Nestbox Maintenance With Peregrines

10 January 2023

Yesterday morning with help from Pitt Facilities Manager Dante Bongiorni, Gary Tuscan of the National Aviary and I conducted annual maintenance at the Pitt peregrine nestbox and falconcams.

As we came up the elevator we had no idea that Ecco was preening at the nest with a bit of fluff on his head. He must have alerted Morela because she was already watching us through the window when we arrived indoors. I should have taken her picture but was too preoccupied with the task ahead:

  • Clean the camera covers to remove the dirt that distorts the images.
  • Remove large debris from the gravel surface.
  • Assess deterioration at bottom left of the back wall. If it’s a hole, measure the wall and return later to install a replacement panel.
Deterioration on the back wall of Pitt peregrine nestbox (photo, October 2022)

I was surprised when Morela strafed the nest rail and kakked when we reached the nest. This is new behavior for January, the non-breeding season, but it may be that our presence in the room near the nestbox was unusual since that room has not been used for a long time. Morela must have been remembering Banding Day last May.

I cleaned the cameras and Gary measured the back wall (slideshow above). The wall has a hole so Gary must return to fix it. I’ll have to come back, too, because the camera is still rather dirty. Before and After shown below.

Before and After: The sun lights up the dirt on the snapshot camera (photos from the National Aviary snapshot camera at Univ of Pittsburgh)

When we come back Morela will get another chance to feel triumphant that we left because she chased us off. 😉

(photos from the National Aviary snapshot camera at Univ of Pittsburgh)

1 thought on “Nestbox Maintenance With Peregrines

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you Kate, Dante and Gary for cleaning up and maintaining the nesting box. It’s quite a mess after the hatchlings have fledged. Thanks for getting it ready for a new “rite of spring.” Looking forward to seeing it.

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