Category Archives: Peregrines

Pitt Fledge Watch: They Are Male

Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch, 2013
Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch, 2013 (photo by John English)

It’s been hard to schedule this year’s Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch because I can’t guess when the chicks will fledge. Their first flight depends on their sex — males fledge earlier than females — and now I’ve learned that this year’s chicks are male.

Here’s the Pitt Fledge Watch schedule, then I’ll tell you about the male/female thing.

Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch Schedule, 2018

When:  Friday, May 25 through Wednesday May 30, 11:30a – 1:30p. (Sun. May 27 is 11a-1p) Click here for the calendar.
Where: At the Schenley Plaza tent. Click here for a Google map.  Parking is free on Sundays.
Who:   Join me and/or John English of Pittsburgh Falconuts to watch peregrines and swap stories.
Except …  We will not be there in rain or thunder.  Also, Fledge Watch will end when they’re flying and hard to track.  (Example: If they fly on Tuesday we won’t be there on Wednesday.)

! Check the Events page for updates before you come to Schenley Plaza !

Why the two “female” chicks are male:
Pitt peregrine chick on Banding Day, 11 May 2018 (photo by John English)
Pitt peregrine chick on Banding Day, 11 May 2018 (photo by John English)

Are they male?  Yes.  Here’s why.

Among peregrine falcons, females are always larger than males.  At banding age the weight of peregrine chicks indicates their sex. The rough rule of thumb is:  Under 700 grams is male, greater or equal to 700 grams is female.

On Banding Day May 11 at the Cathedral of Learning, the Pitt chicks’ weights were borderline.  In that case, chicks are given the larger (“female”) bands so that the rings won’t bind if they turn out to be female.

As time passed and we saw them mature on camera Dan Brauning and Art McMorris emailed me with a revision.  Both chicks are male.

It doesn’t matter that they have larger “female” bands.  These chicks are listed as male in PA Game Commission records.

 

(photos by John English)

They’re All Off Camera

21 May 2018, 7:50am:

Last Wednesday one of the Pitt peregrine chicks was bumped into the gully below the nest (see video here).  His mother, Hope, has been feeding him down there.

I thought that the downstairs chick would eventually return to the nest but this morning the opposite happened.  When the down under chick got his breakfast the upstairs chick couldn’t stand missing out so he jumped into the gully to be fed.

Now they’re all off camera.

I doubt they’ll bother to come upstairs before they fly.

 

p.s. Dorothy, the previous female peregrine who lived at the Cathedral of Learning for 15 years, did not feed chicks in the gully. Apparently she wanted all of them together upstairs — and coincidentally on camera.  Hope doesn’t play by Dorothy’s rules.

(video from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ. of Pittsburgh)

Schenley Park Outing + Fledge Watch, May 27

Schenley Park, Flagstaff Hill in summer (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
Schenley Park, Flagstaff Hill in summer (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

If you’re in town for Memorial Day weekend — and if it isn’t thundering —  join me for one or both of these events in Schenley Park on Sunday, May 27, 2018:

Parking is FREE on Sundays.

Note! The 10-day weather forecast calls for thunderstorms on May 27 but that could change. If it’s storming these outings will be canceled. I don’t do lightning.

Schenley Park Bird and Nature Walk, May 27, 8:30a – 10:30a.

Rose-breasted grosbeak (photo by Cris Hamilton)
Rose-breasted grosbeak (photo by Cris Hamilton)

Join me for a bird & nature walk in Schenley Park on Sunday, May 27, 8:30a – 10:30a.

We’ll meet me at the Schenley Park Cafe and Visitor Center to see what’s popping in the park since our birdless walk in April.  Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Bring binoculars and field guides if you have them.

Rose-breasted grosbeaks nest in Schenley Park. Will we see one?  I hope so!

Click here for more information and in case of cancellation.

… and then …

As soon as the bird walk is over, I’ll adjourn to Schenley Plaza to look for peregrines.  (I will start the watch immediately when I get there. The 11a start time insures that peregrine fans will find me even if our bird walk runs late.)

Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch, May 27, 11a – 1p.

Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch, 2017 (photo by John English)
Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch, 2017 (photo by John English)

When will the Pitt peregrine chicks fly from the Cathedral of Learning?  I don’t know but I’m sure they’ll be fun to watch on Memorial Day weekend.

Join me at the Schenley Plaza tent on Sunday May 27 11a – 1p for a Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch. We’ll swap peregrine stories and get close-up looks at the peregrines through my scope.

