May 26 2011

Bring Them Back!

Published by at 2:40 pm under Peregrines


“Bring them back!” says Dori, as Cory DeStein takes her picture through the window blinds.

It was an eventful morning for the Gulf Tower peregrine family.

At about 9:05am, Beth Fife and Doug Dunkerley of the Pennsylvania Game Commission came out on the ledge to collect the peregrine chicks for banding. 

Dori and her mate Louie strafed the area, back and forth, trying to drive away the humans that came to take their babies.

If you were watching the falconcam at that point, you know that it failed just then, accidentally disconnected when Beth and Doug went out the window.  I scrambled to get the video back on and missed seeing Beth and Doug capture Dori and collect her five chicks. 

As soon as all six birds were indoors, it was clear that Dori was quite unhappy so she was given a quick physical and released immediately to wait by the window for her babies to return. 

Her five youngsters — two boys and three girls — passed their physicals with flying colors. 

Here’s one of the cuties awaiting his (or her) exam. 

In only half an hour, Beth and Doug were back on the ledge to return the chicks to their nest.  Dori and Louie strafed again, still angry!  

Beth and Doug worked quickly to return the chicks to the back of the nestbox.  Whew!  The banding was over.

To watch a slideshow of this morning’s events, click on Dori’s picture.

(photos by Cory DeStein.  Slideshow photos from the National Aviary falconcam at the Gulf Tower and Kate St. John)

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Bring Them Back!”

  1. Donnaon 26 May 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Great slideshow Kate! Thanks for being our eyes during the banding!

  2. Jennieon 26 May 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Great photos, great slideshow, glad everyone is okay.

  3. Anne Marieon 26 May 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks to everyone involved in bringing us the video and slide show of these cuties! Amazing how big they actually are… I always envision them the size of baby chickens on the webcam until I see them at the banding! I thought the camera ADDED 10 pounds? :-)

  4. Elizabethon 26 May 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Aw, I like how the baby has a few adult feathers in between all the fuzz!

  5. Jan Christensenon 26 May 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Great pictures….can’t believe how big they looked in the vet’s hands! Gives great perspective. Thanks.

  6. Marianneon 26 May 2011 at 5:31 pm

    The slideshow is wonderful! Thanks to all for bringing it to us and thanks to Kate for getting the camera running again!

  7. Sandra F.on 26 May 2011 at 9:00 pm

    What a fun event! I learned so much. And many thanks to the Make-A-Wish employees for graciously allowing us to share their space this morning.

  8. Gintarason 26 May 2011 at 10:56 pm

    I don’t like the whole “banding” idea…This way we don’t treat other species living on this planet the same way we would like to be treated…

    I like birds, like watching time to time cams, like to take photos of birds, but won’t agree on need of banding…

    I don’t think, even Bob Anderson is in favor of banding of birds…
    Humans think, they’re most intelligent species on Earth…And what’s an Intelligence Of Species? A Lethal Mutation, and humans are about to prove that…

    Behavior? I’ve noticed: Peregrine Falcons, when they lay eggs – it looks, like most important thing in their life – to have babies- chicks, when eggs hatch, they they take care of their chicks like no one else in this World exists – feed chicks….etc…
    Then…the chicks learn to fly and leave parents nest…After that, while growing, chick create their own nests and take care of their babies very same way their parents did to them…Isn’t it nice? “Intelligent” humans aren’t able to do this…

    Another thing, they don’t kill and don’t enslave of their own, like humans do…

  9. Kathyon 26 May 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Wonderful!!! Thanks so much.

  10. Kate St. Johnon 27 May 2011 at 6:57 am

    Gintaras, it’s true that peregrines don’t enslave their own (they don’t live in social groups where they’d want the forced help of others) but they do kill each other. There are many documented and eyewitness cases of peregrines fighting to the death over nesting territory. That’s why it’s so scary when an intruder shows up to challenge an established pair.

  11. Kathy McCharenon 27 May 2011 at 7:56 am

    Thanks for the great photos and info about the banding. I was watching the webcam when the babies were returned and thought at first that the box Beth was carrying was labeled “Chicks”. I had a chuckle when I realized it said “Clicks”

  12. Karen Langon 27 May 2011 at 1:42 pm

    One of the best reasons I can think for banding or ringing the birds is to know where they go. As someone who’s been watching the pair at the Cathedral of Learning for many, many years, it’s really nice to find out that some of the “babies” you watch grow up and have territory of their own, find a mate and have chicks. I’ve been to Youngstown, OH to see Stammy who is the resident male but I remember when he was a chick here at Pitt…I’ve had the pleasure to watch him as an adult and father flying with his chicks. If he wasn’t banded I’d never know that he settled down with a mate & family of his own. It’s not like he remembers me but I remember him. I remember them all.

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