30 April 2021
If you’ve been following the Pitt peregrines for a couple of years you know that this nesting season is very special. We are watching good, attentive parents raising four healthy chicks.
It’s been 10 years since we’ve had a normal nesting season with a large family at the Cathedral of Learning. The last time was in 2011 when Dorothy and E2 raised four chicks.
Dorothy was twelve years old that year and at the pinnacle of her breeding success. As she aged her fertility declined to zero, 2012-2015. She was replaced by Hope, the aberrant female peregrine who killed and ate some of her chicks every year, 2016-2019. Morela replaced Hope in late 2019 but last year, 2020, was a failure because of Terzo and Ecco’s unresolved competition. Ecco triumphed in February 2021.
This year we have a happy family. Enjoy this 12-minute video of Morela feeding her chicks on Wednesday 28 April 2021 at 1:00pm. As the video opens, Ecco has already handed off prey to Morela and is guarding the chicks until she returns.
In case you miss the feedings, rest assured that the chicks are fed seven times a day. Watch for the feedings from 5:30am (before dawn) through 7:00pm in this Day-in-a-Minute video on 28 April. NOTE: It was so hot that day (81 degrees F) that Morela draped her wings over the chicks.
This table shows the history, 2011-2021.
Peregrine Nesting Success at Cathedral of Learning, 2011-2021
|Year||Peregrine Pair||Chicks Fledged||Notes|
|2011||Dorothy & E2||4 chicks|
|2012||Dorothy & E2||3|
|2013||Dorothy & E2||1||2 of 5 eggs hatched, 1 died|
|2014||Dorothy & E2||0||Dorothy was eggbound|
|2015||Dorothy & E2||1 disabled chick|
|2016||Hope & Terzo||1||4 eggs: 2 killed + 1 died on its own
|2017||Hope & Terzo||3||4 eggs: 1 killed|
|2018||Hope & Terzo||2||4 eggs: 2 killed|
|2019||Hope & Terzo||2||5 eggs: 2 killed, 1 unhatched|
|2020||Morela, Terzo, Ecco||0||2 eggs, not incubated|
|2021||Morela & Ecco||4 chicks||(not fledged yet as of 4/30/2021)|
(photos and videos from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)