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University of Pittsburgh Peregrine Falcons

This webcam is located at the University of Pittsburgh at the top of the Cathedral of Learning. Peregrine Falcons have nested at the Cathedral of Learning since 2002. Dorothy and E2 are the parents at this site. Dorothy began nesting here in 2002 with her first mate, Erie. E2 arrived in the fall of 2007 when Erie disappeared. Dorothy fledged 22 chicks in seven years with Erie and 7 chicks since 2008 with E2

Peregrine Falcon Facts

The Peregrine Falcon was listed as an Endangered Species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1972 following the catastrophic decline of the species worldwide. In response and after the banning of DDT, the Peregrine Fund, a non-profit organization, was organized with a mission to reintroduce the species into North America.

Some of the earliest reintroduction sites included historic nesting areas in Pennsylvania during the 1970s. The Peregrine has subsequently experienced one of the most dramatic recoveries of any endangered species, and was formally removed from the federal list in 1999. The Peregrine Falcon continues to be listed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission as an Endangered species because of the small local population and continued threats.

Peregrine Falcons are very strong fliers and often reported to be the fastest bird in the world. Their average cruising flight speed is 24 to 33 mph, increasing to 67 mph when in pursuit of prey. When stooping, or dropping on prey with their wings closed, it's been calculated that Peregrine Falcons can achieve speeds of 238 mph.

Nesting Facts:

The birds do no nest building beyond a ritualized scraping of the nest ledge to create a depression in the sand, gravel or other substrate of the nest site. Scrapes are about 9 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep.

    Clutch Size: 25 eggs
    Number of Broods: 1 broods
    Egg Length: 2"2.2" in
    Incubation Period: 2932 days
    Nestling Period: 3542 days
    Egg Description: Pale creamy to brownish, dotted or blotched with brown, red, or purple.