May 30 2013
This morning was way too exciting!
When the owner of this pickup arrived at his truck near Third and Wood, there was a large raptor on his roof. He thought it would fly away, but it didn’t. Young peregrines grounded like this just stand there.
So Paul drove over to the Aviary with the bird on his roof! (1.8 miles including crossing the Allegheny River) The peregrine hung on. Aviary staff Chris Gaus and Teri Grendzinski called the PA Game Commission emergency number 724-238-9523 and captured the bird for safe keeping until a Wildlife Conservation Officer could arrive to return the bird to a high launch near its nest. In the meantime the Aviary nicknamed the bird “Paul” for the driver who rescued him.
Here’s hoping “Paul” will learn from this mistake and not go car surfing again any time soon.
Thanks to Teri and Chris and the Aviary staff for the rescue and to Ericka Houck for the Twitter photo!
NOON UPDATE on “Paul’s” return: Here’s a photo from Amanda McGuire showing “Paul” returned to a high perch across the street from the nest. (The nest itself is inaccessible.)
UPDATE AT 5:00pm: At 3:30pm I received news that a second fledgling was standing on the sidewalk near Point Park University. Point Park police sheltered her and the PA Game Commission took her up to the same high spot where “Paul” was perched. When they dropped off his sister (yes, she’s female), “Paul” flew away (yes, he’s male; the size difference was obvious). “”Sis” is getting re-oriented and will eventually leave on her own. …Three of the four Downtown chicks flew today. I wonder where the third bird is…!