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Peregrines on the Clock Tower

March 2014

The Peregrines are back

Posted by Katie Mortimer-Jones on 26 March 2014

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The Peregrine web cam

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Adrian Plant watching the Peregrine Web cam

The Peregrines are back on the City Hall Clock Tower. One bird seems to be spending most of the day hidden in the recesses of the nest (on the right hand side of the ledge underneath the clock face), suggesting that she may have started incubating eggs. This would imply a laying date a little earlier than we have seen in previous years. However, we are aware of another local pair of peregrines that are incubating eggs, so perhaps it is an early season this year. Museum Curator Adrian Plant has taken over the duties of the Peregrine Web-cam, and will be keeping an eye on them for us.

 We will keep you posted on what happens.

June 2013

Peregrines on City Hall clock tower 2013

Posted by Peter Howlett on 7 June 2013

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Young male Peregrine Falcon ringed on 6 June

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Young male Peregrine Falcon - not ringed on June 7!

June 7 Update

Eventful couple of days. Received a call yesterday that a young Peregrine was on the ground near City Hall. Directions weren't brilliant so had to go hunting around and finally found a young male hunkered down at the edge of one of the footpaths in Alexandra Gardens, under some overhanging vegetation. Amazingly you could walk past within a couple of feet and it didn't move. He was duly picked up and taken back to the roof of City Hall at the base of the tower where he was fitted with a BTO ring and a colour-ring Blue FH, the first photo is of him looking lass than happy with his experience but hopefully it will keep him out of trouble until he can fly strongly enough to gain height.

Then this morning I had another call from the RSPB to say that a young Peregrine was on a statue in King Edward VII Avenue. I met up with Phil Pinder and there was the bird sat on the statue (second photo). This one was unringed so we knew it was a different bird to yesterday, I tried to catch it so it could be ringed but wasn't quite quick enough and it flew off strongly. Which is a good thing as it suggests it should survive. Apparently it had been seen feeding earlier so it's good to know that the parents are feeding them even quite some way from the tower.

No sign of the young female today though.

Peregrines on the City Hall Clock Tower 2013

Posted by Peter Howlett on 6 June 2013

June 6 Update

All three youngsters are practically fully grown now and one of the males has even left the nest ledge. He was seen on a roof above the west entrance to City Hall yesterday morning where he will be safe enough.

The other two, a male and a female, could be seen wing flapping and getting themselves ready for their first flight. It won't be long before they're out and about.

So far, so good, although the next two or three days are still perilous for the youngsters as they don't have the strength to get back to the higher ledges in the first few days after their first flight. Fingers crossed that all three will be safe and fledge this year.

May 2013

Peregrines on the Clock Tower 2013

Posted by Peter Howlett on 29 May 2013

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Chicks at about 20 days

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and at about 28 days

May 29 update

Well the chicks are now about a month old and the change in the last 10 days or so has been dramatic. The pictures show them at about 20 days and then a mere 8 days later, changing from fluffy white balls to something resembling a Peregrine.

If all 3 chicks fledge - possibly a big if given the knack they have of falling off the tower before they can fly properly - this will be a very good year. Well, I suppose it is anyway as the adults wil have raised 3 chicks to fledging age, just that the nest site isn't particularly safe for youngsters!

Judging by the size of the young it looks like there may be one female and 2 males. At one month the difference in size between the sexes is apparent even from a distance.

The next 2-3 weeks will be very challenging for the youngsters, I hope they manage to stay on the tower! 

Peregrines on the Clock Tower 2013

Posted by Peter Howlett on 3 May 2013

May 3 update

Plenty of feeding taking place today and I think there may now be 3 chicks. Their heads are becoming more visible by the day so it should soon be very obvious how many chicks there are. Female seems to be doing most of the feeding at the moment with the male bringing in the food.

I hope the chicks are more sensible this year when they are bigger and don't get too adventurous too soon - the ledge by the nest isn't very wide! 

Watch their progress here

April 2013

Peregrines on the Clock Tower 2013

Posted by Peter Howlett on 30 April 2013

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Female Peregrine feeding young on Tuesday morning

Update 30 April

Great news, at least one chick has hatched over the weekend. The female spent 10 mintues or so tearing off little morsels for a chick this morning. I could just make out a little white head wobbling around. As I write this the female is back brooding the chick and the remaining eggs. Apologies for the quality of the photo, the only way I can get screen shots of any activity is to photograph the screen.

Peregrines on the Clock Tower 2013

Posted by Peter Howlett on 11 April 2013

April 10th: There are eggs

The female started incubating on the 20th March so, all being well, we can expect the first chick to be hatching in the latter half of April. There was relatively little sign of the pair earlier in the year and the report of a dead Peregrine in Alexandra Gardens just before Christmas was a cause for concern!

With so little displaying and calling around the tower I was quite surprised to see the female begin brooding in late March, let's hope this pair is successful.

We have chicks!

Posted by Peter Howlett on 24 April 2012

Or at least the Peregrines do. There was a worrying moment yesterday morning when I didn't see any activity around the nest for hours, I couldn't see a bird on the nest - and it was raining. I eventually saw the female at the nest late morning but she just had a cursory glance at the nest then flew off.

She returned a little while later and then sat on the nest for the rest of the day. The male flew in a couple fo times and on one occasion I am pretty certain brought in a little lump of food. The female didn't stir but it's possible the chick hatched sometime yesterday (or over the weekend).

When I switched the camera monitor on in my office this morning I saw the female was sitting on the nest then the male popped in with a morsel of food. The female stood on the edge of the nest, started tearing small chunks off and was stretching into the back of the nest to offer the food to the chick. This went on for about 10 minutes until the female resumed incubation.

Peregrines normally lay 3-4 eggs and start incubating as soon as they lay the first one, which means the first egg laid hatches first. Assuming the other eggs hatch there will likely be more chicks over the next few days but it could be a couple of weeks before they are big enough to be seen over the rim of the nest.

Peregrines on the Clock Tower 2012

Posted by Peter Howlett on 24 April 2012

As with last year the Peregrines were around over the winter, I could see, or hear, them from the office most days. It seems August/September is when they are least visible, probably while they are moulting their feathers after the breeding season.

The camera was back up and running in mid-March just in time to see the female start incubating eggs some time around the 20th.

Let's hope that they have a better season than last year!

May 2011

We have nestlings!

Posted by Peter Howlett on 5 May 2011

At long last the female has been seen carrying food into the nest so we know at least one egg has now hatched.

As the eggs are incubated as soon as she lays them the others should hatch at 1-2 day intervals.