22 February 2021
The unbanded male peregrine, Ecco, has been present every day at the Cathedral of Learning since 4 February — 19 days in a row — while the former resident male, Terzo, has not been seen since 5 February. With this kind of track record I believe that Ecco has won the site and is now the resident male.
Now that Ecco is present every day and neither he nor his mate Morela are banded how do we tell them apart? Here are some tips, photos and videos to help you compare and identify each bird.
Size: Male peregrines are 1/3 smaller than females. The slideshows display Ecco and Morela in similar poses. Morela is always the bigger bird. Check the captions if you are unsure.
The easiest way to determine size is to compare the bird to the size of the enclosure or camera view. How long is the bird compared to the available space? Morela is longer. Does the bird look bulky? Morela is bulkier.
Coloration: Morela’s breast and face are peach-colored where Ecco is white.
The videos below will give you practice identifying them on camera.
Ecco alone at the nest, 21 Feb 2021
Morela alone at the nest, 21 Feb 2021
The more we watch them the better we’ll get at identifying each one. My hope is that Ecco and Morela stay at the Cathedral of Learning for many years to come.
(photos and videos from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)