Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Sad News

Falcon 009. Copyright Colin PassOne of our young peregrines was found dead today on the roof of a block of flats in Derby City Centre. The Wildlife Trust took a call from staff at nearby Rivermead House who had found the corpse of an unidentified bird bearing a ring. Normally we might have suspected it to be a sparrowhawk as these are quite common, but they rarely get ringed. So we called in and were taken up to the roof where we found female peregrine (009) lying dead on her back. This was one of our two female chicks and she flew the nest on Friday 12 June. The cause of death was clear - she had broken her neck by flying into the smoked-glass safety barrier around the edge of the roof, having probably flown from one of the tall aerial masts in the centre of the roof. It's a common phenomenon that when a bird flies into a window at speed it leaves a dusty "shadow" from its wings on the glass, and this could clearly be seen.

Whilst the Team are sad that we've lost one of our birds, it's a stark fact that around 75% of all peregrine chicks will not survive through their first year. This is nature, and we should not be too concerned. We think we lost one last year early on, too, and it's a fact of life that not all will make it. We hope the remaining chicks (008, 010, 011) will continue to flourish, of course, and are confident their parents will do their best to teach them the skills they need to survive and thrive.

Copyright Colin Pass
Thanks to Colin for supplying the image above of falcon 009, as well as this one taken earlier today when he noticed how the adult falcon (female) was calling constantly and seemed quite ill at ease, though at the time he had no idea why.

118 comments:

Karen Anne said...

The world is poorer.

Anonymous said...

Just goes to prove they really aren't that good at flying after all the hype.

Derek (Bolton) said...

Anonymous should try and remember how good he/she was at walking or anything else for that matter five days after finding their feet, very sad but these things happen, lets hope that the remaining three go on and have good families of their own in the coming years.

Anonymous said...

Sad news, but nature often tells it. Let’s hope the others flourish.
RJ

Julie said...

Very hard to take in even though we know the reality of their survival chances. Not the best news to end the day on ..... very sorry.

Anonymous said...

So very sad to hear the news of the loss of one of the female Juvies. If I remember rightly, the one that went missing last year, never to be seen again was also a female. I really hope the others go on to live long lives. A sad price to pay for living in a built up area - there's more food available, but more danger too !

Phoebe said...

This is sad news indeed. At least is would have been instant death. These things happen and we have to accept it and try not to attach our human emotions. Four days to learn to fly and get through the obstacle course of city life - not long to learn. The others hopefully have learned more.

@ Sue in Bucks - Is it you who bought the photo of 009? Sorry to hear the news, you will treasure that photo.

terry said...

Dissapointing news indeed, but peregrines located upon England's uplands are having big troubles.
take a look at www.raptorpolitics.org.uk

Out of just three nests containing 10 eggs, only 2 falcons have fledged. A terrible situation!

Karen Anne said...

I wonder about the glass wall, perhaps some more bird-safe thing could replace it, or at least in new construction something else could be used.

Anonymous said...

So very sorry to hear the sad news about the youngster. At least she was able to be identified quickly and everyone wasn't worrying what had happened to her. Such sad news to end the day on.
Lots of luck and good fortune to the other three...

Mary T, Caerphilly, S Wales.

Julie said...

You can buy window stickers to try and stop garden birds flying into patio doors etc. I don't know how effective they are but might be a possible suggestion to try and prevent the same thing happening again?

Julie said...

You can buy window stickers to try and stop garden birds flying into patio doors etc. I don't know how effective they are but might be a possible suggestion to try and prevent the same thing happening again?

Julie said...

You can buy window stickers to try and stop garden birds flying into patio doors etc. I don't know how effective they are but might be a possible suggestion to try and prevent the same thing happening again?

Julie said...

gosh sorry about the echo .....not sure what happened there! Please feel free to delete 2 entries team!

Audrey (London) said...

So sad to read of the loss of one of the females. Here's hoping that the other three will manage without any mishaps. Even though we all know the survival rate is low, we all hope for the best for 'our birds'.

