News of Downtown Pittsburgh’s Peregrines


Peregrine at the nest ledge on Third Avenue, 28 Feb 2019 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Every spring we wonder where Downtown Pittsburgh’s peregrine falcons will decide to nest. Thanks to Lori Maggio’s recent observations and photos, we’re pretty certain they’ve chosen their favorite site at Third Avenue. We also think this pair is still Dori and Louie (more on that later). Here’s the news from the past two weeks.

Above, the Louie perches at the Third Avenue nest ledge on February 28. Below, the pair sits atop Point Park University’s Lawrence Hall.

Peregrine pair perched on the top corners of Point Park University’s Lawrence Hall, 28 Feb 2019 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Someone perched on a Lawrence Hall window ledge. I wish that bird was outside my window!

Peregrine on the window ledge at Lawrence Hall, 28 Feb 2019 (photo by Lori Maggio)

On March 1, Louie waited on the “rescue porch” railing while Dori was inside the nest area.

Male peregrine perched on the “rescue porch” railing while female is in the nest area, 1 March 2019 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Lori snapped the following two photos while she walked across the Smithfield Street Bridge. Yes, you can see a peregrine standing in the nest area from that distance! Lori zoomed her camera.

Peregrine in the Third Avenue nest area as seen from Station Square, 1 March 2019 (photo by Lori Maggio)
Peregrine in the Third Avenue nest area as seen from Smithfield Street Bridge, 1 March 2019 (photo by Lori Maggio)

On March 8 Louie was perched at the nest ledge and flew away.

Peregrine on the nest ledge and flying away, 8 March 2019 (photos by Lori Maggio)

Lori’s observations and photos helped us decide that these birds are still Dori and Louie because …

  • Their behavior is the same toward each other. (I’ve always seen a change in behavior — unusually intense courtship — when there’s a change in individual birds.)
  • They have all the same favorite perches. (New birds pick new favorite perches.)
  • The male’s feathers are pale and they always look rough, not smooth. I may be wrong but … Paleness indicates to me that this bird is male. Roughness indicates a bird in ill health or advanced age. In Louie’s case, it’s advanced age. He’s 17 this year, the same age as his mother Dorothy was when she passed away at Pitt.
  • The male is banded black/green with a silver USFW band. Though we can’t read the bands from Lori’s photos, the colors match Louie so he’s not out of the running.

Here’s another photo of the ruffled-looking male. He looks like Louie to me.

Peregrine on the nest ledge, 8 March 2019 (photo by Lori Maggio)

p.s. In case you missed it, we knew the peregrines wouldn’t nest at Gulf Tower this year because of roof construction. The nestbox was removed (temporarily) in January; the Gulf Tower camera is not operational. Gulf Tower will install a new nestbox when construction is completed. For more information read No Nest at Gulf This Year.

(photos by Lori Maggio)