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Category Archives: Norwich Peregrines

Drama up in the Spire at Norwich Cathedral

Over the past few days there have been dramatic events happening at Norwich Cathedral with regards to an ‘intruder’, known as GA, being seen and causing disturbance to our nesting platform at Norwich Cathedral.  For the full press release and the Hawk and Owl Trust’s policy regarding this matter, please read below: 

On Saturday 14th May, a large dominant female bird was seen visiting the Cathedral Spire at Norwich. At that point our resident female appeared to be submissive to the female and was taking no action against the ‘intruder’. At that time the chicks were still being fed by both the male and the female.  The following morning, it was noted that the ‘intruding’ female had a blue ring on her left leg, at the time the letters on it could not be distinguished. However it was seen that she was starting to have a noticeable effect on our female throughout the day, harassing her and preventing her from delivering food to the chicks. The last noted time on our webcams where our female was seen on the platform was at 8.29am on Sunday 15th May.
On Monday 16th May, the day of the ringing of our Norwich chicks, the letters on the ring became visible and were confirmed as GA, this is a bird that hatched and was ringed at St. John’s Church in Bath in 2013, the sister project to our Norwich peregrines. GA was seen around the cathedral and on the spire. At one point seen on the window apex above the nest box and throughout the day catching prey, plucking and storing it on the very top of the spire. The Norwich resident female was not seen at all throughout Monday and all feeds to the chicks were delivered by the male.The ‘intruding’ peregrine, GA, is of breeding age, when she was ringed in Bath in 2013 she was described as “a large, feisty female”. However this is not the first time she has visited Norwich Cathedral, as she made an appearance in Norwich in the summer of 2015 and has appeared several times over the last winter. Sightings in the local area have also been reported showing she has been around in Norfolk over the last couple of weeks and we believe she may have been roosting in the nest box that we recently installed at Wymondham Abbey in February this year, as a blue ringed female had been observed.
GA seen briefly in the Norwich Cathedral nest box with the male and chicks at 8.00am on 18th May
The potential outcome with the introduction of GA into the arena here at Norwich, is that our female seems to have been chased away from the Cathedral, though she may still be in the area. The male now appears to have become the sole provider of food. He will continue to bring in food as often as he can, however as the chicks continue to grow and develop over the next 10 days or so, they will require increasing amounts of food. It is in this situation that ‘nature, red in tooth and claw’ may be seen in action and on our cameras. At this stage sibling rivalry may occur and the strongest and fittest of the chicks will pick on the smallest and weakest if food is in short supply.
The policy of the Hawk and Owl Trust, confirmed by Conservation Officer Nigel Middleton is that we will not intervene should this occur. This differs from the situation earlier in the week when the chicks were ringed by a licensed BTO ringer. On that occasion a veterinary surgeon was present to take samples for DNA and throat swabs as part of a research project into DNA profiling. It was a veterinary decision based on animal welfare considerations to treat a sick chick.
Peregrines are a Schedule 1 species of bird that are protected by law and for the Hawk and Owl Trust to intervene would require us to hold the relevant licence to do so. To justify obtaining such a licence there would need to be evidence of a complete abandonment of the chicks by both the parents. As the adult male is still seen to be feeding the chicks as best he can, what is happening now would be regarded as a natural occurrence and as such would not justify intervention from the Hawk and Owl Trust.

GA was seen briefly at the Norwich Cathedral nesting platform with the male and chicks at 8.00am on Wednesday 18th May
GA was seen briefly at the Norwich Cathedral nesting platform with the male and chicks at 8.00am on Wednesday 18th May
GA being ringed by Ed Drewitt in Bath in 2013
GA being ringed by Ed Drewitt in Bath in 2013

Norwich Cathedral Peregrine Season Continues with the Successful Hatching of all 4 Eggs

The story of this years Norwich Cathedral Peregrine season continues with the successful hatching of all four eggs into healthy chicks.  After between 35 to 36 days of incubation, which was taken in turns by the male and female, the chicks showed their first signs of hatching on Thursday 28 April.  Within 48 hours all four… Continue Reading

Norwich Cathedral Peregrine Season 2016 Kicks Off with the Laying of 4 eggs

The Hawk and Owl Trust Urban Peregrine Project at Norwich Cathedral is off to a flying start this season with the laying of four eggs starting on Friday 18th through to Saturday 26th March.  Please see below for specific timings and dates.     (Timings are approximate to the nearest 5 minutes) 1st Egg: Friday… Continue Reading

Volunteering Opportunities Still Available for the 2016 Norwich Cathedral Peregrine Watch Point

If you would like to meet like minded people who love birds as much as you do then we are looking for people to come and help volunteer with us at the Norwich Cathedral Peregrines Watch Point for the 2016 season.   The watch point will be opening on Wednesday 23rd March 2016 and will run… Continue Reading

Norwich Cathedral Peregrine Watch Point Set to Open on Wednesday 23 March

For all those people out there who just love to watch our wonderful peregrines at Norwich Cathedral‬ in Norfolk, we would like to announce that our Watch Point, set up near the refectory in the Cathedral Close, will be opening to the public at 10.00am on Wednesday 23 March, just in time for the Easter Weekend!  It will be… Continue Reading

Norwich Cathedral Nest Box Gets a Spring Clean for 2016

On Sunday 17 January, six intrepid volunteers climbed up the Norwich Cathedral spire to clean out the Peregrines nest box home, to get it ready for the coming, new and exciting 2016 season.  The day is told in a series of photos taken by Martin Lippiatt and screen grabs captured from the peregrines webcam.  Here was… Continue Reading

Hawk and Owl Trust Visit Norwich Schools to Teach Children about the Norwich Cathedral Peregrines

The Hawk and Owl Trust are delighted to announce the exciting new development of an educational Peregrine Outreach Programme to teach school children in local primary schools throughout Norwich about the Norwich Cathedral Peregrines.  This project has been made possible by generous funding from the Norwich Town Close Estate Charity.   Norwich Cathedral is a world renowned heritage site… Continue Reading

Volunteering Opportunities Now Available for the 2016 Norwich Cathedral Peregrines Watch Point

If you would like to meet like minded people who love birds as much as you do then we are looking for people to come and help volunteer with us at the Norwich Cathedral Peregrines Watch Point for the 2016 season.   The watch point will be opening on Wednesday 23rd March 2016 and will run… Continue Reading