26 May 2022
This morning one male and two female peregrine chicks were banded at the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning by Patti Barber, Endangered Bird Biologist from the PA Game Commission (PGC).
This spring is the second year Morela and Ecco have nested at Pitt and the first time their chicks have been banded. Morela had no chicks in 2020 (males Terzo and Ecco could not settle on which of them was her mate), and in 2021 PGC conducted no/few peregrine bandings.
Morela and Ecco are unbanded, so this was a first time experience for them. Morela shouted from above the nest as Patti Barber collected her chicks.
Indoors, the chicks were given health checks (they are very healthy!), weighed to determine their sex (one male, two females) and given two leg bands: a black/green color band that can be read through binoculars and a silver USFW band.
Patti placed a bit of colored tape on each USFW silver band which will be visible on the falconcam and in photos: Red for the male chick, Yellow and Blue for the female chicks.
In less than 40 minutes the chicks were back at the nest and soon their lives returned to normal.
Next Tuesday 31 May the PA Game Commission, the National Aviary and Pitt will issue press releases about the banding. Stay tuned for my followup article that will be loaded with photos, media links, and perhaps a video.
Meanwhile watch the peregrine chicks at the National Aviary falconcam. They’ll start walking off the nest around 1 June.
(photos by Kate St. John)