Recent peregrine news out of San Francisco is sadly familiar. SFist reports that people watched the falconcam in horror as a male peregrine, nicknamed Canyon, killed and ate his first hatchling at the PG&E nest.
We know what this is like. Every year from 2016 through 2019 Hope, the female peregrine at the Univ of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning, killed and ate some of her chicks as they hatched. Most years she ate two of them. In 2017 she ate only one. Morela replaced her in October 2019.
Read the SF news here https://sfist.com/2020/06/18/bad-news-male-falcon-eats-young/ and if you have a strong stomach watch their video. Hope’s behavior is mentioned in the article.
Peregrines eating their hatchlings is so unusual that in the 20 years I’ve tracked it I know of only four peregrines who’ve done it:
- Hope at the Univ of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning, 2016 through 2019
- a female at UMass Amherst in May 2017
- a female at a wild cliff in Wyoming where fire retardant was sprayed (can’t find the link)
- Canyon at San Francisco PG&E, June 2020.
Some of you are wondering if this male could be one of Hope’s offspring. No, for at least two reasons:
- This unbanded young male peregrine, nicknamed Canyon, hatched in 2019. All of Hope’s offspring from 2016 through 2019 are banded. An unbanded male born in that timeframe cannot be one of hers.
- Canyon is too far away to have dispersed from Pittsburgh. San Francisco is the other side of the continent.
As crazy as 2020’s failed nesting season has been at the Cathedral of Learning, at least we have been spared this.
(screenshots from SFist article)