Jun 29 2015
A week ago two peregrine nestlings were banded at the Westinghouse Bridge. This coming weekend we’ll hold a Fledge Watch. That’s how fast they mature and fly.
Banding Day, June 22, was the most excitement Pittsburgh Falconuts had seen for a very long time. The mother peregrine, Storm, put on quite a show when the PA Game Commission’s Dan Brauning came to town to band her babies.
The only way to reach the nest was by using PennDOT’s bucket truck but that didn’t make it easy. Storm lived up to her name by frequently attacking the three men in the bucket, screaming at them the entire time.
She was full of tricky maneuvers and soon made a direct hit on somebody’s helmet. We gasped as it fell 240 feet to the ground. My heavens, she knocked off his head! Whew… not really.
The closer the bucket came, the harder she pushed.
Dan Brauning gave her something to hit — his hand.
She screamed non-stop for half an hour until the banding was done and the men climbed back into the bucket. With her quiet at last on the catwalk railing, Dan Brauning took a moment to congratulate her.
As the bucket left the scene, Dan held up two fingers. V for victory? No, he means “2 chicks in the nest.” 1 male, 1 female.
Applause, applause! And we all went home.
Stay tuned for the Westinghouse Bridge Fledge Watch schedule this coming Fourth of July weekend. –> I don’t have dates and times yet because Westinghouse site monitor John English broke a rib last Friday. Oh no! Get well soon, John!
UPDATE July 2, 2015:
Fledge Watch has been canceled because Norfolk Southern Railroad doesn’t want us under the bridge. That area is their property.