Mar 10 2014
A week ago, on March 3, I began to lose faith that the Downtown Pittsburgh peregrines were going to nest at the Gulf Tower this year.
Peregrines had nested there for 21 years (1991 – 2011) but they abandoned the site in 2012 during installation of the new rooftop lighting scheme and chose a nook at the back of a building on Fourth Avenue. We feared this new site was permanent because they nested there in 2012 and 2013.
The Fourth Avenue site was fraught with difficulties. Only 12 floors up, it was bad for peregrine fledglings because they had little room for gaining altitude during their first day of flight. Three of last year’s four fledglings had to be rescued from the ground. It was also bad for observers because we had no camera on the nest, the street below was an unpleasant place to wait and watch, and the nook was inaccessible for banding.
We had high hopes that the peregrines would return to the Gulf Tower when they spent many days courting there in February, but on March 2 they abruptly changed gears and began focusing their attention at Fourth Avenue. Oh no! For a week they were never in the Gulf Tower motion detection snapshots. I stopped by Fourth Avenue yesterday and found a peregrine perched at the old nook opening. Oh no! It looked like they were about to choose Fourth Avenue again.
This morning I checked the Gulf Tower camera to make sure it was on daylight savings time and behold, Dori was at the nest with an egg!!
I was so surprised I could barely believe my eyes!
Just to be sure, I captured several snapshots including Louie’s first visit before dawn.
Dori has come home!!
Join the fun. Watch the Gulf Tower nest here.
(photos from the National Aviary falconcam at the Gulf Tower)
p.s. Thanks to Gulf Tower management for making this site so attractive to our downtown peregrines.