Nov 09 2007


Published by

Kate St. John, March 2014 (photo by Thomas Moeller)
Fascinated by birds, curious about nature and addicted to peregrine falcons, I’ve blogged about all three at Outside My Window since 2007.

From my WQED office window I see a slice of nature in the city of Pittsburgh, but an indoor view is not enough. All week I monitor the peregrine falcons at the University of Pittsburgh.  In my spare time I hike in western Pennsylvania and beyond.

Birds are everywhere.  This blog is a window on their world from an avid observer’s point of view.

(Photo by Tom Moeller)


Photos on this blog are used by permission and are copyrighted material.  If you wish to use a photo you see here, you must get permission from the photographer.  I am happy to put you in touch with the photographer if you leave a comment below.

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13 responses so far

13 Responses to “About”

  1. MVon 17 Sep 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Hello Kate,
    I just wanted to send a thank you for your blog. I find it so refreshing. I thoroughly enjoy reading it and appreciate the things I learn from it.
    God bless,

  2. anneon 22 Oct 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Hi Kate,
    absolutely LOVE your blog, pictures, discussions.
    Have you noticed the lack of crows this year? I used to watch thousands fly over my area, spring and fall, morning and evening. Now, nothing.
    Have you had any comments about this phenomenon??
    thanks for any info,

  3. Kate St. Johnon 22 Oct 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Check the blog entry called “They’re Baaaaack” on October 10. I predict you’ll really notice crows at evening rush hour on Mon Nov 5.

  4. Linda Nagyon 29 Nov 2012 at 10:46 am


    I happened to stumble across your blog a few weeks ago when I was in Pittsburgh for a conference and then began googling you and R. You may not remember me…..I knew R. when he was a student at P. and lived at Cuyler with the gang. I know I have met you a few times….and am happy to see your essence expressed so thoughtfully and beautifully in this blog. Even though I am not a bird fan such as you are, mostly what I responded to was the space between the words in your writing, and then the clarity and simplicity of the highest order in your writing. Well, it’s poetry to me.

    Not really surprising, considering your life’s path…..

    Thanks for this beauty in the world.

    Linda N.

  5. Danaon 29 Jan 2013 at 10:49 am

    Hello Kate,

    I teach Field Biology at Seneca Valley Senior High. I just found your blog while searching for Bald Eagle sightings in Western PA (I saw one in Harmony today near the high school–first time in my life to see one in this area!!!).

    This information and the photos are FABULOUS!!! I can’t wait to use this in class.

    Thanks so much!


  6. Tom Briscombeon 04 Feb 2013 at 6:58 am

    Hi Kate….

    I have just found your blog and ‘site’ through researching Peregrine Falcons.

    I have been overwhelmed with the high standard of photography and the information you provide…

    I am a keen bird watcher and in particular a ‘raptor-watcher’… Based in the North Downs area of Surrey, UK, we have Buzzards, Sparrow hawks, Kestrels, occasionally, Marsh Harriers and Red Kites….amongst others..

    The Peregrines I follow are those permanently domiciled atop Chichester Cathedral, Sussex UK. The Web Cam is amazing and below in the cloister gardens, the RSPB has set up a great viewing station with scopes and wide screen viewing…You can find the site online for viewing later in the season.

    Speaking of Cams.. Loch of the lowes webcam – Scottish Wildlife amazing and features Osprey and others..

    This time of the year, we are all watching the Migrant waders coming in to parts of our East Coast from the Arctic, including the beautiful Mute Swans, although not sure if they are strictly classified as waders!

    The Mute Swans are generally recognised as being the second-heaviest birds in the World, the heaviest being the Kori Bustards of Africa. They say the Kori is 411lb and Mute Swan 39lb….

    I noted that Anne wrote about a lack of crows….. well, they are all over here….we have thousands, but it so happens you have all our house sparrows, so a fair swop, I guess!

