2 July 2020
This spring the unresolved rivalry between two male peregrines — Terzo and Ecco — at the Cathedral of Learning made for a disappointing nesting season but generated a lot of speculation. Now that we know more about the Downtown peregrines we can lay one bit of speculation to rest.
Back on 15 March when Terzo and Ecco’s rivalry was spinning like a revolving door, I was surprised to see the Downtown female peregrine Dori appear on camera at Pitt. At the time I couldn’t help wondering, “Is the unbanded male Dori’s new mate who is shopping in Oakland because he doesn’t like the Downtown site?” … This led to speculation that Ecco was two-timing between the two nests. No, he is not.
Ecco has not been two-timing between Pitt and Downtown because (1) he’s not Dori’s mate and (2) he would have been way too busy Downtown to visit Morela at certain critical times.
Dori’s mate: On 28 June we learned from Lori Maggio’s photos that the Downtown male peregrine is banded. (Ecco is not banded.)
Critical timing: Here’s one example.
We learned on 28 June that the Downtown peregrine nest produced at least two young, probably more, who fledged approximately 25 to 30 June 2020. Parent peregrines are always extremely busy during the fledging period as they watch, feed and protect their naive young. During that period the Downtown adults had no time to make jaunts to other territories.
Meanwhile at Pitt, Ecco spent a busy day courting Morela multiple times on 25 June.
Even if we didn’t know Dori’s real mate, this timing indicates Ecco has nothing to do with the Downtown nest.
So, Ecco isn’t two-timing. Frankly he’s having trouble being a successful one-timer.
My apologies for sending us all down this speculative rabbit hole. I should have brushed off Dori’s visit as curiosity on her part. I’ve seen other females visit the Pitt nest during turbulent times. Magnum visited twice in 2016 during Hope’s first turbulent year.
As much as I know peregrines I never learn that they’re surprising.
(photos from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh and Lori Maggio)