What an unusual year! Not only are we dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic but, on a less important level, Morela has not laid eggs at the Cathedral of Learning peregrine nest and I don’t think she will this year. I would never have predicted this.
I have no idea what happened but I do know that Morela looks healthy and active with good feather quality. If she was egg bound she would look ill and move slowly. (I have seen an egg bound peregrine on camera: Dorothy in 2014.) Notice how active Morela is in this Day In A Minute video from Sunday 12 April, 7am-7pm.
Meanwhile Terzo no longer visits the nest but I’m sure he is around. A male peregrine is providing Morela with food which she sometimes eats at the nest. She sees him, calls and bows, but he won’t come court with her.
I have a story in my head that has no basis in fact, but I will tell you anyway. I like to think that the wailing in the dark on 8 April was Terzo telling Morela that he wanted her to lay an egg. She asks for courtship? He’s done with that! … By the way, my story is wrong. Click here to find out what’s really going on.
2021 should be a better year on many levels. I’m hoping that a happy family at the Pitt peregrine nest will be one of them.
p.s. With very little on camera, I’m rarely checking the Cathedral of Learning nest. If something exciting happens, let me know.
UPDATE 15 April 2020: Folks have pointed out that two different males visited the nest with Morela in the 2p-3p hour. The ongoing conflict would explain why she hasn’t laid eggs. I’ll look for the footage later.
(photo and video from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)