Peregrine Recovery Program

Historic records indicate that the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) nested in 44 sites in Pennsylvania before the species’ continental population crash in the mid-1900s. Largely a cliff nesting bird, the peregrine will also adopt ledges on tall buildings and bridges. Its presence in Pittsburgh was only rumored until 1990, when a pair appeared in the city’s downtown; several years later they appeared at the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland.

How Did WPC Help the Peregrine Falcon in Pittsburgh?

In 1990, the Conservancy initiated the Peregrine Recovery Program in Pittsburgh.

WPC staff and volunteers developed partnerships with building managers that allowed for the placement of nesting boxes high on the Gulf Tower downtown and the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland. Nesting continues each year at these locations.

After managing the nest sites from 1990 to 2007, WPC transferred the Pittsburgh Peregrine Recovery Program to the National Aviary. This bird was removed from the U. S. Endangered Species Act list in 1999.