Wednesday, 20 June 2007

First Flight?

Lots of wing flapping at 7.30am today. Click image to enlarge


It could be today - keep watching!
Post script (3pm local time) It's now quite windy in Derby today, so it seems unlikely they'll fledge today.
3.15pm: A full speed video stream of our two chicks is about to go live on Derby's brand new Big Screen! More news to follow.





Click to enlarge image

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are the parents still bringing food and feeding the young and will they continue to do so when they have fledged?

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Yes , they are, and yes, they will!
They will put a lot of effort into teaching the young birds to hunt for their own food over the weeks ahead.

Anna Flintstone said...

I visited Derby Cathedral yesterday to see our Peregrines 'in the flesh' and they didn't disappoint - they are magnificent, and so are you for all the brilliant work you have done.

One strange question perhaps - why is the poo white when they eat so much meat?

Anna Flintstone, Ripley

Anonymous said...

just logged on to check progress and noticed that one young bird is in the nest and being fed by the parent but the other chick (i think) is sitting on part of the cathedral below the nesting tray....awesome!!!!

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

As at 2.30pm (local time)both birds were still on the nest platform, and had showed little of their earlier interest in wing exercises. It has got windier today, so maybe that's discouraging them. Both parents were on the ledge high above until the male flew off to hunt at 1.30pm. However one or other bird is sometimes seen just in camera on the ledge below.

Why is bird poo white? Good question! The white stuff that comprise the droppings of birds is actually their urine. Birds excrete uric acid, an insoluble whitish solid. This helps reduce water loss when they urinate. (You'll apreciate that they don't drink, but get all their liquid from their food.)

Anonymous said...

How long does it normally take for the young birds to become independent, to hunt for food? Jennie from Hong Kong

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Hi Jennie in Hong Kong - great to hear from you again. Welcome back. I honestly can't be sure without doing some checking up. From my memory of last year's activities, I think it was quite a few weeks before the young had pefected their skills to a level where they were catching their own food. As for becoming independant from their parents, I suspect they'll stick around the adults for quite a bit longer than that, as our videos from this April showed. (I apologies for a rather vague answer at this time.)

Anonymous said...

I am going to miss visiting the Derby Peregrine's when they finally leave the nest - what a great potential marketing tool for your area. I have never heard of Derby before, but I would love to visit your Falcon's - perhaps next year.

Tom - Newport News, Virginia USA

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

We'd love to see you if you do come, Tom. We're a friendly bunch in Derbyshire - rather a long way from the sea, but we've some great scenery in the nearby "Peak District" and some great Museums and other features in Derby itself.
Keep your eyes out for one of Alcock and Brown's engines that powered the first flight across the Atlantic. It's just 100 yards away from Derby Cathedral in The Silk Mill Museum. We'll post some interior shots of Derby Cathedral once the birds have fledged.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to miss the peregrines too! Checking them out on the internet has become my daily habit. Would it be possible to post a photo of the adult birds who are resting on the ledge? I don't normally see the parents now, miss them! Jennie from Hong Kong

Anonymous said...

watching them on the edge today makes me almost scared i keep forgetting they have wings and its inevitable that they are going to suddenley take off, i feel like a protective mum because i watch them every day will be really sad when they have fledged.

helenhoward said...

Hi all
Been sat on the edge of my chair at 16.58 local time as both chicks were on the edge of the box. The sad thing is the web link not being live when they do fly all we will probably see is a bird one minute and the next an empty space!! Woe is life!!
Really will miss checking on the girls progress and really hope that this fantastic excercise will be repeated next year.

helenhoward said...

any idea what gruesome remains are in the right hand of the box? It looks fairly big what ever it once was!!

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Hello Helen,
I wondered that myself. It looked quite long-legged, probably longer than a pigeon, but I couldn't be sure. (I wondered about a gull)
I'm worried that I shalln't be able to get into the Tower immediately to check the video recordings as I've got four presentations to prepare over the next four days, and time is desperately short. Please remember, if you see a key event, do leave a comment which includes the time, as this helps us immensely.

Anonymous said...

I felt nervous yesterday, when the 2 chicks were 'on the edge' and kept looking at one another... Today at 6.50, they are already standing on the edge of the nest. And the wind is a lot more gentle breeze... (The left camera looks very dark)More wing beating at 7.04 (camera time)Now on to the metal stanchion... 7.06-08 (CT) both lying down. Then 7.10/11 one chick flying to/from either side of the nest... (Perhaps they are waiting for brekkies???) The wait continues... At 7.19 the Left camera has brightened up.

