Two Female Peregrines Vying For Pitt

New female peregrine at Cathedral of Learning, 4 Oct 2019 (photo by Dr. Alan Juffs)

Late yesterday, 9 October 2019, I watched the Cathedral of Learning for more than two hours to catch sight of the new peregrine and its mate. Though they were present less than half the time it was well worth the visit.

First, I learned that the new peregrine is female. I could recognize her from the ground by her perching preferences, her size, her dark head and her peach-toned chest. She hung out with the male, flying with him and roosting side-by-side in nooks on 32 north (Fifth Ave). I assume the male is Terzo though we won’t know for sure until we read his bands.

The size difference between the new female and Terzo is striking; she is a much larger bird. Hope is such a small female that it was hard to tell them apart unless the two perched side by side, a very rare occurrence. The roosting proximity of the new female to Terzo is a good sign.

It appears the new female “owns” the Cathedral of Learning. She is usually on site and she perches in plain sight. When flying near the building, both she and Terzo use flappy territorial flight, clearly saying, “This cliff is mine!”

Who is this message for? I found out while waiting for my bus on Fifth Ave.

At 5:25pm three peregrines flew toward the Cathedral of Learning. The male went past the building. The female landed on a stone peak at 27NW (a favorite perch of the new peregrine). A second female flew toward the perched one and took a pot shot at her. She didn’t hit her. The new peregrine didn’t move. The second female kept flying fast, away to the southwest.

Alan Juffs says he sometimes sees another bird fly at the one perched near his window. I wonder if the wailing on this video is the second female. The new peregrine isn’t phased by this, but she is certainly vigilant.

So I was wrong. There are three peregrines at the Cathedral of Learning, one male and two females. The females are vying for ownership of the Cathedral of Learning.

I like the new bird. I hope she wins.

(photo by Dr. Alan Juffs, University of Pittsburgh)


19 thoughts on “Two Female Peregrines Vying For Pitt

    1. I agree but think about how many deaths Hope had perpetrated. The loss of one may in fact secure the lives of others…..

    2. As much as we may not like it that is the way of the peregrine and a new female should greatly increase the survival of offspring

  1. I’m with you, Danielle, hoping that the unsuccessful female flies away without being hurt.

    Thanks, Kate, for the update. Peregrine season is off and running! Looking forward to an exciting time at the Cathedral.

  2. Maybe a new pair will take up residence at the Gulf Bldg. Is that nest box available yet or is there still construction going on?

  3. Poor Hope! I won’t mind seeing her leave, and I HOPE (pun intended) that she finds a new fellow and a new nest FAR away from any camera!

    1. I hate to bring this up but the last I knew of Hope was her 1st year and she killed all but one baby and then I moved away and was off the site for awhile,
      so I’m just curious as to how many babies did she kill while at the cathedral?

    2. Kathi, of 17 eggs that Hope laid in 4 years, she killed 7 chicks & 8 fledged. (1 egg didn’t hatch and 1 chick died in nest on its own.)

    1. Lori K. I don’t know if Hope is around. I do know there is a second female peregrine which may or may not be Hope.

  4. Yay, I will be so happy if Hope is deposed. I’ve given up watching the nesting the past few years, and if a new female is in residence I can once again enjoy watching Peregrines raise a family.

  5. How ironic that when most people are walking with their heads down looking at a stupid phone, Kate is looking to the sky for peregrines. A nice change of pace! Keeping us all invested in the continuing drama at the COL nest. Thanks from your fans.

    1. Oh, I too am wishing for success of this large, strong, new female!!! I just wish she were banded.
      Thank you Kate, for as Susan said, “Keeping your eyes to the skies!”

    1. Stacey, it’s never too soon. “No news from Downtown” is usually because we don’t have a lot of observers.

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