Category Archives: Peregrines

Peregrine Update, July 2021

Juvenile peregrine at Westinghouse Bridge, 26 June 2021 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

6 July 2021, updated 22 July

By mid-July all the peregrine nests in southwestern Pennsylvania will have either fledged or failed. Of the 11 sites we track in the region we know that 7 were successful, 2 had no evidence of nesting, and 2 had no observers during the critical nesting period (therefore no news). Here’s a summary updated on 22 July 2021.

  1. Pittsburgh: Cathedral of Learning, Allegheny County — SUCCESS
  2. Pittsburgh: Downtown, Allegheny County — SUCCESS
  3. Monongahela Watershed: Westinghouse Bridge, Allegheny County — SUCCESS
  4. Monongahela River: Speers Railroad Bridge, Washington County — NO NEWS
  5. Ohio River: McKees Rocks Bridge, Allegheny County — SUCCESS
  6. Ohio River: Neville Island I-79 Bridge, NO PEREGRINES DUE TO CONSTRUCTION
  7. Ohio River: Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge, Beaver County, PEREGRINES PRESENT, NO NEST
  8. Ohio River: Monaca RR or Monaca-East Rochester Bridge, Beaver County — SUCCESS
  9. Allegheny River: 62nd Street to Aspinwall Railroad Bridge — SUCCESS
  10. Allegheny River: Tarentum Bridge, Allegheny & Westmoreland Counties — SUCCESS
  11. Allegheny River: Rt 422 Graff Bridge Kittanning, Armstrong County — NO NEWS

Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh:

Adult peregrine on St. Paul’s Cathedral steeple, 1 July 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)
Juvie peregrine on Webster Hall antenna, 1 July 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

Most recent news: 5 July 2021.

Four young peregrines fledged from the Cathedral of Learning during 4 to 11 June. Their parents remain at Pitt after the “kids” have left, but the young have not gone far yet. Individually they circle back to see if their parents will feed them. The answer in July is no.

On 1 July I saw an adult perched on St. Paul Cathedral’s steeple watching a juvie on Webster Hall antenna (photos above).

On 2 & 3 July a youngster with pale head markings visited the nest, perhaps hoping for a handout. Ecco had been standing in the shadows but left quickly. (Slideshow below.)

On 5 July a juvie flew by outside my window. Peregrines are my Yard Bird.

Downtown Pittsburgh:

Juvenile peregrine on the Rescue Porch, Downtown Pittsburgh, 15 June 2021 (photo by Maria Ochoa)

Most recent news: 15 June 2021.

When young peregrines fledge from the Third Avenue nest they often have to be rescued from the ground and placed on the Rescue Porch to start over. We presume all three youngsters fledged this year, probably by 17 June, but we know of only one rescue. Maria Ochoa photographed him as he lingered on the rescue porch 12 to 15 June. No news is good news at this site.

Juvenile peregrine on the Rescue Porch, Downtown Pittsburgh, 15 June 2021 (photo by Maria Ochoa)

Monongahela Watershed: Westinghouse Bridge:

  • Westinghouse Bridge, 26 June 2021 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

Most recent news: 4 July 2021.

Dana Nesiti has visited the Westinghouse Bridge often in the past month and brought back some great photographs with news of the two juveniles.

On 9 June a young peregrine walking on the Westinghouse Bridge (on the road!) was rescued by Game Warden Doug Bergman and checked for injuries at HAR Verona. The bird was healthy so Berman returned it to the bridge catwalk that same day.

Though both juveniles are present, it was two weeks before Dana saw them at the same time. On 26 June he found the entire family of four (slideshow above). Last weekend the parents were still supplying the youngsters’ food. The slideshow includes a photo from the Fourth of July.

Ohio River: McKees Rocks Bridge, Allegheny County:

McKees Rocks Bridge (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Most recent news: end of June 2021.

