Thursday, 14 May 2009

The Atkins Diet

High-quality videos of Derby's peregrine falcons are captured from recording equipment inside the Cathedral's ancient gritstone tower. Sadly, published videos always lag a day or so behind the real events happening on the side of the tower where our birds have their nest.

The video below was captured on 12th May, showing them to be fit, active and feeding well. We need not worry about how well they are fed. Peregrines have been doing this for tens of thousands of years. Inevitably not all chicks will survive in a brood - and that's nature. But our videos show that the parents are doing a pretty fair job in giving their offspring a reasonable chance in life by feeding them regularly throughout the day. The Atkins diet personified!

video

The pictures below were captured by viewers on 13th May 2009:

by Marski2009
16 28 48

by Dave Arrowsmith
that's it, I'm off!

by cocotags
2009.05.13   16.39

72 comments:

Roger (AT) said...

Breakfast seen at 05:40 - pix on Flickr. We have seen that "Tiddler" gets plenty of food, but remains obviously smaller than the siblings. Is this perhaps that he is an inherently smaller male with 3 sisters? Do birds have "runts" - small from birth, and likely to remain undersized and vulnerable? (It seems a stupid question - but do they all hatch the same size? The eggs seemed equally large.)

Roger (AT) said...

Thanks for the Video - it shows their increasing mobility and wing development very well. They cannot have been very hungry - one was looking the other way!

I have posted a growth timeline of screenshot snippets on Flickr. The one big gap in the otherwise daily record really emphasises their growth rate.

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

@ Roger (AT)
That's a really good question......... Worcester also has one chick (Tinker) that hatched a couple of days later and he/she is still notibly smaller than his/her siblings. They are going to try and sex the Worcester chicks today when ringing takes place, it will be interesting to know if Tinker is male just as Tiddler could be.......
Are eggs like pregnancy bumps i wonder, some women have little bumps but big babies and vica versa.
However small Tddler is he/she doesn't seem to take a back seat at meal times!!
Great 'timescale' too on flickr, it's amazing to see just how much they have grown :)

Karen Anne said...

I think last year's Tiddler remained smaller than his sibs for some time. Just a few days seems to make a large difference in growth, as we've seen by how fast they grow.

Wow, they are really big and mobile now. I had not realized until I saw the photos on this post.

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

mmmm, elevenses, bang on time!

Ann, Birmingham said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann, Birmingham said...

Ringing's taking place at Worcester right now. There's a good video of the Brighton chick's feed this morning. It's got a good pair of lungs!

Ann, Birmingham said...

You removed my comment pretty sharpish from the blog, administrator. Did you feel it was provocative? It's a pity my freedom of speech is less important than that of the "anonymous" lot, but I suppose I'll just have to accept it. However, I may just use it in my next article for our local paper.

Kishore said...

Am I allowed to put Worcester pictures on flickr?

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

@ Kishore- I take it you managed to catch the chicks at Worcester being taken for ringing....

Kishore said...

@ Fiona - I will be taking some shots of the chicks being put back. I missed them being taken away for ringing.

Ann, Birmingham said...

Here is a voluntary revision of my 11.14 comment:

It looks like a nice fat feral pigeon, yippee! I couldn't see any rings.

Perhaps this will be more acceptable to the administrator. Sorry to have caused any inconvenience/annoyance.

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

@ Kishore- I'm sorry if i let you know of the timing too late, i only just caught it! He was very gentle with them. Tinker was last in, first out!

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Please - no images on Flickr of anything other than Derby's peregrines, as you agreed to in the Group Rules. Otherwise there's always a risk that a site will degenerate into just a mish-mash of images, no matter how interesting they may be.

Terry, Herts UK said...

@ Ann.

Perhaps you might also care to withdraw your threatening remarks?

Which local newspaper do you refer to? You imply you are a regular writer and I'd be very interested to read any of your articles or letters.

Kishore said...

:) Sorry Fiona, cannot post pictures of Worcester on flickr but if you like I could email them to you if you let me have your email address.

Ann, Birmingham said...

@ Terri. Yes, I write a monthly feature article of approx. 500 words for a small local free newspaper called ValeMail. It's delivered to 4,000 homes. I haven't any spare copies, but if you contact the editor he may be able to send you some, & I'm sure he'd be happy to verify my credentials, give me a character reference, etc., since it was he who invited me to write for the paper about two years ago.
editor@valemail.co.uk

As for "threats": I wasn't aware I'd made any. I said I might just use the incident in my next article, but that wasn't a threat. I'm interested in freedom in its broadest sense like anyone else, but particularly in press censorship, "gagging", etc., & thought I might explore that.

