Pittsburgh falcon defeats Cleveland's in fatal fight
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Caretakers cleaning out a peregrine falcon nest at Pitt's Cathedral of Learning found the "withered and nearly decapitated" body of a male falcon who tried to take over the nest during the winter.
The interloper had been seen launching an attack in March. His body was discovered yesterday in a drain on the 40th floor of the Oakland landmark, which is being cleaned.
Pitt announced today that the dead bird was named Pulse and came from Cleveland. The press release stopped short of Steelers-Browns analogies.
The fallen bird's tracking band indicated he was born in 2004.
On March 18, images from a Web camera focused on the nest showed Pulse and Erie, the resident male, slashing each other with their talons and beaks for 20 minutes before rolling out of the nest and out of view.
"Those who monitor the nest pronounced Erie the victor because of the familiar manner in which the triumphant male and the female falcon Dorothy behaved. Pulse was assumed to have flown away in defeat when he was unable to claim the mate, nest, and perch," according to the release.
Anthony Bledsoe, a lecturer of biological sciences in Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences who helps monitor the falcons, said analysis of the remains could shed light on behavior and environments of the species.
"By determining the cause of death -- which currently appears to be a massive wound to the neck -- researchers can gain insight on how falcons fight and defend themselves," the press release said.
Erie and Dorothy have lived on the Cathedral since 2002 and raised 22 chicks, including four that left the nest for good last month.
First Published July 3, 2007 1:09 pm