Monday, 29 May 2017

Cathy no more and a TV update

Update: there has been some splendid footage of the peregrines nesting on Salisbury Cathedral on BBC2's Springwatch, starting with the programme on Monday and with more footage today (Wednesday). Well worth checking out using iplayer here .
Five eggs were laid over a 15 day period (that in itself is strange - ours lay their four eggs every other day) and now only one egg has hatched!).
(There was also a very clear mention of the fact that birds of prey (in this case golden eagles) have been 'disappearing' on managed driven grouse moors in Scotland.....though Chris Packham had to stay well clear of that item, understandably given the flak he's received for being 'political' and using his BBC presenter role to advance his private views (against the illegal killing of raptors on grouse moors especially).
In 2009, two of the four chicks reared and fledged that summer soon came to grief.
One was found freshly dead on top of a block of flats near the cathedral a matter of days after she fledged. Evidently she had flown into a smoked glass screen which surrounded the top of the flat roof of this building, breaking her neck and dying instantly.
We put the corpse in a deep freezer at Derby Museum (where Nick M worked at the time) and rather than bin it, decided to get it set up by a taxidermist when we could find the necessary cash (£400).
This specimen has proved very useful for showing children especially what a juvenile peregrine looks like, how big it is and what it's various features (e.g. its talons, cere, eye ring, feather details etc) look like.
The newly mounted female with Chris Orgill our
taxidermist. Note the metal BTO ring on its right leg and the orange
coloured ring on its left leg signifying the bird is from Derby cathedral.
This bird's sister also flew into a building somewhere, was picked up and taken to an animal refuge in Nottinghamshire. We brought her back but since she had a problem with her right shoulder, later identified by a vet as being inoperable such that she would never fly again. Rather than put her down - and with a willing and experienced carer to hand (Colin Pass) we decided to keep her in captivity.

Cathy in 2014 showing adult features

She was a docile bird and seemed to adjust to her new situation very quickly. Colin christened her 'Cathy'.
He looked after her for many years, finally handing her over to another carer (Leslie and Dave Robinson) a few years ago.
One morning last week she was found lying dead in her pen, presumably having died of natural causes.

We were not able to use Cathy for educational work as much as we would have liked for many reasons, not the least of which was getting a special DEFRA licence to enable us to take her to schools etc.
Cathy intrigues and delights a young lad at an open day at the cathedral
We would like to thank Colin, Leslie and Dave for looking after her so well over the years.

The Project Team



21 comments:

Helen said...

Back in February 2010 our school was very lucky to have a visit from Cathy. It was such a memorable and exciting day. Cathy provided a huge inspiration for the children, who produced some lovely drawings and work relating to her visit. Here are a few of the comments that the children wrote at the time:

"It was amazing how big her eyes were. I was really excited before she came to school. I loved the spotty chest. Cathy’s claws looked very sharp."

"I liked it when she looked at me. Her eyes were big and black. Her feathers looked very warm. I liked the colour of her feathers."

"When she opened her wings she looked beautiful. I liked her colourful feathers and big round eyes. She had long legs …. Cathy was special."

"We enjoyed looking at her and finding out lots of new things about peregrines."

And links to a couple of the children's pictures of Cathy-https://www.flickr.com/photos/38040380@N08/34853800621/in/pool-derbyperegrines/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/38040380@N08/34822659862/in/pool-derbyperegrines/

What an important legacy she left behind.

Vicky said...

I just checked on the chicks and was pleasantly surprised. One has walked over to the other side. Tucked in the corner. I didn't know they could walk that far already. The scrape looks smaller to me than last year and I worry they will bump each other off while wobbling back and forth. Last year 2 of the yours got pushed off by a sibling but it was time to fledge anyway.

Phoebe said...

Such sad news of Cathy, I went to see her a couple of years ago - even had her on my gloved hand. It seems a shame that natural causes took her life at just 3 years old :(

Heather said...

