Apr 19 2012

Timing of Peregrine Nesting Season

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Peregrine falcon nesting follows the same pattern every year.  Here are the seasonal milestones in Pittsburgh from Art McMorris, Peregrine Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Game Commission:

  • Territorial defense and courtship begins:  January.  The birds are seen flying together and circling their territory.
  • Courtship intensifies: February and early March.  The birds are seen flying together more often.  Male presents food to female.  They bow at the nest.  Frequency increases as egg laying approaches.
  • Egg laying:  Begins in mid March or early April.  An egg is laid every other day until the clutch is complete.
  • Incubation:  Begins when the next-to-last egg is laid.
  • Hatching:  33-35 days after incubation begins.  Typically in late April, early May.
  • Brooding:  Lasts for 8-12 days after hatching. Typically in late April, early May.
  • Banding in Pittsburgh:  Conducted by the PA Game Commission.  If the chicks are in an accessible location they are banded at 23-30 days old.
  • Chicks fledge: 38-45 days after hatch.  Typically in early June.  Timing depends on age, sex and physical condition of the chick.
  • Young birds disperse:  Young in Pittsburgh are dependent on their parents for 6-10 weeks after fledging.  They leave home from July through September.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Timing of Peregrine Nesting Season”

  1. Marilyn Marshon 04 Aug 2012 at 1:34 pm

    When (in the fall) are peregrine’s likely to migrate away from the Pittsburgh area? I have never seen one and will be in the area (closest to the Tarentum Bridge site) in mid-Sept.

  2. Kate St. Johnon 04 Aug 2012 at 1:54 pm

    The adults will still be at the bridge but the young will leave soon. Most likely they have left already.

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