Tracy said...

terribly sad news indeed.
Typical that someone (20.31hrs) makes a pointless and insensitive comment does not have the bottle to post their name!

Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry, Herts UK said...

Sad news indeed, but unlike the anonymous idiot, I appreciate that this is nature at work and the reason this project exists is to put the Peregrines back in their place after nearly driving them to extinction in this country.

The best youngster(s) will hopefully survive the next few months and go on to raise their own brood, despite the often man-made obstacles in their way and some folks' determination to put domestic birds above highly protected wildlife.

The Peregrine was not awarded the highest level of protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act on a mere whim, just so we could watch them on webcams, eating pigeons. It was for conservation; restoring their place at the top of the food chain, where it was originally before Man interfered with pesticides and persecution.

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls but forgive me this one time. I love all God's creatures. If you are worried by a tiny number of pigeons being eaten by the Peregrines, keep them indoors or on a piece of string. I'm not unsympathetic. After all I know what it's like to euthanise my own dog after the companionship of 12 years. An experience that has scarred me forever. However, if Peregrines were 10x bigger and had carried away my dog when let loose, I would only have myself to blame !!

Sorry for ranting. I feel much better now :)



PS. I'm glad they're not 10x bigger. I'd be pretty scared.

Anonymous said...

pax Canada
I was so sorry to hear we lost one of our young, but as others have said it is natures way, and we can oly hope the others will thrive and survive.

Fiona Arrowsmith said...

This is such a tragedy, and very very sad :( Lets just hope for the other three.......

Karen Anne said...

Terry, I am sorry about your dog.

Phoebe said...

It could be that 009 was the missing bird yesterday when I was at the Cathedral Green. We only saw 5 birds in flight at the same time, assuming it Dad that was away and the one missing...

Anonymous said...

I am very sad indeed :(

Karen Anne said...

If you click on it to enlarge that photo of the Mom, it's heartbreaking.

Anonymous said...

pax Canada
two on the pudding cam

Anonymous said...

pax Canada
3 young ones on the pudding cam

Anonymous said...

I'm very very sad to hear this news. I wonder how high is the safety barrier on the roof? Or was our bird not flying high enough to avoid that? When you said 75% of the peregrines do not survive through their first year, what are the reasons of not surviving? Would the % goes lower if they live outside a city? Jennie, HK. :(

Jackie said...

Sad news indeed :o(
Jackie xx

Karen Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth Z said...

I echo the feelings of all the other contributors - very sad news indeed. Fingers crossed that the others fare better.

Anonymous said...

pax Canada
young one on the nest edge

wayne1984 said...

have to ay what great pictures there are on colins blog, esp the ones with his grandkids absolutly brilliant, im glad the kids are showing interest in the birds, just look how calm they are around the tirciel.

more pictures to be added to my blog later on, and its very sad news about 009.

John B (not the sloop) said...

Bad things happen in the wild. At least this was a natural occurence that nobody really could have prevented - unlike the situation alluded to in Terry's 21:17 post.

If you think Peregrines have it bad in the uplands, consider the poor Hen Harrier which is fast approaching extinction in northern England mainly due to illegal "human intervention".
If this makes you as angry if it does me please sign the RSPB's anti raptor persecution pledge at [http://www.rspb.org.uk/supporting/campaigns/birdsofprey/index.asp]

Joy said...

Very sad news when I signed on this morning, but as they say this is nature.

The bird stickers on windows do work I have some on very large windows because young birds kept flying into them.

Annonymous you are a coward not signing your name.

Tom Stephenson said...

I think most urban birds soon get used to the concept of transparent but solid glass, but it seems 009 learnt the hard way.

Larelle said...

Such sad sad news. I was so happy to see all four grow, prosper and fledge. To hear that female 009 lost her life in such a way is heart-breaking. Poor sweetheart ;-(

Terry, Herts UK said...

Pledge signed, John B.

BTW, if anyone thinks such petitions are pointless, think back to the days when the likes of Greenpeace and Friends Of The Earth were mocked as nutty hippies !