About a week ago Joe Fedor contacted Art McMorris with news that he had seen fledglings at the McKees Rocks Bridge. Though we don’t have photos, we do know the nest has been successful.

Ohio River, Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge:

Ambridge Bridge, 20 Feb 2020 (photo by Kate St. John)

From Art McMorris on 13 July 2021: “At least one peregrine, and often a pair, has been seen at the Ambridge-Aliquippa bridge quite regularly throughout the nesting season. Most recently a single peregrine June 30 per an eBird report by Mark Vass. But no evidence of nesting or young.”

Ohio River, Monaca – East Rochester Bridge:

Agitated adult peregrine at Monaca-East Rochester Bridge, 19 June 2021 (photo by Jeff Cieslak)

Most recent news: 19 June 2021.

This year observers thought the peregrines would nest at the Monaca Railroad Bridge but the birds used their alternate site instead, the Monaca-East Rochester Bridge.

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

After Mark Vass reported them in mid June, Jeff Cieslak stopped by with his camera.

Though I had seen the falcons courting on the Monaca RR bridge earlier in the year, it seems they nested on the Rt 51 bridge [Monaca-East Rochester Bridge]. This morning, there were two adults and two juveniles out and about. The adults seem to like the electrical tower just west of the bridge on the Monaca side, which you can see from the adjacent neighborhood. I would advise against walking across the bridge (even though there is a sidewalk), as the falcons seem to find pedestrians upsetting.(Hat tip to Mark Vass for spotting them in the area earlier in the week)

— Jeff Cieslak, Pittsburgh Falconuts on Facebook GROUP, 19 June 2021
Annoyed adult peregrine at Monaca-East Rochester Bridge, 19 June 2021 (photo by Jeff Cieslak)
Juvenile peregrine opens his wings, Monca-East Rochester Bridge, 19 June 2021 (photo by Jeff Cieslak)
Angry adult peregrine, Monaca-East Rochester Bridge, 19 June 2021 (photo by Jeff Cieslak)
Juvenile in flight, Monaca-East Rochester Bridge, 19 June 2021 (photo by Jeff Cieslak)

By now the young are flying well, so it’s safe to walk across the bridge.

Allegheny River, 62nd Street Bridge:

62nd Street Bridge over the Allegheny River, 2007 (photo by Dan Yagusic)

Nesting had not been reported at the 62nd Street Bridge since 2019 though peregrines were seen occasionally this spring from 62nd Street to the Aspinwall railroad bridge.

On 19 July Marie left a comment that she and some friends had seen and heard two peregrines while kayaking under the 62nd Street Bridge on 18 July.

Adult peregrine at 62nd Street Bridge, 21 July 2021 (digiscoped by Kate St. John)

I visited the bridge on 21 July and found an unbanded adult peregrine perched and preening on the superstructure. The bird “kakked” at something on the Sharpsburg side of the bridge, clearly territorial.

When the peregrine flew off I packed up to leave, then saw and heard a juvenile peregrine chasing and begging from the adult. Success! Peregrines nested at the 62nd Street Bridge this year.

Allegheny River, Tarentum Bridge:

Adult female peregrine at Tarentum Bridge, 10 June 2021 (photo by Dave Brooke)

Most recent news: 10 June 2021.

Three youngsters at the Tarentum Bridge fledged six weeks ago, then one went missing after 26 May. By the week of 7 June the remaining two were flying well enough to leave the bridge when construction began. The last update came from Dave Brooke on 10 June when he found the adult female perched at the bridge.

Remaining sites:

We still have no news from the sites listed below. If you’ve heard anything, even if the news is a month old, please leave a message in the comments.

  • Monongahela River: Speers Railroad Bridge, Washington County
  • Allegheny River: Rt 422 Graff Bridge Kittanning, Armstrong County

(photos by Kate St. John, Maria Ochoa, Dana Nesiti, Jeff Cieslak, and Dave Brooke)

Peregrine Falcons as Yard Birds

19 June 2021

Addicted birders like me keep lists of the birds they see. At first it’s a Life List of each new species. Eventually it morphs into listing by state or county or a yard list of birds seen at home.

