Pitt Peregrine Falcon Nest Cam

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Latest News!

The two surviving chicks, identified as males by their age-specific size when they were banded on May 15th, successfully fledged on June 3-4! The single unhatched egg was collected for analysis by the PA Game Commission at the time when the chicks were removed for banding. 

On April 24th, as the third egg was hatching, Hope pulled it out of the clutch and consumed the contents of the egg.  She also fed some of it to her previously hatched chicks.  On April 27th she also fed on the fourth egg.  Infanticide in raptors is extremely rare.  In general it is thought to be associated with food shortage, but there may be other factors at play in this case.  

A second egg hatched during the night and two chicks were see well at 7:45am on April 23; a third egg was seen to be pipped, so a third chick may appear before the end of the day. The first egg hatched at 10:00 in the morning on Earth Day, April 22, 2019.  The other eggs will hatch over the next 24-36 hours.

Hope laid a fifth egg at 6:00am on March 21!  She laid her fourth (and, we mistakenly thought, her final) egg on the evening of March 18 at 6:20pm.  She had laid her third egg on Saturday morning, March 16, 2019, at about 10:00am.  The second egg was laid early on Thursday morning, March 14, 2019, at 2:30am.  She laid her first egg of the season on the evening of March 11, 2019.  

Full-time incubation should have begun on March 18, and the eggs should begin to hatch in about 30 days, or the middle of the third week of April.

History of Nesting 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 dubbed "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, was unsuccessful, and in November 2015 a new female appeared at the nest box with E2.  We assume that Dorothy finally succumbed to the effects of her very old age (almost 17 years old) for a wild Peregrine falcon. 

A replacement female for Dorothy, known as "Hope," did not have to come from very far away.  She tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to nest at the Tarentum Bridge (about twelve miles away as the falcon flies) for several years.  Presumably, E2 somehow made his unmated status known--perhaps with conspicuous flight and vocal behaviors--and Hope decided to join him in Oakland at the Cathedral of Learning. 

Hope and Terzo stay near the Cathedral of Learning all year long. 

For up-to-date news and views about all Pittsburgh's peregrines, 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