Saturday, 24 March 2007

A Tasty Morsel

There were still no signs of egg-laying when the Cathedral cameras were checked on Friday. However, reviewing the previous three days of recording revealed lots of nest scraping and head bowing activities. Whenever mutual bowing occurs it's amazing to see how still the male can remain - sometimes up to ten minutes at a time. (See video clip for March 14th for an example of this activity) At other times he stares intently for some minutes at the female who is usually off-camera on the other side of the ledge. Here are more details of courtship behaviour in American peregrines, and it mirrors exactly what we're seeing in Derby. The only difference is that we are seeing a lot of food being brought to the nest platform for consumption. But as yet there's no evidence of copulation occurring on the platform, although mating was witnessed on one of the gargoyles at the top of Derby Cathedral's tower on Wednesday 21st March.)

On Thursday 22nd March we recorded the male bringing food to the nest and passing it to the much larger female. Watch this by clicking on the YouTube image below.

(Note the better quality recording; for some reason this clip could be processed directly by computer, rather than having to use a video camera pointing at a TV screen for previous clips!)

We'd like to build a questions and answers page about our peregrine falcons. If you'd like to send us any suggestions for things you'd like to see answered, please complete the "Contact Us" form at the bottom of the main peregrine page on Derby City Council's website.

At last there's progress with our internet connection! Next week Capita (the Council's external IT agents) will be arranging the dismantling and transfer of the radio equipment necessary to give us our internet connection. How long it then takes to configure us to the City council's servers is still anyone's guess, but our ICT Unit are now building the necessary page ready to receive the webcam images. Fingers crossed!

A meeting with Derby Cityscape on Friday afternoon was fruitful, and we should soon be able to reveal how much access we're likely to get on Cathedral Green during the summer. (You may be aware that the whole Green is to be landscaped later this year, and access to the site has been of great concern to many people)

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