Tuesday, 24 March 2009

A rosy glow

After the news of our first peregrine egg being laid yesterday evening, there was a flurry of excited comments left from around the world, and quite a bit of local interest here in Derby City, too. Local radio, TV and newspapers have already picked up on the story, and Cathedral Green saw a small posse of bird watchers gathered to see what was going on this morning. It's a pleasure to see old friends from last year, even if it wasn't possible to talk to them whilst in the middle of a live outside broadcast interview with Radio Derby halfway down Amen Alley (yes, this is a genuine Derby street name!) But we are hoping for a few pleasant lunchtime gatherings this summer to "talk peregrines" with everyone on the newly refurbished Green.



Just to allay any fears, don't be surprised if you see the egg(s) lying abandoned in the nest for an hour or more at a time. This is quite normal, and intensive incubation only really gets underway once all the eggs are laid. Then the clock starts ticking, and all the eggs should hatch around the same time.


Thanks to one viewer (Karen Anne in the US) who left a comment and link to a photo of the egg seen early this morning in daylight when their true colour becomes obvious. Having hyperlinks to your uploaded images is the best way that viewers can make webcam snapshots available to us without crashing our email Inboxes. Whenever possible, jpegs are best. Here then is our latest video clip, hot from the DVD recorders that churn away continuously inside Derby Cathedral's ancient tower. It was captured just after first light this morning, hence the rosy glow on the bird and the overall image graininess.
video

Nick B. of Derbyshire Wildluife Trust added the folliwng comment to this blog entry, but it's really worth repeating here for those visitors who aren't interested in looking at the comments some of us leave:
Just to confirm what Nick M said - the birds need to stop the egg getting too cold (and there is a cold wind in the city today). . . but not start the incubation properly until all four (we hope) eggs are laid.Otherwise there could be up to a 6-8 day gap between the first and the last hatching. That would mean the younger chicks would get a raw deal when it came to feeding time. Now some other birds (eg the barn owl) adopt a different strategy, linked to their much more uncertain food supply. They incubate the first egg immediately so there is a big gap between the first and last hatching. If food is short (and mice and vole numbers do fluctuate widely from year to year) then the younger chicks die - or get eaten by their older siblings (charming stuff!). With peregrines, where food is usually abundant, the strategy is the opposite. Hope that helps to explain their ecology a bit more!

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congrats! Mum on the nestbox seeing dad sitting on the egg. Amazing !! Jennie of HK.

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Just to confirm what Nick M said - the birds need to stop the egg getting too cold (and there is a cold wind in the city today)..but not start the incubation properly until all four (we hope) eggs are laid.
Otherwise there could be up to a 6-8 day gap between the first and the last hatching. That would mean the younger chicks would get a raw deal when it came to feeding time.
Now some other birds (eg the barn owl) adopt a different strategy, linked to their uncertain food supply. They incubate the first egg immediately so there is a big gap between the first and last hatching. If food is short (and mice and vole numbers do fluctuate widely from year to year) then the younger chicks die - or get eaten by their older siblings (charming stuff!).
With peregrines, where food is usually abundant, the strategy is the opposite. Hope that helps to explain their ecology a bit more!

Nick B (DWT)

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone!
Isnt this just the best! Our first egg has been laid and we are al glued to the webcamz hopin for a glimpse at it and hoping to see more soon :D
I have recently opened a group on facebook named The Peregrines of Derby Cathedral

Please search on facebook and join ths group, i update this everyday with all the latest and greatest news and eventz in the world of the peregrines :)

Thankyou!

Jackie said...

Oh it was so exciting to see the first egg, I find I am having a peek every few minutes now just in case I can catch one being laid :o)
Jackie near Derby

Helen said...

For those of us that missed the live broadcast from Radio Derby this morning you can listen to it on the internet by going to www.bbc.co.uk/derby then following the link for 'listen again' and clicking on Aleena Naylor. Should be on there for a few days.

Karen Anne said...

Canada? Well, like half of the rest of the U.S. I was thinking of moving there during the previous administration :-)

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Oops, sorry K-A.
Always happy to admit one of my many mistakes, I've re-edited the blog. Am I forgiven?

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 7.11pm
LOL Karen Ann, and you would be made most welcome :-)

Karen Anne said...

Thanks :-)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kate MacRae said...

So great to see the latest footage! I am really excited about joining the project and helping you to create some exciting educational resources for local school and children to use. How lucky the kids of Derby are to have this right on their doorstep!

Ann ( Canada ) ex Derby girl said...

