Nov 12 2009

Hard Work

Published by at 7:15 am under Peregrines

Peregrine falcon carrying prey (photo by Kim Steininger)
Tuesday afternoon I glanced out my office window and was immediately mesmerized.

A peregrine falcon was flying by, pumping hard, carrying a heavy burden.  He’d killed a pigeon over Carnegie-Mellon’s campus and was taking it home to the Cathedral of Learning to eat. 

Carrying prey is strenuous work.  On average, a pigeon weighs 354g while a male peregrine weighs 612g (females average 976g).  Imagine that your lunch weighed more than half your body weight and you had to carry it half a mile before you could eat.  No way!  That’s why we invented wheels.

And so I watched, unable to continue working while the peregrine slowly disappeared in the distance.  My desk job is easy compared to a peregrine’s work.

(photo by Kim Steininger)

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Hard Work”

  1. RAYon 12 Nov 2009 at 1:51 pm

    IN THE LAST WEEK OR SO, I HAVE NOTICED A PEREGINE FALCON HANGING AROUND THE 62nd STREET BRIDGE / ETNA / SHARSBURG END OF BRIDGE. NOT SURE IF ITS A TRANSIENT OR NOT?

  2. Kate St. Johnon 12 Nov 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Great spotting! You probably saw the new female peregrine who’s claimed that bridge. Dan Yagusic identified her last month. She’s 2 years old, born in Akron, Ohio in Spring 2007. She hasn’t attracted a mate yet but we certainly hope she does!
    Keep watching the bridge — especially in January, February, March — and let me know if you see TWO peregrines there. If so, it means she has a mate & will nest.
    Keep us posted!

  3. Sharonon 12 Nov 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I keep seeing one of the peregrines either on the Gulf Tower or atop one of the spires on the Koppers building … I have some pretty decent pictures but not sure how to get them to you

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