Mar 14 2014
It’s been a busy week for Pittsburgh’s peregrines. All of them are courting and claiming territory and the Gulf Tower has pair already laid two eggs.
The cold snap and the work week have slowed down our (human) ability to observe all eight nest sites but a warm weekend is coming so here’s an update on the birds’ activities and information on where to look for them.
- At the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning, Dorothy and E2 make courtship flights around the top of the building and bow at the nest. Typically E2 brings Dorothy a meal, then flies to the nest and calls her to join him at the scrape. These two aren’t as loud as the video above would lead you to believe but they do call to each other. You can’t see them from inside the building. Best viewing is from Schenley Plaza (click here for instructions) or on the NEW IMPROVED falconcam link with snapshots and archives! First egg will arrive within the next two weeks.
- At the Gulf Tower Dori has laid two eggs and we’re expecting the third late today. We presume this pair is still Dori and Louie but are awaiting confirmation from the sharp-eyed observers at Make-A-Wish. Watch this pair at the north face of the Gulf Tower (click here for information) or online at the NEW Gulf Tower falconcam link.
- The Tarentum Bridge peregrines have been very busy. Last weekend Rob Protz saw them mating, Steve Gosser took this photo. If you go, best viewing is from the boat ramp under the Tarentum Bridge. Check the superstructure on the upstream side and the railings on the pylons. You’ll probably see some of us “Falconuts” there if the weather is good. (Click here for directions from the 2012 nesting season.)
- After a long winter without any peregrines at the Green Tree water tower this site has a very active pair right now. Several observers saw both birds last weekend and Shannon Thompson watched them mate several times on Saturday. Here’s one of her digi-scoped photos. Best viewing of their courtship is from the Olive Garden parking lot area across Greentree Road. You can also watch from the municipal park below the tower but it’s hard to see the courtship flights from there. (Click here for directions from 2013)
And at the other four bridges last weekend..
- Westinghouse: Nathalie Picard saw one adult on the bridge last weekend.
- Neville Island I-79 Bridge: Anne Marie Bosnyak saw both peregrines late in the day on Sunday March 9. (I saw Anne Marie when I stopped by at noon.) Click here for directions from 2013.
- McKees Rocks Bridge: This bridge has no good viewing location so it’s hard to monitor. Whenever I am in the area I check the power towers and tall structures nearby. So far I’ve seen nothing.
- Monaca & Beaver Bridges: This pair used the Monaca-East Rochester Bridge for many years but switched last year to the big railroad bridge that crosses from Monaca to Beaver. I didn’t see any peregrines when I scouted last Sunday though Tim and Karena Johnson have seen them. (Here’s what that railroad bridge looks like.)
It’s going to be a good weekend for peregrine watching. Let me know what you see.
(video of Dorothy and E2 bowing via WildEarth streaming, transcribed to YouTube by PittPeregrines. Photos: Tarentum peregrine flying by Steve Gosser, Green Tree water tower peregrine by Shannon Thompson)
p.s. If you’re having trouble seeing the cameras, click here for more information