Schenley Plaza tent (photo by Kate St. John)
Schenley Plaza tent

Click here for a Google map of Schenley Plaza.  Don’t forget to check the Events page for last minute updates before you come. Fledge Watch will be canceled if it’s raining or thundering.

 

p.s. A complete Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch schedule will be posted later this week.  This year it’s harder than usual to predict when these birds will fly!

(photo of a rose-breasted grosbeak by Cris Hamilton, photo of Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch 2017 by John English, photo of the Schenley Plaza tent photo by Kate St. John)

All Peregrines, All The Time

Peregrine chick at Humane Animal Rescue, 15 May 2018 (screenshot from Humane Animal Rescue Facebook page)
Peregrine chick at Humane Animal Rescue, 15 May 2018 (screenshot from Humane Animal Rescue Facebook page)

This week was a busy one for nesting peregrine falcons.  Here’s a long report from our nine peregrine locations in southwestern Pennsylvania.  Today the blog is All Peregrines, All The Time.

1. Downtown Pittsburgh’s peregrines: formerly at Third Avenue

Dori and Louie’s four chicks, taken from their nest on 8 May 2018 via a USFW Special Taking Permit, continue to thrive at Humane Animal Rescue. Click here or on the screenshot above for a video from Humane Animal Rescue’s Facebook page.

Humane Animal Rescue, Update, May 15 at 6:22pm: Rehabilitators at our Wildlife Center continue to provide care for the four chicks removed from a Third Avenue building in Downtown Pittsburgh last week. While the birds are still reliant on staff members wearing our Peregrine puppet for food, they’ve begun to show interest in eating on their own.

Meanwhile, Dori and Louie are rarely seen at their former Third Avenue nest site.  Click here for the entire story.

 

2. Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh

Feeding the topside chick, 17 May 2018, 08:32 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)
Feeding the topside chick, 17 May 2018 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)
Hope looks at the chick in the gully, 16 May 2018 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ. of Pittsburgh)
Hope looks at the underside chick in the gully, 16 May 2018 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ. of Pittsburgh)

Two chicks were banded at the Cathedral of Learning on 11 May 2018. On Wednesday, May 16, one was bumped off the nest into the gully a few feet below, so now one is topside and the other is underside.

The underside chick’s movements are easy to follow from Schenley Plaza because his mother and father, Hope and Terzo, perch above him along the bulwark.

Yes, the chicks are being fed. There are no photos of the underside feedings but here’s one, above, from topside yesterday. Watch topside activities on the National Aviary’s Cathedral of Learning falconcam.

 

3. Westinghouse Bridge over Turtle Creek, Monongahela watershed, Allegheny County

Peregrine adults at Westinghouse Bridge, 10 May 2018 (photo by April Sperfslage, PGC)
Peregrine adults at Westinghouse Bridge, 10 May 2018 (photo by April Sperfslage, PGC)
Three chicks at Westinghouees Bridge, 10 May 2018 (photo by April Sperfslage, PGC)
Three chicks at Westinghouse Bridge, 10 May 2018 (photo by April Sperfslage, PGC)

On Thursday May 10, Dan Brauning and April Sperfslage of the PA Game Commission visited the Westinghouse Bridge to check on nesting activity.  They found three chicks too young to band — about 15 days old — and two protective parents.  The male’s bands were confirmed as black/green, 19/W, nicknamed George.  The female is unbanded, nicknamed Rose for her rosy cheeks.

If you’d like to watch onsite, click here for a map of 3 viewing locations. The best one is Elder Street (yellow X).

 

4. Elizabeth Bridge, Monongahela River, Allegheny County

Peregrine perched on Elizabeth Bridge, 6 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti)
Peregrine perched on Elizabeth Bridge, 6 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

Our newest peregrine family is nesting at the Elizabeth Bridge over the Monongahela River at Elizabeth, PA. Click here for details and where to watch.

 

5. McKees Rocks Bridge, Ohio River, Allegheny County

McKees Rocks Bridge with ALCOSAN in foreground (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
McKees Rocks Bridge with ALCOSAN in foreground (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

On May 11, PGC’s Dan Brauning and April Sperfslage checked the McKees Rocks bridge for signs of nesting activity but only found two unattended eggs at last year’s nest site.  When John English and I stopped by on Tuesday May 15, we saw no peregrines on the bridge but two soaring together downriver.  It appears that this nest has failed.

