Yesterday at 30 days old the Pitt peregrine chicks reached an important milestone. They both jumped up to the front perch. It’s their first step off the gravel, the first step toward ledge walking and eventual flight.
Perhaps their parents encouraged them. At lunchtime Hope and Terzo flew circles around the Cathedral of Learning, lazily gliding past the nest and wingtip-flapping like a juvenile peregrine who’s just learned to fly. It looked like they were saying, “Here’s how you do it, kids.”
Just before 6pm the chicks were wound up. One flapped wildly, eyed the perch and up he went. (Notice the red tape on right leg band). He examined the gully for the first time, partially hiding his brother from the camera’s eye.
Then his brother (yellow tape) got into the act, flapped and jumped. Both on the perch! When the novelty wore off they went back to the gravel.
In a week to 10 days these two will start to fly. Before that happens they’ll walk away from the nest and out of the camera view.
When they’re no longer on camera, come down to Fledge Watch to see them in person. I’ll post the Fledge Watch schedule tomorrow for Pitt and Downtown.
(photos from the National Aviary snapshot camera at Univ of Pittsburgh)