6 August 2023
Each year the National Aviary falconcam at the Cathedral of Learning runs from February through July to cover the peregrine breeding season. Streaming ended on 31 July but just the day before, on 30 July, Ecco and Carla bowed for a long time at the nest and Carla occasionally ate some gravel. (*more information on gravel below)
The entire bowing session lasted 8 minutes but they paused a lot so I sped up the video to double-time. At 3 minutes in, it looks as if Carla has left but she’s merely off camera. As she comes close again Ecco resumes e-chupping and bowing. Finally Carla flies away and Ecco stands up straight to watch her leave.
Though the bowing looks like courtship they won’t be starting a family anytime soon. Ecco and Carla live at the Cathedral of Learning all year long and bow to strengthen their pair bond, even in July.
The pair is generally less active in the summer but they’ll perk up when fall migration begins in earnest as they watch birds flying south over Oakland.
You can still see them at the nest — if they’re there — via the snapshot camera.
(*) Carla swallows bits of gravel to help her digestion. Here’s why:
(photo and video from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)