Reference Links and Frequently Asked Questions about Peregrine Falcons
- Status of Local Peregrines in Southwestern PA: Where & when seen. Updated often during the nesting season
- Cathedral of Learning Streaming Falconcam, Snapshot cam and Fact Sheet at the University of Pittsburgh
- Peregrines removed from Pennsylvania Endangered/Threatened Species Lists, 2021
- Pennsylvania Game Commission Peregrine Falcon Management Plan, 2013-2022 which monitored recovery
- Excellent Peregrine FAQ fact sheet from London Peregrine Partnership, UK.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY:
- Peregrine Falcons: Nature’s Fighter Jets: audio and text from Bird Files on the Allegheny Front
- History of Peregrine Falcon nests in the Pittsburgh area (PDF)
- Peregrines fully recovered in PA; removed from PA Threatened Species list 2021
- First Peregrines in Pittsburgh: Gulf Tower news 1990-1991
- Annual Highlights from Pittsburgh area peregrine nests
- Timing of peregrine nesting season in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Prominent perching: Peregrines make themselves noticeable.
- Cooperative Hunting: The pair hunts together. Watch out below!
- Ledge displays: A description of peregrines’ courtship at the nest.
- Courtship flights: Peregrines court on the wing. Here’s how.
- Courtship feeding: The male provides food for his mate during courtship and nesting.
- Peregrines mating: How it’s done.
- Fidelity to their mates and fighting: Do peregrines mate for life? How do they acquire a new mate? Do they fight to the death?
NEST, EGGS, INCUBATION, HATCHING:
- Nest is on gravel: Why doesn’t the nest have sticks? Why is it called a scrape?
- Nest box dimensions: Nest boxes are not a requirement but were provided at several sites.
- Start of egg laying: Why do the females at different nests lay earlier or later than others?
- Time between eggs: When will the next egg be laid?
- Red eggs: Why are the eggs red?
- Incubation: What roles do the parents play during incubation?
- Not sitting on eggs (during egg laying period): Why isn’t the mother peregrine sitting on the eggs?
- Not sitting on eggs (after incubation begins): There’s another reason, too.
- Eating rocks: Is the female peregrine eating rocks from the nest?
- Eyes are white? Why do the bird’s eyes look white on camera?
- Why face down on the nest? Why is the adult peregrine face down on its nest?
- Hatching: when? When will the eggs hatch?
- Hatching: how does it work? How does the chick get out of the egg? How long does it take?
PEREGRINE CHICKS AND FAMILY LIFE:
- Peregrine vocalizations: What do their sounds mean?
- Peregrine chicks week-to-week development in pictures
- Parental roles with chicks: What roles do the parents play in feeding and raising the chicks?
- Hungry: Are the chicks getting enough to eat?
- How much does a peregrine eat in a day? (from Univ of Toledo FAQs) “An adult peregrine eats about 70 grams (2 1/2 ounces) of food per day. This is equal to about two blackbirds.” The amount is lower for a small chick.
- Leftovers: After the chicks are done eating, what happens to the leftovers?
- Where are the parents? Aren’t they afraid their eggs or young will be hurt?
- Did one of the babies fall from the nest? Help! I can’t see all of them on the camera!
- Juvenile plumage: The young are brown. How long until they look like their parents?
- Ledge walking: Here’s what peregrine nestlings do before they try to fly.
- Fledging: How do the young learn to fly? Is it gradual or do the fledglings just jump one day?
- Dispersal from the nest: Where do young peregrines go when they leave home?
- Adults at the empty nest: Why do the adult peregrines visit the nest after their babies have flown? Do they miss their babies?
- The solitary nature of peregrines: Do peregrines have a long-lasting love for their young? Do they like being with humans?
- Aging: What happens as peregrines age? How long do they live?
NAMING, BANDING AND PEREGRINE WATCHING:
- Naming: How do peregrines get their names? Why do some have no names?
- Banding: Why and how are peregrines banded?
- Fledge Watch: What is a Peregrine Fledge Watch?
- Fledge Watch Tips: How do you know if a chick has flown? Is that flying peregrine a chick or an adult?
- Why don’t they fledge in the rain? Here’s why we cancel Fledge Watch if it’s raining.
- Where is the nest at Pitt? Where should I look from the ground to see the peregrines at Pitt?
- Who is who at the Cathedral of Learning nest? As of 21 May 2023.
- Where is the nest in Downtown Pittsburgh? The Downtown peregrines own the entire territory and choose between two nest sites: Gulf Tower and Third Avenue.
- Who is who at the Downtown nest? As of 21 May 2023 the Downtown pair has changed since last year and we haven’t identified them yet.
- “I love Peregrines” bumper sticker Show you love peregrines with this bumper sticker featuring Dorothy, the original matriarch at the Cathedral of Learning.