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Young peregrine falcons in Pitt's Cathedral of Learning nest learning to fly

2 young peregrine falcons in Pitt's Cathedral of Learning nest get banded
2 young peregrine falcons in Pitt's Cathedral of Learning nest get banded 00:28

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Dedicated watchers of the Peregrine FalconCam at Pitt's Cathedral of Learning may notice the nest is a bit emptier than usual. That's because the two young birds are spreading their wings and learning to fly.

In an update on Tuesday, the National Aviary said both young falcons are beginning to practice their flight before they fully fledge and "go off on their own adventures." Around 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, there was just one in the nest. 

A young peregrine falcon in Pitt's Cathedral of Learning nest was banded by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.  (Photo: National Aviary)

Thousands of viewers have watched the birds hatch and grow on the FalconCam. Parents Carla and Ecco laid four eggs this year, but one of the chicks died and the final egg failed to hatch

Peregrine falcons used to be endangered in Pennsylvania because of the use of the pesticide DDT. They were removed from the state's threatened and endangered species list in 2021, the Game Commission says. 

Last week, both young birds were banded, which will help scientists study the species, allowing them to track population trends. 

The National Aviary has been chronicling the lives of Carla and Ecco since February. Carla is new to the nest this year after the previous female Morela ended last season without any eggs and disappeared around May. Carla laid claim to the nest box and Ecco shortly after that, the aviary says.

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