank you

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