Pitt Peregrine Falcon Nest Cam


2017 Nesting Season

Update: 5/31/17:  Although their Gulf Tower counterparts have fledged in the past two days, the Pitt chicks are about a week behind them developmentally, so we anticipate they will fledge in about a week or ten days!

5/16/2017:  PA Game Commission biologists banded the three nestlings today.

Update: 5/9/17:  All three chicks are continuing to grow well, and we anticipate they will fledge successfully sometime in the second week of June.

Update: 4/28/17:  Better news!  A third chick hatched late on April 26, and all three appear to be doing well as of today.

Update: 4/25/17: Sadly, this nesting season seems to be starting off like last, with Hope inexplicably killing and eating the first-hatched chick in her brood on the evening of April 24.  A second egg has since hatched, and thus far (the morning of April 25) the chick is still alive.  

Update: 3/25/17: Fourth egg laid sometime on 03/24/17!  Incubation (which takes about 33 days) should have begun when the penultimate (second to last) egg was laid, so hatching is expected on or close to April 22--fittingly, Earth Day!

Third egg laid @7:33am 3/20/17.

Egg #2 laid @6:08pm on 3/17/17.

Hope laid her first egg of the year, on March 15 at approximately 6:35 am!

She had been seen on camera several times in January 2017; on January 13 she was there chee-upping loudly; Terzo could be heard calling loudly back to her from off camera.  Both birds have been seen on camera, although not for long stretches of time, as recently as February 22,2017.  As always, stay tuned!


2016 Nesting Season

The nesting season started with the pair Hope (female) and E2 (male) as the resident pair.  Hope laid her first egg on March 13.  On March 15 E2 was found dead about a half mile away from the nest, apparently struck by a car.  Despite being along, Hope proceeded to lay two more eggs.  Then, on March 23, a new male peregrine arrived, and he was dubbed "Terzo", which means third in Italian.  Hope laid a 4th egg on April 2.  The 1st egg hatched on April 29.  Inexplicably, Hope killed and ate two of her four chicks.  When the last chick died, she ate it, too.  The first-hatched chick, however, thrived.  It was banded on May 29 and fledged two weeks later on June 13.  This was the first successful fledging of a Peregrine at Pitt since 2013!

Although the reasons for Hope's aberrant behavior toward her other chicks and eggs cannot be known, it is worth noting that intruding female Peregrine Falcons were observed on camera at least two times prior to the hatching of her first egg, on April 8 and April 23.  Intruders were subsequently observed there on June 22, August 2, August 14, and November 14.  Meanwhile, between February and November, Hope herself was observed several times by falcon watchers at her old nest site on the Tarentum Bridge. 

In the final days of the year, though, Terzo and Hope were seen engaging in courtship bowing displays at the Cathedral nest site.  

History of Nesting at Pitt

Peregrines have nested at the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning since 2002.  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. 

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, WildEarth, M&P Security Solutions, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission

Our sincere thanks to PixController, Inc. for providing many years of nest cam maintenance and support.

Alternate Nest View

Click on the picture below for an image that refreshes automatically every 15 seconds.

Peregrine Nest, University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning

To view the archives of this nest cam, go to http://www.wildearth.tv/video-archives and select "Cathedral Falcons" from the drop down list.