May 08 2009
Last week the PA Game Commission’s Beth Fife solved a peregrine mystery that had lasted a year – or ten years – depending on who you ask.
In January 2008 Joe Fedor reported a pair of peregrine falcons at the McKees Rocks Bridge. The Pennsylvania Game Commission is responsible for our peregrines so Wildlife Conservation Officer Beth Fife worked with PennDOT to see if she could find a nest.
Yes, the pair had eggs last year but they were laid on a girder. The nest was ultimately unsuccessful. However Beth saw that the male was banded though no one could read his bands.
This spring peregrines were still at the bridge and PennDOT wanted to know if they must change their work schedule to avoid disturbing a nest, so last week Beth visited the bridge again.
PennDOT guessed the nest’s location and sure enough there it was. The male was incubating five eggs while his unbanded mate watched from nearby. Beth wrote later, “He didn’t even make a fuss…we could have picked him up. He just stood there and watched us. He’s a little guy! ”
Beth snapped his picture and captured a good image of his bands. Ta dah! Black/green V/H. His name is Bravo, born at Cleveland’s Terminal Tower in 1999, son of the Zenith and Bullet. His whereabouts had been unknown all this time.
So you see, a ten year old mystery is solved for Cleveland.
We hope his nest is a success this year. Good detective work, Beth!
(photos of Bravo and the McKees Rocks Bridge by Beth Fife, WCO, Pennsylvania Game Commission)