    That’s all for now…I now have many pages of your site to visit…

    Happy ‘Twitching’ as they say in the UK…

    Take care

    Tom Briscombe

  7. Diane Shumakeron 17 Mar 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I have been reading your blog for several years. I have learned so much from what you write that sometimes I feel like you’re in my back yard looking at the same things I am. For instance, a wild flower just bloomed and I am wondering what it is, and I read your blog and there is the flower I was puzzling over. The day you blogged about the evening grosbeaks, they arrived at my house, and are still here! I am hoping some stay the summer, but we will have to wait and see. You blogged about the red polls, and low and behold, huge flocks showed up here and have been wiping me out of thistle seed. It has been a great winter for bird watching, and right now a partial albino fox sparrow showed up a few days ago at my feeder–he has me spell bound! I love watching the birds and trying to spot something I’ve never seen before. Winters are so long where I live. Feeding and watching birds makes the long months of snow and cold much more bearable. Thank you for your blog, and please keep it going!

  8. Doug & Judi Cunzoloon 27 Mar 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Kate, Judi and I have been enjoying your blog for some time and even left replies a few times when we thought we had something to add. This past weekend ,at our camp in Belltown, Elk County we found out why so many Crossbills die of road kill. Basically they just don’t move when a car comes by. They don’t fly away like other birds. On sunday morning we found at least 7 little bodies on the road from Lolita to Marienville. It was so disheartening. We even took pictures of them standing right near our car on the road . You have to swerve to miss them, if you even spot them. Maybe a shout out from you could help save a few. On another note , we saw 2 River Otters on the Clarion River on Saturday. They were twenty miles apart , One in Cooks Forest , the other just east of our camp. I only got photos of the later near dusk. The next morning we went back and the otter was out again in nearly the same spot. But sometime overnight he came out of the river and crossed the road, then back to the river. He left his tracks in the snow, including his slide marks. That was incredable. We can see why they are hard to spot though, because when the foliage along the river bank begins to leave out and Trout season begins they will be hiding. Its great to see wildlife like the Bald Eagle and River Otters making a comeback. We feel your blog helps get the word out, keep up the good work and maybe we’ll see you in the field. Doug & Judi

  9. Carmenon 12 Jun 2013 at 9:18 pm


    I just got knowledge of this blog after watching the Nature episode on hummingbirds. I wondered if you have any contacts I could reach out to regarding falconry. I am the Den Leader for my son’s Wolf Den and wanted to see about scheduling a visit from someone to teach the boys about falconry. Love the blog and know quite a few people I will pass it along to.


  10. Charleson 28 Aug 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Kate,

    I enjoyed reading your blog. I am an amateur raptor photographer from the West Coast, a couple of weeks ago I had a chance to visit Pittsburgh, I saw a red tail hawk catching a mouse just outside CMU. I did a google search and I am glad I found your site.

    If I ever get a chance to visit Pittsburgh again, I will definitely check your blog to find out the latest on your local raptors. Keep up with the good work!


  11. Susan Washburnon 09 Sep 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Hi Kate,

    I just found your blog as I was trying to identify a bird of prey, and I am pretty sure it was a red tailed hawk thanks to your wonderful information! My question is: Have you ever been to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary? It is in Kempton, Pa. , north of Reading, Pa. I was considering a trip there and wondered if you had been there, and had any advice. Thanks!

  12. Kate St. Johnon 09 Sep 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Susan, yes I have been to Hawk Mountain. It’s a very good place to see migrating hawks in the fall. Well worth the trip, particularly just after a cold front has passed & the wind is from the north.

  13. Mark Mulleron 20 Oct 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Hi Kate

    I enjoy the knowledge you share here, on your blog and have been reading it for several years.

    I am usually able to identify the birds I see here in western Pa having grown up and lived here for most of my life. But today was different, while walking in Bradys Run Park this evening I saw and photographed a very small grey waterfowl swimming in the creek along the walking track. I observed it multiple times, it was mostly grey and it’s body appeared to be about 6 inches long. It was difficult to get a good close photo, every time I got near it would dive under an oak tree that had fallen across the creek. I appeared to be an adult, it did not have any down and was alone in the creek.

    In searching online and using my field guide the only waterfowl that looks close is a Least Grebe, which absolutely makes no sense.

    I have a photo albeit not very good (only had my cell phone with me) I can send. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    I am going to go back to the park tomorrow with better photographic equipment with the hope of seeing it again.

    Thanks in advance and for such a great website/blog


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