Peregrine Courtship: 46 Days Until Spring

Ecco at the Pitt peregrine nest, 1 Feb 2021, 1:30pm

2 February 2021

Today is Candlemas and Groundhog Day and only 46 days until the Spring Equinox. The next 46 days will see winter waning, bald eagles laying eggs, and peregrine falcons in courtship mode. The equinox has special significance for Pittsburgh’s peregrines. The females usually lay their first egg around that time.

Yesterday the National Aviary Falconcam resumed live streaming at the Univ of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning. When I tuned in to pull a screenshot, Ecco jumped into camera view and bowed to an unseen female.

Six hours earlier, before dawn, Terzo had courted Morela at the very same place (*sound muted on video).

Ecco stayed a while when he appeared at 1:30pm. He was clearly communicating with another peregrine and bowed deeply to a female we hear in the background (probably Morela).

Alas. There are still two male peregrines at Pitt, a situation that caused the nest to fail last year. I hope Terzo and Ecco figure out who’s in charge in the next 46 days. I’d like to see a happy nest this year.

Watch the National Aviary Falconcam at Univ. of Pittsburgh at this link.

*NOTE about the muted video: When the camera first came up yesterday it made a loud buzz-hum sound (click here to listen) which was too annoying on the 7:20am video. The sound disappeared on its own as you can hear in Ecco’s video.

(videos from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

7 thoughts on “Peregrine Courtship: 46 Days Until Spring

  1. I was hoping that Ecco had moved on, but no. And now a second female! I surely hope that the prime real estate that is the Cathedral of Learning will have just one couple there this year. Fingers crossed.

  2. This isn’t really relevant to the Cathedral soap opera going on, but I had a peregrine sighting at the railroad bridge that extends from the Aspinwall Riverfront Park to the opposite shore. I was out there yesterday at around 3 PM looking out at the river when i heard a raven going “grok grok” and saw two large birds locked in combat at the far end of the bridge. One of them was dive bombing the other and I at first i thought they were both ravens. However, I was proven wrong and surprised when I heard unmistakable “wee wee wee” call of a peregrine! I lost sight of the birds so I’m not sure who the victor was but I’m going to keep an eye and ear on the bridge.

  3. Tuned in today 2/6 at 1PM EST and heard that low buzzing sound as well. I am assuming it was Eco who flew into the nest box and started chopping as I didn’t see a band on either leg. Didn’t hear a reply from another falcon and he soon left the nest.

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