Tom Stephenson said...

GreenPeace and FOTE are still mocked as nutty hippies, Terry! I couldn't get that link to open, but I'll try again later.

John B (not the sloop) said...

Thanks Terry

Looks like the RSPB is having a bad server morning (the Loch Garten Osprey link is out too) but please try later everyone.

Four of us managed to get 123 pledges signed on Sunday so fear not Peregrines - there are plenty of people rooting for you....

Anonymous said...

Sad news about the young bird. Good to see the other three youngsters on the webcams a few minutes ago. One on the nest platform and the other two on the top of the tower.

Phoebe said...

Petition signed. All three juvies were visible on the cams a moment ago, now one has flown off.

Julie said...

Petition signed. I think I am guilty of imposing human emotions on wildlife - the young one lying in the scrape this morning looked so sad, almost like they were missing their sister. I KNOW this is not the case but .....

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John B (not the sloop) said...

You had me worried for a moment there Sue - I thought the RSPB pledge link had been hijacked by evil doers and had to check it was still ok.

If you don't feed trolls they shrivel-up and die. Ignore them and take comfort in that thought....

Anonymous said...

Just so sad at the pointless death of this beautiful bird, and the poignant picture of Mum calling her young. Statistics are not much help.

Joy said...

Just signed up to the pledge about hen harriers etc. Do hope that it works and will stop people killing the birds.

We have had holidays in the past where there haven't been any birds and that is the first thing we miss.

A few minutes ago saw 3 peregrins on the high cam and 1 on the scrape, the first I've managed to see for days.

Ann ( Canada ) said...

Oh dear just signed in What a terrible way to start the day. When everything seemed to be going so well this year for them. Yes indeed nature is sometimes hard to take. Well hopefully the folks in the building where it happened may decide to put window stickers on or something and maybe more people in the area will follow that plan. It's little things like that, which can make a big difference.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Anne said...

Julie, I do think animals feel just as we do. A neighbors' Mom cat lost her kitten to an accident with a birdbath in my old yard (never ever have concrete birdbaths with tops that are not attached, it fell, apparently when the kitten reached up and grabbed the edge to try to drink out of it, and trapped the kitten underneath), and the Mom cat camped out next to it for the next two weeks, as though waiting for her baby to return.

Julie said...

Karen Anne. This could open up a whole new debate! Without doubt I do believe that some animals are aware when one is "missing" and some definitely grieve. I have seen that in the past when one of my cats has died - and the others "look" for it - breaks my heart every time. I guess I was referring more to when people try to "humanise" animals. We will never know for sure just how they do view the world but I AM sure it is very different to us! However - I still think the one on the nest ledge looks sad and lonely :-)

Terri said...

Oh dear, that's terrible news. I was really hoping something like this wouldn't happen. Poor 009. That's made me feel really really sad. It's put a huge dampener on what was otherwise an incredibly successful season. Fingers crossed for the other 3.

Terry, Herts UK said...

For those who had problems with John B's RSPB link, please try this one:

RSPB

Thanks

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kishore said...

One of the parent peregrine has not moved from the box all day - probably hoping the lost one will return?????

Does the parent know her young one has died??

Anonymous said...

It's almost as if Mum has told them to sit there and stay out of trouble while she goes and finds their sister.

Joy said...

One appers to be blocking the pudding cam at present.

Terry, Herts UK said...

That's a youngster in the box, Kishore. Also visible on the pudding cam just now were two siblings and an adult (Dad, I think).

Ann ( Canada ) said...

The birds do look very subdued and probably mourning in their own little way. As for humanizing I guess we all have our own ways too. We give out pets names don't we? Even a # is a human invention. Children's stories are often about animals and birds and do very well Children love them. Are we suggesting we do away with all that? I hope not.

Terry, Herts UK said...

I think it's been a wet day today in Derby so perhaps flying lessons have been suspended.

Though I must agree it's unusual recently to see 3 or 4 birds together on the cams, as has been the case for much of the day.

...still watching...still learning...

Terry, Herts UK said...

