Monday, 12 May 2014

Chick Flicks

With all four chicks successfully hatched, we enter that special period in the lives of our peregrine falcons. It takes just six weeks from hatching to fledging, and day by day you will see the young birds grow and change. And almost before we know it, they are ready to fly.

Shown below are some recent clips captured from a new video recorder installed inside Derby Cathedral.
The first shows just two tiny chicks on 4th May, whilst the last shows all four chicks being fed on Friday 9th May. The complete feed lasted for about nine minutes, so only a fraction is shown here.















To record video from our analogue cameras we use a Philips DVD3460H recorder with a large hard drive. Unfortunately the DVD trays of this model have a terrible habit of failing to open. Our last recorder failed a few months ago. It's a time consuming but relatively cheap job to replace the 25mm rubber drive belt on the DVD tray to make them work again, but its removal meant we needed to find a replacement.

We are grateful to David Reynolds who sold us a working replacement for virtually just the cost of delivery to Derby. So although he didn't make much profit on the sale, we do hope he appreciates the great use to which his old home recorder is now being put. Meanwhile the previous recorder has now been repaired and our next job is to install it back into the Cathedral Tower, ready to capture the chicks when they move onto the far side of the nest platform.

Our thoughts are now turning to the next task of ringing our chicks, so we'll soon start to make arrangements with our licenced ringers to abseil down in about ten days time, and to place numbered  rings on their legs to trace their future movements.

We have also tweaked the main nest camera to give much better nighttime pictures, and we also have live webcams viewable  24/7 in Derby City Centre. The Cathedral Centre shop window on Irongate now contains a display showing a full-sized replica our our peregrine nest, complete with a TV monitor showing the live nest camera from Stream 4.

57 comments:

MaryT said...

just happened to take a look at the camera and amazed to see another peregrine fly in! Both parents chased it off. Amazing!

Green Class said...

This moning we saw the adult feed the four chicks. After they had some food they flopped down into the scrape and went to sleep. The maiel tried to sit on the chicks. The chicks are to big and he is to little and it made us laghp. When the mother peregrine feeds them there beak open realy wide.

Phoebe said...

Hi NickM, thanks for the videos they were fascinating to watch. Stream 1 and 4 are much better for the tweaking another thank you. I find the night vision is more black and white and so much clearer than the semi-colour before.

MaryT I am intrigued by your post of seeing another peregrine hopefully someone will get a screengrab.

The falcon has just flown off and was seen flying in front of the cam, stream 1 and 4. The tiercel is now with the chicks. I suspect she will soon be back with food.

I don't know if anyone else thinks the same but, the tiercel is being much more involved with the feeding than I remember from previous years. It makes me wonder if the anonymous peregrine is visiting the nest without us realising it ?

Lorraine said...

Phoebe - so relieved this has also crossed your mind. I even went so far as taking a screen grab of the tiercel so I could really sit and compare it to a known picture of him. On that occasion I was satisfied it was. But yes,I've noticed the tiercel being more involved this year, with feeding and nest minding.

Maybe that run-in with the mystery falcon a while back has made him wary. The other falcon is obviously still around, as seen by MaryT and I think the fact that it even dares to fly directly into the nest may indicate that it is one of last years juvies.

It will be terrific if someone manages to catch a screenshot or confirm if it has a leg ring or not.

Meanwhile, I'm watching the tiercel more closely from now on. One of his offspring could very well have similar markings and I understand it isn't unknown for a juvie to return at this time and even assist in the feeding of the chicks.

Peregrine Project Member (Nick M.) said...

I've just posted a response to MaryT on Facebook to say thanks for the interesting observation, which I think is more likely to be a related juvenile from a previous year than an interloper.
Wherever possible, please let us know the date/timestamp of really exciting obsevations, as this can sometimes help me retrieve images, which tends to be rather 'needle-in-haystack'-searching even with the information!

MaryT said...

Thanks for the replies all. I just happened to log on to the nest, would have been around 2.20pm if that helps. Was totally taken aback to see the third bird it all happened so quick and I hadn't time to grab a screen shot unfortunately!

Phoebe said...

Just going back to an anonymous post about the turquoise colour on the scrape. I would think if it is a feather and it is not certain that it is, but teal have a couple of feathers the same colour, so more likely to be that than a kingfisher as suggested. I would think there would be many more feathers the same colour if it was kingfisher.

I will keep my eyes peeled for spotting another peregrine. I was out yesterday afternoon else I might have seen it too.

Phoebe said...

16:47 on the multiview there is a bird on the stonework up top. I think it's a pigeon but not sure. The tiercel who is with the chicks is looking upward from the scrape.

