Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Feathers Fly

Adult male in foreground sits passively whilst his mate plucks the feathers from her next meal. Click image to enlarge. The sun broke through during a lull in our stormy UK weather this morning, revealing both of our peregrine falcons on top of Derby Cathedral through our new camera (dubbed by some as “pudding-cam” on account of its shape).

We’re all still getting used to the scale of images seen through this new camera, but eventually it became clear that it was our male standing patiently in the foreground, whilst the adult female was on the farthest of the three gargoyle, busily plucking feathers from a fresh prey item. The female flies off with her meal, and lands shortly afterwards below the nest ledge. See picture below. Click to enlarge.The wind whipped these up into the air as she rendered her meal. This may well have been an item that he had caught and presented to her as part of their courtship. (Note: a later check of the video recordings showed clearly that the female caught this bird and brought it back all on her own. The male just sat and watched) Shortly afterwards they flew off and reappeared in the other cameras – the female below the nest ledge with her meal, the male standing on the platform itself. He then did a little bit of nest-scraping by lying on his front and pushing backwards with his feet to help maintain the hollow in the gravel tray, but mostly stood quietly on guard at the nest.
A few minutes later both birds are back near the nest ledge. The male spends a few moments maintaining the hollw nest scrape. Click image to enlarge.


Anna Simpson said...

Great images of the peregrines, when roughly will the eggs be laid, do you think?

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'll start the ball rolling and guess 30th March and pledge £10 towards your excellent project.
A third feed so we can see the gargoyle action via the pud cam would be great - but I do realise you are very short of funds.
If the first egg is laid on either 29th or 31st you'll get £5.
I'll email you so you know who I am if you remoind me of the email address to use.
Jane T

Anonymous said...

It's 0854. One bird on nest ledge and one on the top of the tower - both looking windswept! Excellent to see three views all together. Pam - Derby

Anonymous said...

hi Nick, see if you can post the image of the pudding-cam at around 10:43am, there's a rainbow in the sky with our lovely birdie resting on the gargoyle. Amazing view! Jennie, HK.

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Hi Jenni - glad to hear from you again.
I've been watching the live pictures here in my office in Derby Museum, and can hear the win whistling aorund the old cathedral tower. I saw the rainbow too, and captured a picture (I think). But I' rather busy right now, so I'll see what I can do later.