I think this may sound like morbid curiosity to some, but I have to ask the team:

What do you do with the dead falcon? Would it make sense to leave her nearby the scrape so at least the other birds know what's happened? Would this be classed as 'interference'?

Terri said...

I was just wondering the same actually. Mind you I suppose when she doesn't show up for a few days they'll probably work it out for themselves, or even forget she ever existed.

Tony S said...

So sorry to hear about your chick, and good luck to the other three, from one of the "Friends of Worcester Peregrines"

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

I think somebody is sitting ON pudding cam right now!

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

@ terry (Herts)

That's a question I wanted an answer to but didn't want to ask. Also is it known how long the bird had been dead, I ask this because when I was there on Monday the birds were very agitated and only 5 could be seen. We assumed that Dad had gone hunting but then were told he was amongst the 5 we saw in flight. Could it be that 009 had the accident on Monday and that is why Mum was screaming and visibly trying to get her young into one place?

I agree they would surely know one was missing, emotional or not but I think they will soon forget about it and possibly learn from it. Birds, in my experience are smarter than we think in many ways.

Phoebe said...

There are two young in the scrape another one on the pudding cam and now a parent arrived up top.

Anonymous said...

pax Canada
2 on the pudding cam 2 in the nest

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karen Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Arrowsmith said...

@ Sue, the Worcester chicks all seem to be doing well, one did have a trip to a wildlife centre after it came down in a road, but all is ok at the moment. We went last night to see them and got sight of both parents together with a couple of the chicks flying between the Cathedral and the Spire.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karen Anne said...

Three juvies and a parent on the webcam. The two juvies in the nestbox both had dinner, it looks like.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Terry, Herts UK said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phoebe said...

Mum feeding all three youngsters in the scrape while Dad watches from the pudding cam. This is so good to see!

Mick B said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phoebe said...

I have it wrong, it isn't Dad up top it's a juvie. Mum only has two in the scrape.

Phoebe said...

It would be really good to get a video of Mum and three juvies in the scrape right now...

Terry, Herts UK said...

3 juvies in the scrape with Mrs P (I think) being fed.

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

messing with nature? this is what us as a human race has slowly been doing since we arrived, polluting,building and continuing to chip away at these birds and all other flora and faunas' natural habitats. it is AMAZING and very special that these birds are nesting in Derby. it is such a shame that it has took so long to starting accomodating and showing respect for the other things that live on this planet. it is about time we gave something back as human greed and power has ballsed so much up.
we SHOULD build nest boxes on the side of buildings, leave green spaces in cities, and start to understand that we do not own the world. just do a bloody fine job of messing it up.

Anonymous said...

And I'm 56. Both parents long gone. so I've got the internetall to myself.Kevin

Terry, Herts UK said...

@Kevin
Likewise, my posts were aimed at the trolls. No offence intended to you.

:)

Anonymous said...

none taken.Kevin.

I see another one has come to the surface

Terry, Herts UK said...

That was a low blow, Mick B.

You know nothing about me or my family's involvement in the two great wars, and comparing such events with contemporary wildlife conservation projects is ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

Could we end this discussion now please and remember that children access this blog.
I am sure that people are upset at the moment (we all are). However I think we should be relieved that someone took the time to let us know where the chick was as last year we were left wondering which was much worse.
Chris

Mick B said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mick B said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Terry, Herts UK said...

Mick,
I thought it was obvious that "Peregrines before Pigeons" was intended as tongue-in-cheek and meant in good humour. Obviously, if you keep pigeons, you're not likely to have found it amusing.

Fact is, and this has been repeated many times, the Peregrine is a highly protected bird and it needs to eat. I take no pleasure in seeing them eating a pigeon, any more than anyone. Fact is, this bird was persecuted almost to extinction. By man.

Like it or not, there is a food chain. That's nature. Sometimes it's cuddly and adorable; sometimes it's harsh and cruel. But even when it's the latter, you can see that good, beautiful things can come from the harsh reality.

