Hawk & Owl Trust: Norwich Peregrines 2019

By Alwyn Jackson
In the recent copy of H&OT’s Peregrine magazine (Autumn/Winter 2019) Zoe Smith, Peregrine Officer, reported that 2019 was another great season for the Norwich Peregrines. A clutch of four eggs was completed in March about nine days earlier than the previous year probably due to warm weather over the early spring and mild winter. Unlike in previous years with this female, all four eggs successfully hatched at the end of April. Unfortunately, however, a few days later the male brought in prey and in his haste to feed accidentally stood on one chick with his talon. The chick later died and was eventually recycled by being eaten by the remaining chicks, a frequent occurrence when a chick dies. The three remaining chicks did well and at around 21 days old they were ringed. They have orange darvic (plastic) rings with the letter combinations YS, YL and L7. If re-sighted anywhere at a later date, the H&OT will know that they originated from Norwich cathedral in 2019 (members, see Ray’s article on the wingtagged Marsh Harrier – keep your excellent eyes peeled!)
In early June on a windy day, the first chick took its maiden flight and fledged from the platform, somewhat earlier than ideal. It found a spot part way down on the cathedral, and continued to be provisioned by the parents. Several days later, the other two decided to go, and all three juveniles spent time over the next few days low on the building gaining confidence and flying skills.
At the time that Zoe wrote the report the chicks had been catching their own food and continued to grow in strength and confidence, and she expects them to remain around the cathedral for some time.
In the same magazine Zoe also revealed that the H&OT have a new pair of Peregrines breeding in Norfolk! A newly formed pair of Peregrines, including a female in transitional juvenile to adult plumage, were seen mating in January at Cromer Church, and the H&OT installed a nesting platform late in March. The birds immediately took to it and laid a clutch of three eggs which all hatched in May. The three chicks fledged in July.
Acknowledgements to Zoe Smith, Peregrine Officer, H&OT

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