When I lived in Greenfield warblers were on my yard list during spring migration. Without a backyard in Oakland there are no warblers outside my window but I now have peregrine falcons as Yard Birds.

On Thursday 17 June I was reading a book on the roof deck of my building (with view at top) when I heard a young peregrine whining. Where was it? Was it in trouble? No.

I found Ecco on St. Paul’s steeple with a juvie female nearby (she was at the pink circle in photo below). When he moved out of her sight-line she fell silent (Ecco moved to red circle on left of steeple). When he sneaked over to peek around the corner she saw him and whined again.

I tweeted at 11:05am: Two Pitt peregrines on steeple at St. Paul’s Cathedral: Ecco + whining female youngster, probably fledgling #4. She is not stuck, is perched just fine and whining in the most annoying way.

Moments later her brother showed up and perched above her (white circle) hoping to share lunch if her whining was successful. At 11:12am: Now 3 peregrines on St. Paul’s Cathedral steeple. Male juvie joined the group. Whiny juvie female still whining.

Ecco left to go hunting.

That evening an adult peregrine flew in from the northeast, heading for the Cathedral of Learning. I saw one again last evening outside this window.

Looking east, 19 June 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

Though I don’t have a backyard I do have Yard Birds. 🙂

By the way, if I’d been watching from the roof deck on Tuesday afternoon (15 June) I could have seen what Pushkar Mutha captured in these videos. Thanks for sharing them, Pushkar!

Playing in the sky #1, video by Pushkar Mutha

Playing in the sky #2, video by Pushkar Mutha. Coincidentally, the background music seems to fit their activity.

Young peregrine lands on the Cathedral of Learning lightning rod, video by Pushkar Mutha.

UPDATE on 19 June: At 10am both adult peregrines were perched on Heinz Chapel steeple. At noon two juvenile peregrines whined from the roof of Webster Hall.

(photos by Kate St. John, videos by Pushar Mutha)

Playing In The Sky

Three juvenile peregrines play Chase Me in Ohio, 2014 (photo by Chad+Chris Saladin)

16 June 2021

Yesterday afternoon I scanned the Cathedral of Learning with binoculars as I walked through Carnegie Mellon’s campus. Off in the distance I saw three juvenile peregrines playing in the sky.

The moment was perfect for a game of tag with brilliant sun and a strong gusty wind. I could see the three flipping and dipping in a game that builds important skills for hunting and courtship.

The photo at top, taken in Ohio by Chad+Chris Saladin, gives you a hint of what I saw from here.

Cathedral of Learning as seen from Carnegie Mellon, 15 June 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

So does this slideshow of Kim Steininger’s peregrine photos from Wilmington, Delaware, 2007.

  • Two juvenile peregrines play tag, 2008 (photos by Kim Steininger)

Yesterday I saw three of four juvenile Pitt peregrines plus one adult in a matter of minutes. I’m glad I was far enough away to see the whole event.

p.s. The four Pitt peregrines fledged in two groups over a period of one week. The first two fledged on 4 & 5 June, the third late in the day on 8 June, the fourth around 11 June. Because the first group flew so well by the time the second group fledged it was impossible to find all four at the same time. Fledging date of #4 is based on behavior and perching location. Some perches at Pitt are used only by newly fledged birds, then never used again.

Yesterday’s play session in the sky was 1 male and 2 females. Size was obvious.

(photos by Chad+Chris Saladin, Kate St. John and Kim Steininger)

When A Nest Is Too Low

Downtown peregrine fledgling perches on 7th floor deck, 10 June 2021 (photo by Brian Johnston)

11 June 2021

After a peregrine chick makes its first flight it waits for hours in its new location, apparently regrouping. When it flies again it will flap along the cliff and land on a slightly lower ledge, then flap again to another ledge, and so on. Many hours later it figures out how to circle out and fly up.

