Jun 20 2011
Sometimes I see the best birds when I’m looking for peregrines.
Last week I spent every lunch hour looking for the juvenile peregrines from Pitt. I walked a big loop and checked St. Paul’s Cathedral, Webster Hall, Heinz Chapel, the Cathedral of Learning and the tall buildings to the west but I could never find all four juveniles at the same time — only two.
I’m not surprised.
By now the young peregrines fly well and are becoming independent. They visit places far from the nest, pursue their parents whenever they show up, and play half-hearted aerial games with each other when they get bored.
Dorothy and E2 are avoiding them by staying away from the Cathedral of Learning. It’s very quiet in Oakland.
On the other hand…
On Friday I saw a juvenile peregrine on St. Paul’s steeple as I began my lunchtime loop. The next time I looked he was gone. The third time I glanced up a large raptor was flying toward the steeples.
A red-tailed hawk? No. An immature bald eagle!
He circled up over Craig Street and by the time I passed St. Paul’s he was very high up, almost a speck in the sky. Then a smaller, faster, fiercer speck attacked him!
A highly skilled, very territorial peregrine falcon repeatedly dove on the eagle with talons bared. The eagle was forced down and away to the east. He looked as if he was saying, “Sorry! I was just leaving!”
Good job, E2! Still keeping the area safe for his offspring.
(photo by Steve Gosser)