Thanks Nick B for the fantastic feature article and lovely picture of our peregrine chicks in the June edition of "Reflections". The larger photo I think must be of the Nottingham chicks as they have been ringed and there's the measuring chart in the background, but I may be wrong. Also great shot on front cover entitled "All eyes on our falcons". This magazine covers Chesterfield/Dronfield/Matlock/Bakewell and surrounding areas. (www.reflections-magazine.com).

Heather said...

All three chicks now in the other side of the scrape but no adult present at moment.

Anne said...

I've been watching with my fingers crossed, two of the chicks staggering around on the other side of the scrape, but very near to the edge. Thankfully Mum has arrived and has taken up position shielding the remaining chick from the sun. Hope the other two chicks join Mum safely and very soon.

kate said...

Thanks Project Team for keeping us updated, sad that Cathy no longer.

@Helen Thank you for introducing allowing the children to post here on the Blog, also to watch the web cam and encourage them to visit live.Wonderful Education for them all and also Thank you for your own pics posted in the Group.

Our little family progressing

Alex Rock said...
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Anonymous said...

Very sad news indeed. I had the honour of holding Cathe on my arm at Colin's kind acceptance. On one of my visits home to Derby He agreed to meet with myself and Pheobe also on this group. Lots of pictures taken that day. Cathe was indeed a beautiful and easy to handle bird. I had never done anything like that before, so it was a real treat. Please pass on my good wishes to all who took care of her. Thank you. xxx Ann Chambers Hancock Canada.

Anonymous said...

@ Phoebe Hi there, I will always remember our visit with Cathy. A remarkable experience but I think it was longer that 2 years ago I'm pretty sure about that. Time goes by fast but we have our happy memories. How are you? you can reach me on F.B. or e mail at.listenwithmother@live.com best wishes Ann Chambers Hancock. xxx

Vicky said...

The chicks are so funny. a minute ago 2 were lying down trying to sleep. the middle one sat on the back of one until the sat upon one moved. Now they are all stretching and trying to get comfortable. They almost look dirty with the adult feathers coming in. Looks like mom sitting on the edge. They were alone for quite awhile. They had a small fee a bit ago.

Heather said...

Chicks bedding down for the night, no sign of adult yet. Scrape beginning to resemble its usual annual unhygienic self complete with flies!

Helen said...

Lots of wing flapping and preening taking place this morning. One of the chicks looks quite big - perhaps one female and two males??? I'm looking forward to Saturday's watch point. Hopefully the chicks will be visible through the telescopes.

Wendy Bartter said...

Taking a while to settle though, still so lovely & fluffy white, we'll be able to enjoy them long after all the other sites have fledged ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGFencSOkJA

Sj H said...

I'm so sad to hear the news that Cathy has died. Was it really as long ago as 2009 that she was hatched, how time flies! It was actually a miracle she survived her dreadful injuries so even more of a miracle that she survived to be 8 years old. A huge testament to the great care she received from so many wonderful people, thanks to all. I never saw her "in person" and I well remember the pangs of envy I felt when some other lucky people were invited to do so. Do I recall that a lady from Hong Kong who was a constant blogger at the time went on a Derby visit and was lucky enough to meet her? I remember Phoebe as an avid and loyal Derby watcher and was similarly invited. I believe I vaguely remember that back in the day Colin used to occasionally bring one or two of his birds to Watchpoints and I feel fortunate and privileged to have seen that. Thanks for the news, even though it's sad news.

Lesley Gerrard said...

I have never known the chicks to be left alone so much as this year. Even in the rain.

Phoebe said...

@ Ann, yes you are right, it was more than 2 years, I remember I had jut moved and you came in for a coffee, that was 2013. I did think after I posted that I got the age wrong. I will email you, lots of catch-up Good wishes Phoebe xxx

kate said...

Both Adults watching and feeding chick on the slate side of scrape.
Pics on flkr.

Vicky said...

Not just now but I have noticed the parents leaving prey on the scrape and the chicks eating it on their own. I have never seen that at such a young age.

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