Monday, 26 May 2008

Interruption to pictures

Ringing taking place in 2006 - note the absence of webcameras in this shot The ringing of the chicks happened today from (17:47 to 18:45 local time), and there was an interruption to the service which normally lets you see and hear the birds while it took place. This meant the pictures were frozen for an hour or so.

Update: Ringing was successfully completed by 18:45 (with just one abseil rope getting a bit stuck for a while). The Streamdays image stream has now returned, though we still only have audio on the live stream. The parent bird returned to the nest platform immediately the ringers had left, which is what we would have expected.

So, what have we got? Well, a phone call from the tower has just reported that Ant and Martin (our two licenced ringers) believe we have three male peregrine chicks and one female.

As well as making the ringers feel less "under the spotlight", we were concerned that someone watching the web cams may not be aware that ringing was taking place (human arms and legs would suddenly appear at the platform) and could think there was an attempt to steal the chicks and panic and ring the police (though we have already given notice to Derbyshire police that ringing would be taking place today).

Now that ringing is complete we'll let you know in more detail how it went, and also post photos of the chicks as soon as we can....and at least the dangling prey item obscuring the view has been removed!

Ringed chcik in 2007The photo here shows one of the two 2007 chicks with its numbered colour ring. It also had a small metal ring on the more distant leg. The colour ring is big enough to read the number through a telescope but loose on the leg and in no way a hindrance to the bird. It means that, should this bird perch somewhere where someone can see the ring and read the number, eg on a building in say Nottingham, we will know where our Derby offspring are. Even if they can only see the (unique) colour, we will know it was a Derby-bred bird (peregrines colour ringed elsewhere have a different colour).

The metal ring is a standard ring which simply states 'contact Brit. Museum' and has a unique number such that if the bird is found injured or dead or is recaptured, its exact identity and origin will be known.

Colour rings do fall off sometimes, the colour fades and the number becomes difficult to read, so both rings are essential to maximise the information we can get back from these chicks in the future.

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) organises and supervises the ringing of wild birds in the UK. See their website for more about bird ringing in general. They are fully aware of what we do at Derby.


Anonymous said...

is the live camera with sound working???????????. ive tried to get onto it several times and just can't seem to get picture or anyone else having the same problem?????

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

As this blog article has explained, we've turned off camera feeds (including the microphone) whilst we abseil down to ring i.e. "band" the chicks.

As the previous blog entry exlained, we also have some IT problems which mean that the live audio/video feed is not working as it should. Certainly, thee's no picture, and a few minutes ago we unplugged the microphone.
Bear with us whilst this important scientific work is done, and normal service will be resumed as soon as possible (as they used to say on BBC TV many years ago)

Karen Anne said...

Looks like I missed all the excitement, as the chicks are in a comfy pile now and the Mom or Dad is there.

I constantly forget how big these guys are until I see a photo of them next to a human.

Froona said...

Great job! Three boys and a girl. Well that's a surprise. Happy all went well. I'm sure they did not agree and let you all here what strong syrinxes they have;). They are so beautiful upclose.
Very very curious about the pictures of the Fab Four.Looking forward to them.

Karen Anne said...

Which is the little one, male or female?

Anonymous said...

Just think - had they all been boys - we could have called them John, George, Paul & Ringo!!! Seriously, pleased that all went well - congratulations to all concerned, and look forward to pics being posted.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering too what sex "tiddler" is. I especially loved the picture of the chick on the ringer's lap because I could then understand scale. My goodness, just look at the size of those feet! Glad the ringing is all done - rather you than me, the thought of an abseil on the cathedral makes me feel dizzy. Well done, ringers!
Sue H, Wendover

Anonymous said...

Hi all
We were lucky enough last night to be watching from the ground when the ringing took place.
We were amazed that someone had the skill to carry out such a task, but in such windy conditions!!!
The dedication of the team is without doubt.
The other thing which pleased me was the number of Derby people with little knowledge of the birds who came over to check they were OK (mum was letting everyone know she was not happy!!)
One gentleman whom has just left the pub let me know in no uncertain terms he felt they should be left alone. Whilst I did not agree with him it made me realise that the people of Derby have taken the birds to their hearts and if these birds are to continue to increase in numbers particularly in the peak district, this is very important.
The value of the education regarding the birds is so important not just for us addicts who spread the word but including as many people as possible. So keep the questions coming in, spread the word visit the watch point if you live close enough and encourage as many as possible to share and enjoy these special birds.

Chris M

Anonymous said...

The Peregrine on the ringers lap is a falcon (female)

Karen Anne said...


Dare I ask how you can tell?

Anonymous said...

Yes that bird is a female. The size, large feet help to identify this. (some may also argue the glint in her eye that she was considering pecking him!!) Also Nick said that the photo at the moment is of one of last years chicks and both of those were females.

Anonymous said...

Falcons are about a 1/3 bigger her foot size is the give away in an eyass. The male being a third smaller is called a tiercel arived for the french word tierce.

Anonymous said...

Just like to say a great big thanks to everyone who took part in the ringing.

Also, does anyone know whether our "tiddler" (small chick) is a girl or boy.

Gerard said...

How did the parents react to the presence of the ringer at the nest, was there much of a protest ?.

Anonymous said...

Both cameras are frozen now - at 18.30. I do hope they can be sorted soon as I will suffer withdrawal symptoms if I can't check on the chicks at least three times a day !!

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Cameras seem to be OK again now, will check systems soon.
The tiddler is a male - the new 2008 photos will be put up soon.
The female was naturally not too happy while ringing was in progress, flying round calling loudly, the male staying much further off and remaining silent....but only a short time after we left the roof, the female was back with her chicks and everything was normal worries.
Nick B (DWT)

Anonymous said...

O.K. I WILL BEG.please give out information on the still photos,camera used ,settings,etc,because they are stunning.

Dennis,local lad

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! the live stream is working again...but can anything be done about the sound now?
thanks to all for the hard work.