Please do not use this wonderful site to talk about politics. I for one come here to get away from all that stuff it too depressing. I find the recent comments most upsetting and will offend people who come here for some peace and to enjoy nature. Please keep this site just for that. Lets not go offending people. This is a great get away from all our troubles. Something that is much needed at these present times. Enjoy while we can. Thanks. Ann ( Canada )

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Still only one egg - as witnessed when the female left the nest at 14:25 today.

Sorry for having to remove comments which stray into political or other inappropriate areas. We think this is for the best, as there are plenty of other fora that fulful that role.

Welcome to Kate MacRae who is going to work with us over the next few months to produce some online resources for schools based around our peregrines. (I'll soon be sending you that stuff I promised, Kate, honest.)

Anonymous said...

Maybe I missed something Ann, but I'm a regular visitor here and have never read anything offensive or very political.

Seems to me that there is a level of moderation on this blog anyway (though only God knows how they find the time), hence some recently deleted blog entries.

To be offended you have to TAKE offence.

Considering the amazingly huge audience to this project, I have rarely seen anything on the blog that is very controversial, let alone offensive.

I think we probably share the same sentiments but this is a public space and as someone (Churchill?) once said, "I may not agree with what you say but I shall defend to the death your right to say it".

:)

Anonymous said...

I forgot to say...

Whether you like it or not, there is a place for politics here.

Eg. We have had Pigeon fanciers on this blog who despise the Peregrines for obvious reasons. Their contributions have sparked interesting discussions. Also, this project would probably not exist if it were not for the UK government(s) protecting the Peregrines with conservation laws. Others have contributed to interesting and educational debates about other protected species; persecution; egg collectors, etc etc.

I recall also this blog straying into areas regarding badgers last year. A highly emotive and political matter in the UK regarding an animal which is protected but on the cusp of being culled because of the demands of farmers regarding bovine TB.

Sorry, but politics are always involved in every area of our daily life.

*puts soap box away*

:)

PS. I've just been made redundant.

Good: Loads of time to watch the Peregrines for the next few weeks.

Bad: Probably too much time on my hands and inclined to ranting.

Anonymous said...

Do we have any regular high-flying visitors here that work for RBS, I wonder?

If so, wouldn't RBS retrieve a little of their image by sponsoring a project such as this, rather than F1 racing cars?

After all, a relatively paltry few thousand quid would be a drop in the ocean to them as compared to their other sponsorships which have clearly not worked but would be a massive investment to DWT, ensuring the future of this project.

Come on RBS, how much for your logo on the homepage?

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Egg two should appear around 6.30 am or an hour or two either side.
Regards
Colin

Anonymous said...

If they lay 4 as last year they should be hatched eggs around thursday the 30/04/ if my maths are any good??
Regards
Colin

Anonymous said...

Why not ask the Derbyshire Building Society if they would like to contribute?

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 1.42pm
has anyone looked in on the Columbus Ohio falcon web site, I think 1 egg has been laid so far.

Anonymous said...

It was Voltaire who said "I do not believe a word of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"! Not Churchill, although he said a lot of really great things!

Ruth Z said...

Well, egg number 2 is there!

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 12.35am
there are two eggs now :-)

Anonymous said...

Pax 7.35am your time

Project Member (Derby Cathedral) said...

Am I the first one to see 2 eggs?

Anonymous said...

Just logged on tony, you must of beaten me to it again. Ill stay awake until the weekend just so i see no.3 first. Andy

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Nice that the first observer of the second egg was logging on from the French city of Grenoble!
We are a cosmopolitan lot aren't we.

Colin: you were very nearly spot on with your prediction!
Nick B (DWT)

Anonymous said...

Andy Number 3 will be round 3.30pm
saturday afternoon so a more sociable viewing time, here in the UK anyway.
Regards
Colin

Anonymous said...

Nick most Peregrines go 56hrs to 60hrs Between eggs, in normal cicumstances, Of cause they can skip a cycle. Or in the very early stages abort and re-absorb the yolk. Its a really wonder of nature
and quite a coplex procedure that goes of in the falcons body to make her eggs.
Regards
Colin

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me how to get the peregrins live please. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Can someone please tell me how to get the peregrines live on camera. Many thanks

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

To get the peregrines live on camera (well, actually pictures changing every 8 seconds) click the "Key Link" at the top left side of this blog. If you were hoping for full streaming audio and video I'm afraid we can't offer this right now, but are grateful to Media on Demand who kindly helped us bring live a/v last year. Unfortunately our equipment that we installed inside Derby Cathedral simply wasn't up to the task of sending them a reliable image stream to redistruibute, and so the service proved very unreliable and unsustainable as a result.

Anonymous said...

Just seen another egg 1630