 

6. Neville Island I-79 Bridge, Ohio River, Allegheny County

Peregrine at Neville Island I-79 Bridge, 10 May 2018 (photo by April Sperfslage, PGC)
Peregrine at Neville Island I-79 Bridge, 10 May 2018 (photo by April Sperfslage, PGC)

Whenever you visit the Neville Island I-79 Bridge you are likely to see a peregrine but it’s always on the Glenfield side. Dan Brauning says the nest is on that end of the bridge this year, though he couldn’t get up there to check when he and April visited on May 10.  We can’t be sure of the adults’ identities but they were confirmed three years ago as Magnum (Canton, 2010) and Beau (Cathedral of Learning, 2010, son of Dorothy and E2).

Click here for a map if you’d like to see for yourself.

 

7. Monaca-East Rochester Bridge, Rt 51, Ohio River, Beaver County

Monaca East Rochester Bridge, 2012(photo by PGC WCO Steve Leiendecker)
Monaca East Rochester Bridge, 2012 (photo by PGC WCO Steve Leiendecker)

When John English and I visited Rochester’s Riverfront Park on May 15, we were surprised to see an osprey nesting on top of the Monaca-Beaver railroad bridge.  I’d assumed the peregrines would nest there this year but Scott Gregg reports that they have moved to the Monaca-East Rochester Rt 51 bridge because of conflicts with the ospreys.  On 4/26 Scott found the peregrines nesting on the same platform under the Rt 51 deck as in prior years.  However on 5/6 and 5/13 he couldn’t confirm chicks.  John and I saw no peregrines there at all on May 15.

If you’re in the vicinity, look for peregrines on the power towers near the bridge.  Let me know what you see.

 

8. Tarentum Bridge, Allegheny River, Allegheny-Westmoreland Counties

Tarentum Bridge showing peregrine nestbox, 14 May 2018 (photo by John English)
Tarentum Bridge showing peregrine nestbox, 14 May 2018 (photo by John English)
Peregrine incubating or brooding at Tarentum Bridge, 14 May 2018 (photo digiscoped by Kate St. John)
Peregrine incubating or brooding at Tarentum Bridge, 14 May 2018 (photo digiscoped by Kate St. John)

The Tarentum Bridge is one of our newest success stories.  Several years before she moved to Pitt, Hope used to nest in cubbyholes in the arch of the Tarentum Bridge but her nest sites were always over water and dangerous for fledgings.  In 2015 the PA Game Commission installed a nestbox on the bridge pier.  Hope never used it but this year a new peregrine couple has taken up residence.

On Monday May 14 when John English and I visited the bridge we found the female in the nestbox.  John’s photo above shows the location of the nestbox.  My digiscoped photo shows the female inside it.  Stand on the sidewalk on 1st Avenue with a scope or high-powered camera for this view.

On Tuesday evening May 15, Rob Protz reported the first food delivery to the box at 5:40pm. The eggs have hatched!

The parents at this site are a male banded black/green 48/BR at the Westinghouse Bridge in 2014 and an unbanded female who has distinctive dots on her breast.

If you’d like to see this family for yourself, click here for a map.

 

9. The Graff Bridge, Route 422 Kittanning, Allegheny River, Armstrong County

Peregrine falcon at the Graff Bridge, Kittanning, 29 Mar 2017 (photo by Anthony Bruno)
Peregrine falcon at the Graff Bridge, Kittanning, 29 Mar 2017 (photo by Anthony Bruno)

This photo by Tony Bruno in 2017 shows there are indeed peregrines at the Graff Bridge, Rt 422 Kittanning, but now they are hard to see.  On Monday May 14 John English walked the Armstrong Trail at Manorville to get under the bridge for a better view.  We moved upriver a bit and were pleased to see a peregrine arrive with prey and pluck it vigorously on the West Kittanning side.  We think they’re nesting.

Peek through the trees along the Armstrong Trail, upriver from Manorville, and you might see a peregrine.  Bring a scope or a high-powered camera!

 

(photo credits:
1. Downtown: screenshot from a video on Humane Animal Rescue’s Facebook page,
2. Cathedral of Learning: photos from the National Aviary falconcams
3. Westinghouse Bridge: photos by April Sperfslage, PGC
4. Elizabeth Bridge: photo by Dana Nesiti, Eagles of Hays PA
5. McKees Rocks Bridge: photo from from Wikimedia Commons
6. Neville Island I-79 Bridge: photo by April Sperfslage, PGC
7. Monaca-East Rochester Bridge: photo by Steve Leiendecker, PGC
8. Tarentum Bridge: photos by John English and Kate St. John
9. Graff Bridge, Rt 422: photo by Anthony Bruno
)

One Chick Under The Nest

It happens every year. At 28-35 days old, one of the Pitt peregrine chicks stumbles off the nest surface into the gully below.  People watching the camera get worried. The chick will be fine.

