May 30 2014
Frozen in time, the female peregrine at the Neville Island I-79 Bridge shouts at the PA Game Commission’s Tom Keller and Patti Barber as they arrive to band his nestling on Wednesday May 28. Patti took his picture. This male is banded! We won’t know his identity until Patti’s photo tells the tale.
I was out of town Wednesday morning and missed the excitement. Anne Marie Bosnyak, Peter Bell, and Laura Marshall observed the banding from nearby. While we wait for official news from the Game Commission, here’s what we know so far.
Based on Anne Marie’s close observations, we think incubation began on April 1. Hatching probably occurred on May 6 when Anne Marie watched the male bring food into the nest and then bring it back out when the female — still in the nest — told him “Not yet.” On May 25 Anne Marie used her new camera (yay!) to confirm that the female is still Magnum, hatched in 2010 at Canton, Ohio.
Below, Magnum walks the girder to the nest hole on May 25. The floor of the nest is that plate with many rivets.
Thanks to PennDOT’s assistance, Patti and Tom got access to the site on Wednesday at 9:00am. To everyone’s surprise, Magnum stayed in the nest while the male flew around and shouted. (Typically the female attacks while the male stays back.) PGC found only one chick in the nest, a female, plus some unhatched eggs which they took for testing.
Here Tom Keller holds the chick for banding.
Congratulations to Magnum and her mate whose chick will fledge June 14-19.
Meanwhile we look forward to hearing of her father’s identity.
(photos by Anne Marie Bosnyak)