New Nestbox at the Gulf Tower

Game Warden Madison Kyle attaches the nestbox roof, Gulf Tower, 11 Feb 2021 (photo by Dan Puhala, PGC)

12 February 2021

Yesterday Game Wardens Madison Kyle and Dan Puhala of the PA Game Commission (PGC) installed a new peregrine falcon nestbox at the Gulf Tower in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Getting to this point was a group effort. PGC’s Peregrine Falcon Coordinator Art McMorris, with years of experience installing nestboxes, coordinated the fast-tracked project remotely from Philadelphia, bringing together Dan Hosier of the National Aviary (he built the nestbox), Ann Hohn of Make-A-Wish Greater PA and WV (offices next to the peregrine ledge), Allison Guidish of Rugby Realty (Gulf Tower management), and Game Warden Dan Puhala.

It all came together on Thursday 11 February 2021 after Tuesday’s snow delay.

The nest ledge is small so Madison did the on-ledge work while Dan took pictures.

Snowy nest ledge, Gulf Tower, 11 Feb 2021 (photo by Dan Puhala)
Shoveling snow to prepare the site, Gulf Tower, 11 Feb 2021 (photo by Dan Puhala)
Leveling the cinder blocks, the ‘table’ that holds the nestbox, Gulf Tower, 11 Feb 2021 (photo by Dan Puhala)
Filling the box with gravel, Gulf Tower, 11 Feb 2021 (photo by Dan Puhala)
Attaching the nestbox roof, Gulf Tower, 11 Feb 2021 (photo by Dan Puhala)
Game Warden Kyle “It looks good” Gulf Tower, 11 Feb 2021 (photo by Dan Puhala)
Game Warden Dan Puhala at the new nestbox, Gulf Tower, 11 Feb 2021 (photo by Madison Kyle)

Thumbs up! Thanks to all for a successful install.

The next step is to restart the National Aviary’s Gulf Tower falconcam. A lot has changed since it was shut off two years ago so this group effort is going to take a while. Please be patient. As soon the falconcam is running both the National Aviary and I will let you know. Stay tuned.

p.s. I played a part, too. As the lead volunteer peregrine monitor in southwestern PA I periodically checked the Gulf Tower roof project and kept Art informed on its progress, providing local contacts and filling in the odds and ends. Perhaps you remember my plea on Pittsburgh Falconuts for help with the gravel and cinder blocks. I bought them online and Dan picked them up in his truck.

(photos by Game Wardens Dan Puhala and Madison Kyle of the PA Game Commission)

12 thoughts on “New Nestbox at the Gulf Tower

  1. This is great news. I hope the peregrines decide that it’s a nicer home than their air shaft ledge. Can you remind us who the downtown male is? I think I remember Louie dying but that might just be the 2020 effect…

    1. Stacey, yes, Louie died in July 2019. The current Downtown male is not banded and, at the point at which we would have been getting to know him during his first nesting season — March to June 2020 — none of us were Downtown due to COVID restrictions. So he is still a mystery.

  2. Wonderful group effort. Let’s hope that a lovely pair of peregrines appreciate it and make the Gulf Tower their home! Thanks for the update, Kate.

  3. Nice! I have a new image-erecting prism for my telescope, so I’m looking forward to trying to get views of PEFAs at both the Gulf Tower and CoL, which are “easily” viewed from Schenley (at the turn-around near the Oval, GT is about 2.75 miles, CoL about 1). John and I tried it last year, but upside-down and backwards is no way to try to see anything.

  4. These pictures really make one appreciate how high the nest box is. Not someplace you’d ever find me. Glad to see she’s wearing a safety harness.

  5. I loved seeing the falcons up close when I worked on the 48th floor on One Mellon Center a few years ago. They would bring their kills to our window ledges to eat. Before the Mellon board meetings, the maintenance crew would have to very carefully go out on the window ledges and clean up the carcasses.

  6. Thank you, Kate, for YOUR indispensable role in this group effort. Your selfless devotion to these magnificent birds and inexhaustible drive to get things done has once again brought a great benefit to Pittsburgh’s peregrines.

  7. Thank you Kate for the surprise info on the Downtown nest site. It will be great watching them along with Morela & “ whoever” is at the nest site with her!!

  8. A big thank you to to all who made this happen. Thanks to my son, Dan, and his co workers for all they do for wildlife and bringing it to the big city. God bless!

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