Her Name Is Morela | Outside My Window


Morela at the nest, 17 Oct 2019 (photo from the National Aviary snapshot camera at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Now that the new female peregrine at the Cathedral of Learning has been on site for more than six weeks and has actively claimed the nest, it’s clear that she is no longer “new.” Meanwhile, it’s too vague and unwieldy to call her “the female peregrine at the Cathedral of Learning.” So today she gets a name.

In Pittsburgh, the tradition for naming adult peregrines is this:

The primary nest monitor names the bird for his/her own convenience using these two rules. If the peregrine was named at banding that name is preferred. Otherwise the primary monitor names the bird.

How do peregrines get their names?

As an unbanded peregrine she didn’t come with a name so it was my job to decide what to call her. After many hours of deliberation and consultations with my fellow peregrine monitor Karen Lang …

… the new female peregrine at the Cathedral of Learning has a name: Morela.

It’s a tribute to the pale orange color of her breast, belly and cheeks. Morela means “apricot” in Polish.

Pale apricot
Morela has a pale orange breast in every light

p.s. I pronounce it Mor-ELL-ah.

(photos from the National Aviary falconcams at Univ. of Pittsburgh)