Out of Sight, But Not Out of Mind

Ecco and Carla bow at the nest, 31 August 2023, 4:17pm (photo from the National Aviary snapshot camera at Univ of Pittsburgh)

1 September 2023

The National Aviary’s streaming camera is off for the season so the Pitt peregrines are virtually out of sight, but they are not off my mind. Every day I check the Cathedral of Learning’s ledges to see where they’re perched and I look at the snapshot camera in case they’ve been to the nest.

Activity at the nest picked up this week because fall is coming and migration is underway. The length of day is similar to spring and they’re taking an interest in songbird migration as prey flies overhead at night.

Ecco and Carla bowed at the nest three times yesterday, including an extended bowing session, to strengthen their pair bond and their claim on the nest.

All of Pitt’s resident peregrines(*) stay home for the winter and I expect Ecco and Carla to do the same. They don’t need to migrate because there’s plenty of food in the winter (pigeons and starlings) and their “cliff” is too valuable to lose by vacating it for six months.

So I’m still watching. The Pitt peregrines may be out of sight but they are not out of my mind.

(*) There’s a lot of history that allows me to say that. Peregrines have lived at the Cathedral of Learning for 22 years, spanning 8 adult birds.

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

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