May 29 2010

Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch Update

Published by at 3:52 pm under Peregrines,Schenley Park


We’ve been having fun at Fledge Watch for the past two days, even though none of the youngsters has fledged as of noon today.

The juvenile peregrines have been easy to find and their parents have been putting on a show.  The youngsters flap and run on the nestrail, then sit and rest while Dorothy & E2 give flying lessons, demonstrate prey exchange, and circle over our heads.  Though we know they aren’t doing it for our enjoyment, we’re impressed anyway.

You’ll find five to twenty of us at the tent.  We often discover we know each other, even though we’ve never met.  For starters, everyone knows my name from this blog but you might know each other from the blog comments or the webcam chat.  If you’re on the chat, say your chat name and you’ll be surprised how many people know you.  Today I met mindysmom + dh, charliechaplin, cousin, whitch and thewildsow.  And I know I’m forgetting many names!

In the photo above I’m the one pointing up, describing where to find the peregrines on the Cathedral of Learning.  In the photo below we’re all gazing up to see them.

So come on down to the Schenley Plaza tent for Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch.  The new times are listed below, weather permitting.  Hope to see you there.

  • Tuesday June 1, very briefly 8:00-8:20am + noon to 2:15pm + 5:30pm until 7:00-ish.   Watch the skies!  If it’s raining I won’t be there.
  • Wednesday June 2, very briefly 8:00-8:20am + 1:00pm to 2:15pm.    None after work on Wednesday.
  • Thursday June 3, very briefly 8:00-8:20am + 1:00pm to 2:15pm + 5:30pm until 7:00-ish. 
  • There are also unofficial times:  I believe at least one young peregrine will fly this weekend so I’ll be stopping by briefly in the mornings and evenings every day, though my exact times are unpredictable.
  • And I will extend Wednesday lunchtime if Tuesday is rained out, so watch the blog for more updates.

News about the streaming cams:  It looks like the streaming cameras will be down until Tuesday.  Someone has to get into both the Gulf Tower and Cathedral of Learning to fix them and that’s not possible on this holiday weekend.  :(

Special thanks to Jennie & Ken Barker (mindysmom + dh) for these Fledge Watch photos and to Mary DeV (wildSow) for bringing her high-powered binoculars and telescope.

A partial key to who is who:  In the first photo, “mindysmom” is in the yellow shirt, “whitch” is in the red shirt.  In the second photo “TheWildSow” is in the dark blue Tshirt.  Oh, and on the chat my name is “KPeregrine.”

(photos by Jennie and Ken Barker)

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch Update”

  1. Steve-oon 29 May 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I’m sorry that I missed everyone. The Little One and I were at the quad in the afternoon. I managed to get some interesting shots which I’ll post to my flickr site soon. One has at least 5 falcons in the same shot.
    Quick question, around 3 o’clock E2 took off South and a few minutes later Dorothy took off and flew North before E2 had a chance to come back. Is it common to for them to both leave at the same time?

  2. Kate St. Johnon 29 May 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Yes, they do leave at the same time occasionally but at least one parent is always watching. They can circle as far away as Schenley Park Visitors’ Center and get back in a real hurry if they need to. It’s hard for us to imagine how easily they can see the nest area from the sky.

  3. Mary DeVon 29 May 2010 at 6:52 pm

    That was great again, and I brought a better camera this time. Unfortunately — there was a problem with uploading the photos! And we erased them from the camera before we realized it. So now we have nothing but the thumbnails; they won’t open! :-(

    Aw heck, I saved ‘em anyway — at least you can see E2 on the lightning rod.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v185/VAdame/Birdies/Thumbnails1.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v185/VAdame/Birdies/Thumbnails2.jpg

    So, I guess now I’m motivated to go back this evening (around 7:30) and try again!

    Mary DeV. (TheWildSow)

  4. David Aon 29 May 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I’ve been trying to visualize where the PFs are all hanging out, and I stumbled onto the Google Maps Satellite view of the COL. It’s very cool.

    I can find the three “window” that Kate has described, and the “keyholes” are just barely discernible. Kate am I looking at the right place? Is the nest box just behind the keyholes? (I’m disappointed that I can’t see it in the shadows, or find any birds in this view – but I can imagine them there!) Thanks Kate!
    David A in Michigan

  5. Lucieon 29 May 2010 at 11:05 pm

    What side of the COL is the nest and where they are walking on the ledge? Is the nest in the little area that looks like it is a little balcony? We parked along the road near the tent and then on the 5th ave side but did not see any activity – this was about 2:00. Do we need bonoculars to see them? I did see one bird flying but I could not see where it landed. As you were standing at the tent, was the nest right in front of you as you were pointing?

  6. Lucieon 29 May 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Guess I found my answer in the Q&A – should have checked there first. It was a beautiful day for bird watching. Sorry the streams aren’t working – On the still, I think I still see 3 in the nest.

  7. Kate St. Johnon 30 May 2010 at 6:14 am

    Lucie’s right. The answers to her questions about the Pitt nest are here: http://www.wqed.org/birdblog/peregrine-faqs/question-where-should-i-be-looking-to-see-the-peregrines-at-pitt/

  8. Jennieon 30 May 2010 at 8:55 am

    The Saturday Fledge Watch was wonderful. Thanks, Kate, for helping us understand just where the peregrine chicks are raised- it’s hard to picture it until you’re there in person. Now I know what the chicks see when they all look up to one side or the other, because I’ve seen where Dorothy and E2 sit to watch them. Seeing Dorothy and E2 perform aerial maneuvers for the chicks, and hearing the chicks scream at not having food delivered on demand was thrilling. It was also really nice meeting other peregrine watchers and putting faces to the names.

  9. NDPeteron 30 May 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Still nobody had taken the plunge as of 11:30 this morning… Got to meet a number of people this morning. Managed to get a little video of ledge walking uploaded to youtube. The beginning is funky, don’t know what youtube did to it. That ledge is so high up that even with a decent magnification, the birds still aren’t all that big, so be sure to click the little button to the lower right of the video that says 360 and change it to the 720pHD so you can at least see a little detail.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WE-7pcQhUU

    Hope I get to go out again tomorrow or Tuesday.

  10. Kate St. Johnon 30 May 2010 at 10:07 pm

    None had fledged as of 6:30pm today. I am not sure why this is but two theories are that it has been so hot (so they’re sleepy) and there’s been no wind at all (so they don’t get excited about flying). It looks like there will be a southwest wind of 6 mph tomorrow morning with a chance of rain. Alas, it will be hot again tomorrow.

  11. faith Cornellon 30 May 2010 at 10:15 pm

    for ND Peter; watched your utube film, was there Sat. AM to see them live in person, it is a great experience!!!

  12. Mary DeVon 31 May 2010 at 12:59 am

    Thanks for the video, NDPeter! I stopped by around 3 PM but no one else was watching. I couldn’t stay long and had left the 10x50s at home. I didn’t want to set up a tripod (because then I’d be tempted to stay too long!) so I just hand-held the 20x80s — which is tough to do!

    Not much was happening — a little ledge walking (which was more like ledge-sitting, in the heat!) and no parents in sight.

  13. Marianneon 31 May 2010 at 6:58 am

    Thanks for the video NDPeter! I hope to make it to fledge watch this week and this gives me a better idea of what I may see!

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