Today (5/16/2018) at 2:52p there was confusion on the nest surface as Hope brought in a dead red-winged blackbird for the afternoon snack.  One of the chicks backed up to the edge of the box and lost his balance.  Oops!  He disappeared from view.

The video above shows what happened.  We can still hear him!  He is close by and he is very annoyed!

Soon he’ll start exploring below and eating the scraps that fell from above. His parents will bring him food. He might come back to the nest or he might not.  He doesn’t need to.  He’s fine.

CORRECTION on FRIDAY MAY 18:  I was wrong when I thought the chick’s parents would not feed him in the gully.  He is getting fed where he is so he has no reason to come back up to the gravel where you can see him on camera.

Here’s why I was confused: Dorothy (the previous female peregrine who lived at the Cathedral of Learning for 15 years) did not feed a chick in the gully; she waited for the chick to return.  After 15 years of watching Dorothy I thought all peregrines were like her.  Hope doesn’t play by Dorothy’s rules. Hope feeds the chick no matter where he is.

For more information on the area below the nest and video footage of a chick returning to the nest, see this vintage blog from 2015:   Below The Nest.

A Note to Commenters:  Watch the video of the chick climbing back into the nest at this link — Below The Nest — before you comment.

 

(video from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ. of Pittsburgh)

p.s. Humans cannot go back to the nest now without risking the death of one/both chicks.  The chicks are beyond banding age, very active but they cannot fly.  Nonetheless, they will jump to their deaths to escape predators (i.e. humans).  Human intervention at this point would be deadly.

 

 

New Peregrine Family At Elizabeth

Peregrine falcon carrying food at Elizabeth Bridge, 12 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti)
Peregrine falcon carrying food at Elizabeth Bridge, 12 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

May 15, 2018

There’s a new pair of peregrines in the Pittsburgh region and they’ve already got a family.

Back on March 4 I saw one peregrine perched on the Elizabeth Bridge as I was driving home from Westmoreland County.  I was excited because March is peregrine nesting season, they’d never nested at this bridge before, and they hadn’t been seen here since 2015.  One bird doesn’t mean a pair … but it was worth a look.

Reports fell silent for seven weeks and then two peregrines were active at the bridge in late April.  Did their eggs hatch?  If so, where?

On May 2, Elizabeth Cain saw them checking out several cubbyholes.  On May 6 Dana Nesiti photographed an adult carrying food into this truss connector.  They certainly have chicks!

Food delivery to the chicks, 12 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti)
Food delivery to the chicks, 6 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

Dana circled the peregrines’ location on his photo below. The connector is labeled “U9” because the bridge is under renovation.  Notice the paint-shrouding at deck level!

Peregrine nest site at Elizabeth Bridge, 12 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti)
Peregrine nest site at Elizabeth Bridge, 6 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

Here are more of Dana’s action shots.

Unbanded adult peregrine at Elizabeth Bridge, 12 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti)
Unbanded adult peregrine at Elizabeth Bridge, 12 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti) “Look, Ma, no bands!”
Peregrine perched on Elizabeth Bridge, 12 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti)
Peregrine perched on Elizabeth Bridge, 12 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti)
Free fall! Peregrine at Elizabeth Bridge, 13 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti)
Free fall! Peregrine at Elizabeth Bridge, 13 May 2018 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

 

I stopped by the Elizabeth Bridge on Sunday May 13 and saw the peregrines team up to chase away a turkey vulture and wail at a passing raven.  They were invisible from the gazebo on South Water Street so I digi-scoped them from the Waterfront parking lot.  Notice that the female has closed her eyes!

Adult peregrines at the Elizabeth Bridge, 13 May 2018 (photo by Kate St. John)
Adult peregrines at the Elizabeth Bridge, 13 May 2018 (photo by Kate St. John)

 

If you’d like to see these birds for yourself, stop by Elizabeth Waterfront Park on the Monongahela River in Elizabeth, PA. Go all the way down to the river. They might be out hunting when you arrive, but be patient and they’ll come home. Here’s a map:

 

The Elizabeth Bridge peregrines bring our southwestern Pennsylvania total to 9 nest sites:

  1. Downtown Pittsburgh
  2. Cathedral of Learning
  3. Westinghouse Bridge (Turtle Creek near Monongahela River)
  4. Elizabeth Bridge (Monongahela River)
  5. McKees Rocks Bridge (Ohio River)
  6. Neville Island I-79 Bridge (Ohio River)
  7. Monaca-Beaver area bridge (Ohio River)
  8. Tarentum Bridge (Allegheny River)
  9. Graff Bridge, Rt 422, Kittanning (Allegheny River)

Erie, PA’s peregrine pair makes it 10 nest sites in all of western Pennsylvania.

