They’re here! The first peregrine chicks hatch over the weekend

Dinner time: one of the parents feeds the three new chicks

Dinner time: one of the parents feeds the three new chicks

So, after what seemed like an eternity – although only a shade over 30 days in reality – our long-awaited peregrine chicks finally started to make an appearance over the weekend. We were treated to some really fabulous footage of three hatching on Saturday and Sunday and lots of great shots of the parents bringing them regular feasts, pulling off tiny mouthfuls and feeding them directly to the fluffy chicks in the nest box. It’s just after 8.30am on Monday morning at the time of writing, and they’ve just finished breakfast!

The first chick arrived early on Saturday morning, followed by the second shortly afterwards and a third yesterday lunchtime – there is still a fourth egg remaining.

Thank you for all of your lovely comments which have been coming thick and fast to this blog – and via social media – we’ve been really overwhelmed by the level of interest. Comments included ‘First chick, whoop, whoop’, ‘I feel honoured to be able to watch these beautiful creatures’, ‘Wow, this is amazing’, ‘Amazing picture quality’ and ‘Am glued to my laptop here in Corfu’. Viewers were also sharing records of exactly what they were seeing and when, and some even took the time to send us some quality images of their own which they had taken directly from their computers.

Here at Falcon HQ, we can’t wait to watch these wonderful birds continue to develop. As Erin said in his previous blog, in a few weeks their fluffy white down will start to be replaced with feathers and they will also begin to move around a lot more in the nest – and at five to six weeks they will attempt their first tentative flights from the top of the Newton building.

Dave Rogers
Nottingham Trent University

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46 Responses to They’re here! The first peregrine chicks hatch over the weekend

  1. Ann Amos says:

    Very exciting indeed! I’ve been watching over the weekend as the chicks were hatched but so far have missed the feeding of them – They obviously wait until my back is turned!

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    • Lynda says:

      This is so exciting – I’ve hardly done any work today! I watched the 4th chick hatch today, and then watched as they all tucked into ‘afternoon tea’ – really fascinating. I’ve been watching a few falcon webcams, but this is the best – thank you so much for setting it up & giving us a chance to view these wonderful birds.

      Like

  2. PamUK says:

    Thank you Dave for your excellent blog.
    It seems the fourth egg is being ignored to a large extent as the birds concentrate on feeding the three lively youngsters. For anyone who missed seeing them being fed I have screengrabs here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/66339356@N00/
    As a point of interest – do Peregrines eat their own eggshells?. Ospreys have now been observed via the webcams, eating their own shells which was not actually known until it was seen on the internet. We certainly get a very privileged and intimate look at wildlife these days and continue to learn about wildlife thanks to the dedication of people like you and the NTU folk who are willing to share their enthusiasm and time with us. Many thanks.

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    • daventu says:

      Thanks for the kind words Pam. Whilst eating the shells would make good sense – both in terms of preventing the white interiors of the eggs giving away the location of the nest to predators, and as a means of recovering minerals lost in the egg making process, there is nothing to suggest that all females peregrines do this. One expert, Derek Ratcliffe, has suggested in his book that peregrines nibble at the shells to break them up rather than to eat them. (Thanks to Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project)

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  3. Anne says:

    So exciting, my daughter here for long weekend & we can’t drag ourselves away from the computer! We were so lucky as we saw the 2nd chick hatch. We have seen several feeding sessions. Now waiting eagerly for the 4th chick. The camera work is brilliant, thank you.

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  4. what wonderful footage saw the chicks being fed carry on the good work.

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  5. GeoffT says:

    Absolutely made my weekend when I saw three fluffy chicks yesterday morning. Dad brought a fresh kill to the nest this morning at about 8.30am. Looks like he’d had a fair amount of it himself before he fed the chicks. Mum took off for a bit of exercise while Dad fed chicks for about 15 mins. Beautiful images. Then Mum came back to sit on the nest again. Just waiting for number four to hatch. Pigeons on Market Square be very afraid…

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  6. PamUK says:

    Fourth egg is hatching as I write !!

    Like

  7. Penny says:

    Mum just took a break from brooding duties and I saw two hungry chicks crying for food, one chick sleeping and chick number 4 struggling to escapre from its shell! It is almost out, but Mum has sat on it again now – the hungry chicks were disappointed though, she did not bring back any food!

    Like

  8. Christine says:

    Whey Hey !! number 4 almost here at 13.05hrs, Mrs P is going to have a job fitting them all underneath ! And Mr P is going to be very busy bringing the food in

    Like

  9. StellaCorfu says:

    Should be working but … have just watched the 4th chick emerge from the egg – such a struggle. It’s now safely getting warm under the parent’s body. I keep sneeking in and out of the webpage! Thank you for all the info too.

    Like

  10. Penny says:

    It appears to be Dad on the nest now and I have just watched him remove the remaining half of the egg shell from underneath him, and then sit up high to reveal Chicks 1, 2, and 3, and a very bedraggled little bunch of feathers which is Chick No. 4. A worrying few moments when it did not appear to be moving, but i think it is OK, probably just exhausted!

