Ledge Walking Begins

Chick on the green perch, 27 May 2021, 13:25 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

28 May 2021

Yesterday the Pitt peregrine chicks passed a big milestone on their way to first flight. Two times on Thursday, at 1:35p and 2:45p, one of the chicks flapped up to the green perch. Ledge walking has begun.

Before peregrine chicks have flight feathers the young are hard wired not to leave the nest for a step off the cliff means certain death.

After they have flight feathers the chicks prepare to leave the nest by flapping their new wings, walking around the ledge and flap-running across the surface. This leads to their first big milestone: the first step off the nest. At Pitt that first step is the green perch.

At 1:35pm a chick flapped his way up to the green perch and watched the sky intently, as shown in the video below. Notice the feather pattern on this chick’s chest. I think he is a different bird than the second ledge-walker.

An hour later another chick hopped up to the green perch.

Again notice the feather pattern on his chest. Is he the same bird as the first ledge walker? I don’t think so.

Peregrine chick on green perch, 27 May 2021, 14:56 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Eventually all four chicks will ledge walk, though one or two are clearly ahead of the others. Over the weekend one or more will ledge walk out of camera view. Don’t panic if you can’t find all four. The early birds are making their way to the nest rail where they will make their first flight.

Join me for Fledge Watch at Schenley Plaza on June 2, 4, 6.

5 thoughts on “Ledge Walking Begins

  1. Those little ones are cuteness over load, they wait their turn to be feed and seem to be well behaved. Absolutely adorable, and their parents are great too. Happy to be able to watch that.

  2. I agree looks like two different birds. One seems to still have more white fuzz and be more orange on the head as well. Very exciting to have FOUR in this nest and three eaglets!

    1. And the belly stripes on the first one are not as thin and numerous. 🙂

  3. I love these little chicks. They are just adorable!!! So cute how they look at each other and still huddle together.

  4. I have fond memories of a Fledge Watch many years ago. A beautiful day, young peregrine falcons walking and flying, and good company. Thanks, Kate.

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