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Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales

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We have chicks!

Peter Howlett, 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.

We have nestlings!

Peter Howlett, 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.

28 March 2011

Peter Howlett, 28 March 2011

Welcome to the 2011 season of Peregrines on the Clock Tower.

There has been plenty of activity around the tower in the last few weeks - in fact the adults have not left all winter. Perhaps more surprising is that 2 of the youngsters from last year have also been putting in occasional appearances.

3 weeks ago the young female was flying around calling for food when the adult male flew in clutching a bird in its talons. Then last week I was lucky enough to see the young male tearing at a carcass alongside his mother - who didn't seem to mind the intrusion, although he only butted in once she had eaten her fill!

The bad news this, as far as we're concerned, is it looks like they're going to use the nest on the north face of the tower. This will make life difficult for all of us trying to watch what's going on.

It's not all doom and gloom though, we can still see the nest - just not as well as the one on the east side - and we'll be able to see the adults bringing food into the chicks a little later in the summer.

Here's to a successful 2011 season.

28 March 2011 update

Peter Howlett, 28 March 2011

Breaking news

Female appears to have started incubating.

The chicks are flying!

Mari Gordon, 19 June 2010

Well, it's all been happening in the last few weeks!  

As you know from the last post, we lost one of the four original chicks around 23 May. On Saturday 29 May it was a rainy day and so we limited the event to the Museum. Then, at about 12.20 a lady rushed into the Museum to say that some people outside near City Hall had found a chick on the pavement and were "kicking" it to make it fly off. James and I rushed outside to see what was going on and there was a chick on the road, surrounded by people. It obviously had jumped the nest a bit too early, as it couldn't fly yet.  

So we contacted Adrian Williams, local falconer who we're consulting with, who came down to check it over. He said it was fine, just a bit underweight. James and Adrian took the chick back to City Hall roof where the chick was placed just under the clock tower. By the bank holiday Monday, the bird had made it back onto the tower, but not to the nest. 

In the week or two after we have only ever seen two juvenile birds at one time, so it looks as if the third one did not get enough food from its parents and was out-competed by its siblings. Sad news. 

However, the remaining two are now flying! They're coming up against their own challenges as the gulls try to mob them as they practice their flying skills, but it doesn't seem to be deterring them from making significant progress. They're beginning to look quite adept, so do come down and see us soon, as we'll be seeing some aerial acrobatics as the young birds get taught their hunting skills by the adults.  

Sarah Lewis