Friday, 5 February 2010

Cathy on a learning curve

Last year, one of the four young, a female with ring number 010, was found on the ground and taken into care. Ex-rays confirmed that she had a damaged shoulder joint which was inoperable. She would never fly properly again.

Either she would have to be put down or be kept in captivity with a view to using her for educational purposes if she seemed up to it.

Fortunately, Colin, a local falconer, who had been going to the cathedral over the last few summers to watch and photograph the birds, agreed to take her in and look after her. He applied for all the necessary licences from DEFRA to allow him to keep a wild peregrine. He also gave 010 a name, Cathy.


Cathy took to captivity very well. Colin soon discovered that she could fly short distances though she was unable to gain much height.


So we decided to see how she would get on with small groups of school children and, after careful planning, took her to her first school last week.

We chose Brigg Infant School because the children there had been watching the web cams over the summer and had also paid a visit to the cathedral to see the birds. Over three years, their teacher, Helen Naylor, had successfully used the peregrine project to teach english, maths, computer work and many other aspects of the national curiculum. The children's wonderful drawings have appeared on this blog in the past.

With the necessary risk assessments in place, we took Cathy to the school last week. We put her and Colin in a separate room from the class and brought small groups of 6-7 children in to see her one after the other. The children were excellent, very quiet, attentive and asking good questions.

Cathy also behaved perfectly. She was very calm and relaxed throughout and Colin fed her from time to time. Fortunately we had placed a wipeable cloth on the carpet beneath to catch her projectile 'mewts' !

We hope to try her out with slightly older children in the next few weeks....

Nick B (DWT)
(Both photos of Cathy are copyright of Colin Pass)
To read about night hunting please scroll down to the previous blog entry.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am so delighted that Cathy is well and being used in such a wonderful way in childrens education. Thank you Colin for all your kindness and care.
Jane.
Syston, Leics.

Karen Anne said...

That's great! Thank you so much, Colin and Nick.

i had just been wondering how Cathy was doing.

I am so glad she can fly a bit.

And what a treat for the children.

Lynne said...

Thats wonderful.

Good luck for future venues.

Lynne said...

Excellent!

Joyce S in Derby said...

Great news about Cathy! Colin's photos of her are beautiful too.

Two of the peregrines were on Jurys Inn lettering when I went past at 08:45 Sunday morning

Helen said...

It was an amazing experience for the children, which hopefully they will remember for years to come. After watching the webcams and seeing Cathy's development from egg to juvenile it was incredible to see her so close up. The children learnt a huge amount from being able to observe her and ask questions. It was wonderful to see her so calm in front of the children, largely due to Colin's excellent care of her and the bond they have developed. It certainly was a very special day. So a VERY BIG THANK YOU to Colin, Cathy and Nick for their time and patience.

Helen said...

There were some great images of one of the adult birds on the tower this morning around 8.30am - holding tight on to it's prey! Really clear, thanks to Nick M. Pictures posted on Flickr.

AnnieF. said...

What marvellous news! All credit to Colin for his loving care of Cathy, she will be such an asset. The children must have been thrilled to see one of the peregrines they had been watching, "up close and personal".

Pam said...

Well done Cathy and Colin!

Ann ( Canada ) said...

This is wonderful news about Cathy. I am sure she will be able to provide much needed knowledge and education for the local children. They are so blessed to have her in the community. I so much enjoyed my visit with her last year and wish I could see her more often. Thanks Colin for the wonderful job you do with her and for allowing me to visit with you and her. Keep up the good work and enjoy your time with her. She will be a valuable educational tool. Children learn so much more from a personal visit. Looking forward to the soon coming new season. Wishing the team all the best for this year. I am still showing off all my photo's of Cathy where ever I go.

Anonymous said...

i hope the correct child protection qualifications were in place for this trip to a school,

Colin said...

It was great to see the children
with a really interest.Every single one of the children was well manered, respected Cathty and conducted themselves' exceptional well. A really credit to the teacher's and school.
Regards
Colin

Karen Anne said...

lunch is served.

Gio said...

