Peregrine News Around Town, June 10

Composite photo: Morela at Pitt, 8 June 2021 (photo by Jeff Cieslak)

10 June 2021

Peregrine news from the Cathedral of Learning, Downtown Pittsburgh, Westinghouse Bridge and Tarentum Bridge.

Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh:

Juvie peregrine coming in for a landing, 8 June 2021 (photo by Jeff Cieslak)

After two young peregrines fledged at Pitt on June 4 & 5 there was a long gap until the next bird flew. Two of four were still waiting to fly on 8 June when Jeff Cieslak photographed Morela coming in for a landing on the lightning rod (composite at top) and a juvie puttering around the building. The two early birds were already skilled enough to chase their parents.

Yesterday 9 June at 9am I found chick #3 had fledged and was perched on 15th North (Fifth Ave side) patio edge. At that point the fourth had still not flown.

I plan to check again this morning.

Downtown Pittsburgh:

  • Dori on Lawrence Hall windowsill, 9 June 2021 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Lori Maggio saw the entire Downtown peregrine family at Third Avenue on Wednesday 9 June at 7am. Dori and Terzo watched from across the street as three chicks called and flapped at the nest opening.

Today she saw only two at the nest opening. Did one fledge?

Meanwhile the Gulf Tower, site of a peregrine nestbox, was condemned this week after a large electrical fire damaged it on 19 May 2021. The damage and condemnation will not affect the Downtown peregrines at all. They have not nested at Gulf Tower since 2017 and show no inclination to go back there.

Monongahela Watershed: Westinghouse Bridge

Adult female at Westinghouse Bridge, 6 June 2021 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

On 6 June, Dana Nesiti saw both fledglings and the banded mother peregrine at the Westinghouse Bridge. As he snapped photographs …

I watched one of the juvies fly head on into one of the pillars, tumble down to the arch below, shake it off and scamper up to the top.

— email from Dana Nesiti, 6 June 2021
  • Peregrines at Westinghouse Bridge, 6 June 2021 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

Yesterday morning PennDOT found a juvenile peregrine walking on the Westinghouse Bridge road deck and sidewalk. It eventually walked off the bridge and stood in some weeds where PGC Game Warden Doug Bergman retrieved it. To be on the safe side he took it to HAR Verona for a checkup though it appeared to be in good condition. I wonder if this is the juvenile who banged his head a few days earlier. (We can’t know since they are not banded.)

Allegheny River, Tarentum Bridge:

Tarentum Bridge, Allegheny River, 2 June 2012 (photo by Kate St. John)
Tarentum Bridge, Allegheny River, 2 June 2012 (photo by Kate St. John)

Construction started on the Tarentum Bridge this week but will not adversely affect the juvenile peregrines because they fly so well and can leave the bridge if necessary. Only two of the three juveniles have been seen since 26 May. We believe the third died in late May.

In other sad news, I learned yesterday that long time Tarentum peregrine watcher and hummingbird fan Rob Protz died of a heart attack this week (obituary here). I will miss his excellent proofreading skills that kept me on my toes. I’m sure you’ll see more errors in my posts.

(photos by Jeff Cieslak, Lori Maggio, Dana Nesiti and Kate St. John)

6 thoughts on “Peregrine News Around Town, June 10

  1. Amazing photos and news. The pic of the underside of the flying peregrine is so gorgeous. Thank you, Dana, and all of the photographers and, of course, Kate, for making all of the photos available for everyone to enjoy.

  2. Dana’s photos are just stunning. Thanks for sharing them with us. So much good peregrine news this season, finally. Now let’s hope Rob is soaring with them.

  3. Sorry to hear about Rob. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him while looking for birds at the T. Bridge park.

  4. God bless Rob!
    Well written article gorgeously depicted! Made me feel like l was there watching the birds myself. Thank you all who made this possible.

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