Weak Fourth Chick is Gone

Wet Morela feeds 3 chicks, 6 May 2022, 4:24pm (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

7 May 2022

Pittsburgh is in the throes of heavy rain(*) and it is still raining this morning. Since food was hard to find in yesterday’s steady downpour, the Pitt peregrine chicks did not eat often and there were fewer opportunities to count heads and look for the weak fourth chick. However, every time the family moved it was clear the fourth chick was gone.

The last time he participated in a feeding was the day before, on 5 May. He was fed standing up at 8:21am but collapsed minutes later. Morela fed him on his back.

Morela feeds weak 4th chick on his back, 5 May 2022, 8:33am (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

The fourth chick was absent from subsequent feedings until his lifeless body was seen on the gravel behind his siblings at 3:04pm (below).

4th chick expired at back of huddle, 5 May 2022, 3:04pm (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

By yesterday morning he was gone. Perhaps one of the adults removed his body overnight. He does not appear on camera on 6 May 2002. See the time lapse video below.

Meanwhile the remaining chicks are thriving and, at 11 days old, have grown their second down and started their wing and tail feathers. Tomorrow their ears will be distinct.

Watch them grow at the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh.

(*) By Saturday morning 7 May 2022, Pittsburgh had reached record rainfall for the month-to-date of 2.87 inches.

(photos and video from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

7 thoughts on “Weak Fourth Chick is Gone

  1. Is it safe to assume the last egg isn’t going to hatch either? I haven’t seen anyone taking care of it.

  2. Thank you Kate for a job well done with timely updates on this family. ?? I appreciate knowing I can come here for the latest, most accurate information.

  3. This last storm dropped 6&1/3 inches of rain into my rain gauge in Squirrel Hill near CMU as of about noon today. Thanks for your great blog!

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