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Bath Peregrine Lives Up To Her Name

GA Just after fledging in Bath (photo by Hamish Smith)
GA Just after fledging in Bath (photo by Hamish Smith)

Peregrine falcons have been seen in Bath since around the year 2000, and in 2005 the conservation charity, Hawk and Owl Trust, were kindly given permission to install a nest box on St Johns Roman Catholic Church, Bath. Peregrines have been successfully breeding there since 2006, and in early April this year the pair produced 4 eggs which they have been busy incubating since. The falcon (female) has done about 80% of the incubation with the tiercel (male) taking over for short periods. The eggs are expected to start hatching around 1-3 May. The incubation and hatching can all be viewed via the Hawk and Owl Trust website at www.upp.hawkandowl.org/ links can also be found there to the Norwich Peregrine webcam there too.

But have you ever wondered what happens to the chicks once they fledge? All the chicks that hatch at the St Johns Church, Bath site. And the nest platform at the trusts sister site on Norwich Cathedral are ringed by BTO registered ringers. Often the chicks are driven from the area before the start of the following breeding season, and we rarely see them again as they disperse. So imagine our surprise when a female falcon ‘GA’ (BTO ring number) that hatched at Bath St Johns Church on 8 May 2013 was spotted last week above the nest platform on Norwich Cathedral. The name ‘Peregrine Falcon’ literally means ‘Wandering Falcon’ so GA has certainly lived up to her name by wandering the 178 miles, although it is unlikely she did it ‘as the crow flies!’.

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