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May 12, 2016

1 CL peregrine chick survives

Under circumstances befitting a Greek tragedy, only one peregrine chick has survived from a clutch of four eggs at the Cathedral of Learning nest this season.

The sole survivor hatched early on April 29. A second chick that hatched a few hours later was immediately killed by its mother, Hope, and fed to its older sibling.

A third chick hatched April 30, but failed to thrive and died May 5.

The three were fathered by Hope’s deceased mate, E2. He died in mid-March, apparently in a collision with a vehicle. (See March 31 University Times.)

Hope’s new mate, Terzo, fathered the fourth egg. That chick hatched May 6, but it too became a meal for chick 1.

Kate St. John, author of the birdwatching blog Outside My Window (, had no explanation for Hope’s extremely abnormal behavior.

Born in 2008 in Hopewell, Virginia, Hope nested at the Tarentum Bridge before moving to the Cathedral of Learning nest this season.

Hope’s history at the Tarentum Bridge included fledging two chicks in 2012 and two in 2014, according to St. John’s most recent compilation of local peregrine progeny. In 2013, one abandoned egg was found in the Tarentum nest.

Unlike the Cathedral of Learning nest, where the birds’ activity is observed around the clock (, there is no camera at the Tarentum Bridge nest.

Hope’s predecessor, Dorothy, raised 43 chicks at the Cathedral of Learning nest: 22 with her initial mate, Erie, and 21 with E2. She disappeared last fall and is presumed dead.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

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