Now The Rain Gets In

18 November 2020

It didn’t rain much last July but when it did I noticed something puzzling on the Pitt peregrine falconcam(*). The nest was getting wet where it ought to be dry. Was the roof leaking?

A week ago the problem became acute when it rained hard all day on 11 November. By the end of the day pieces of brown debris were on the nest surface, probably from the roof. Now the rain really gets in!

If you look closely at falconcam still photos you can see papery pieces of roof hanging from above, erosion in the right corner where the rain drips, and debris from the roof on the nest surface.

Though we can’t see the roof from either camera, a snapshot of the awning gives us a hint of the roof’s condition. The red circle shows a place that lost its waterproof coating, exposing the under layer. The awning is deteriorating too, though more slowly.

The nestbox was built and installed in late 2007 (or early January 2008) after the Cathedral of Learning was spray-washed. I believe the box and walls are made of solid plastic but the roof and awning appear to be a composite material that has been weathering for 13 years.

This fall we’ll arrange for repairs so the nestbox is in good condition for the 2021 nesting season. Like maintaining a very small home, repairs are inevitable.

(*) Streaming of the Pitt peregrine falconcam is seasonal. It ended for the year on 31 July 2020.

(snapshots from the National Aviary falconcams at Univ of Pittsburgh)

4 thoughts on “Now The Rain Gets In

  1. Thank you Kate for all you do to help educate us. I read your blog every day! To help you and with the repair of the peregrine nestbox, would a donation to the Aviary (specifically noting the Pittsburgh Falconcam) be best?

    1. A donation to the National Aviary is always welcome. We don’t know if the nestbox will cost anything much to repair. If you want your donation to benefit peregrine watching, you could designate your donation for the nestbox “if needed” and otherwise to be used for falconcam streaming (where money is needed every year!)

  2. It looks like all the scaffolding is off of the top of the Gulf Tower, so hopefully the construction work is done. Will the nest box & camera be reinstalled? Lots of construction work going on the RT 79 Neville Island bridge, including full under decking being installed. I think that nest site will be off the table for 2021. I’m not sure how long that project is supposed to take. A customer at work is one of the contractors working there, but they haven’t been in lately so I can inquire as to the schedule.

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