Three peregrine chicks hatch at Norwich Cathedral
10:04 28 April 2014
All four peregrine chicks of 2014 were expected to have hatched on the spire at Norwich Cathedral by this morning.
Lucky viewers could have seen the first chick hatch at the Hawk and Owl Trust’s urban peregrine watch point on Saturday night, with the second and third chicks following less than 24 hours later.
Lin Murray, head of information at the trust, said: “The first egg hatched on Saturday. It was first seen at 7.37pm, still wet and in its half-shell, so the actual separation of the shell would not have been much before that.
“The female was incubating at the time but the male came in and almost pushed her off the nest, continuing to take his paternal duties very seriously. “He settled on the eggs/chick right away and the female flew off. She returned at 8.17pm and took over incubation/brooding for the night shift.
“First feed was at 6.17am on Sunday, with the female bird bringing in a ready plucked meal that the adults had placed in one of their food storage areas ready for this moment.
“The male left the nest and the female fed the single chick for about four minutes before settling on the nest again.
“The second chick hatched at 2.23pm on Sunday and the third at 5.33pm. The fourth egg should hatch by the morning.”
The peregrine falcons make the cathedral their home during the summer.
Nesting on the cathedral’s 250ft spire, the pair of breeding falcons successfully fledged chicks in 2012 and 2013.
The peregrine falcons first appeared at the cathedral in 2009, when a male peregrine took up residence on the spire.
A female peregrine falcon soon followed and the Hawk and Owl Trust, working in partnership with Norwich Cathedral, and with volunteer help from Norwich firefighters during their time off, set up a nesting platform, along with two webcams, in February 2011.
The Hawk and Owl Trust was founded in 1969 to help save the peregrine, which was in serious decline due to the effects of pesticides and persecution.
The national charity now works for the conservation and appreciation of all wild birds of prey and their habitats – both on its nature reserves and in partnership with others.