UPDATE 15 March 2020, 9:47a: The unbanded male peregrine is back. His contest with Terzo is not over!
The report below covers Friday 13 March and Saturday 14 March 2020.
Terzo was challenged by an unbanded male peregrine on 10-12 March, but he was clearly in charge at the Cathedral of Learning for two days.
On Friday 13 March Terzo visited the nest five times, often bowing with Morela. His challenger never appeared.
By early Friday afternoon Terzo was so confident that his rival was gone that he basked in the sun for 25 minutes, opened his wings, and sometimes turned his back to the sky (photos at top and below, 1:20p-1:46p). Click here for the 26-minute video of Terzo.
That night Morela perched at the front of the nest, a sign that she’s feeling egg-y.
On Saturday 14 March, Morela and Terzo’s nest activity increased as seen in the Day In A Minute video below. 15 visits! Terzo in 10 of them. No challenger.
The pair also instituted an unusual courtship display.
Male peregrines always provide food for their mates during courtship but they normally don’t bring it to the nest until there are chicks to feed. However, Morela brought her breakfast with her on 6 March when Terzo called her to bow at the nest.
By Saturday this morphed into Terzo bringing food as Morela waited at the nest. His gifts are small, completely plucked morsels. She accepts them as part of the ritual and after a few bites she takes them elsewhere to eat.
Watch the National Aviary falconcam at Univ. of Pittsburgh for the latest developments. The contest will continue until someone wins.
(photos and video from National Aviary falconcam at Univ. of Pittsburgh)