A person wearing gloves holds a football-sized falcon chick
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The newest Cathedral of Learning falcons were banded and given a clean bill of health

  • Our City/Our Campus
  • Cathedral of Learning

The stately Babcock Room on the Cathedral of Learning’s 40th floor once held Board of Trustees meetings. But on May 20, it played host to a different kind of guest: a pair of month-old, football-sized falcon chicks.

The chicks are the first offspring raised by Carla, the female peregrine falcon who moved into the Cathedral nest last year, and resident male Ecco. They hatched April 22, and this week they were ready to get their bands, numbered metal rings placed on the birds’ legs that allow wildlife professionals to keep track of individual birds. Thanks to efforts like these, the state’s peregrine population has rebounded in recent decades after historic lows caused by the pesticide DDT.

Pennsylvania Game Commission Endangered Bird Biologist Patricia Barber retrieved the chicks, banded them and gave them both a clean bill of health before returning them to the nest.

See pictures from the banding below, and keep track of the falcon chicks on the National Aviary webcam as they prepare for their first flight over the next few weeks.


— Patrick Monahan, photography by Aimee Obidzinski