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Norwich Cathedral peregrine falcon chick dies

PUBLISHED: 12:08 10 June 2012 | UPDATED: 22:59 10 June 2012

The female Norwich peregrine with food glides past Norwich Cathedral. Photo: Chris Skipper.

The female Norwich peregrine with food glides past Norwich Cathedral. Photo: Chris Skipper.

Blackdog

A peregrine falcon chick living on the spire of Norwich Cathedral has died.

The Hawk and Owl Trust said the youngest of the three chicks passed away at some point overnight, although the cause is unknown at this stage.

Nigel Middleton, a conservation officer at the trust, said: “The chick hasn’t been right for several weeks. We knew that. It was the runt of the brood and it was the last one to hatch. It was three days younger than the other two.

“It never developed properly and yesterday it was more apparent that it was not developing at the right rate and something was quite wrong.”

The chick hatched on May 4. And Mr Middleton said the death showed people, who have been watching the progress of the falcons on a live webcam, what nature was like.

If an opportunity arises, the trust will be able to take the chick to a vet and find out its cause of death.

Mr Middleton said: “We can’t go up the spire at the moment and remove the carcass as the other two chicks have not fledged.

“They could do a pre-mature fledge and not really fully fly and get hurt. We have to sit back and let nature take its course.

“It shows people the reality of wildlife and nature. Had we not got the cameras there, no-one would have seen this and we would have been non the wiser.”

But Mr Middleton added better news could be on the horizon, even before the end of today, with the two older chicks getting ready to take their first flight.

He said: “It will be in the next few days. If one hasn’t gone by tonight I would be very surprised.

“We’ve done very well considering we had nil chicks last year and this year we’ve got two.”

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