12 December 2021
The Cathedral of Learning peregrines remain on campus all winter, keeping tabs on their territory making it safe for future nesting.
On Friday I saw an adult red-tailed hawk circling up over the museum and thought for his sake, “You’re asking for it!” Sure enough, both peregrines popped off the Cathedral of Learning and zoomed down to relentlessly dive on the hawk until he flew low between buildings at Carnegie Mellon.
Scaffolding has been rising at Heinz Chapel but I paid no attention until a peregrine found it interesting. On Wednesday 8 December I noticed a dot on the top rung. Through binoculars I identified Morela checking out the new view (circled).
Meanwhile Morela and Ecco are thinking of spring even though the winter solstice is more than a week away. Their abbreviated bonding rituals are becoming more elaborate as they bow they turn their heads, nearly touch beaks. Both have been digging the scrape(*) and Morela sometimes pauses to stand in it.
Here’s a selection of their goings on in early December.
p.s. The scrape (*) is the depression in the gravel where Morela will lay her eggs.
(photos by Kate St. John and from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)