Pitt Peregrine Falcon Nest Cam

Welcome to the 2020 season of the National Aviary’s Peregrine Falcon Nestcam!

Our nestcam is situated high up on the east side of the Cathedral of Learning on the main campus of the University of Pittsburgh.  From there the falcons can access Allegheny River to the north and Monongahela River to the south.  Less than a half mile to the west is Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh, where these two rivers converge, forming the Ohio River (altogether, these are Pittsburgh's famous "Three Rivers"). 

To start the video stream, click the "Play" button.  Note that the video stream may automatically stop after 5 minutes; to restart, just click the 'Play' button again, and it will resume streaming for another five minutes.  This helps to conserve bandwidth, which is very important in order to ensure that everybody who wants to can view the nestcam, and it helps reduce our costs for streaming the camera.

If you would like to help support the costs of the camera's operation, please donate here!

Latest News!

A new female peregrine, dubbed “Morela” in recognition of her apricot-tinged breast feathers ("morela" is Polish for "apricot"), arrived at the Cathedral of Learning in September 2019.  She and Terzo were observed courting at the nest site beginning in late October. 

If all goes well, this new pairing will lead to much better nesting outcomes than we have seen in recent years.

The History of Peregrines at Pitt

The Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh has hosted a pair of Peregrine Falcons since 2002, when "Dorothy" began nesting here with a tiercel (male falcon) named "Erie." In the fall of 2007, after Erie disappeared, another male (“Erie II”, or “E2”) showed up. Dorothy fledged a total of 22 chicks in seven years with Erie and another 20 chicks with E2. Her last nesting attempt, in 2015 at age 17, which is very old for a Peregrine Falcon, was unsuccessful. In November 2015 a new female, “Hope,” appeared at the nest box with E2.

Hope's arrival at the Cathedral of Learning followed several years of trying unsuccessfully to nest at the Tarentum Bridge (about 12 miles away as the falcon flies). Hope’s initial mate at the Cathedralwas E2, succeeded by “Terzo” when E2 died in March 2016. 

Hope nested at the Cathedral of Learning for four seasons, 2016 through 2019, during which time she exhibited very abnormal behavior.  She displayed aggression toward her chicks, and out of 16 hatched eggs, only 8 lived to fledge.  We, and the experts we have consulted, have no explanation for Hope’s highly unusual behavior.

In September 2019, a new unbanded female peregrine arrived at the Cathedral of Learning. By the end of October this new female was firmly established and courting at the nest with Terzo. Because she’s unbanded, we don't know where the new female came from.  The distinctive apricot-colored wash on her chest and face makes her recognizable on camera.  

Morela and Terzo likely will stay near the Cathedral of Learning throughout the year.

For up-to-date news and views about all of Pittsburgh's Peregrine Falcons, visit "Outside My Window," Kate St. John's Bird Blog. 

Many thanks to our partners:  University of Pittsburgh, M&P Security Solutions, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.