Archive for the 'Peregrines' Category

May 10 2015

First Egg Hatched!

First nestling of 2015 (photo from National Aviary snapshot cam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

First nestling of 2015 (photo from National Aviary snapshot cam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Dorothy and E2’s first egg of 2015 hatched this morning at 4:49 am.  Teresa Buszko was quick to save this snapshot of the first nestling for Pittsburgh Falconuts.

The chick will be hidden when Dorothy broods it but you can be assured an egg has hatched because there’s an eggshell to Dorothy’s right.

First Egg Hatched at Univ of Pittsburgh, 2015 (photo from the National Aviary snapshot cam)

First Egg Hatched at Univ of Pittsburgh, 2015 (photo from the National Aviary snapshot cam)

But look quickly for the shells.  Dorothy eats them for their calcium.

Dorothy eats the eggshell, 10 May 2015 (photo from the Nartional Aviary snapshot cam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Dorothy eats the eggshell, 10 May 2015 (photo from the Nartional Aviary snapshot cam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Watch the action on the webcam here.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

(photos from the National Aviary snapshot camera at University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning)

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May 09 2015

Westinghouse Yes! Tarentum No

An angry Storm. The female peregrine at the Westinghouse Bridge (photo by Tom Keller, PA Game Commission)

An angry Storm. The female peregrine at the Westinghouse Bridge, 8 May 2015 (photo by Tom Keller, PA Game Commission)

Yesterday Tom Keller of the Pennsylvania Game Commission checked several peregrine bridge sites to get an estimate for hatch and banding dates.  His visits solved two mysteries.

At the Westinghouse Bridge we’ve been debating the identity of the female peregrine ever since Dana Nesiti captured photos of her bands last month.  By mid-April we decided that they read Black/Green 66/C so I wrote “Surprise!  Canton, Ohio’s “Storm” has regained her nest site after a three year absence.”

But that seemed more surprising than was actually possible.  Storm is 10 years old and would have re-won the site from six-year-old Hecla who triumphed over her in 2012.  Where did Storm go for three years?  Why didn’t she come back earlier?  We doubted the band was 66/C.  It was Curiouser and Curiouser.

Tom Keller solved the mystery.  Storm was so angry when he approached her nest that she nailed his helmet half a dozen times and he got a very good photo of her bands (66/C).  He also got a blurry photo of the male’s bands, below.  Art McMorris says that the partial reading indicates the male is from Virginia.

Male peregrine bands atthe Westinghouse Bridge (photo by Tom Keller, PGC)

Male peregrine bands at the Westinghouse Bridge (photo by Tom Keller, PGC)

Meanwhile, we were disappointed but not surprised to learn that Tom found no evidence of a peregrine nest at the Tarentum Bridge.  Hope (69/Z) has kept the bridge as her territory but she doesn’t have a mate and was not aggressive when Tom walked the catwalk.  The good news is that she dug a scrape in the new nestbox.  We hope she has a mate next year.

Stay tuned for Banding and Fledge Watch dates at the Westinghouse Bridge.

Westinghouse, Yes!   Tarentum, alas, is No.

 

(photos by Tom Keller, PA Game Commission)

LATE BREAKING NEWS! A young male (still brown) was seen with Hope at the Tarentum Bridge this morning.

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May 08 2015

Yes, It’s Hot!

E2 panting at the nest in the heat, 7 Mat 2015, 10:48am (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

E2 panting as he shades the eggs (photo from the National Aviary snapshot cam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

This week’s hot and sunny weather has been 14-16 degrees above normal  — so hot that peregrines are panting at their nest.

The official thermometer said our high was 85F yesterday but at the Cathedral of Learning peregrines’ nest it was probably in the high 90’s by late morning because the rocky surface faces south in full sun.

The peregrines adapted, switching from incubating the eggs (which adds heat) to merely shading them for air circulation.  But that meant Dorothy and E2 had to stand in full sun to create the shade.  No wonder E2 is panting, above, with his wings open.

During the worst of the heat the pair relieved each other more often.  Dorothy gave E2 a break just after noon and, with the eggs in shadow, she took the opportunity to sunbathe. The sun probably felt good because she’d spent the last two hours in the shade.

