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Peregrine Information Round City, 14 March


Peregrine at the Sewickley Bridge, 3 March 2022 (photo by Jeff Cieslak)

14 March 2022

Until they begin incubating eggs two to four weeks from now, our local peregrine falcons are quite visible. If you want to see peregrines, now is the time.

Most sites have recent observations but some have no reports in March — probably not because there are no peregrines but because no one has looked. Take some time this month to look for peregrines at the sites without March reports. Click here for a regional map. More info at end.

Cathedral of Learning, Univ of Pittsburgh:

Morela has been spending every night at the nest since the beginning of March. She and Ecco court here and mate off camera. In the video below Ecco chirps at her for 8+ minutes on 11 March before she joins him. (I shortened the time with a “fade to black.”)

Watch the nest “live” on the National Aviary falconcam. Last year Morela’s first egg was on 17 March. Soon!

Downtown Pittsburgh:

Downtown peregrine nest building, Third Avenue (photo by Lori Maggio, 2013)
Downtown peregrine nest building, Third Avenue (photo by Lori Maggio, 2013)

Montgomery Brown is still seeing a single peregrine from a vantage point at Oxford Center, most recently on 11 March. Has anyone been to 3rd Avenue lately? We need more observers.

Monaca RR Bridge, Ohio River:

Railroad bridge over the Ohio River from Monaca to Beaver (photo by Kate St.John)
Railroad bridge over the Ohio River from Monaca to Beaver (photo by Kate St.John)

Dante Zuccaro reports one or two peregrines almost every day, seen from the mouth of the Beaver River, most recently on 12 March.

Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge, Ohio River:

Ambridge Bridge with a peregrine on top, 20 Feb 2020 (photo by Kate St. John)

If you’re in the vicinity of the Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge, check the top of it. Mark Vass saw a pair of peregrines there on 6 March. I saw a solo bird on 8 March.

Sewickley Bridge, Ohio River:

Peregrine on the Sewickley Bridge, 3 March 2022 (photo by Jeff Cieslak)

The peregrines at the Sewickley Bridge have been very active lately. Jeff Cieslak saw them on 3 March, I saw them on 8 March from Sewickley Riverfront Park, Mark Vass saw them on 10 March.

In the photo below Jeff Cieslak shows where they were perching on 3 March.

Two peregrines on the Sewickley Bridge, 3 March 2022 (photo by Jeff Cieslak)

It looks like one is banded per Jeff’s photo! Can’t read the bands yet. I wonder who this is.

Peregrine flying near the Sewickley Bridge appears to be banded, 3 March 2022 (photo by Jeff Cieslak)

Westinghouse Bridge, Turtle Creek:

Peregrine pair at Westinghouse Bridge, 12 March 2022 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

When Dana Nesiti visited the Westinghouse Bridge on 12 March one of the peregrines was nearly invisible. He found it by looking through the walkway grating, circled in bold yellow in his photo. (I circled the visible bird in thin yellow.)

This is a great example of how peregrines can fool you until they fly.

Peregrine at Westinghouse Bridge, 12 March 2022 (photo by Dana Nesiti)

Tarentum Bridge, Allegheny River:

Peregrine pair at Tarentum Bridge, 14 March 2022 (photo by Dave Brooke)

Dave Brooke sees the Tarentum Bridge peregrines every time he visits, sometimes one sometimes both.

On 6 March Dave noticed that the female’s left wing appears to be scraped. Perhaps she was in a fight. Obviously she won.

Peregrine at the Tarentum Bridge, 6 March 2022 (photo by Dave Brooke)

Female peregrines molt their primary wing feathers while incubating. She will eventually replace these feathers too and be back to normal. She is due to lay her first egg soon.

No recent news: No news since February at four sites. Can you help?

McKees Rocks Bridge, Ohio River:

McKees Rocks Bridge with ALCOSAN in foreground (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
McKees Rocks Bridge with ALCOSAN in foreground (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

The easiest place to observe the McKees Rocks Bridge and nearby power tower perches is at this eBird hotspot on Doerr Street.

62nd Street Bridge / Aspinwall Riverfront Park, Allegheny River: Over the weekend the 62nd Street Pittsburgh side was inaccessible due to a water main break. Visit this site from either side of the river — on the Pittsburgh side or Etna Riverfront Trail — and tell me what you see. (Click the links to see maps.)

62nd Street Bridge from the Pittsburgh side (photo by Kate St. John)

Graff Bridge, Rt 422, Kittanning, Allegheny River: The best place to see peregrines is from the Armstrong Trail near or under the Graff Bridge. Park here on Water Street in Manordale and walk north (upstream) on the Armstrong Trail. Tell me what you see.

Under the Graff Bridge as seen from the Armstrong Trail, 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)

Speers Railroad Bridge, Washington County, Monongahela River: Any news at all — seen or “didn’t see” — would be welcome! Click here for a map of the best vantage point.

In April nesting peregrines will be on eggs and very, very secretive. It will appear that they have abandoned their sites — but they haven’t. Go look for them now. Tell me what you see.

(photos by Kate St. John, National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh, Jeff Cieslak, Lori Maggio, Dana Nesiti, Dave Brooke and Wikimedia Commons)

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