Summer work spotlight: ‘capital’ falcons

By Sarah Cutshall, Visuals editor

For our 2019 Silhouettes edition, visuals editor Sarah Cutshall spent long hours last spring staring up at the Cathedral of Learning or waiting around the building’s top floors, hoping to catch a glimpse — and get a good shot — of some of Pitt’s protected peregrine falcons, which roost on the 40th floor of the Cathedral.

[Read: Pitt’s peregrine falcons: Flesh and blood]

This past summer, Sarah’s internship with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection gave her the opportunity to take pictures of another flock of falcons. For about two weeks in June, she camped out with a members of DEP’s Environmental Education and Information Center and volunteers with the Harrisburg Falcon Watch and Rescue, documenting the fledging of several young birds from the roof of the The Rachel Carson State Office Building.

Sarah described how when the young birds first attempted to take flight, they would land in the streets of other places where they weren’t safe. She shot pictures of volunteers taking the young falcons back up to their nests, where they could try their wing at flying again.

“This year, we worked with the game commission to get them Motus trackers that use radio telemetry so we can track where they go after they leave Harrisburg,” she wrote in a message. “3/4 of them got the trackers and they’re basically lil’ backpacks, it’s so cute.”