14 May 2023
Two weeks ago I wrote that there would be no peregrine eggs this year at the Cathedral of Learning because Morela was unable to lay any. She crouched and strained but appeared to be egg bound.
Since then Morela has had days when she looks very ill, then seems to recover a little, then looks ill again. Though she stopped standing over the scrape as shown above, she has not returned to her formerly energetic self. Her bleary eyes indicate she feels unwell.
Ecco knows that she is ill.
He does what he can by bringing her food which he prepares more carefully than usual, as if he’s making it easy to eat. Unfortunately it is not enough.
On the morning of 7 May Morela felt bad enough that she left the nest for 36 hours. That day I found her facing the wall in the 38th floor southeast cache area.
She returned to the nest at 5:34pm on 8 May and seemed slightly better but in the next few days her health declined. In this snapshot she is leaning to the side, something she never did when healthy.
During a difficult night on May 11-12 Morela leaned a lot and may have lost her balance a couple of times. On Friday 12 May at 5:51am she left the nest and has not been seen since.
Her long absence and ill health indicate we probably won’t see her again.
Life goes on in the peregrine world. If Morela is gone a new female will come to the Cathedral of Learning to be Ecco’s mate. This year it’s too late to raise a family but if all goes well there will be peregrine chicks next year.
Hoping for happier times ahead.
UPDATE: Well, that didn’t take long! A new, banded FEMALE peregrine came to the nestbox on 14 May at 2:27 PM.
Here she is at the nest this afternoon. I thought this was Morela but when I looked at the image I can see that SHE’S BANDED! (Morela was unbanded.)
(photos from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)