Lower ledges are very important. In the 24 hours after first flight peregrine fledglings don’t have the upper body strength to make a powerful flap and become airborne. At high peregrine nest sites with open airspace and lots of lower ledges, the chicks rarely land on the ground where they become vulnerable to predators and cars.

In Downtown Pittsburgh the Third Avenue nest site is so low and tucked away that fledglings land on the ground every year. Thankfully, passersby call the PA Game Commission at 724-238-9523 to rescue the downed birds.

Yesterday morning at Third Avenue two peregrine chicks were at the nest opening. One had fledged.

Nearby workmen showed me the fledgling on a railing four stories up, facing a narrow space between buildings with a view of Lawrence Hall across Third Avenue. Flying from this location is no problem for an adult peregrine. The youngster waited for enlightenment.

Downtown peregrine fledgling perched on the railing, 4 floors up, 10 June 2021, 10:30a (photo by Kate St. John)
Closeup of Downtown peregrine fledgling perched on the railing, 10 June 2021, 10:30a (photo by Kate St. John)

At this point any action by humans would have frightened the fledgling and guaranteed his failure. We humans stayed away so he could figure it out with help from his experienced parents, Terzo and Dori.

Eventually the youngster will make a move. My guess is he will land on the ground, be rescued by Point Park Police and the PA Game Commission, and be taken to the rescue porch where he can start over.

You might be asking: Isn’t the Gulf Tower a better place for these birds to nest? Yes but not right now.

On 19 May a transformer blew in the Gulf Tower basement and started a 5-alarm fire with smoke billowing from the roof. The building was condemned by City of Pittsburgh building inspectors last week. Here’s the news.

Life is full of challenges for all of us. This bird will get through it.

If you see a downed peregrine, call the PA Game Commission at 724-238-9523.

(photos by Brian Johnston and Kate St. John)

Peregrine News Around Town, June 10

Composite photo: Morela at Pitt, 8 June 2021 (photo by Jeff Cieslak)

10 June 2021

Peregrine news from the Cathedral of Learning, Downtown Pittsburgh, Westinghouse Bridge and Tarentum Bridge.

Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh:

Juvie peregrine coming in for a landing, 8 June 2021 (photo by Jeff Cieslak)

After two young peregrines fledged at Pitt on June 4 & 5 there was a long gap until the next bird flew. Two of four were still waiting to fly on 8 June when Jeff Cieslak photographed Morela coming in for a landing on the lightning rod (composite at top) and a juvie puttering around the building. The two early birds were already skilled enough to chase their parents.

Yesterday 9 June at 9am I found chick #3 had fledged and was perched on 15th North (Fifth Ave side) patio edge. At that point the fourth had still not flown.

I plan to check again this morning.

Downtown Pittsburgh:

  • Dori on Lawrence Hall windowsill, 9 June 2021 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Lori Maggio saw the entire Downtown peregrine family at Third Avenue on Wednesday 9 June at 7am. Dori and Terzo watched from across the street as three chicks called and flapped at the nest opening.

Today she saw only two at the nest opening. Did one fledge?

Meanwhile the Gulf Tower, site of a peregrine nestbox, was condemned this week after a large electrical fire damaged it on 19 May 2021. The damage and condemnation will not affect the Downtown peregrines at all. They have not nested at Gulf Tower since 2017 and show no inclination to go back there.

Monongahela Watershed: Westinghouse Bridge

Adult female at Westinghouse Bridge, 6 June 2021 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

On 6 June, Dana Nesiti saw both fledglings and the banded mother peregrine at the Westinghouse Bridge. As he snapped photographs …

I watched one of the juvies fly head on into one of the pillars, tumble down to the arch below, shake it off and scamper up to the top.