Phoebe said...

No there is two birds there, one possibly the falcon. 16:49:00

Phoebe said...

One bird seen flying down from the top over the scrape, then feathers floating down which suggests plucking going on above.

Phoebe said...

Feeding time for the chicks but I'm not sure if it's the tiercel, it looks like it.

Lorraine said...

I think the two rock doves who courted and mated on the tower last year could be using the ledge again this year. I've seen one of them there a few times, but never two, so far. I think they mate for life, so hope they manage to get away with it again this season!

There is a small round bright red object in the scrape. I thought it was a berry or a bead, but maybe it's a leg ring from a pigeon?

Can't believe how the chicks seem to grow larger by the hour. Not long now before cute turns to gangly!

linda said...

I watched a feed this morning. Someone brought in food - not sure who- but Mum grabbed it and was feeding everyone. That little chick is very loud! Don't think there's any chance it will miss out. The older two, when they'd had enough, were going walkabout around the scrape, pecking at things on the back wall. Oldest one- well biggest was flapping it's wings too. Mum flew off with the left overs and the tiercel came and finished off feeding the little ones from scraps that were left. Then the Falcon returned and tucked the 2 little ones under her. I didn't see any sign of any other bird, however both parents are around a lot and seem very watchful.The chicks are growing fast

Linda said...

I hope it's ok to post this - on the Maltese Bird front this was sent to me today - a petition to the Commissioner of malta to stop the killing of migratory birds. I've signed if anyone else wants to here is the link.

http://theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com/clickToGive/ars/petition/MaltaSpringMigrationHunt?origin=ETA_051214_MaltaSpringMigrationHunt_f&utm_source=email&utm_medium=animalsta&utm_campaign=MaltaSpringMigrationHunt&utm_term=20140512&utm_content=_f

Norma said...

Thank you Linda for link re Malta I have signed it.
During WW2 my Uncle was a Royal Marine on the Ajax
when he was injured he ended up on Malta & married a Maltese girl, they had four sons & after the war returned to England. As much as I would like to visit Malta, I will never go whilst they continue with this practice.

AnnieF. said...

The falcon hopped on to the scrape ledge at approx.14.13 hrs. for a stretch & a preen, revealing the 3 largest chicks side by side & the smallest facing the other way. Its head would gave been right under mum's tummy, snug & warm, but given the afternoon warmth it shouldn't cool down too fast. It's so little compared to the others though!

Linda said...

They're all snuggled down together and one parent on the edge of the scrape right now.The little one may be little but it's growing fast, is very loud and very determined to get it's share. Dad was feeding it extra earlier.

Phoebe said...

Just watched a feeding session from the tiercel. The falcon stayed huddled against the chicks while feeding took place. I noticed the tiercel, although gentle when feeding the chicks, he was also very fast and appeared to feed one in particular, so much that the poor chicks crop is so swollen it looks like another head! I don't think that one will want a feed for quite a while.

AnnieF. said...

Another feed just finished. All of them got some including one that had been lying flat on its front until nearly the end (the one Phoebe said had a full crop earlier?), but the little one was still yelling for more afterwards.v

Phoebe said...

Yes Annie, I think it probably was that one, I was chuckling at it it looked so funny.

They are growing so fast you can see the dark patches showing on the wings. The cute chick stage is all over so quickly.

kate said...

yes the littlest one was being bullied by one on the left around 17.00 plus, but did manage a few mouthfuls,will try update to flikr
Kate

julia said...

Falcon has been away from the scrape for an hour and 25 mins now . Is this normal
Julia

Sue Peregrino said...

My thoughts are turning towards watchpoints, which I know the team have planned for 2014. Does the info under the "WatchPoints" tab of this website need to be tweaked a bit? If it is last year's, much of the info will be correct, but the dates aren't right - eg it refers to watchpoints running "every Saturday from 25th May" but 25/5/2014 is a Sunday.

Peregrine Project Member (Nick M.) said...

I've no idea what you mean Sue - there's nothing wrong with the Watchpont Tab!
OK, actually, I lied. I hadn't realised we still had last years's information showing, but I've now deleted it, thanks to your eagle-eye.
Ian Layton will no doubt announce dates and times fairly soon.
Nick

julia said...

Hmmm think I might have been mistaken. I was getting them muddled up I think

Phoebe said...

It is looking very hot this morning. the falcon is doing her best to shade the chicks from the sun. One of them has found shade in the corner.

Lorraine said...

Quick look in before I go out and amazed to see the eldest chicks going walkabout inside the scrape!

