10 June 2021
Peregrine news from the Cathedral of Learning, Downtown Pittsburgh, Westinghouse Bridge and Tarentum Bridge.
Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh:
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.
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
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
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:
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.