Expanding Their Winter Range? | Outside My Window
13 Nov 2019:
Since last August when Sean Brady reported peregrines at the Freeport Bridge, Dave Brooke has spent time at the Treadway Trail parking lot beneath the bridge hoping to take their pictures.
Here are two of Dave’s photos: 9 Nov 2019 (above) and 10 Oct 2019 (below).
As I examined the October photo I noticed that the peregrine’s dotted breast and darkly lined chest look familiar. Few other peregrines look like this, but the female from the Tarentum Bridge does.
For comparison here are two photos of her from last February.
Female at Tarentum Bridge, Feb 2019, two photos by Steve Gosser
Meanwhile Dave’s November 9 photo is not a dotted-breast bird. It is possible though, that it’s the Tarentum male. The female would readily tolerate the presence of her mate but probably not another peregrine.
Compare the top November 9 photo to this one.
Male peregrine at Tarentum Bridge, 25 March 2019
Peregrines expand their hunting territory as soon as their youngsters are able to hunt. They expand even further in winter when their primary prey — birds — have left on migration.
It would not be unusual for the Tarentum peregrines to be five miles from their nest site, only minutes away by air. The area has an additional attraction. Ducks gather at the Allegheny River Lock & Dam #5 just upstream from Freeport.
Interesting eBird note: The Freeport Bridge crosses the line where four PA counties meet: Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler and Westmoreland. The peregrines could be in any one of 4 counties depending on where they perch.