Her Name Is Morela

Morela at the nest, 17 Oct 2019 (photo from the National Aviary snapshot camera at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Now that the new female peregrine at the Cathedral of Learning has been on site for more than six weeks and has actively claimed the nest, it’s clear that she is no longer “new.” Meanwhile, it’s too vague and unwieldy to call her “the female peregrine at the Cathedral of Learning.” So today she gets a name.

In Pittsburgh, the tradition for naming adult peregrines is this:

The primary nest monitor names the bird for his/her own convenience using these two rules. If the peregrine was named at banding that name is preferred. Otherwise the primary monitor names the bird.

How do peregrines get their names?

As an unbanded peregrine she didn’t come with a name so it was my job to decide what to call her. After many hours of deliberation with my fellow peregrine monitor Karen Lang, the new female peregrine at the Cathedral of Learning has a name: Morela.

It’s a tribute to the pale orange color of her breast, belly and cheeks. Morela means “apricot” in Polish.

Pale apricot
Morela has a pale orange breast in every light

p.s. I pronounce it Mor-ELL-ah.

(photos from the National Aviary falconcams at Univ. of Pittsburgh)

29 thoughts on “Her Name Is Morela

    1. I like it. Great choice
      Praying she will do right by her babies. Stay safe Hope if you are alive

    1. Linda, Hope has disappeared. There’s no way to know where she is until she pops up somewhere.

  1. Oh, beautiful! Does she have a “heart” on her left cheek? Terzo has a heart on his right cheek! Has he been seen yet?

    Her color reminds me of Dot, Henry’s mate in Ohio. But Dot had “dots” going much higher up on her breast.

    As for poor strange Hope…I hope she finds a new nest and mate. FAR far away from any cameras!

    1. Terzo hasn’t been seen on camera since the nesting season. It doesn’t mean he’s gone. There is a definitely a male at the CL.

  2. Nice choice. And seeing that’s it’s on the Cathedral of Learning which houses Nationality Rooms, it’s nice that she and Terzo have names based on non-English languages.

  3. Hi Kate, you have chosen a lovely name for this lovely peregrine. Thanks for the update. And may Morela, along with her mate which will hopefully be Terzo, start a long and peachy dynasty here at the Cathedral!

    1. I do not think we should be counting out Hope or her mate. Been watching falcons for over 14 years and I never count the resident one out. T hey are wandererss and I know most here want to see Hope gone. But not me, as I accept all of them for who they are. One can never completely understand their nature as we have not lived their lives. When you have watched a lot of sites , you see how different they all are. It is not always pretty. I loved watching hope on camera. (bev)

  4. I agree with Bev. Everyone peregrine Falcone should be respected. I don’t think we humans know these birds as much as we thought we do. Many of us hate seeing Hope killed some of her chicks. In case you don’t know, in the past nesting season, the parents at the CA Anacapa site fed the dead body of a chick to the other three chicks. Why the chick died? The dead chick was under-developed and “intentionally” under-fed by the parents. Respect the nature!

  5. Dziekuje Kate! Morela is a beautiful name for this new falcon. It’ll be interesting to see what happens at this nest in the near future. I’m rooting for this new lady. Only time will tell.

  6. I saw a pair of peregrines zipping across the UPMC Presby lawn about an hour ago! They were heading north/in the direction of the Peterson Events Center. Just wanted to note it.

  7. I will forever miss Hope if she does not return and won’t be able to watch the new Falcon that everybody seems so thrilled about. We think like humans and have no idea what is really happening at the nest.

  8. Is Morela ok- have not seen any eggs or much of her. Hope never seemed happy at the Cathedral and kept checking under the bridge, as I recall. Maybe found a new mate in new surroundings

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