Peregrine chicks named

by Michael Ford last modified 11 Jun, 2019 04:09 PM

The four peregrine falcon chicks hatched on the Cathedral Tower in Salisbury have been named.

Pansy, Petunia, Perry and Sky were also weighed and ringed as their parents (dubbed Fiona and Bruce by Cathedral staff, after the Antiques Roadshow presenter who visited our Cathedral recently) circled the Tower.

The three females and one male weighed between 700 and 900 grams. They were ringed with the distinctive blue ring that marks them out as South West region peregrines, each bearing a unique two-letter code allowing researchers to keep track of them in future.

Three of the young birds were named by 11 year old Ben and Eleanor, who are RSPB young ornithologists from Salisbury Cathedral School. The ringing was done by Ed Drewitt from the British Trust for Ornithology, assisted by RSPB Conservation Officer Phil Sheldrake.

While Perry, the only male – initials VS – was named by St Osmunds Pre-School, Salisbury, where the children, aged 2 to 5 year old, have been following the peregrines via the web feed.

The chicks, which are around 25 days old, were weighed, measured and ringed by Ed Drewitt from the British Trust for Ornithology, who was assisted by Phil Sheldrake, RSPB Conservation Officer.

The Salisbury chicks will remain on the Cathedral Tower balcony until the end of June when they are expected to fledge. They will stay around our Cathedral for at least month after that, learning survival and hunting skills from their parents before striking out on their own.

The four chicks have been lucky so far. On 10 May, Sally (the tagged and GPS tracked female who previously occupied the nest) moved in to harass the parents and take over the nest. For a day she disrupted incubation. Luckily all four eggs survived. Sally remains in the area, so it will be interesting to see whether she will return to harass the fledglings.

Meanwhile, our Cathedral has launched its Peregrine Tower Tours in partnership with the RSPB’s South Wilts group. Well-known and respected local RSPB member and peregrine expert Granville Pictor is joining the 12.15 Tower Tours on the next three Wednesdays in June, offering visitors the opportunity to learn more about the peregrines as the youngsters prepare to fledge.

Upcoming dates are:
Wednesday 12 June, 12:15
Wednesday 19 June, 12:15
Wednesday 26 June, 12:15
Tours can be booked online via the Cathedral website.

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