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Norwich Peregrine Egg Fails

Cathedral Spire Nest Platform Project now Looks Forward to 2012

The egg laid by a pair of peregrine falcons on the spire of Norwich Cathedral has failed to hatch successfully. The egg shell broke in the early hours of 6 June, revealing a dead chick.

The falcon had laid the egg, on Easter Sunday, on a nest platform installed by the Hawk and Owl Trust only this February. The female bird is still a juvenile so the fact that she laid an egg at all was a great surprise. Although conservationists were hoping the egg might hatch against al the odds, the chick inside failed to hatch successfully.

Though sad, the failure of an egg is not unusual. Unfortunately as the female peregrine was immature and only laid a single egg this year, there were no others to hatch successfully. Peregrines usually lay up to four, sometimes five eggs.

Despite the disappointment this year all the signs are good for 2012. Now that the male peregrine has set up territory and he is strongly bonded with the female bird it is probable that they will both stay at the Cathedral. The female should be mature enough next spring to breed successfully so it is hoped that their practice run this year will result in a full clutch of eggs on the platform next April.

The Hawk and Owl Trust and Norwich Cathedral will continue to work in partnership to monitor the peregrines and visitors to the Cathedral will be able to watch the sky around the spire for them. The webcam will be restarted if the birds nest again next spring. In the meantime people can watch nesting marsh harriers on the Hawk and Owl Trust reserve a Sculthorpe Moor in Norfolk here and recordings of the Norwich Cathedral peregrines are available here.

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