Dorothy sunbathing (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Dorothy sunbathing (photo from the National Aviary snapshot cam at Univ of Pittsburgh)[/em]

She raises her feathers and pants to keep cool while the heat works its way to her skin.

Dorothy panting in the heat (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Dorothy panting while the eggs are in the shade. (photo from the National Aviary snapshot cam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

 

Dorothy and E2 will be panting a lot in the next few days.  The forecast calls for sun with highs of 86-87F degrees.

Yes, it’s going to be hot.

 

(photos from the National Aviary snapshot camera at University of Pittsburgh)

p.s. On Friday, May 8 the high temperature in Pittsburgh was 19 degrees above normal.

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May 07 2015

Sign of a Peregrine Fan

Published by under Peregrines

"I Love Peregrines" bumper sticker from Zazzle.com

“I Love Peregrines” bumper sticker with Dorothy’s portrait

Throw Back Thursday:

Three years ago I designed a bumper sticker to show I’m a fan of peregrines — and a fan of Dorothy’s.  My sticker had faded a little so I ordered a new one last week and then I thought …

Maybe you’d like one, too.

Click on the bumper sticker to order it at Zazzle.  Read the original blog post here: Sign of a Peregrine Fan.

 

A note about Hatching:  Dorothy and E2’s eggs are due to hatch this weekend so the cameras have been zoomed in to watch for pips in the eggs.  In the past it’s been normal that one of Dorothy’s 4-5 eggs does not hatch.  Because of Dorothy’s age (16!) it is likely that most of them will not hatch this year.  We shall see.

UPDATE:  Art McMorris, the PA Game Commission’s peregrine expert, has calculated that these eggs will hatch on Monday May 11.  So stay tuned.

 

(screenshot of bumper sticker on Zazzle with a photo of Dorothy by Pat Szczepanski)

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May 05 2015

How To Stay Dry In A Downpour

E2 about to take over incubation, Cathedral of Learning, 5 May 2015 (photo from the National Aviary snapshot camera)

E2 about to take over incubation, Cathedral of Learning, 5 May 2015 (photo from the National Aviary snapshot camera)

This morning a heavy downpour hit at 8:45am.  E2 usually gets soaked when this happens, but this time he had a plan.

Click on his photo to see the slideshow.

 

(photo from the National Aviary snapshot camera at the Cathedral of Learning)

p.s. The eggs are due to hatch on May 9 or 10.  Soon I will zoom in the snapshot camera so we can watch for pips.

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Apr 24 2015

Curiouser and Curiouser

Published by under Peregrines

Peregrine dozing high on the Westinghouse Bridge, 12 April 2015 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

Peregrine dozing high on the Westinghouse Bridge, 12 April 2015 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

Identifying this peregrine falcon at the Westinghouse Bridge is a lot harder than we thought.

Thanks to Dana Nesiti’s many fine photographs, we were fairly sure in mid-April that the Black/Green bands were 66/C.  If so, it meant Surprise! the female “Storm” from Canton, Ohio had re-won her old nest site.

But we weren’t sure.

On April 18 John English, Dana Nesiti, and Maury Burgwin made another visit to the Westinghouse Bridge armed with cameras.  Using Dana’s new photos of the bands we were ready to declare this bird is 68/C, a female named Blaze hatched at the Bohn Building in Cleveland in 2005.  However, Anne Marie Bosnyak’s online investigation found that Blaze died in a territorial battle in Michigan in 2008.  This bird cannot be Blaze.  The bands aren’t 68/C. (See the comments on who she was probably fighting!)

So who is this bird?

We know that the 50-60/C series is a large band normally used on female peregrines so this bird is female … right?

Maybe not.  PGC’s peregrine coordinator, Art McMorris, suggests the bands could be 58/C, a male named Mike hatched at the Mendota Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2004.  Sometimes a male receives the large-size band on banding day.

The peregrines’ behavior at the Westinghouse Bridge says that incubation started on Easter Sunday April 5 so it makes sense that the male would be standing guard now (or sleeping) while the female incubates.  The female could still be Hecla (Black/Red 68/H).

The plot thickens.  We need more evidence.