Ann, Birmingham said...

@ Terry, Herts., UK

Sorry, I put the wrong name. It genuinely wasn't done to annoy.

Terry, Herts UK said...

Well, in my view (& I must stress that), you were making a veiled threat.

Please have a little more consideration for the good people that have established this successful project.

I don't imagine any of them are highly paid and it's obvious to all that they often devote their spare time for free.

I find it totally unacceptable that anyone here should seek in any way whatsoever to bring this site into disrepute. On top of that, I'm sure they have far more impprtant things to do with their time than evaluate/moderate every comment on this blog - on which we are all no more than guests.

The team (of which I personally know none of them) are in control of this blog. If they chose to remove any of my comments, I would respect that. If you want a debate about 'free speech', then I respectfully suggest you take it elsewhere and leave the team to concentrate on issues relevant to the Peregrines or other directly related matters, eg. birds, animals, nature, etc.

I think I should also say that whilst this site is a social or educational place for us viewers, for the team, it is their work (full or part-time) and in some cases, it must be difficult to defend themselves without putting their livelihoods at risk.

Roger (AT) said...

Hey please post some more shots on Flickr, and news in the blog about whats happening in the tray!

I am in the office and the server blocks the webcams. Serious cold turkey here :)

Terry, Herts UK said...

@Roger (AT)

Have a Google for "proxy server" :)

Phoebe aka Marski said...

@ Roger
I have only just logged on and missed any feeds or activity but will keep an eye on things from now. Mum is on the chicks and dad hugging the pudding cam and has been for the last 45 minutes to my knowledge.

As I type a pigeon landed behind the tirecel on the pud-cam, he turned stared and it flew off!

Roger (AT) said...

@Kishore:
You can put any screenshots / photos you wish in your own Flickr photostream, and folks can look at them there.

As an example, look at the big fat snail eating my garden plants! It is in a set of my creation, and not linked to the Derby Cathedral Peregrine Group pool.

If you have the time and energy you can also start your own Group with photos of pergrines from wherever you choose. mmm sounds a good idea! :)

simon said...

I've just seen the male asleep with the most stupid or bravist pigeon in the whole of derby, it was sat about 6ft away, then the male woke up and the flying meal just flew off without the male persuing it, they must be full.

Ann, Birmingham said...

@ Terry, Herts., UK : You're doing sterling work on behalf of the team, whether appointed as their spokesman or not. I'm sure they appreciate it. I stand duly reproached, put in my place and generally wrist-slapped. How DARE I stand up for myself, a rude and expendable old woman?
Get a life, Terry, & don't be so presumptuous.
Goodbye, Derby Group, it's been fun - till now.

John B (not the sloop) said...

Happens all the time Simon. A couple of seaons ago the Yat Rock pair had Jackdaws as immediate neighbours. Their nests were less than a metre apart. The Jackdaws weren't at any real risk unless they happened to be out and about with a Peregrine at patrol altitude somewhere above.

Phoebe aka Marski said...

I think the Peregrines will only catch food when they are hungry won't they?

Phoebe aka Marski said...

@ Simon
Pics of pigeon on flickr.

Phoebe aka Marski said...

@ Roger re: tiddler

If Tiddler was last hatched he will probably remain a few days behind but still grow at the same rate. I keep chickens and they do that so presume all bird will be the same. He could of course be a male with 3 sisters and would be smaller in that case.

Phoebe aka Marski said...

Mum still on nest and dad still hugging the pudding cam. They must have a full larder!

Roger (AT) said...

@ Phoebe:
Nice screenshot .. it must be from the "extreme sports" club!

OK on the chooks. I used to have black and white speckled hens, but that was 50 years ago :) Ah! the name Moran springs to mind. Possibly a breed.

Since posing my question about chick size, I did a bit of research and found that egg size is quite variable (I think Colin mentioned this somewhere) and that larger eggs produced more robust chicks with greater survival rates.

As usual some avian scientists have diametrically opposed research findings to others!

With Tiddler - I tried to estimate - is he/she two or three days behind the others, or is the gap widening. Without getting the rascals on a set of scales it is hard to say. The camera perception makes it tricky to do by eye. I guess the eagerly anticipated ringing event will answer some of the questions.