— email from Dana Nesiti, 6 June 2021
  • Peregrines at Westinghouse Bridge, 6 June 2021 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

Yesterday morning PennDOT found a juvenile peregrine walking on the Westinghouse Bridge road deck and sidewalk. It eventually walked off the bridge and stood in some weeds where PGC Game Warden Doug Bergman retrieved it. To be on the safe side he took it to HAR Verona for a checkup though it appeared to be in good condition. I wonder if this is the juvenile who banged his head a few days earlier. (We can’t know since they are not banded.)

Allegheny River, Tarentum Bridge:

Tarentum Bridge, Allegheny River, 2 June 2012 (photo by Kate St. John)
Tarentum Bridge, Allegheny River, 2 June 2012 (photo by Kate St. John)

Construction started on the Tarentum Bridge this week but will not adversely affect the juvenile peregrines because they fly so well and can leave the bridge if necessary. Only two of the three juveniles have been seen since 26 May. We believe the third died in late May.

In other sad news, I learned yesterday that long time Tarentum peregrine watcher and hummingbird fan Rob Protz died of a heart attack this week (obituary here). I will miss his excellent proofreading skills that kept me on my toes. I’m sure you’ll see more errors in my posts.

(photos by Jeff Cieslak, Lori Maggio, Dana Nesiti and Kate St. John)

Terzo Found At Home Downtown

Terzo Downtown: Banded with heart-shaped cheek, 8 June 2021 (photo by Lori Maggio)

9 June 2021

Yesterday Lori Maggio visited Third Avenue for just half an hour and solved two mysteries with a few photos:

  • Who is the banded male peregrine in Downtown Pittsburgh?
  • Did Terzo (Black/Red N/29) find another territory after he left the Cathedral of Learning last February?

Loris photos reveal that the banded male is Terzo and, yes, he’s doing fine raising three chicks with Dori. She wrote:

The male was perched above the nest site ledge on the green beam … I was able to get pictures of his bands while he was scratching his chin when preening. He has black/red bands! …

I don’t have a full picture of the entire N or 29 but if you put the pictures together it is his N/29. I also included several pictures of him … to ID him. From what I remember Terzo had heart shaped cheeks and this male does, too.

— email from Lori Maggio, 8 June 2021

Yesterday Terzo and one of the juveniles were perched at the nest opening.

Terzo above, nestling below, Third Avenue, 8 June 2021 (photo by Lori Maggio)

The photos below helped us identify the bands. Terzo is Black/Red N/29. Notice his distinctive heart-shaped cheek.

  • Terzo at Third Avenue, 8 June 2021 (phoo by Lori Maggio)

Lori also took photos of a juvenile peregrine who hadn’t flown yet. Art McMorris remarked that this youngster is at least 40 days old and ready to fly at any time. This morning at 7am Lori saw all three chicks at the nest opening, raring to go.

  • Juvenile peregrine at Third Avenue nest, 8 June 2021 (photo by Lori Maggio)

And in case you’re wondering, Terzo and Dori have known each other — or about each other — for quite a while. Last year Dori stopped by the Cathedral of Learning during the revolving door of Morela, Terzo, Ecco. Here she is at the Pitt nest on 15 March 2020. A month later she laid eggs at Third Avenue and nested successfully with a new mate. I wonder who.

Dori at Cathedral of Learning, 15 March 2020 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

If you want to see a peregrine family ready to fledge, stop by Third Avenue in the days ahead. Say hello to Terzo while you’re there.

p.s. Meanwhile at Pitt yesterday at 8:30am we were still at 2 fledged + 2 chicks waiting to go. If all goes to plan I will visit both sites today.

(photos by Lori Maggio and from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

They’ve Flown The Coop

Pitt peregrine fledgling is unimpressed by an angry blue jay, 5 June 2021 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

7 June 2021

We’ve had an exciting few days at Schenley Plaza as we waited for the Pitt peregrine chicks to make their first flight. By Fledge Watch midday yesterday two had flown and two were still waiting to launch. No chicks slept at the nest last night. I believe all four have flown the coop.