The one or two people on this blog that gloat at the death of a Peregrine have admittedly sparked me off but I'm too old to fall for that. I'm genuinely sorry for anyone that loses a pigeon to a Peregrine but you guys need a sense of proportion. I don't resent your input here at all. It's healthy. So long as you are brave enough to give your name. Not much to ask.

For me, gloating at the death of any creature is obscene. Be it a rat, a racing pigeon or a Peregrine. Nature takes its course. Peregrines were there in large numbers, well before Man interfered. Long before pigeon fancying became a hobby/sport.

In my last job, I often used to drive out to Bucks and was absolutely amazed, the first time I saw a Red Kite. I couldn't believe it. Such a beautiful creature, soaring through the skies. If someone had told me it was an eagle, I would have believed them. Then I thought, why haven't I ever before seen such a beautiful bird? I guess I don't need to explain further.

Nowadays, Red Kites are a common sight on the M40 in Bucks, but it's still hard to keep your eyes on the road ahead. They're back where they belong. And for anyone interested in nature they're a magnificent sight.

I'd be fascinated to hear more about your pigeons, Mick. I Really would. Especially, why you think your birds don't come back and any evidence you have why you think falcons are responsible.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ash said...

Is it not time we had a bit of moderation on this site? There was a thread at the beginning of this season talking about the increasing amount of off-topic chat, the sentiments of which were rejected, and since then it has got gradually worse. Now we are in to handbags at dawn, literacy, pigeons and free speech. To mention nothing of what people are personnally doing in their everyday lives. Can we please get back to the original intent of this blog

Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry, Herts UK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mick B said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Project Member (Derby Cathedral) said...

I agree Terry that there are other sites, perhaps more open, where this kind of discussion is encouraged. This topic was posted simply to announce the very natural demise of one of our chicks in order to keep everyone informed. This is not a forum for Pigeon/Peregrine argument.
I would ask that you refrain for posting further inflammatory statements either pro or anti Peregrine. All future postings deemed inflammatory by the Project Team will be deleted eventually resulting in the authors, on both sides of the argument, being banned from future posting.

Colin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karen Anne said...

I agree with Ash.

I have deleted my comments in the controversy, and I think the other comments in that should be wiped off the board. There's no need to leave this trash around. Furthermore, I think any comments in that vein in the future should be deleted by the project as soon as they are noticed.

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

What do they eat?

Anonymous said...

I think they eat berries

Project Member (Derby Cathedral) said...

@Anon
Please tell us your name and location or you may find yourself deleted!
In answer to your question look in the archive and you will find a list of the 41 (and growing) species these Peregrines have taken for food. I believe that in the South of England this list has risen to over 70!
Tony

Nick B (DWT) said...

I agree with Ash's and Derby Cathedral project member's recent comments: so no further comments will now be allowed to this blog entry and the inflammatory past comments will be removed by the project team.
Enough is enough.
Nick B (on behalf of the team)

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

Big sad sigh ... what can I say that's not been said and felt by the vast majority of you, my good Derby peregrine friends. @Phoebe, yes, my photos are of 009 being ringed and my heart is entirely broken - but just think how the ringer will feel, and the photographer. Against the horrible bad news we still need to remember that Mr and Mrs Derby actually hatching four eggs was exceptional - compare this with Lincoln where I understand only 2 hatched out of 3 eggs laid. (I await reports from Chichester Cathedral) And don't forget what a total disaster Fort Dunlop, Birmingham, turned out to be. Yes, Mr and Mrs Derby P are still champion parents!!

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

It's nature of course, but it's sad. And Colin's pictures are amazingly beautiful.

annie said...

Have been offline for few days, so this was really sad news to return to. Such beautiful birds too. Makes it harder when you've seen them through hatching and chick-hood and then on to fledging. What a sad end to such a short life.
annie

Tom Stephenson said...

I have to say (if I'm allowed) that one of the last posts to be deleted from this thread when it was blocked was actually quite funny. It came in from someone responding to the debate about the diet of birds of prey in general, and it was said that this included worms. The post was: "Save the worms!", which made me laugh.