Footnote: the random verification letters do provide some chuckles, the current one is phonetically quite rude!

Kishore said...

Feed time

Phoebe aka Marski said...

Feeding time, I missed the start but they all got a good fill. They are getting active now and wandering around the scrape. Mum called them back pretty sharpish though lol.
pix on Flickr soon

Phoebe aka Marski said...

Mum's flown off, is she getting dinner?

Phoebe aka Marski said...

Mum is back with dinner

Phoebe said...

All chicks had a good feed, Dad watched over them.

wayne1984 said...

Hi everyone, i have spent the morning down at the cathedral today, i have to say i have now changed my mind on the fact that the male does nothing. i have witnessed him hunting today and killing twice. first time was looked like a small pigeon. the second was what looked like a black bird. the pigeon was passed to mum in mid air of which was my first ever food pass. this happened over the assemberly car park. i have photos, but i have to have a look to see how they have come out. great viewings,
also i have to say that it appears that the female has exhusted the cheap take away meals of young pigeons, i also witnessed her going into several pigeon nests and having a good root around. but comming out empty handed.
great morning viewings

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 8.30am
Just caught a feeding, I guess she just bought enough to feed them as she did not fly off with the left overs.

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

I hope no-one minds me asking this but the Worcester chicks have been left since 11am this morning and the parents haven't been back since the ringing took place....... Is there an expert or someone that at least knows more about it than me that could tell me if it's 'normal' for them to be left this long? How long can these little ones go without a feed? I'm quite on edge!

wayne1984 said...

can a member of the project team please advise if there will be any new dvds out this year? i have just purchased the one from the cathredral shop, and i must say it is a very good buy, highly recomended but i was wondering if you have any plans for any other dvds at all?

Phoebe said...

@ Fiona
Have you watched every minute since 11 am? Are you sure parents haven't been back? I'me sure the parents will be back. Though it must be worrying.

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada
Wayne 1984
someone from the project did mention that there were no plans for a new DVD at this time :)

Anonymous said...

pax Canada
Fiona just looked in on the chicks at W you would think the mum would hearthe chicks if she was nearby, it is a worry I agree

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

@Pheobe- Well i've had it on all day and i've watched more than normal, i keep telling myself that everything will be fine but my tummy is in a right old knot!

Phoebe aka Marski said...

@ Fiona
Is there not a forum for that webcam where we can talk more?

Phoebe said...

@ fiona
Re worcester peregrines
There are comments posted under the webcam, read some, one parent was back a 4pm.

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

@ Pheobe- Yes i have read that, thankyou. I'll still be happier when i've seen her for myself! I didn't really want to take attention off our Derby family but it's not like a proper blog on Worcester and i just felt i had to share with fellow peregrine followers if you know what i mean! :)

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

A very quick reply to a couple of questions posted here:

No, the DVD produced by Delta Echo Media was a one-off. In a way it is timeless as the multitude of video clips we've included relate to the breeding season in general.

Peregines are not easily thrown off a nest by disturbance. Experience in Derby shows that they remain a bit wary for half an hour or so after the licenced ringers have left, but are pretty soon back on the nest. As usual we will turn off the live feed for the duration.

I can't asnwer whether there is a forum for Worcester's birds, but I think it would be helpful if averyone agreed to limit discussions to Derby's peregrines and even the choice of words they use to avoid putting off our many other readers who probably don't post comments, but nevertheless like to keep an eye on what's going on. Of course, even this blog isn't a forum, though it may sometimes come across as such.

A new post talkiing about local schoolchildren's involvement with this blog is in course of preparation tonight.

Anonymous said...

http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/peregrine-traps234.html#cr

Phoebe said...

@ Wayne

Thanks for the info of your visit today, it's good to hear the tiercel is doing his job, I never doubted him! It was a good day for you. I will be visiting on Saturday now so may see you there.

Roger (AT) said...

@Wayne:
I am very jealous of your personal visit. Please post the in-flight reuelling pix to Flickr if you get the chance. Real photos do break up the sequence of screen-captures very nicely.

The pudding cam image is very hazy - more feathers or just rain?

The scrap has been quiet in the past hour - just huddled up and looking out at the inclement weather. Good training if you live in the UK!

Anonymous said...

You can all rest easy Worce birds all feeding well at 18.50

Phoebe said...

