Spring means peregrine falcon eggs at the Cathedral of Learning

Peregrine falcon chick

It’s March, so it must be peregrine falcon egg-laying season.

“Hope,” who along with her partner “Terzo” lives year-round in an artificial aerie near the top of the Cathedral of Learning, has laid five eggs — on March 11, 14, 16, 18 and 21 — according to Pittsburgh birdwatcher Kate St. John who writes the blog Outside My Window.

Peregrine eggs in nestYou can watch the nest on the National Aviary webcam. Hope began incubating fully after the third egg was laid. If all goes well, the eggs will begin to hatch after roughly 30 days of full incubation, or toward the end of the second week of April.

The Cathedral of Learning has hosted a pair of peregrine falcons since 2002, when “Dorothy” began nesting there with a tiercel dubbed “Erie.” Dorothy fledged 42 chicks between 2002 and 2015, when she is thought to have died at the age of 17. According to the Aviary, Hope had tried to nest at the Tarentum Bridge (about 12 miles away as the falcon flies) for several years before coming to the Cathedral in 2015.

Hope has a history of killing and eating some of her fledglings. Last year, only two of the four chicks survived and the year before she killed and ate one of the four hatchlings.