Someone Will Probably Fledge Today

Three peregrine chicks on the nestrail, 1 June 2021, 4:05pm (photo by Kate St. John)

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.

Morela on the lightning rod, watching the chicks from above, 1 June 2021, 5pm (photo by Kate St. John)

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.
South face of Cathedral of Learning, Forbes Avenue side (photo by Kate St. John)

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)

7 thoughts on “Someone Will Probably Fledge Today

  1. Of all the bad luck to still be working from home during fledge watch and then fledglings flying about Oakland…. 🙁

  2. It was great to meet you, Kate. Thank you so much for the education and access to the telescope. This is so exciting!!!!

  3. All four chicks look ready to go. Big experience for them but a little nervous time for all the viewers. This nest has been so enjoyable!! They are beautiful birds and parents were awesome. Sad to see them go but so glad they are healthy and strong to go where the wind takes them.

    1. Right this minute (8:17pm) there are 2 two in the nest. I’ll take a look tomorrow morning if it isn’t storming.

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