Feed time again

Anonymous said...

we have syncronised feeding at both holy nest sites

Terri said...

Have been away all day and just read through the comments on this page. I can't help thinking that Ann from Birmingham was treated rather unfairly earlier on today. I don't think she was intentionally giving out a veiled threat, it was just misconstrued. My name was mentioned in error so it prompted me to respond. Come on Terry, it seems a bit of a shame to chase someone off the site so harshly. Hopefully she IS still looking in, despite her farewell.

And with regards to the chicks, WOW aren't they getting big. I couldn't believe my eyes when I watched them feeding just now. Not quite so cute any more but still fascinating to watch.

Phoebe said...

Good news about the feeding. All chicks have a full belly now!

Roger (AT) said...

@ Wayne:
I think the catch that you saw transferred in mid-air has just been fed to the chicks.
Screenshot on Flickr.

I must say they did not seem very interested at first. The falcon is now back giving them some shelter (mission impossible now).

Anonymous said...

I am watching five peregrine nests on webcams and at 19.15 4 of them were feeding

Roger (AT) said...

Maths Challenge:
Anon sees 4 / 5 nests feeding at the same time. What are the odds?

Lets say (roughly) that there are 15 hours of daylight feeding time, and the chicks get fed 5 times for 20 minutes each. This would mean that for one site they get fed for 100 minutes during a 900 minute time period. So the easy bit: There is a 1 in 9 chnace of seeing them feeding at any one minute.

But Oh Dear! - we have 5 sites .. so what is the probability that 4 are feeding in the same minute?

Hurts the brain! First correct answer, with explanation of why it is correct gets a box of Austrian Mozart marzipan balls!

I know this Mrs Tweedy (Anon) .. if you see the pattern more than three times in a week, then the peregrines are "organised"!

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

I think this is an absolutely fascinating observation - not one that I've heard of being looked at before, but we might ask urban peregrine expert, Nick Dixon if he is aware of this.

I think there is lots of scope for a bit more detailed study and proper recording to see how repeatable this is. Perhaps it needs a table with a column for each nest site and a start/stop time for each site's feed and see how many feeds do coincide and how many don't.

I'm assuming these are all sites in the same time zone? - it would be really weird if it they were shown they all feed at the same moment, but at different times of the day around the globe. Perhaps a new theory: "webcam synchronisation amongst peregrine populations"?

wayne1984 said...

@ Roger the catch i witnessed this morning was also fed to the young and mum as well just after the catch was made while the male took his other catch and stored it in a cache

Anonymous said...

Surely if all these parents serve breakfast at first light, and then approximately every two hours thereafter, the feeds are more likely to co-incide than not.

wayne1984 said...

sorry for stating what i think to be the obvious, and i do not mean any offence, but in my opinion, alot of it will be down to sheer luck that the feedings have been witnessed at the same time, due to the fact it would depend on the fact if the parents have actually caught anything at that time.

Roger (AT) said...

Thanks Wayne:
Before I got enchanted by the peregrines at Derby Cathedral I never realised that they stored surplus food. I knew that shrikes do it, from their common name.
I had previously imagined that like some other raptors, they ate themselves to a standstill and then collapsed until the next hunt. I suppose that avian metabolism works differently.

With the coordinated feeds you are mostly right, to see it once is luck, and will surely happen with such frequent long feeds, but if you see a statistically unlikely event many times - then there is more to it. It is also not completely random, as the previous post suggests, they will tend to have a first feed soon after daylight, and the next feed about 2 hours afterwards. The maths gets decided dodgy!

wayne1984 said...

@ Roger i totally agree and that is what i was trying to say but my words sometimes come across all wrong. as previously stated i did not mean to cause any offense with my comment.

Roger (AT) said...

Ha ha" me and a rhino have more in common than a fat bottom" No worries.

wayne1984 said...

no doubt the male is sat out of the rain again in the hole at the top of the archway above the nest.

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

I see mum is doing a sterling job of keeping the family dry!!

Phoebe said...

@ Fiona

Yes she is doing a great job. I put a pic on Flickr.

Phoebe said...

Mum is sleeping well and still protecting her brood beautifully from the rain. She is such a good mum!

Fiona Arrowsmioth said...

Isn't she just! I bet they are all so warm and cosy under there, however i do wonder how she's managed to tuck them all in!!

Phoebe said...

Mum still having her well earned sleep. My turn now lol