Wailing In The Dark And Rain

Morela listens as a peregrine wails in the dark, 8 Apr 2020, 4:03a (snapshot from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

8 April 2020:

This morning it was raining when I woke up at 4am and saw this snapshot of Morela wide awake and hunched over the scrape. What was she doing?

I pulled the 4am video and found out she was listening intently and sometimes ee-chupping to a peregrine wailing in the dark.

Ee-chupping is a greeting to a potential or current mate. Wailing means “I want [unknown something] to change.” Morela was speaking to a male peregrine and a male peregrine was wailing. We don’t know who was wailing and we don’t know why.

At this point I doubt there will be a peregrine egg at the Cathedral of Learning this year though Morela has been trying. This short video from Sunday 5 April 2020 at 6am shows her pulsing her vent. It looks as if her plumbing is stopped up.

We are left with more questions than answers.

  • Who was wailing and why?
  • Is Morela egg bound? Is she feeling ill?
  • Is Terzo still at the Cathedral of Learning or did the other male peregrine take over?
  • What will happen next with Terzo, Morela and whoever else might be at the Cathedral of Learning?

The answer to every question is: We don’t know.

I certainly don’t know.

Watch the National Aviary falconcam at the Univ of Pittsburgh to see what happens next.

UPDATE, 13 April 2020: Still no eggs but Morela looks healthy (good feather quality) and she is quite active. She must be feeling fine.

(photos and video from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

19 thoughts on “Wailing In The Dark And Rain

  1. I was watching last night and this morning as well and wondered the same things you did. As for Morella, at one point she actually fell over last night. I can’t remember the time but it might have around 6.30 ish. She was standing there calling and she fell over to her right briefly but quickly recovered. After that she was favoring her right leg a bit.

    1. Kathy, thanks for letting me know. I’ve noticed that when she tries to lay an egg she cocks her head to the right.

  2. If a domestic fowl is egg bound, what is done? Does the same apply to “treasures” within reach? Without intervention, is the egg absorbed?

  3. This makes me sad. I really want our Pitt family to be healthy and happy. I hope Morela is okay and that maybe the wailing falcon was not hurt from battle.

  4. Oh geez, this isn’t good news. Typically, when are eggs laid in Pittsburgh? I’m guessing in March?

    I haven’t seen all that much activity at the nest lately. No sign of the unbanded male, at least not when I’ve tuned in. When was the last time Terzo was seen? I’ll try to watch more today.

    Poor Morela, hope she isn’t egg bound.

  5. Didn’t look at the time (was between 10 and 11 this morning), but Morela was bowing with a falcon earlier that may have been the unbanded male. He was on his way out when I tuned in and I only got a quick look at him and he appeared to have an orange cere.

  6. Oh no, what sad news. I saw Morela doing much the same – lots of e-chuping and ‘hunching’ – at 3am several days ago (I think it was Sunday morning) so this has been going on for a while. I hope we all get surprised with a positive outcome.

  7. I do hope better for her, Kate. I am just now logging on and seeing this, so I don’t know if things have changed. I hope so….

  8. Banded male (assume it’s Terzo) and Morela in the scrape at 19:35. Then he flew away, and I can hear whining while she is again alone and ee-chupping.

  9. Terzo and Morela in the nest at 7:34 pm. He didn’t stay long. She’s kind of hunched over still at 7:40; also vocalizing.

    1. Googled “egg bound”. Saw several references to treatment of pet birds. Otherwise fatal. Wonder if limping is associated w position of egg? Wonder if carrying prey was associated with filled GI tract? After all birds have only one tract ending.

    2. Nan, the only experience we have of this in peregrines is Dorothy who passed the egg and recovered. We have no idea whether limping is related to it or if she hurt her foot some other way. She is, after all, usually *off* camera where a lot can happen. Meanwhile, carrying prey is not associated with a filled GI tract. Morela has had the odd habit of bringing prey to the nest for many weeks now. Here are two examples: 6 March https://www.birdsoutsidemywindow.org/2020/03/07/when-they-arent-at-the-nest/ and 30 March https://www.birdsoutsidemywindow.org/2020/03/31/revolving-faster-plus-comfort-food/

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