Young Peregrine Flies By Duck Hollow

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).

What a lucky moment at Duck Hollow! Thanks to Robert Warnock for the pictures.

(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?

MOTUS nanotagged juvenile peregrine, Downtown Pittsburgh at USX Tower, 19 June 2019 (photo by Jason Walkowski)

2 thoughts on “Young Peregrine Flies By Duck Hollow

  1. I’d suggest checking with the PA Game Commission. The Harrisburg (Rachel Carson Bldg) clutch got black over green bands, and they used different colored tape (red, white, blue, yellow) applied to the USWS band to tell them apart. Some of them got MOTUS trackers, but I’m not sure if Blue did or not. (I also thought the bird in the picture had one).

    1. Thank you for the suggestion, NJ. I checked with the PA Game Commission before I wrote this blog. It took us collectively about 2 weeks to go through the possibilities and we still don’t know. A MOTUS peregrine was banded in Pittsburgh this spring with blue tape on the USFW band so that’s who I thought it was at first. Not sure. Here’s a photo of Pittsburgh’s MOTUS bird in June:

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