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Ringing of Peregrine chicks at Norwich Cathedral, 2018. DECISION

Between 3 and 5 May this year, the pair of Peregrines that nest on the Hawk and Owl Trust Norwich Cathedral nesting platform hatched three chicks, from three eggs, having already lost one egg in an earlier accident.

Normally we would access the nest after a couple of weeks and ring each chick, placing a small uniquely numbered metal ring on its leg, under licence, which will enable the bird to be individually identified should it be seen or found again in future.

The Peregrines are wild birds and, perhaps not surprisingly, each individual has different personality characteristics. Anyone who has been following the Norwich Peregrines will know that the female (a bird known as ‘GA’ after the letters on her colour-ring, placed on her leg as a chick herself in Bath in 2013) is a relatively inexperienced bird, who is also large, clumsy and inclined to react strongly to situations and has already suffered two punctured eggs from her own claws, and the tragic loss of a chick last year after she caught it in her talons when spooked off the nest.

The process of ringing the chicks does not endanger them, but accessing the nest site from the spire is not straightforward. With, we believe, the benefit to science outweighed by the risk of danger to the chicks this year, therefore, the decision has been taken that we will NOT be ringing the chicks.

10 Responses to Ringing of Peregrine chicks at Norwich Cathedral, 2018. DECISION

  1. A good decision, there is no advantage to be had, endangering the young Peregrine Falcons. As you rightly point out the Falcon is a young & inexperienced parent bird, so we don’t know what could possibly happen should she become ‘spooked’ by the ringing operation.

  2. I’m with you. The less chance of the chicks being harmed, especially accidentally, the better. Thank you for letting us know.

  3. Perfectly understandable good for you guys and girls , you do an amazing job and the chicks are priority. Keep up the great work all the best adam

  4. Good decision, you know best.
    Please don’t you the word “tragic” though, it is part of the natural process, albeit unfortunate.
    There are many tragedies around us, some currently personal, some global.

  5. And thanks for the information, also regarding the fate of the fourth egg, hadn’t managed to find that info elsewhere.

  6. Last year the Norwich falcon was a very anxious parent. This year she seems to be much more relaxed and it’s good to see the falcon and tiercel working so well together to provide for their chicks.
    The Norwich falcon spiked an egg this year and the Bath falcon spiked her smallest chick. Accidents happen.
    JP