I’m doing a tour of the other peregrine nest sites this week.  Stay tuned for more news.

 

(photos by Dana Nesiti, Eagles of Hays PA and Kate St. John (see captions). Map embedded from Google maps)

Update on the Downtown Peregrines

Four peregrine chicks from the Downtown nest being fed by a peregrine puppet at Humane Animal Rescue (photo from Humane Animal Rescue)
Four peregrine chicks from the Downtown nest fed by a peregrine puppet at Humane Animal Rescue, 11 May 2018 (photo from Humane Animal Rescue)

On Tuesday May 8, 2018 four peregrine chicks were taken from Dori and Louie’s Third Avenue nest in Downtown Pittsburgh through a Special Taking Permit granted to developer BET Investments by U.S. Fish and Wildlife.  (Federal wildlife agents did not come to retrieve the chicks.  They told the PA Game Commission to do it for them.)

Chicks are settling in and gaining weight:

Update from Humane Animal Rescue on their Facebook page, May 11, 2018: We’re pleased to report that the four chicks admitted to our Wildlife Center on Tuesday are progressing well. They’ve each gained weight & have begun to recognize our Peregrine puppet as their caregiver. HAR Wildlife Center staff members continue to carefully monitor the chicks while donning ghillie suits & the puppet, feeding & cleaning them multiple times per day.

You can see the puppet in the photo at top. Here’s what a ghillie suit looks like:

Ghillie suit (photo from Optics Planet)
Ghillie suit (photo from Optics Planet)

 

Sex of the chicks:

Peregrine chick from Downtown nest being banded at Humane Animal Rescue, 8 May 2018 (photo from Humane Animal Rescue)
Peregrine chick from Downtown nest being banded at Humane Animal Rescue, 8 May 2018 (photo from Humane Animal Rescue)

The sex of peregrine chicks is determined by their weight at banding — females are much heavier than males — but sometimes their weights are borderline.  Among these four, two were clearly males at banding and two were deemed too close to call. “Unknowns” are given female bands because the larger ring will not bind either sex.

Update on the parents, Dori and Louie:

Construction near the peregrines' former nest site on Third Avenue (pohto by Doug Cunzolo)
Construction near the peregrines’ former nest site on Third Avenue (pohto by Doug Cunzolo)

The adult peregrines, Dori and Louie, are generally absent now from Third Avenue.  Construction has moved to the roof of Keystone Flats, the building that sparked the controversy and led to their chicks’ removal.  Workers will add another floor and a rooftop deck.  Doug Cunzolo stopped by Third Avenue on Friday morning May 11, 2018, took the photo above and reported:

This morning I stopped up at the 3rd. ave. nest site & talked with 2 of the workers there. They said the adults come by from time to time but not to the nest site itself. They were not there at around 8-8:30 am while I was there. There are cranes from the next door parking lot up over the roof & near the nest site moving steel & concrete block up onto the roof. So too much activity for them I would think.

When I stopped by late Sunday the area was quiet and there were no peregrines around.  Dori and Louie have lots of other places to hang out Downtown.  They have not been seen at the Gulf Tower.

 

Follow the four chicks’ progress at Humane Animal Rescue’s Facebook page.

Though the developer is paying for the chicks’ upkeep you can show your support by donating at the Humane Animal Rescue’s Donation page. Be sure to select Designation “Injured Wildlife” from the pull-down menu! (The chicks are not injured. That’s just the name that insures the gift goes to the Wildlife Center where they are housed.)

 

(photo credits: chicks’ photos from Humane Animal Rescue Facebook page; Third Avenue construction photo by Doug Cunzolo)

Two Peregrine Chicks Banded at Pitt

Pitt peregrine chick banded at Pitt today, 11 May 2018 (photo by Peter Bell)
One of the peregrine chicks banded at Pitt today, 11 May 2018 (photo by Peter Bell)

This morning two peregrine chicks, ages 23 and 24 days old, were banded at the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning.  Lead Bander Dan Brauning, PA Game Commission Wildlife Diversity Chief, was assisted by PGC Biologist Tammy Colt.

