15 January 2023
Pitt peregrines Morela and Ecco stay at the Cathedral of Learning year round but have not been active at their nest in this month’s gloomy weather. Next month real courtship will begin and so will the National Aviary’s Live Falconcam. It’s hard to believe the first egg of the year is only two months away.
To get in the mood for the 2023 nesting season here’s a slideshow of last year’s successful nest, a recap of highlights, and the Top 4 videos from the National Aviary falconcams.
Pitt Peregrine Highlights, 2022
- The year began quietly with a bit of snow.
- Ecco and Morela courted in February and March. Morela laid 5 eggs:
- First egg: 3/18/2022, 08:31am
- Second egg: 3/20/2022, 20:09 = 2.5 days later
- Third egg: 3/23/2022, 04:40 = 2.4 days later … began incubation
- Fourth egg: 3/26/2022, 06:32 = 3.1 days later
- Fifth egg: 3/30/2022, 19:08 = 4.5 days later
- Hatch Day: 3 of the 5 eggs hatched on 26 April. The 4th hatched on 3 May. The 5th never hatched.
- The fourth chick hatched late and was weak from the start. It died on 7 May, four days after hatching.
- The remaining chicks grew up into fully feathered juveniles through the end of May.
- The chicks were banded on 26 May by Patti Barber of the PA Game Commission. This was the first time Morela and Ecco ever witnessed a banding. Morela was fierce (at top)!
- When the chicks began ledge walking Yellow Girl fell in the gully. Red Boy came down to visit her. She jumped back up a couple of days later.
- We had fun at Fledge Watch in early June.
- Red Boy was found dead at the Allegheny County Airport on 28 June just 23 days after he fledged.
- Both female chicks were loud! Yellow Girl demanded a handout and Silver Girl screeched all day on 6 July. Eventually they left home for good.
- Ecco and Morela molt in July and August.
- And they remain at Pitt year-round.
26 April 2022: Pitt Peregrine Chicks on Hatch Day, 4pm Feeding
28 May 2022: Ooops off the nest! One of the chicks falls in the gully.
31 May 2022: Back in the nest! Yellow Girl returns from the gully.
6 July 2022: Screeching all day … in July! Silver Girl demands a handout.
(slideshow photos by The National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh, Mike Drazdzinski at Univ of Pittsburgh, John English, Jeff Cieslak)