Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Rats!

Adult female with a rat which she has just wrested from a chick in a 'tug-of-war'. Click image to enlargeA close check of the video footage of our "church mouse" now clearly shows it to be a rat; it has a long tail and a pointed snout. Its size and shape definitely rules out both mice and vole species.BBC Derby have taken the DVD footage to transfer to tape and will send it down to Devon for the BBC Springwatch series - now showing live every evening on UK prime time TV (8-9pm BBC2). We still don't know if they will use it, but it links in nicely with our forthcoming Peregrine Watch event on Sunday 10th June, being organised by Derbyshire Wildife Trust. Hope to see some of you there!



I repeat here the comments made by Nick Brown of DWT to the previous entry which gives useful information on peregrine's non-bird prey: "The peregrine 'bible' (Derek Ratcliffe's book referred to on June 1st) indicates that quite a wide range of mammals and other non-bird species has been recorded as occasional prey. While young rabbits are the most frequent, the list of mammals includes short tailed field voles, water voles, shrews, young hares, bats and even a hedgehog! In addition, frogs and fish have been taken. One peregrine even took a liking for chickens - presumably free range ones.....can't quite see a peregrine patronising Tesco's! Clearly, peregrines will eat whatever they can catch if the opportunity arises or if they are unable to catch their preferred food - which is certainly (flying) birds. Cases of scavenging have even been reported in winter. Ed Drewitt, the expert on the diet of urban peregrines in the UK, tells us that the only mammals recorded recently are rabbits, rats and squirrels and that their frequency is extremely low. "

If anyone sees unusual prey being brought to the platform, please leave a comment on one of the blogs - they all get seen before posting. I would suggest emailing me at museums@derby.gov.uk - but this can sometimes take a while to reach its destination, and we need to know within three days if we are to recover important film footage.

5 comments:

Jackie Taylor said...

Just wanted to say thank you, not only for the pictures the webcams provide, but also for all the information given in the blog. It's sites like this that make me really appreciate the Internet.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to second that. It's been great to show my sons this on a regular basis and they have been really interested, I believe they have also told their friends in Norway where we moved from last Christmas!

Ash said...

How much does a peregrine eat per day....in say pigeon units?

kadhir said...

This is from Ohio Division of Natural Sciences Website

Q: How much does a Peregrine falcon eat in a day?

A: An adult Peregrine will eat about 70 grams of food per day. This is equal to about two blackbirds.

Stephanie said...

I have just watched the rat video and heard the sound they make for the first time - what a noisy pair they are!
Love the website! More videos like this please!