May 19 2011

News from the Peregrine Banding at Pitt

Published by at 2:36 pm under Peregrines

The peregrine banding went well at the Cathedral of Learning this morning.   When the chicks were weighed and measured we learned that Dorothy and E2 have one boy and three girls this year.  All are in good health.

As expected, Dorothy was upset even before the festivities began.  She perched near the nest and refused to budge when WCO Beth Fife came out on the ledge.   Beth attempted to net her but Dorothy escaped and flew furiously back and forth.   E2 strafed the area as well, performing an amazing precision maneuver, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

Eventually Beth and WCO Doug Dunkerley made it to the nest but Dorothy landed above them and puffed herself up as large as possible to scare Beth while she collected the chicks.  Dorothy would have attacked except for the pole Beth used to keep Dorothy at bay.

Here’s what all the squawking was about — one of Dorothy and E2′s cuties, wrapped in a towel to keep him calm while the vet begins the exam.

Meanwhile, Dorothy waited outside.  She cocked her head to hear what was happening as Pat Szczepanski took her picture through the window.

The male chick was the first one weighed and banded.  He was very calm and quiet as you can see.

Not like his sisters!

Samara Trusso applied the bands to one of the three females.

Doug Dunkerley banded all the rest.

In less than an hour Beth returned the babies to their newly cleaned(!) nest and the Cathedral of Learning peregrine family returned to normal. 

In only two weeks they’ll be ready to fly!

(photos 1, 2, 3 and 5 by Pat Szczepanski; photos 4, 6 and 7 by Kate St. John)

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “News from the Peregrine Banding at Pitt”

  1. Nellie Curranon 19 May 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Great pictures! Thank you to all for sharing them. Great to hear that everyone of the chicks are well and ready for the next adventure—flying!!!

  2. Donnaon 19 May 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Great photos! Thanks for being there for us, Kate!

  3. Jan Christensenon 19 May 2011 at 3:13 pm

    One boy and three girls….how exciting. I just happened to log onto the site while they were being returned to the nest! Thanks for the great pictures.

  4. Jennieon 19 May 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Love the photos! Dorothy is awe-inspiring in protective mom mode. I’m glad Beth and all the peregrines came through okay.

  5. faith cornellon 19 May 2011 at 5:36 pm

    You know when computers first came out I was working in an office and I was so upset that we were getting computers, i thought we were all going to be fired for sure & replaced by machines. Oh what a different world & how wonderful it is that we could share in this wonder experience you have provided today for us Kate.
    Now I can see these wonderful chicks and all the other birds I get to see and learn about and with so many friends I see on here. Thanks again for your devotion to this endeavor.

  6. Steve-oon 19 May 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Care to elaborate on E2′s amazing maneuver?

  7. Peteron 19 May 2011 at 6:32 pm

    About 9:30 I finally learned what was up. So I headed down to watch from Schenley Plaza. If E2′s maneuver you saw was early on, then I’m sure I missed it. I was hoping to make it in time to see Dorothy released as I was sure that’d have been a show too. I watched for about a half hour from 9:45 to 10:15 or so and did see Dorothy make several quick loops out from a perch in the eastern keyhole out towards the plaza and then right back. A little while later E2 put on a heckuva show again. I wish I’d seen the earlier flight as I’d guess they were much more worked up then where the chicks were taken away. But for the longest I’ve ever seen, E2 circled and climbed and dove and quickly turned back and forth…he must have been at it for almost 10 minutes. I am much more used to him making some lazy circles around the Cathedral and then flying off on the hunt, or coming back and landing on the antenna or some other perch. Not this time…much more acrobatic and for a long time too. The morning sun made it easy to see the difference in size of the two from the ground as well!

    The gentleman who found Green Boy (I think) last year in the enclosure at the Cathedral stopped by and watched with me a bit. Shared some stories from the banding a couple years ago he was able to attend. Made for a great little visit to the plaza! Can’t wait to for Fledge Watch next week. My parents are even coming six hours away.

    Thanks for all the pictures and the update on this year’s little ones. Amazing how downy they still are when they’ll be on the ledge in a week and a half! And funny how ugly they’ll get between now and then.

  8. Frank Corrention 19 May 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Kate, how could we be better advised than these scenes? Dorothy did all she could to protect her chicks! Once we had a robin nest in our big front porch and waited till they had their three broods to take the nest down, and complete the painting and remodeling.

    This is a bigger consideration.

    FC

  9. Kat Walterson 20 May 2011 at 10:44 am

    Thank you Kate and everyone for a wonderful view of what happened during banding. I am always amazed at the size of the little ones! We have no perspective in the nest and then we see them with people and see how big they really are. What a big beautiful world we have and are able to visit with the internet and the great folks who bring it to us new and fresh everyday. Thank you for broadening our horizons and making our world smaller and more interesting!

  10. Steve-oon 20 May 2011 at 10:57 am

    The branding got written up in a British paper, with some good pictures.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1388876/A-check-Peregrine-falcon-chicks-Pittsburghs-Cathedral-Learning.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    Some of the comments there are asinine, but amusing.

  11. Anne Marieon 20 May 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks for the link Steve! Dorothy is an international sensation!

  12. Marianneon 20 May 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Great story and great pics! The British article has some cool pics too! I can’t wait to see the young ‘uns flying at fledge watch!

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