Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Bath Peregrine update

The adult female and the immature female from last years brood (darvic ring AA) are still feeding this years male (darvic ring AC). Unfortunately this years female (darvic ring AD)disappeared around the time of fledging. Her first flight may not have gone well and ended up grounded and she was never found. The adult male also seems to have vanished and has not been seen for a few months.

The male (AC) seems to be doing well and chasing the females for food.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Peregrine ringing

On the 26th, the Hawk and Owl trust joined Ed Drewitt and myself to ring this years chicks. It was believed that there was only one chick from the three eggs that were layed. When the monitor was connected to the camera two chicks and one addled egg could be seen. This was a great surprise to us all.

I went up to collect the chicks from the box and came face to face with the female. I have never come so close to a wild adult before, truely amazing.

The chicks this year were believed to be about 17 days old on the day of ringing, four days younger than last year and the size difference was very noticable. There was one male and a female in this years brood. The female weighed 535 grams compared to the male at only 380. Adult females can be a third larger than the males. The male was fitted with a BTO metal ring number GC46003 and darvic ring AC. The female with GC46004 and AD.

The most surprising behaviour occurred whilst the chicks were being ringed as one of last years chicks is now hunting and feeding this years chicks. Therefore this years adults must be the same as last year to allow her to stay in their territory and to get so close to the chicks. This behaviour has been noted in other species such as Long-tailed Tits although personally I have not heard of this with Peregrines. The immature female is not sexually mature to breed this year but this will allow her to gain the knowledge to raise her own brood in the future. We wait with interest to see when she decides to leave to find her own territory and mate.

Male (left ) Female (right)
© Photo by Ian Sparrowhawk

Female with darvic ring
© Photo by Ian Sparrowhawk

Ed taking the total head measurement of the female.
© Photo by Ian Sparrowhawk

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Spring Update

The immature bird that has been seen on the Church over this winter has been confirmed to be that of "AA" chick from 2007. The bird still remains at the site.

The camera fixed on the nest box was checked earlier this week. It seems that there is only one egg in the scrape. It is not known what has happened to the other two eggs but it is hoped that they have hatched and the chicks are out of view of the camera.

Watch this space for further updates.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Over the past few weeks the peregrines in Bath have been seen mating. We haven't had any confirmation yet but it is likely they have laid eggs. We hope to know soon. The eggs should hatch around the beginning of May.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

The peregrines in Bath should be about to lay eggs now. The pair in Brighton have already laid their clutch but others across the country still haven't.

The young bird from last year is still hanging around - it was seen bringing in a pigeon the other day. It looks like it is a young female. If you manage to read the letters on its colour leg ring please let me know what they are!

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Spring is almost here!

Female Peregrine feeding on a Collared Dove, Bath. Simon Mackie Feb 08

As we edge closer to spring, the Peregrines in Bath will be laying eggs towards the end of the month.

The pair in Bath are frequently near or on the nest box and may be seen calling to each other or mating.

For live footage of the Derby Peregrines check out

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Bath Peregrines in winter 2007/08

During autumn 2007 and winter 2008, the pair of Peregrines at St John's Church, Bath have been using the church and nearby buildings daily. One of the young birds that fledged earlier last year has also been using the site.

During the autumn the falcons have been feeding on many different types of birds. Highlights have included a Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus, a Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis, a Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur and at least three Bramblings Fringilla montifringilla. The Manx Shearwater, a young bird only recently fledged from its nest, was far inland from the nearest breeding colony on Lundy Island in the Severn Channel. This was probably a disorientated individual.

The Bath Peregrines will hopefully breed for a third year running in 2008. During late January and throughout February the pair will begin displaying. This will include spectacular flight displays over the city and lots of calling to each other. The young bird from last year may also stay around and help with feeding the chicks. See if you can spot the colour ring (blue with black letters) on its leg.

Left to right: Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus feathers and leg; Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis primary wing feather; Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur wing feathers.