2 June 2021
As of yesterday afternoon, three of the four Pitt peregrine chicks had walked off camera. At 4pm I counted heads from Schenley Plaza using my scope and cellphone (viewing live snapshots of the nest). 3 on the nestrail + 1 in the nest = no one was in the gully under the nest, and no one had flown.
Later they flap-walked along the railing. Here’s one in the middle.
Morela watched from the lightning rod.
How do I know it’s Morela? For the past week or two she’s had a feather sticking out on her right shoulder. It may have been dinged in an aerial battle similar to E2’s wing gap in May 2012. Morela will eventually molt out the bent feather but in the meantime it’ll be easy to identify her at Fledge Watch.
When you come to Schenley Plaza to see the peregrine chicks, here’s where to look at the Cathedral of Learning.
- The tall pole on top of the building is a lightning rod with four triangular antennas. If there’s a dot on one of the antennas it’s a peregrine.
- The nestrail is the low wall with 5 cutouts. Chicks flap-walk on top of the nestrail and may flatten themselves to nap (then they’re hard to see). Look on top of the nestrail and inside the cutouts for peregrine chicks.
What happens next?
- There’s usually a two day gap between first chick on the nestrail (31 May) and first flight. That means first flight could be today, 2 June.
- The nestrail chicks go back and forth to the nest at will. Last evening their parents fed them at the nest and all four slept there last night.
- The chicks will return to the nest as long as their parents deliver food to it. Nest food deliveries will cease after all four have flown.
Don’t forget Fledge Watch at Schenley Plaza, June 2,4,6, 11:30a-1p. Someone will probably fledge today.
(photos by Kate St. John and from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)