This is the third year that Hope and Terzo have nested at the Cathedral of Learning so they knew something was up this morning and were especially vigilant.

Hope is vigilant before the banding, 11 May 2018 (photo by John English)
Hope is vigilant before the banding, 11 May 2018 (photo by John English)

When Dan and Tammy came out on the ledge, Terzo zoomed just above them and Hope jumped into the nest and started to shout.  She was so loud that she distorted the audio on the falconcam and could be heard 20 floors below!  See the video below.

After Dan removed one chick, Hope guarded the second one so closely that he had to nudge her gently aside with a broom.  She bit the broom!

Indoors, the chicks were given health checkups (both healthy!) and — based on their weight — were given female bands.  They were returned to the nest in less than half an hour.

Peregrine chick gets a health checkup, 11 May 2018 (photo by John English)
Peregrine chick gets a health checkup, 11 May 2018 (photo by John English)
Peregrine chick is banded at Cathedral of Learning, 11 May 2018 (photo by John English)
Peregrine chick is banded at Cathedral of Learning, 11 May 2018 (photo by John English)

Hope yelled again as the chicks were returned to the nest.  See video below.

The reunited family was soon back to normal.

And the youngsters made the news:

I will add more news reports as I hear of them.  If you know of a report I’ve missed, please leave a comment with a link.

 

(photos by Peter Bell and John English (see captions). Video from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ. of Pittsburgh)

Today Is Banding Day

Pitt peregrine chicks, 10 May 2018, 4:10pm (photo from the National Aviary snapshot camera at Univ of Pittsburgh)
Pitt peregrine chicks, 10 May 2018, 4:10pm (photo from the National Aviary snapshot camera at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Today, 11 May 2018, is banding day for the peregrine falcon chicks at the Cathedral of Learning. The event is closed to the public (the room has a strict occupancy limit!) but you’ll see some of the action on camera.

The first hint will be the sound of “kakking” as Hope and Terzo react when Pennsylvania Game Commission‘s Dan Brauning  goes out on the ledge to retrieve the chicks.

The chicks will receive health checks and leg bands and be returned to the nest in less than half an hour.

Stay tuned for an update on who’s who.

 

(photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ .of Pittsburgh)

Downtown Peregrine Chicks Removed From Nest

Dori waits at Lawrence Hall across the street from her former nest (photo by Lori Maggio)
Dori waits at Lawrence Hall across the street from her former nest (photo by Lori Maggio)

I was birding on the boardwalk at Magee Marsh, Ohio yesterday when I received news that the Downtown peregrine chicks had been removed from their nest on Tuesday May 8 around 9am.

Many reporters were on hand to record the event. Here are four news articles (media in alphabetical order).

Hours later, Lori Maggio visited Third Avenue at lunchtime and found Dori and Louie perched on Lawrence Hall across the street from their former nest.

Louie and Dori perched on Lawrence Hall hours after their chicks were removed from the Third Avenue nest (photo by Lori Maggio)
Louie (top left) and Dori (lower right) perched on Lawrence Hall hours after their chicks were removed from the Third Avenue nest (photo by Lori Maggio)

They watched calmly because there were no people on the roof.  Eventually the peregrines will be less vigilant, especially if people stay away from the nest-roof area for a while.

At top, Dori watches from across the street.  Below, Louie watches from the top parapet of Lawrence Hall.

Louie watching from the roof of Lawrence Hall, 8 May 2018 (photo by Lori Maggio)
Louie watching from the roof of Lawrence Hall, 8 May 2018 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Their chicks were taken to Humane Animal Rescue where Pittsburgh’s injured peregrines go for rehab and recovery — especially Dori’s chicks who land on the street, hit buildings, break bones and sustain concussions from Downtown’s many hazards. Humane Animal Rescue will make sure the chicks don’t become habituated to humans and will work with the Game Commission to release them at a wild cliff. Human Animal Rescue does an excellent job.  (See KDKA video)

The silver lining for the chicks is this:  These four won’t face death at fledging time. I have seen too many die gruesome deaths because the Third Avenue nest is too low.  Half die within two weeks, sometimes slowly and painfully before they are discovered.

These four chicks will do well.

 

(photos of Downtown peregrines by Lori Maggio, 8 May 2018)

p.s. A Caution to Commenters: During this emotional time … if you post a comment that could inflame others, I may edit or delete it.