Jun 03 2008
For the peregrine nestlings at Pitt, the coming week will be the most important time in their lives. They’re going to learn to fly.
If they’re successful, they’ll eventually be able to do this.
Yes, this picture is quite real. It isn’t Photoshop. This peregrine is flying upside down!
He’s their brother, Stammy, born at Pitt in 2003.
One day before they had ever flown, Stammy and his siblings were lined up on the nest rail, loafing. Their father (Erie) decided they needed a stimulus to get them excited about flying.
First Erie flew back and forth in front of the nest rail. He zoomed faster and made sharp turns. Eventually a few of his children flapped their wings in imitation. Not good enough.
Erie swooped down and zoomed up the face of the building from below. His offspring flapped enthusiastically. Then he made a wider circle, did a loop-the-loop and flew in upside down. His kids went nuts with excitement and so did I!
As the years went by, Erie aged and did fewer exciting flight demonstrations. This year E2 is a new father so maybe I’ll get a chance to see him teach some fancy flying.
I’m looking forward to the lessons.
Thanks to Chad & Chris Saladin for permission to use their photo of Stammy.