Tuesday, May 20, 2014
A team of intrepid conservationists have scaled the Norwich Cathedral spire to ring the peregrine falcon chicks.
Unique identification leg rings were fitted to three out of the four chicks in a joint project by the British Trust for Ornithology and the Hawk and Owl Trust.
The exercise was carried out by Phil Littler, of the BTO’s North West Norfolk Ringing Group and his colleague Simon Evans on May 15.
The rings, a BTO metal ring on the right leg and a coloured identifying ring on the left leg, will allow researchers to be able to monitor the movements of the chicks as they disperse from the nest.
Lin Murray, of the Hawk and Owl Trust, said: “It’s important that urban peregrines are monitored as this will allow us to establish the success of our fledglings and to follow where they go.”
However, this task concluded with an unexpected end, when only three out of the four chicks were successfully ringed.
Phil Littler, of BTO, said: “The fourth bird was too close to the edge and in too precarious position to try to catch it and so was left unringed – it’s visual size would suggest that it was another male.”
Based on the weight of the birds, there are thought to be two females, and one other male. The chicks hatched last month between April 26 and 29.
Alongside researchers monitoring the birds through ringing, the public can also view their progress. The cathedral has partnered with Norwich Castle Museum, to present live video and images from the cathedral nest cameras.
This features as part of the castle’s Wonder of Birds exhibition, and is being shown on a large screen at the castle’s entrance, from May through to the end of September.