John K said...

Regarding the prey item yesterday evening - at one point there was a bird corpse with a white belly, black breast and head and a quite long and pointed dark bill on the nest at the left-hand side. My first thought was guillemot but the black came quite a long way down the breast. Looking at a guide this morning I wonder about magpie, although the bill didn't look quite right and there was no evidence of a long tail. Sorry, I should have noted the time. The prey had been left by the birds who were both on the other side of the box, but when I came back shortly afterwards it was gone and one of the peregrines was eating something.

Anonymous said...

Looked at 12:46 (21/06) to see both chicks looking down at another bird (presumably another Peregrine) perched lower on the tower.

Could it be one of the parents trying to encourage the chicks to fly? (The equivalent of "Jump, you can do it!").

Anonymous said...

I reckon they are both standing on the edge discussing the height.

Anonymous said...

Is the left camera stuck? The image hasn't updates since 13:08:30 although the right camera is up to date.

Anonymous said...

As some one who has been a volunteer, manned the watch, got very wet, a good sun tan and meet so many good, interesting and honest members of the public who are equally amazed and interested in derby's peregrines I personally say thank you,it has made a difficult period of my life much richer and helped to establish my confindence in man kind. I am informed that this event would have not take place had it not been for one very humble, hard working and dedicated member of the Derby Museums who has driven this project forward. To him and all of those who helped him DWT, DCC, the management of the Cathedral etc, you have produced a first class project that has enriched our lives, Thank you.

I look forward to next years project, meeting old frineds,the public and Mr and Mrs Peregrine. Good luck to DWT, Mr and Mrs Peregrine and the two young femal chicks.

Anonymous said...

It's complete agony watching this - I can hardly stand the suspense. On top of all else, the left camara appears to have stopped working! What's going on?????
(I'm anonymous because I'm sneaking a lok from my job at a magistrates' court somewhere in Bucks and I shouldn't be!!!!)

Anonymous said...

Just to say a a big thank you to all the volunteers that have made this possible, both behind the scenes and out on the grass in front of the cathedral. It has really brightened up some dull afternoons in the office :)

I came over to Derby to see the birds LIVE yesterday. They're even more addictive live than they are on the webcam! I intended to have a quick look and leave at 1pm.....I was still stood there watching at 4pm! :)
I stood in awe at some spectacular 150mph(?) dives from the female from an astonishing height to just above the tower.

I'll definately be back once the chicks have left the nest as apparently the most exciting bit is yet to come, when the parents start to train the youngsters to catch prey in mid-air!

Also, I notice the chicks are now starting to "fly" from the edge to high up the supporting bar that runs up the centre of the platform (at least that's what it looks like from the webcam - 4:45pm-ish). It won't be long now then!!

Once again, thanks everybody!!

Anonymous said...

HI, I just have to say a big thank you to all the team ,for making this such a wonderful 'sight' every time I come to my computer.I was afraid I'd missed their first flight as I looked at the left camera first,but then they were in the other nest box.One seems rather lasier than the other?.
Cherrill James ,KEGWORTH.

helenhoward said...

have the girls been fighting this evening? Logged on at 1950 and one of the chicks is right at the back of the box showing very little signs of movement and there what looks like periguin feathers also in there.
You can hear a pin drop in our house when they are sat on the edge of the box flapping their wings!!

Sue from somewhere in Bucks said...

Well, I'm home from the magistrates' court, having been undetected I hope, and am anxiously following progress from home. It looks such a long way down! I feel so lucky to have shared in this story though - thank you to everyone who has made it possible. Will tomorrow be the big day I wonder.

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Hi guys - some great feedback - thank you all. And thanks for the alert about the stuck webcam. I don't know what happened, but it had cleared by 3pm - sorry about that. The only place that's still stuck now (as far as I know) is the gigantic Big Screen in Derby - more on that in a new blog entry later tonight or tomorrow.
At 5.30pm this evening (Thursday) it really looked from below as if one of the young were about to leave the nest - but nothing. So will it be Friday? I've now got a big cardboard box ready in case a rescue is needed.

I don't think the birds have been fighting - one of them, always looks to have a sulk on her.

Yes, they have been doing some practice leaps and jumps. I've saved a great clip of one chick flying/jumping off the ledge towards the back and almost head-butting the wooden back.

Sorry, I tried to identify the unusual prey species from the video recordings - so far, no idea what the bird was.

And finally, look out down there in the Bucks Magistrates Court, Sue, they'll lock you away as soon as look at you, if they catch you pere-camming!