Jul 16 2009

Update on Gulf Tower peregrines and CMU red-tails

Published by at 7:35 am under Birds of Prey,Peregrines

Peregrine falcon - probably Tasha - at the Oliver Building (photo by Heather Jacoby)Over the past few weeks I’ve put updates in the comments of other posts so you may have missed them. Here’s the latest on these two raptor families. 

Gulf Tower peregrine falcons
On Tuesday Heather Jacoby saw a peregrine falcon perched on a windowsill at the Oliver Building downtown (click here and here to see her photos).  Interestingly, Heather sent me this picture of Tasha doing the same thing a year ago.  For some reason the Queen of the Gulf Tower likes this spot in the summer.

Tasha’s two youngsters are doing well.  The young peregrine who hit her head and was rescued from the street on June 10th has fully recovered and was released on July 8th.  Beth Fife said, “She flew very nicely, circled and flew off.” I don’t know where she was released but it wasn’t downtown. She is now independent and on her own.

The other juvenile is also doing well. Around July 7th she was spotted perched on a high windowsill of the Frick Building, looking into an office to see what was going on. This is typical behavior for the downtown juvenile peregrines as you can see here.

CMU red-tailed hawks
The young red-tails born on the Fine Arts Building at Carnegie-Mellon University are almost independent now.  They’re flying well and able to chase their parents to beg for food.  During my lunchtime walk on Tuesday I saw both juveniles perched in a dead tree on Flagstaff Hill.  They were preening and sleepy but one of them whined occasionally just in case their parents needed an audio reminder.

I’m glad everything’s going well.

(photo by Heather Jacoby)

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Update on Gulf Tower peregrines and CMU red-tails”

  1. Steve Von 16 Jul 2009 at 10:30 am

    Kate, do you have any quick-rough estimate at the metropolitan hawk population? I saw one yesterday afternoon circling the Allegheny River BLVD / Highland Park Bridge area during the PM rush-hour.

    thanks!

  2. Kate St. Johnon 16 Jul 2009 at 10:44 am

    I don’t know how many are here. What I can say is that they are a species that’s doing well and Pittsburgh has good habitat for them. They prefer hunting along edges – which is why you see them near roads – and they seem to have adapted to being around people.

  3. faith Cornellon 16 Jul 2009 at 3:33 pm

    we had had a red tail hawk here for a few days;(Bridgeville) squirrel population seems to have diminished which is quite good. Too many for this tiny spot of seed that I provide for the birds. And yesterday during the windy part of the day he was very high & semed to be enjoying soaring but probably looking down alot also. Faith C.

  4. Margeon 16 Jul 2009 at 5:58 pm

    There have been quite a few I have seen over the past few months perched here and there along Highway 79, many on the light poles or signs, especially around Wexford and Cranberry and also up near Grove City (also 422 has its share and one in particular likes to perch on light poles at the exits off 422).
    We had quite a few I got pics of that seemed to like to sit in the tops of trees and watch the cars go by or wait for scraps from the stores behind our bypass up in Allegheny Township between Leechburg and Vandergrift/Apollo last year and also on Melwood Road around Pounds turkey farm (wonder why?)…

  5. Heather Jacobyon 16 Jul 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Earlier this year, a red-tailed hawk took a LARGE rat from behind the trolley tracks in Castle Shannon. GOOD RIDDANCE!

    We love our hawks!

    Yesterday, I saw three hawks soaring over Beechview. It was quite a site. Then, I came home to Castle Shannon and saw two circling overhead. One was quite loud, but other than that, they came close but with no sign of aggression/territoriality. I’d been waiting for a clash.

  6. Anne Curtison 17 Jul 2009 at 1:35 am

    “My” hawk at CMU gave me a scare 3 days ago. As Liffey-the-dog and I were walking in the inner quad, I saw her up by the floodlights on that god-awful pressed concrete building. She was sitting up prettily, and appearing very predatory. By the time we walked in front of Hamerschlag (sp?) Hall and turned back, she was looking more like a roosting chicken, sitting forward on her chest. She was making awful “kreee-ing” sounds all the time. As I sat and watched, she draped one wing over the edge, continuing to call, and looking much like the woman in the intros to Masterpiece Mysteries, the one who’s on top of the column and dangling her red scarf! Dying Diva?

    Insult to injury–two pigeons roosted on the roof nearby. I thought maybe she was doing a decoy-thing to lure them to her, but she just lay there, kree-ing all the while. Shortly, another hawk materialized and distracted me. When I looked back, “my” hawk had disappeared! So she was just trying to convince mom/dad that she couldn’t fend for herself? How like a teenager!

    Such joy! Anne

  7. Jameson 22 Jul 2009 at 11:52 am

    there’s a young falcon possibly living in the bell towers of St. Augustine’s church on 38th Street in Lawrenceville. he’s usually sitting on the crosses in the early morning. any one have any information on this one?

  8. Kate St. Johnon 22 Jul 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I wonder if it is an American kestrel. They are smaller than peregrines but with the same “mustache” mark. They’re cavity nesters and will nest inside buildings (church steeples!) and in boxes. Check here for a picture of the kestrel:
    http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Kestrel/id

  9. Jameson 23 Jul 2009 at 1:17 pm

    It’s for sure a peregrine falcon, maybe he lives somewhere else and hangs out there.
    I got a close look at him once while he was sitting on a garage roof. You can see him calling and circling sometimes in the evening as well. Correction on the street, St. Augustine’s is on 37th Street.

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