Caution For Hatch Day 2019

APRIL 24, 2017: Hope picked up her first pipped egg. Later she killed and ate it. (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)


The peregrine eggs at the Cathedral of Learning nest are due to hatch next week, but here’s a word of caution:  You won’t want to watch.

My calculation says that hatch day for Hope and Terzo’s eggs will be next week, some time between Monday April 22 through Thursday April 25, 2019.

However, it won’t be a happy event. Hope has a habit of opening some of the eggs with her sharp beak, killing and then eating some of her chicks.  Her behavior is abnormal and upsets nearly everyone who sees it. She has done it every year.

In 2016 Hope killed and ate two chicks before they could emerge from their eggs.  In 2017 she killed one. In 2018 she killed two.

We don’t know why she does it but my word to the wise is this:

Caution! Don’t watch the eggs hatch at the Cathedral of Learning if it upsets you to see a mother kill her young.

p.s. After hatching is over Hope is a good mother, caring for her chicks and guarding them against danger. From 2016 through 2018 she fledged six youngsters from the Cathedral of Learning.

(snapshot from 24 April 2017 from the National Aviary falconcam at University of Pittsburgh)