7 June 2021, 9:30am: I’M WRONG AGAIN! The last two haven’t fledged and are on the nestrail this morning exercising their wings. They must have found a different place to sleep up there rather than the nestbox. As of 9:30am we’re still at 2 fledged, 2 waiting to fledge.

Empty nest, 7 June 2021, 3am (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Fledge Watch was great on Friday 4 June with lots of peregrine activity. Saturday had no scheduled Watch but Charity Kheshgi and I could not resist stopping by Schenley Plaza. Embedded below are Charity’s Pitt peregrine photos from Instagram.

Before we begin… You might not realize that the Instagram posts are slideshows. To see all the photos, click on the faint arrow on the right side of each one.

From Fledge Watch on Friday 4 June 2021:

On Saturday 5 June two chicks waited on the nestrail while one extremely active fledgling flew to many different ledges at the Cathedral of Learning. At one point he landed on the netting that covers the ornate corners and had to walk up to launch from the top.

He also visited the globe on Carnegie Museum’s roof and perched on Stephen Foster Theater where he was harassed by a pair of blue jays.

Yesterday at Fledge Watch it was so hot that the peregrines spent the time resting in the shade. There wasn’t much to see.

Today I’ll have to walk around the Cathedral of Learning over and over just to count heads. In a few days it will be impossible to find them.

We will miss them on camera. And yes, eventually all four will fly the coop.

Juvenile peregrine flying at Cathedral of Learning, 5 June 2021 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

(photos by Charity Kheshgi)

Climbing the Exit Ramp

Two chicks at the nest but unseen by streaming camera, 5 June 2021, 6:10am

5 June 2021

None of the Pitt peregrine chicks fledged on 2 June as predicted. Nor had they fledged by the end of yesterday’s Fledge Watch on 4 June. However, only three chicks slept in the nest last night so one probably flew yesterday afternoon.

UPDATE as of 5 June, 11:00am: By 11am, 3 of the 4 chicks had fledged. One was flying so well he landed on the globe on top of Carnegie Museum.

UPDATE as of 6 June, 5:00am: Yesterday morning we definitely saw 2 fledged chicks but never 3 at the same time. We could not find the 3rd chick so we assumed it had flown. However, two chicks slept at the nest last night while two (fledged) chicks slept elsewhere. I am revising my statement: As of 5 June, 2 of 4 chicks have fledged. Fledge watch today will be HOT. Bring water.

Only 3 chicks slept at the nest last night, 4 June 11:08pm

This morning at 6:10am there were two chicks at the nest but neither was visible on the streaming camera. One chick had climbed the exit ramp under the snapshot camera. The other was perched on the nestbox roof, talons and tip of the tail visible. See photo at top.

The cameras looked very different at that moment (below). Click here to see the snapshots in real time.

Two camera views. Streaming camera cannot see the chicks, 5 June 2021, 06:10am

At least one has flown. Let the games begin!

(Snapshots from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Fledge Watch Tips: Have They Flown?

Downtown Pittsburgh Fledge Watch, 7 June 2019 (photo by John English)

4 June 2021

How do you know if a peregrine chick has flown? Is that flying peregrine a chick or an adult? Here are some tips on what to look for.

1. Count heads to figure out if any have flown. You’ll have to be onsite to do this.

Count the peregrine chicks perched at the nest via falconcam and at the launch zone. If you count all of them they probably haven’t flown yet. If some are missing …

Peregrine chicks on the nestrail, 2 June 2021 (photo by John English)

If some chicks are missing, walk around to find them using the clues below. Each site is different. At Pitt, walk around the Cathedral of Learning.

2. Look for the parents: What are they looking at?

Morela on the roof, 2 June 2021 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

When a chick has newly flown one of the parents will perch near it and stare at it. At this early stage of flight the chick is vulnerable. The parent is guarding it.