Great! Thanks from here too, way to go, Colin and Nick! :D
I'm so grateful a wild peregrine kept in captivity for her own safety can be an aducational bird for children who have the opportunity to learn to respect and love those superb, amazing birds meeting her.
"She was very calm and relaxed"
Cathy is such a sweet, darling falcon.. I'm happy her life is so good.
Thank you again.

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

@anonymous: Of course. A risk assessment was carried out before the visit, and the Wildlife Trust have a long history of working with school children in a safe and inspirational manner.

John B (not the sloop) said...

Didn't you just know that, with an expert handler, she'd do fine in a teaching career.....

Phoebe said...

That is good news, I knew she would be good for teaching, she was so calm when I met her, she sat on my hand very well. Thanks to Colin's excellent handling! Well Done!

Pax Canada said...

a pidgeon on the tower cam I think

Dennis said...

Will the nesting site be cleaned prior to 2010 (hopefully) breeding?

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

@Dennis
If the weather warms up later this month we'll probably do a quick abseil just to clean up the camera lenses and check everything is OK. The nest platform seems in good condition, and doesn't require any work this year.
Watch out for me dangling half way down should you be passing by Cathedral Green. If so, give us a wave!

Terry, Herts UK said...

Loads of great coverage of peregrines on BBC2's Natural World this week. If you missed it, it's available on iPlayer here:

Natural World

If you are outside the UK, iPlayer probably won't work for you but you can (allegedly) fool iPlayer by carefully following these instructions:

iPlayer fix

Use the fix at your own risk. I can't vouch for it either because I don't need it!

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Fear not - both adults were sitting on top of the Jurys Inn lettering this afternoon.
Thanks for the BBC link.

Pax Canada said...

one on the nest ledge

Pax Canada said...

One on the tower cam with prey

Don N said...

Combined picture feed frozen at 11.25 today. Pudding cam still updating.

AnnieF. said...

One on the left-side edge of the nestbox.

AnnieF. said...

The multi-frame camera's frozen at 11.25, I've just noticed - so my last post is almost 2 hrs. late!

Phoebe said...

I see the falcon? on the nest and can also see where the gravel has been scraped in the middle - getting ready to start the season I think.

Pax Canada said...

One on the nest ledge

Anonymous said...

has any mating been witnessed this year????

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

We don't expect anyone to see our peregrines mating until around the 1st week in March. This is likely to be on the tower-top, not on the nest ledge.

Please tell us the exact date and time of any interesting activity you spot via the webcams, and we'll try and retrieve the video. We only have 4 days before recording get overwritten by new footage - so please be quick in telling us. Or capture and edit a webcam shot and post it to our photo pool on Flickr.

Blog readers may wish to use the "Archive" menu on the left side of this blog to go back a year or two to find out what was happening at any particular time.

Events may be a few days earlier than they were last year.

Joyce S in Derby said...

Both peregrines were on Jury's Inn lettering when I came past about 3pm. Wednesday 17th Feb.

Sue in Bucks (Scout) said...

A quick catch up after a few weeks (and I should be engrossed in my law studies now instead of playing hookey!) and I was thrilled to hear all the "Cathy" news. The Brigg Infant School are very deserving of this amazing priviledge ... but I have to admit to a few pangs of envy. I'm 58 but I'm wondering how I can disguise myself as an infant so I can sneak in and see her too (no chance, ha ha) Speaking of birthdays, the peregrines came back and claimed their platform last Feb 3rd (my birthday) - anyone seen any signs this year? (and yes, it was snowy last Feb
3rd too)
Still not much peregrine activity in Bucks - but they've added a box like thing to their platform???? Apparently like the one to be seen at Brighton??? I reckin I shall, as ever, have to wait for the Hobbies to return before I see falcons around here.

Terry, Herts UK said...

RSPB campaign to protect birds of prey:

link

Gio said...

Sue, I'm going for 62 and had the same envious wish.. no chance of course! :-)) Happy belated birthday!! :D

I assume you all know about the Brighton nest petition. Anyway, if interested in, it's at http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/PeregrineFalcons/

I spread the RSPB campaign everywhere I could, forums and FB, luckily we are able to sign from abroad.

Karen Anne said...

They had a children's presentation at the local library with rescued raptors, etc. I called and they said adults could come.