Jun 13 2012
Great news from the Tarentum Bridge!
In April it seemed there were no peregrines at the bridge. Now there’s a family of four.
- In late May, Rob Protz reported peregrines going in and out of the bridge structure near the New-Kensington-side pylon.
- On June 1 the PA Game Commission confirmed two adults and one feathered chick too old to band.
- On June 10 Amy Henrici and Pat McShea saw one fledgling.
- Rob Protz confirmed two fledgings on the evening of June 11.
- And on June 12 Marge Van Tassel photographed the family of four.
The peregrines were there all the time but the adults hid their nest for as long as possible until the demands of their two chicks gave them away. Now you can see them up close from the Tarentum side boat ramp.
Marge’s photo below shows what the area looks like without magnification. There are four peregrines on the near pylon (red arrows).
But they aren’t always that far away.
Marge and Rob both report that the father peregrine likes to hunt for pigeons in the box girder cubbyholes. Pigeons are plentiful on the landside span so “Papa” perches above the boat ramp area and waits for a tasty meal.
Here he is. I sure wish we could read his bands from this photo!
His “kids” beg from above while their mother, nicknamed Hope, watches nearby. (I’ve brightened this photo of one of the fledglings so you can see it better. The backlighting makes it tough!)
They’re a busy family right now and will be easy to see in the next few days.
If you’re in the area, stop by the Tarentum Bridge to watch peregrines.
To get there from Route 28 Expressway: The Tarentum Bridge carries PA 366 over the Allegheny River. From Rt 28 expressway, take the exit for “PA 366 East. New Kensington, Tarentum.” In 1 mile you’re in the heart of Tarentum at the bridge. Take the First Avenue exit (it’s the first off-ramp just as you start onto the bridge). First Avenue is under the bridge. Ta dah! You’re there.
(first photo (of the whole bridge) by Kate St. John, all other photos by Marge Van Tassel)