Preening at itchy new feathers that must be starting to poke through and taking an interest in the view beyond, with legs that seem to have a mind of their own - a bit like my old ironing board! :)



Linda said...

Nick - Is one of the chicks, the biggest one I think in trouble? Its caught in a corner of the scrape and can't seem to right it's self? it's been scrabbling with it's feet but looks stuck. I've been watching for a bit. Both parents present but no-one seems to be paying any attention. It keeps cheeping. Hope everything's ok.

linda said...

Phew... he/she is back on his feet again. Had me worried- was on it's back in the corner but looks ok now! Mum was wiser than I am!

Green Class said...

The chikcis ar flat out today. the chikcis have big feet. they have starterd to tirn yellow. they stik there yellow legs out wen they ar to hot.

Phoebe said...

I think the cams have frozen.

Lorraine said...

Yes, bit of a hitch with the cams, only No.3 working, but will no doubt be tweaked and corrected in due course. Chicks on their own at present ( now even bigger than yesterday ) and the little one is catching up fast.

Lorraine said...

Kate - the Plym Peregrine Project has video footage of a previous year's juvie,( a male ) who has returned to the nest site and seems to be intent on staying around.

Apparently the parents are tolerating and even feeding it, but they chase it off when it enters the nest. It's leg ring bears the letters HA !!

There doesn't appear to be a live webcam operating in the quarry at present, but there are two healthy chicks this year. Hope to go and see them soon.

Most of our Derby Cams are now operating again.

Anonymous said...

I think something wrong with one chick.
Julia.

Anonymous said...

There is definitely something wrong with one of the chicks, I haven't seen it move and the others are walking over it

Helen said...

Only three chicks were feeding a few minutes ago, with the fourth remaining motionless.

Linda said...

I cant see it breathing. Mum was very restless last night I wonder if she knew something was wrong. Sadly it looks as if it's died to me. The other chicks are up and exploring the scrape.

Anonymous said...

have been watching the past several hours. The chick appears appears to have expired. Surprising as it is one of the larger ones. I wondered if it choked on something it was fed.

linda said...

It seemed to be in trouble yesterday and hate to say it but it looks as though the other biggest one might be too. I so hope not. The little one is perky and across the far side of the scrape. One is under mum who is standing over the dead chick and the other one. very sad.

Tracey Bell said...

Hi. Im a watcher this year and have enhoyed watching them grow. Yes it is really sad to wake up this morning to see that one has expired.Hasnt moved at all. Very sad. What will mum and dad do with it?

Anonymous said...

Hi. I've been watching cam. 4 last few hours. And I haven't seen another chick. Probably she/he is under camstand. Is she/he OK?
Julia K.

Anonymous said...

Strange behaviour in the scrape on cam 2 at 9.20:52 mom shielding chicks 2nd bird in other side of scrape could be dad not sure facing the back wall mantling but appears odd

Anonymous said...

Yes, I saw that too. Dad came to the corner to check two dead chicks. What peregrine falcon usually do with small dead ones?
Julia K.

Kate said...

They look very much all alive to me..will try and upload flikr shot.

Sylvia said...

All four chicks have been moving - great news

Kate said...

three feeding at the moment, one not attempting to eat at the moment tucked in the corner.

Robert Taylor said...

It's feeding time again. One of the chicks is not moving.

kate said...

The chick has not moved through out feeding, The two nearest Adult are fine , as is the one on its own alongside the scrape.
During feeding I thought I glimpsed the one of the chicks standing on the neck of the Chick not moving.

kate said...

Have uploaded pics but sadly as flies are now crawling over the marked chick I think this one may have not made it.

Jo said...

Chick still not moving during feed and is being walked on. It looks like we've sadly lost one :(

AnnieF. said...

The falcon is busy plucking large feathers from prey on the far ledge, while three moving chicks huddle in the corner under the scrape camera. It does look as if the fourth chick has died - it's lying flat & still, & has been for some time. I wish there were some way the experts could retrieve the body to do a post mortem, but I suppose the parents would dispose of it before that could happen.

Lorraine said...

Very saddened by events.

AnnieF. said...

It's definitely one of the larger chicks that has died. The smallest two were very active during the feed just now, and the other larger one had its share & seemed ok. fingers crossed for no more shocks.

Jo said...

Mum gently pecked its head just now and tried to pull it............So heartbreaking, they looked so well and healthy!

jo said...

So sad :(

Kate said...

17.18 feed time
youngest gets a good feed before the two bigger ones join in.
so lets us pray that they will now all survive.

Anonymous said...

Dead chick has just been removed from the nest, mum has flown off with it