Thursday, 6 September 2007

Pigeon Takes a Risk

(Note: Follow this link for information on this week-end's sponsored abseil down the cathedral tower)

Although the adult peregrines are still using the nest ledge as a roost spot, there has been little sign of our two young birds recently. They were last reported a couple of weeks ago, but we have no cause to be concerned for their welfare; they may simply have moved off to find new hunting grounds of their own.

Our cameras and recording equipment inside the cathedral tower are still functioning, despite a recent break in the webcam service. This was caused by engineers cutting the electricity supply for routine maintenance in Derby Cathedral, but this was easily fixed after a climb up the spiral stone staircase inside the tower.

On checking the video recordings, we found this clip which shows a pigeon taking what may seem like a risky walk around our peregrine's nest ledge. Ironically, the bird was probably at less risk here than high in the skies above Derby. Peregrines would be unlikely to attempt to catch a bird so close to a cliff or building - they could easily injure themselves.


Karen Anne said...

What was the pigeon eating (or pecking at to see if it was edible?), I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Pax Canada 12.50am
Falcon on the nest box, loved the video of the pigeon :-)

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

I couldn't say what it was eating - it seemed like a general pecking to see what it could find.

around 10.40am local time the peregrine had moved to the ledge way below the platform, but then flew off around 10.50am. At this time the sun casts a great shadow of one of our cameras onto the back wall and you can clearly pick out the anti-perching spikes we put on top to prevent birds from landing on them.

Right now Derby Mountain Rescue are erecting the "launch platform" on top of the tower in readiness for tomorrow's sponsored abseil.
Nick 10:50am

Anonymous said...

Could the movement on the tower be the reason that both adults are currently sat like book ends on the platform.

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Interesting - I've just returned from picking blackberries in my lunch-hour and was walking across Derby city centre, trying to get a feel of how much or how little our nest ledge impacts on the visual apearance of the cathedral tower (it's an important listed building and this is a significant issue) From some way off I was appalled to notice two white "splodges" I'd not noticed before on either side of the empty ledge, and then suddenly realised it was the breast feathers of both adult birds (male on the left; female on the right). Doh! The size difference is much more obvious when the birds are seen from outside the Cathedral.

Is it because of the activity on top of the tower? Well, actually, I suspect it might be. The Mountain Rescue Team have now left, having finished constructing the platform for tomorrow's abseilers. I suspect the adult peregrines have returned to reclaim their territory and to reassure themselves that all is well. The events over the weekend
shouldn't affect them in any way - we know they stay away from the tower for long periods now.

Anonymous said...

pax 10.13 am Can. time
Falcon on edge of the nest

Anonymous said...

Pax 6.50pm Can. time
falcon asleep on nest edge