May 24 2010

You can be sure if it’s Westinghouse

Published by at 6:40 am under Peregrines


I couldn’t resist using the slogan of the Westinghouse Electric corporation from the old days when they made home appliances. 

The company is long gone, dissolved by a series of buy-outs and takeovers, but the Westinghouse Bridge that carries Route 30 over their old plant site in East Pittsburgh is still there.  And it hosts a new family. 

Last month PennDOT workers were stunned when they were vigorously attacked by one - sometimes two – peregrines when they attempted to work on a particular area of the Westinghouse Bridge. They called the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Beth Fife came over to check.

On her first visit Beth found no eggs, but on her second she found a female peregrine and five eggs carefully laid in deep gravel in a dark, protected area of the bridge.  Beth could see the bird was banded but could not read her bands.  She hoped the pictures would reveal the peregrine’s identity.

And here is one of those pictures, taken April 29 by PennDOT’s Val Roskosh. 

This image was too far away to read the bands but Beth went back later and got a closeup.  That’s how we found out this female peregrine hatched May 10, 2005 at the Bank One building in Canton, Ohio.  She was named “Storm” at banding.  The PennDOT crew plans to call her “Val.”

As of Friday, Val’s eggs had hatched and she and her mate, nicknamed Brian by PennDOT (no bands read on him yet), are now busy feeding their babies.  Beth will return to the bridge to band them. 

Good luck, Beth.  This mother bird was calm when you visited her eggs but I bet she’ll kick up a Storm when you come back!

(photo of Val (a.k.a. Storm), the female peregrine at the Westinghouse Bridge, by Val Roskosh)

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “You can be sure if it’s Westinghouse”

  1. Donnaon 24 May 2010 at 8:53 am

    That’s 3 nests in Pittsburgh with 5 eggs each! I hope Beth will be able to get some photos of the Westinghouse chicks.

  2. Steve-oon 24 May 2010 at 9:41 am

    wow, it’s soon going to be odd not to have some Peregrines nesting under our bridges. I’m going to try and get up to Tarentum this week to take more pictures, I’ll put them on my flickr page if I do.

  3. Patsyon 24 May 2010 at 10:17 am

    They are doing a lot of construction on that bridge right now. Is the nest in an area that will may be effected by it?

  4. Kate St. Johnon 24 May 2010 at 11:37 am

    PennDOT found the nest because they got near it before there were eggs (i.e. the peregrines defended it).
    No need to worry! PennDOT is protecting the nest; construction will not affect it. Everyone involved is very excited about the peregrines & can hardly wait to see the babies fledge.

  5. Lucieon 24 May 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Great news! 15 babies that we know of…. I hope that the 2 on the Gulf tower that we can’t see much of are still viable. I just haven’t seen more than 3 get fed – but I’m not watching all the time, so I hope they are all progressing as they should.
    Too bad the COL cam isn’t working today – those two girls sure look like they are getting the urge to jump out of the nest.

  6. Donnaon 24 May 2010 at 12:56 pm

    If you look at the hotspot titled “24 May Chow Line”, you can see all 5 chicks at the Gulf Tower being fed.

  7. Lucieon 24 May 2010 at 1:10 pm

    How do I access the hotspot? I’m not familiar with that……

  8. Donnaon 24 May 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Lucie, Below the live video picture is a box with 3 horizontal lines. Click on that box and a screen will pop out. Click on the hotspot tab at the top, then you will see a box marked “24 May Chow Line”. Click on that and the hotspot that mindysmom made this morning will play. There are lots of other great hotspots there too! Hope that helps!

  9. Jennieon 24 May 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Lucie, you’ll see hotspots just below the chat on this page: http://www.zaplive.tv/web/nav-per-gulf?streamId=nav-per-gulf

  10. John Englishon 24 May 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Super! I cross the Westinghouse several times a day for w*rk. Will be dodging orange cones and looking for falcons :-)

  11. Patty C.on 24 May 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Wonderful news. And 5 eggs at each nest! Kate, 5 seems like a high number of eggs in a Peregrine nest to me; is it? Have we ever had that many at COL or Gulf before this year?

    Maybe we should call the papa bird George after George Westinghouse. :-)

    –Patty

  12. Lucieon 24 May 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks for the info on the hot spots – those are great! I was worried that that one little guy wasn’t growing and getting fed but now it looks like he’s in there. Don’t know why Dori chased Louie off in that one – he seems to be a good provider and very attentive to the chicks.

  13. Kate St. Johnon 24 May 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Patty C., I forgot to mention in the blog that the male peregrine at the Westinghouse Bridge already has a nickname — Brian — but his bands (if he has them) haven’t been read yet. I updated the blog with his nickname.

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