First falcon of spring hatches atop Gulf Tower
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The first peregrine falcon chick of the season hatched yesterday, causing excitement among bird-watchers, who caught the action on the National Aviary's FalconCam atop the Gulf Tower, Downtown.
"We think it's a little late," said Kate St. John of the timing of the hatching. The parents are Tasha and Louie.
The fluffy white nestling was the first of nine eggs in the city to hatch. Four eggs remain in the peregrine nest atop the Gulf Tower, and four are atop the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland.
Watching the eggs hatch on the FalconCams at www.aviary.org has become a springtime tradition in Pittsburgh, led by the Aviary and Ms. St. John, a bird blogger at WQED.
Ms. St. John predicted that the four eggs at the Cathedral will begin to hatch today or, more likely, tomorrow. The female there is Dorothy and the male is E2. Typically, not all eggs hatch, she said.
Once one of the most widespread birds in the world, peregrines became endangered decades ago because of the use of pesticides, including DDT. A nationwide recovery program that included a ban on DDT has enabled their comeback.
First Published April 25, 2009 12:00 am