Seven Years After Dorothy

Dorothy at the Cathedral of Learning, 5 March 2012 (photo by Pat Szczepanski)

1 December 2022

Seven years ago this week Dorothy, the peregrine matriarch at the Cathedral of Learning, permanently disappeared and was replaced by “Hope” a bird that had formerly nested at the Tarentum Bridge. (Click here to read about the changeover.)

Dorothy was the bird that got me hooked on peregrines. By December 2015 I had watched her for 14 years and was not surprised she disappeared because she was elderly and in ill health. It was hard to watch Dorothy’s decline. She had been so vibrant in her prime.

Much has changed in seven years. Dorothy’s successor was a grave disappointment but Hope’s successor, Morela, is as queenly as Dorothy herself. We are lucky to have her.

Today in a trip down memory lane here’s a video tribute to Dorothy.

The key to Dorothy’s long life may have that E2 was such a good mate.

p.s. Hope turned out to be Hopeless but that’s a story for another day.

(photo at top by Pat Szczepanski in 2012)

3 thoughts on “Seven Years After Dorothy

  1. Oh my, can it really be seven years already!? Thank you so much, Kate, for the beautiful reminder of our Queen of the Cathedral.

    Finding the link to the webcam at the Cathedral was the start of my interest in watching wildlife cams. There are so many opportunities to learn about nature, and my fascination with Dorothy’s nest started it all. She made it seem so easy. Still miss her, and appreciate how many peregrines she and her mates added to their population. Thanks again, for the tribute, Kate.

  2. I too cannot believe it has been 7 years, Kate! She was beloved by so many of us. I am also thankful for dear, sweet Beauty. Before them, it was Mariah and Kaver for me. My first pair, and I have been watching ever since! They all may be gone from our view, but are forever in our hearts. <3

  3. I sure enjoyed getting to know Dorothy over the years. I was fortunate that I worked across the street at the museum. So, I would go have lunch on the grounds around the Cathedral and get to hear them and sometimes see them out and about. Many fond memories. She is missed. My wife and I created a coloring / information page in honor of her back then, posted: 16 May, 2015: Thank you to Alex Stewart, “Doc”, Dean of Honors College, U. of Pitt., whom this illustration is dedicated to. And thank you Kate for reminding us of a powerful bird that was in our lives and helping make the nesting box here a reality at Pitt. – Mark & Cathy

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