Duck Hollow, where Nine Mile Run meets the Monongahela River, is a good place to find unusual birds in Pittsburgh. Just after Thanksgiving Robert Warnock saw a young peregrine falcon harassing the gulls and posted these photos in the Duck Hollow Facebook group.
When I saw the photos a few weeks later I was so excited. This peregrine is banded Black/Green with blue tape on the USFW band. Can we find out who it is? Unfortunately, additional zooming couldn’t make the bands readable.
In the next photo I briefly hoped the mark above the bird’s back was a MOTUS harness but Not! It’s a ripple on the water. Oh well.
As expected, the peregrine didn’t stick around but you never know when we might see it again. Watch for those distinctive white stripes on the head and the dark belly. By the time we see this bird again it may have grown back the missing tail feather(s).
(photos by Robert Warnock)
p.s. Here’s the back story: When I first saw Warnock’s photos all the clues pointed to the 2019 MOTUS peregrine from Downtown Pittsburgh. I checked with Art McMorris, Patti Barber, and Dan Brauning at the PA Game Commission, but without band numbers none of us could be certain of the bird’s identity. To tantalize you, here’s a photo of Pittsburgh’s MOTUS peregrine in June 2019. What do you think?