The National Aviary is closed today, February 20, due to inclement weather.

The National Aviary is closed today, February 20, due to inclement weather.

Pitt Peregrine Falcon Nest Cam



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Latest News!

The two chicks continue to grow very well, and first one and then the other have recently exercised their wings and landed themselves on the ledge just a foot or so below the nest box (but, unfortunately, out of view of our camera).  The parents will continue to feed them there, and it is likely that they will stay there until fledging in the next couple of weeks.  So, when you tune in and don't see the chicks on camera, don't worry!  They are just fine.

Both chicks were banded by the PA Game Commission and given a clean bill of health on the morning of May 11th.  

A second chick has successfully hatched late on the night of April 18, and, along with the chick hatched on the afternoon of April 17, is being cared for properly.  

Female Peregrine Falcon Hope’s eggs began to hatch on April 16. Unfortunately, Hope ate two of her eggs as they began to hatch. This is the third year in which Hope has exhibited very unusual behavior.  It’s important to remember that these nest cams give us a view into the wild world of birds, and while it is not our role to intervene, we can learn a lot from watching and documenting these behaviors. 

Hope laid a third egg on schedule on March 12 at 2:10am; she laid her fourth and final egg on March 14 at 12:20pm.  She began incubating the clutch after the third egg was laid on March 12, so the first eggs should hatch on or around April 14 (the incubation period for Peregrines is usually 32 days).

Hope laid her first egg of the season on the evening of March 6, 2018 at 7:09pm!  She laid her second egg on March 9 at 11:21am.  A third egg should follow on March 12 sometime.

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. 

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 at the Cathedral of Learning all year long.  Hope generally lays her first egg by mid-March.

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