Jun 06 2011

Close Ups

Published by at 7:02 am under Peregrines


Now that the Pitt peregrine chicks have fledged the best place to watch them is on campus.

On Saturday I arrived early for Fledge Watch and walked around the Cathedral of Learning looking for fledglings.  I found three: one on the nestrail who hadn’t flown yet, one on the northeast ledge of the 32nd floor, and “First Fledge” flying here and there (he’s getting good at this). 

Where was the fourth?  In an hour we found out.

At 11:00am E2 plucked prey on Heinz Chapel steeple, then swooped low over its roof and down the opposite side.  Big hint!  There’s a juvenile peregrine over there.  Peter, Denise, Anne Marie and I walked over to see. 

By the time we got there a wedding party was leaving the chapel so we skirted the crowd and followed the sound of angry robins. 

Peter found the juvie on the roof’s “nestrail” on the Fifth Ave side.  The juvie begged for food and spread her wings while her father circled above with prey but would not land.

E2 didn’t like her location but she was OK, in a safe place, though still harassed by robins. 

Through binoculars she looked quite close.  Peter was able to identify her from his photos:  72/AE with yellow tape on her USFW band.   

The other three chicks were staying up high on the Cathedral of Learning so this was probably our globe trotter from Friday evening.  “Globe Girl”, “Yellow Girl”, she was making a name for herself.

After many close looks at Yellow Girl three of us went back to the tent.  Peter stayed and got great pictures, especially when E2 finally gave in and brought her lunch then left with a great sweep of his wings.

Yellow Girl mantled over her meal.  Food at last!  In the photo above she looks especially thankful.

Ironically, it’s a robin.

p.s. Click on her photo to see Peter’s slideshow. Wow!  Great close-ups!

(photos by Peter Bell)

19 responses so far

19 Responses to “Close Ups”

  1. Marianneon 06 Jun 2011 at 7:55 am

    This is such a great story! Peregrine detectives are at it again! :-)

    Fantastic pics Peter! That is one brave robin!

  2. Anne Marieon 06 Jun 2011 at 7:56 am

    These are fantastic photos! Thanks Peter for sharing them.

    Glad you were there to capture the action, but how long did you have to wait after we left before E2 showed up? Please don’t say 5 minutes or I’ll really be kicking myself!!! :-)

  3. Donnaon 06 Jun 2011 at 8:00 am

    Fantastic photos Peter! Thanks for being there and sharing your talents.

  4. Kathy McCharenon 06 Jun 2011 at 8:19 am

    Great slide show! Thanks to Peter for the photos and to Kate for bringing them to us.

  5. faith cornellon 06 Jun 2011 at 8:55 am

    Such great pics of those fluffy things all growing up; wonderful weather for those learners learning & watchers watching.
    Kate, got to see your reality show on QED , had seen the humming bird tape before but enjoyed it again. See you had 2 hats, like your usual one best. I showed you off to my husband & told him “see I know famous people!!!!”

  6. Barbaraon 06 Jun 2011 at 10:00 am

    What a great photo – and thanks for so much description as to what the young falcons are up to. Sorry to see that lunch was a young robin – probably barely out of the nest, from the look of it – if that old. Oh well, . . . . hopefully the rest of the robin family will move to better cover.

    Again – thanks for the wonderful narrative on the falcons’ progress, and also the wildflower shots. They are beautiful.

  7. Steve-oon 06 Jun 2011 at 10:38 am

    Great photos Peter! I need to get some better lenses.

    Glad to hear that all of the falcons are progressing well, I miss watching them. Raptors are very rare out here.

  8. Nellie Curranon 06 Jun 2011 at 11:17 am

    Thanks Peter for the great pictures. Wish I could have been there.

  9. Dianeon 06 Jun 2011 at 3:54 pm

    This slideshow is just spectacular. Our two pefa gals in Wilmington have ended up in Rehab. One of them has tail feathers that are just partially out of sheath. I particularly enjoyed looking at your falcon and her perfect tail. What do you think causes them to fledge too early?

  10. Kate St. Johnon 06 Jun 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Wow! I have no idea why they fledge too early. Never heard of it … except where there’s a predator scaring them … but you have a webcam + watchers so you know what’s happening.

    hmmm. This is worth a web/literature search but I can’t do it for a few days.

  11. kellyon 06 Jun 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Those are amazing photos.

  12. Dianeon 06 Jun 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Kate, The webcam only shows the nest and no one has been in it. My thought is that there is not enough room for the fledges to practice running and flying. The nestbox is in a large window well. If we could find info that would document the need for a roof nestbox, I could present it to our Fish and Wildlife man. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any luck finding anything in writing. If you have the time/resources it would be great. Or if your readers have any thoughts on this. Thanks so much.

  13. Kate St. Johnon 06 Jun 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Hmmm. That sounds like a good hypothesis. At Pitt & Gulf and at the bridges there are lots of surfaces for ledge-walking. From what I’ve seen of your box it has only the nestrail & nothing else. Hmmmm.

  14. Jennieon 07 Jun 2011 at 12:04 am

    Fantastic photos, Peter! Thanks for sharing them. Kate, your description made me feel like I was there.

  15. Ellieon 07 Jun 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks for your post Kate and for your excellent slideshow, Peter. I’m amazed by these photos…..top notch for sure.

  16. Patty C.on 07 Jun 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Thank you for these amazing photos!

  17. Kate St. Johnon 07 Jun 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Today at Pitt, Dorothy and E2 are staying away because the nagging of their kids is getting to them. The nagging hasn’t stopped though. I was over near Heinz Chapel at 3pm and saw 3 juvies. Two were silent on the 10th floor roof edge but the third was complaining loudly and *bitterly* from the 32nd floor spout facing east. Her voice certainly carried! All the way to Craig Street.

  18. Monika Son 09 Jun 2011 at 9:15 am

    Just wanted to share: As I walked into the Cathedral this morning I heard quite the racket coming from Heinz Chapel. I looked up and saw that a falcon (I assume one of the youngsters) was sitting towards the top of the point… boy is she(he?) LOUD! Perhaps someone wanted breakfast? :-) Nevertheless, I was happy to get to see one of them.

  19. Karen Langon 09 Jun 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Great photos Peter:)

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