Monday, 17 August 2020

Dead peregrine found on nave roof

 An adult female peregrine corpse was discovered and retrieved from the roof of the cathedral recently.

It was long dead with just bones and feathers remaining. It was unringed. It is not possible to age the bird or gain much if any further data from it though we are still exploring who if anyone may be willing to analyse it.

           The large talons and wide tarsus were indicate of a female (males are smaller in every respect)

                                  Some of the bird's primary (flight) wing feathers

This bird may be the female which has been breeding at the cathedral since 2006 but which went missing earlier this year. Or perhaps it is one of possibly two new females that were seen during lockdown.
The suspicion is that these females had been fighting for control of the tower and that, in the process, one might have killed an other.

If it is our resident female, then she has done us proud over the many years she has 'ruled the roost' and raised so many young.

I guess we will never know. 

Nick B for the Project team


Sue from Bucks said...

My gut feeling is it is the old female. It was as though I'd heard of the death of a human friend, a real sad shock. Rest in peace lovely bird, if you are "our" bird you were loved by so many and raised a good many new generation peregrines. I shed a tear for her. Thanks for letting us all know Nick.

Phoebe said...

Oh this is sad news and made me shed a tear. I am with you there Sue.

Wendy Bartter said...

Always very sad to hear of a Peregrine death especially as this could be our most loved female! Any further sightings of activity around the nest? Not up to speed with restrictions in & around your area due to virus outbreaks but hope you are all OK up there ... any more progress with live-streaming?

Anonymous said...

Sad News

Am sending you some info to assist

KATE said...

Lat message was from KATE

Doh CAPTCHA was playing up

Deborah Dawson said...

I work at Sheffield University and I am involved with lots of DNA-based studies of wildlife including studying peregrines. We had a dead peregrine fould on a Sheffield highrise (male PRF who fledged St Georges in 2017) found in a similar state last year. Despite its mumified state I was able to get a partial DNA profile from it and its skeleton it being assembled for our Alfred Denny Museum. Would it be possible to get a tissue sample from this Derby nird too please. We would then add the profile to our UK peregrine DNAbank. This database of wild peregrine DNA profiles will be used to study genetic diversity and assist wildlife crime investigations and forensics. Are you interested in having the skeleton assembled? Could it be displayed in the Cathedral or Museum? Many Thanks Deborah Dawson

Nick B said...

Hi Deborah: the corpse is on its way to you today.
Nick B

Nick B said...

The body has now been x-rayed and there was no sign of any shot. DNA analysis will follow.
Nick B

Deborah Dawson said...

Thank you Nick. We have received it and will let you know how we get on. Best wishes, Deborah

Wendy Bartter said...

Will be very interesting to know what Deborah discovers but very pleased to know this bird wasn't shot! Hope you are all well up there, take care!

ren13 said...

sad to see we have probably lost dear old mrs. p, but my gosh she had a long and fruitful life. hopefully the new pairing will continue to develop and next year young mrs. p breeds successfully. the dna project sounds quite interesting,hopefully old mrs. does indeed make a good contribution to the database.

Kate said...

Hoping that Deborah, will be forwarding her findings soon.

also that a solution can be found for the Cams, coming season.

We all so miss viewing, the wonderful goings on

Helen said...

I hope so too Kate. I am really missing the webcams.

bird-watcher said...


Is there any hope of connecting the web cameras for the 2021 season? Has the magical key to the box been found?

A pity the cameras could not be operational during lockdown as it would have relieved the isolation for many people but we are hoping for a view next year

Best wishes