As John English said on Pittsburgh Falconuts Facebook page, it’s “Curiouser and curiouser … Westinghouse Bridge continues to confound and really needs more than just three observers.”

 

(photo by Dana Nesiti)

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Apr 15 2015

Surprise!

Published by under Peregrines

Female peregrine at Westinghouse Bridge, 12 April 2015 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

Female peregrine at Westinghouse Bridge, 12 April 2015 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

It looks like this peregrine falcon is jumping out to surprise us … and so she is!

When Dana Nesiti photographed her at the Westinghouse Bridge last Sunday he got a really good look at her bands and they’re not what we expected.

Female peregrine bands atWestinghouse Bridge, 12 April 2015 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

Female peregrine bands at Westinghouse Bridge, 12 April 2015 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

Since 2012 the female at Westinghouse has been Hecla, Black/Red 68/H, who hatched at the Ironton-Russelton Bridge in Ironton, Ohio in 2009.  Dana’s photos earlier this month confirmed Hecla was still there.

But notice that these bands are Black/Green and appear to be 66/C.

If they are, we’ve seen these bands before.  Black/Green 66/C nested at the Westinghouse Bridge in 2010 and 2011.  Named Storm when she was banded in 2005 at Bank One in Canton, Ohio, PennDOT employees discovered her nest when she attacked them during bridge repairs.

If this is Black/Green 66/C, Storm has reclaimed her old nest site from Hecla.

And there’s an added twist.  It would mean that Pittsburgh has two female peregrines from Bank One, Canton, Ohio.  The second one is Magnum (2010, Bank One) who nests at the I-79 Neville Island Bridge.  Canton Peregrine Fans, did the same peregrine parents nest at Bank One in 2005 (Storm) and 2010 (Magnum)?  If so Storm and Magnum are full sisters.

Thanks to Dana for such great photos.  We hope he gets more of them so we can confirm her bands.

A picture is worth a thousand words!

 

(photos by Dana Nesiti)

p.s.  News on Monday April 13 indicates that Ohio’s peregrine population has fully recovered:  Peregrine falcons have been taken off the Threatened list in Ohio.   Here in southwestern Pennsylvania we can tell that Ohio has a surplus because most of our new nest sites are established by Ohio-born peregrines.

8 responses so far

Apr 14 2015

Dorothy’s Daughters, 2015

Published by under Peregrines

Beauty has four eggs 3 April 2015 (photo from RFalconcam, Rochester, New York)

Beauty has four eggs, 3 April 2015 (photo from RFalconcam, Rochester, New York)

Now incubating on her 15th nest(*) at the Cathedral of Learning, Dorothy is quite the peregrine matriarch.  She has fledged 42 youngsters and is a grandmother and great grandmother many times over.  Most of her “kids” disappeared in history but a few who chose to nest at monitored sites have been identified by their bands.  This spring there’s news of three of her many daughters.

 

Beauty has four eggs in Rochester, New York

Pictured above, Beauty is Dorothy’s most photographed offspring.  Born in 2007 she flew north to Rochester, New York where she nests with Dot.Ca on the Times Square Building.  Five cameras watch her every move but she is unfazed by the paparazzi.  Her love life was rocky in 2011 and 2012 but she and Dot.Ca are a devoted couple now and they’re incubating four eggs.  Follow her news and live video at RFalconcam.

 

Hathor is incubating in Mt. Clemens, Michigan

Hathor is incubating in Mt. Clemens, Michigan (photo by Barb Baldinger)

Hathor is incubating in Mt. Clemens, Michigan (photo by Barb Baldinger)

Hatched in 2003, Hathor nests at the Macomb County Building in Mt. Clemens, Michigan where Chris Becher and Barb Baldinger check on her progress every week.  On April 2 they found two eggs. When they checked on April 9 she was incubating.  Hathor’s nest is not on camera but you can follow her news on the Peregrine Falcons Southeast Michigan Facebook page.

 

Belle is gone from the University of Toledo
Belle at Univ of Toledo (photos from the Univ of Toledo falconcam)

A nest-mate of Hathor’s, Belle made news when she became the first female peregrine to nest at the University of Toledo.  She had undisturbed success at the bell tower, year after year, and fledged 24 young.  But in 2014 another female challenged her while she was incubating four eggs.  During the fight the eggs were scattered and Belle sustained injuries to her face (click here to see).  She healed and hatched two of them.  With extensive help from her mate Allen both youngsters fledged successfully.

