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Peregrine falcon chick hatches at Downtown's Gulf Tower

Mary Ann Thomas
| Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 2:12 p.m.
Several pairs of peregrine falcons nest atop buildings in downtown Pittsburgh.
National Aviary Falcon Cam Gulf Tower
Several pairs of peregrine falcons nest atop buildings in downtown Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Gulf Tower peregrines Dori and Louie welcomed their first chick of the season on Wednesday morning.

The newly hatched, fuzzy white falcon apparently had a voracious appetite close to noon, when it dined on what looked like bird nuggets offered by one its parents.

The pair has a total of five eggs, most of which are expected to hatch throughout Wednesday, according to Kate St. John of Greenfield, the main volunteer monitor for Pittsburgh area peregrine falcons for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

“These birds are experienced and very good parents,” St. John said. “It looks like it's going to be a great season.”

Dori and Louie are in their eighth year of rearing young.

Peregrine falcons first nested at the Gulf Tower at Grant Street and Seventh Avenue, Downtown, in 1991. For a time, they moved on from the tower and built nests in buildings along Third Avenue and near Point Park University.

Another peregrine falcon pair, Hope and Terzo, are awaiting the hatch of their first chick, which is expected as early as Sunday at the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland. The pair has four eggs.

The peregrine falcon still is endangered in Pennsylvania.

There are eight known active peregrine nest sites in southwestern Pennsylvania: Gulf Tower, Cathedral of Learning, Tarentum Bridge, Graff Bridge in Kittanning, Monaca East Rochester Bridge in Beaver County, Neville Island I-79 Bridge, the McKees Rocks Bridge and the Westinghouse Bridge in North Versailles, according to St. John.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or on twitter @MaThomas_Trib

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