16 March 2023
Today’s happy news is that the new female peregrine, Black/Blue S/07, who visited the Cathedral of Learning nestbox on Sunday was back again yesterday for 30 minutes. It was another hot sunny day so of course she decided to sunbathe …
… but before stretching out in the sun she spent some time looking around. Here are two minutes from her half hour visit.
Watch for her and the resident male, Ecco, on the National Aviary Falconcam at the Cathedral of Learning.
Also yesterday, peregrine fans researched her early days and banding history. Kathy Majich sent me a news article that said S/07 was named “Carla” on Banding Day.
For the eighth consecutive year, falcon father Jamie and mother Moxie squawked loudly and angrily Monday as their baby chicks that hatched atop Indiana Michigan Power Center (IMPC) were briefly removed from their nest to receive identification bands.
The three male chicks were named Bolt, Unity and Artemis, and the one female was named Carla.
… We used the opportunity to invite I&M employees to select the names – and they submitted more than 650 names for consideration.
… [The name] Carla is in recognition of one of I&M’s respected leaders, who is retiring this summer after more than 30 years with the company.— Indiana Michigan Power Press Release: 4 Falcon Chicks Named and Banded at Indiana Michigan Power Center, 19 May 2020
Who is Carla’s namesake? I contacted Tracy Warner in Media Relations at Indiana Michigan Power, a subsidiary of AEP, and he confirmed that Carla the Falcon was named for Carla E. Simpson who retired in the summer of 2020.
Carla Simpson started as a clerk/cashier in 1988 and by the time she retired was a director of the company and listed in the Annual Report. Interviewed in 2017 for the AEP Retirees newsletter, Carla Simpson said something that really resonates with me.
Q (asked of Carla E. Simpson): What is the biggest challenge you have faced and overcome in your career at AEP?
A: The biggest challenge I have faced as a woman is not being heard at times. Sometimes I can make a suggestion or statement and it is overlooked, but another person may make the same suggestion and be heard. This is a challenge that I have not yet overcome but I am working on it. It sometimes requires me to restate what I said or ask for clarity as to how the other person’s suggestion or statement is different from mine.— AEP’s Outstanding Women: Carla Simpson, March 2017
We’ve also learned that the Cathedral of Learning was not Carla the Falcon’s first stop in Pittsburgh. In early April Jeff Cieslak tracked down a new pair of peregrines at the West End Bridge, a place where none have ever nested before.
The female was banded and by 4 May Jeff finally got a shot of her bands pictured below. Jeff wrote, “This kinda looks like S/01 Black/Blue? Could be green. …. [The bird] flew off and dropped a feather into the river, P5 left, I think, and that pretty much confirms that it’s the female.”
I can understand why Carla left the West End Bridge for the Cathedral of Learning. In 2020 she hatched on a 27-story building, the Indiana Michigan Power Center.
She is now preparing for a long stay on a 40-story building, the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning, as seen from Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park below.
You can watch Carla and her future mate, Ecco, on the National Aviary Falconcam at the Cathedral of Learning. It is probably too late in the season to start nesting so they won’t be on camera frequently. However Carla and Ecco are getting to know each other and that may involve bowing at the nest. Wait and see.
(see photo and video credits in the captions)