Perhaps the fight was a hint of the future.  Cynthia Nowak sent me news that Belle went missing in February and a new, younger female is on the scene.  Though it’s sad to see a peregrine go — especially one of Dorothy’s daughters — we welcome the hope of new peregrine chicks at the University of Toledo where the new female, Liadan, has laid five eggs.  Stay tuned at Toledo Peregrine Project’s Facebook page.

 

(photo credits: Beauty from RFalconcam, Hathor’s eggs by Barb Baldinger, Belle photos from the University of Toledo Fal-cam)

(*) Dorothy first nested at the Cathedral of Learning in 2001 but the nest failed and was never found. A nestbox was provided in 2002.

10 responses so far

Apr 12 2015

A Few Seconds At The Gulf Tower

Published by under Peregrines

A peregrine visited the Gulf Tower nest on April 9 at 1:35pm (image from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

A peregrine visited the Gulf Tower nest on April 9 at 1:35pm (image from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

At midday on Thursday April 9, Ann Hohn at Make-A-Wish saw a peregrine flying around the top of the Gulf Tower.  She didn’t see it stop at the nest so she had no opportunity to find out who it was.  And then the bird was gone.

But the bird tripped the motion detection camera at 1:35pm.  I discovered this when I pulled the two images he generated.

The first photo shows his feet landing on the upper perch.

A peregrine lands at the Gult Tower (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

A peregrine lands at the Gulf Tower (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

The second one shows him on the gravel, looking in the window.

Here’s a closeup.  He’s banded, but the photo is not clear enough to read his bands.  (Click here for the original photo. Can you tell what color his bands are?)

Closeup of peregrine at the Gulf Tower, 9 April 2015, 13:16 (image from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

Closeup of peregrine at the Gulf Tower, 9 April 2015, 1:35 pm (image from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

He looked in the window but left immediately.

Yes, the peregrines are Downtown but they’re not at the Gulf Tower.  We would love to know where they are.

Leave a comment if you see them!

 

(photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

7 responses so far

Apr 10 2015

Cameras Up And Down

Published by under Peregrines

E2 incubates during a severe thunderstorm that downed this camera 54 seconds later, 9 April 2015, 6:12:00 PM

E2 incubates during the severe thunderstorm that downed the camera at 6:12:54 PM, 9 April 2015

BREAKING NEWS AT 1:45PM, APRIL 10!
The streaming camera is up again thanks to Bill Powers from PixController & Phil Hieber at University of Pittsburgh.

THIS MORNING AT 7:15AM I WROTE:
The sun sets close to 8:00pm in Pittsburgh now, yet it was dark last night at 6:12pm in this image from the Cathedral of Learning falconcam.  You can’t see the lightning or hear the thunder but at this moment E2 is watching a severe thunderstorm crashing around him. Soon it began to hail.

And at 6:12:54 PM the camera went down.  The live video went dead.

Lightning can do crazy things.  Bill Powers of PixController hopes a reboot of the streaming camera will revive it (i.e. turning it off/on indoors).  If not, we’ll have wait until the nesting season is over this summer to fix it.

I know what you’re thinking. No, we cannot go out on the ledge to fix the camera.  These are endangered birds, protected by the PA Game Commission, and it’s forbidden to disturb them and their nests.  Besides, it would be counter productive.  If the fix worked you’d get a nice camera image but the peregrines would quit nesting and there’d be nothing to watch.  And an outdoor fix might not work.  If the damage is electrical it’ll require a whole new camera.

The good news is that the Pitt snapshot camera is working though it has no sound and doesn’t stream video.  You can see its snapshots every 10-15 seconds here.

Dorothy incubating, 10 April 2015, 7:18am

Dorothy incubating, 10 April 2015, 7:18am

Dorothy and E2 will continue to incubate their eggs and we’ll see what happens when they’re due to hatch in early May.

Just because we can’t see something streaming live on the Internet doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.  :)

 

(photos from the National Aviary falconcams at University of Pittsburgh)

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