14 January 2024
As we anticipate peregrine nesting season at University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning, let’s take a look back at last year’s highlights. Well actually “low lights.” The nest was not successful last year but the reason why gives us hope for great things for 2024.
Pitt Peregrine Highlights in 2023 (click the links for more detail)
The year began at the Cathedral of Learning with Ecco and Morela, the resident male and female. We hoped for a first egg around St. Patrick’s Day, 17 March.
In early February Morela seemed distracted, obviously checking the sky during a courtship session on the 6th. The distraction continued.
By 21 March Morela had not laid an egg, yet she disappeared for four days so I wondered if there was a female challenger for the nest. When Morela returned on 25 March the intruder did not stay away. For 4-5 weeks Morela tried without success to lay an egg.
On 14 May a banded female peregrine, new to the Cathedral of Learning, showed up on camera. Carla hatched at the Indiana Michigan Power Center (IMPC) Building in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2020 and flew here on her own. Carla was named when she was banded (Black/Blue S/07).
Though it was too late to start a family in late May, Carla and Ecco have strengthened their pair bond ever since. This 4 minute video from 30 July, sped up to double-time, shows the pair bowing for an extended period. Notice that there was no sound on the video last year. I promise there will be sound this year!
Carla will nest for the first time this spring as we watch her on the National Aviary’s Falconcam that will begin streaming on 1 February.
Until the stream begins, view the nest from the CL snapshot page and get in practice ahead of time. Click here to learn how to tell Carla and Ecco apart.
(credits are in the captions)