3. Listen for peregrine “whining.”

When a young peregrine is hungry he whines loudly to get attention. A fledgling away from the nest will call very loudly saying, “I’m over here! Bring food!!” This is not a distress signal. It is “teenage” whining.

4. Watch and listen for upset songbirds warning of a predator.

American robin vocalizing (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Songbirds will raise the alarm when they see a young peregrine perched nearby. Most will make alarm calls, a few may dive-bomb to drive it away. American robins are the loudest and most likely to be nearby. Here’s a robin alarm call.

5. Difference in appearance in flight: Juveniles have a pale tip on the tail.

The colors brown (juvenile) vs. gray (adult) are hard to tell at a backlit distance. However in June juveniles have fresh tail feathers while adults do not. Fresh tail feathers in both plumages have pale tips that glow when sunlight shines through them. If you see an obviously pale tail tip, chances are you’re looking at a juvenile.

Here’s a juvenile peregrine at Pitt in 2012.

Juvenile peregrine at Pitt, June 2012 (photo by Peter Bell)

Adults have worn off the tips of their tails by dragging them on the nest gravel for the past four months.

Adult peregrine at Westinghouse Bridge, 2021 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

5. Difference in flight behavior: In the first few days of flight juveniles flap a lot and will not stoop. They also land carefully, shown below.

Young peregrine flapping a lot and landing slowly at Pitt, June 2012 (photo by Peter Bell)

As they get better at flying the juveniles flap less and land more confidently. However, it takes some weeks for them to master the stoop. In the first week of flight any peregrine flying like this (below) has to be an adult.

Peregrine falcon, Henry, stooping in Shaker Heights Ohio (photo by Chad+Chris Saladin)

Watch peregrines on your own or join me at Fledge Watch at Schenley Plaza today and Sunday, 11:30a-1p.

There’s always something new to learn about peregrines. Let me know what you see.

(photos by John English, Charity Kheshgi, Wikimedia Commons, Peter Bell, Dana Nesiti, Chad+Chris Saladin)

Fledge Watch Update, 3 Jun

Two Pitt peregrine chicks on the nestrail, 2 June 2021 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

3 June 2021

Pitt peregrine news as of 3 June 2021, 7:30am:

  • We had fun at Fledge Watch yesterday with good looks at the adults and three chicks on the nestrail. Thanks to all who came out to watch.
  • The adults stooped at prey several times. Exciting!
  • At least one adult was always present at the Cathedral of Learning, waiting and watching for the chicks to fledge.
  • Morela no longer has a right shoulder feather that sticks out. Alas, her easy-to-identify marker is gone.
  • None of the peregrine chicks fledged yesterday. I know this because fledglings do not return to the nest; they sleep where they land. All four chicks slept at the nest last night.
  • If the forecast is correct, Friday 4 June Fledge Watch will be canceled because of rain and lightning. If the forecast is wrong I’ll be there.

Fledge Watch 2 June 2021 in photos.

Morela watches from the roof, 2 June 2021 (photo by John English)
Ecco delivers lunch; two chicks get excited, 2 June 2021 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)
Ecco watches from a merlon, left of the nestrail, 2 June 2021 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)
A chick looks upside down as his sibling flap-walks, 2 June 2021 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

From our vantage point at the tent, the rooftop equipment nearly obscured Morela on the lightning rod. Can you see her?

Adult on the lightning rod, almost obscured from this angle (photo by John English)

We moved to the lawn for a better look. Then I got talking … (That’s me on the far left.)

Last night all four chicks slept in the nestbox …

… and were raring to go this morning!

Raring to go on Thursday morning, 3 June 2021 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

The last one perches near the exit ramp. It won’t be long now.

Last chick at the nest, 3 June 2021, 7:49am (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Stop by Schenley Plaza between the raindrops to watch the peregrines. Keep looking up!

(photos by Charity Kheshgi and John English)