    Like

  11. Beverley Clark says:

    Oh My. Just logged on to see 3 of the 4 cheeks being fed, hearing them tweet for food. The 4th new chick is squashed beneath the other 3! AMAZING!

    Like

  12. Maurice says:

    Just watched the chicks get some food, the 4th chick still seemed a bit tired to hold its head up for long so I did not see it get any food this time. But I only caught the final few minutes of feeding. Lovely to see the chicks huddled together for warmth.

    Like

  13. WOW!!! Just amazing ,thanks for all the footage and camera work , no work now ,just looking at the computer !

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  14. chris morley says:

    fourth today its got to be GEORGE !! THANKS FOR AMAZING PICS,PITY WE CANT HAVE GEDLING BIRDS THE SAME

    Like

    • Lesley Farnsworth says:

      Do you have an update on the Gedling Peregrines / chicks? Would love to know how they are getting on .Thanks

      Like

      • daventu says:

        Hi – I’ll ask the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust for you, they may be able to provide an update

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      • daventu says:

        Hi there – the female is sitting on three eggs apparently and I understand that Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is looking forward to adding new footage from the nest to their website in the next couple of weeks

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      • Lesley Farnsworth says:

        Thanks for that info on the Gedling family. Glad there are still 3 eggs.

        Like

  15. Lesley Farnsworth says:

    Lovely to see the four chicks now ! The cameras are fantastic this year 🙂

    Like

  16. Christine says:

    Have just seen the dad bring in the food, I think it had been stashed around the corner, mum flew off for some exercise, saw the dad eat a whole foot – yuk! but at least nothing is wasted, I’m not sure if all the chicks got a share as the camera keeps freezing, does anyone else have this problem? Fantastic pictures though. I’m sure the parents know exactly what they are doing but the chicks always seem to be still hungry when they whisk the food away, hope they all get a share as the little one at the back seemed to be left out

    Like

  17. Lorraine says:

    Totally enthralled by all that is happening. Have managed to see the chicks being fed, and yes, it did seem that the 4th chick was being ignored, but it did get fed eventually and I have been able to get some grab shots at times. Many thanks for allowing us to see these wonderful birds.

    Like

  18. Christine says:

    Glad someone saw the fourth chick being fed this morning, I’m sure the parents know exactly how much their little tummies can cope with at one feed. They won.t be little for very long, they grow at an alarming pace so the parents are going to be very busy indeed, lets hope it warms up a bit for them

    Like

  19. Van Tran says:

    Utterly enthralling, especially seeing both parents feed the chicks simultaneously a few minutes ago.

    Like

  20. PamUK says:

    Pictures of both parents feeding the chicks here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/66339356@N00/

    Like

  21. Penny says:

    An amazing few minutes – the babies on their own for a little while before both parents returned, each carrying prey. They both fed the babies but the 4th chick (I have nicknamed it ‘Tiny’), did not fare too well because it fell on its face several times, recovering only to fall on its back! Poor little thing – I am sure it will hold its own and catch up with the others soon though.

    Like

  22. This is so exciting! Can’t believe that all four hatched in only three days – are our peregrine family a bit speedy, or is do raptor eggs usually hatch so close together? Congrats on such a wonderful project as peregrine cam – it’s gripping viewing!

    Like

    • daventu says:

      Hi there – Erin from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust mentioned in his previous blog that peregrine chicks tend to hatch over a period of a couple of days.Thanks for the kind words abou the cam, pleased you’re enjoying it!

      Like

  23. fourth one had food at 3:25 , most exciting viewing ,they all got a picking off a small bird or it might have been left overs ! wonderful !

    Like

  24. Kazi says:

    It’s amazing, could sit and watch all day, Mr & Mrs P do a great job, have been thinking of names for them here are some suggestions: Liz and Phil for the Queen and Prince Phillip, what about George and or Georgina as they were born on St George’s weekend..

    Like

  25. Mandy Roland-Smith says:

    I notice today that there is a green and a yellowplastic thing in the nest. Are these from ringed birds that the parents have brought home?

    Like

  26. Lynda says:

    Oh, I feel so sorry for her this morning – she is saturated & the raindrops are now soaking in rather than running off. I realise that this is ‘nature’, & other birds, not being observed, are going through the same trials, but I wonder how much longer she can sit it out in the cold & wet. Mr P doesn’t seem to have put in an appearance so far -she needs to fly & have some food.

    Like

    • Mazza says:

      Yes she must be even more p****d off with the weather than we are.

      Mazza

      Like

    • Morag says:

      I haven’t seen Mr P either. It looks as though one of the little ones has succumbed to the cold and wet. Very sad.

      Like

    • Gill says:

      She’s just some back to the next after being away for quite some time, and only 2 of the babies seem to be moving, I can’t even see the 4th one. They really need some food before nightfall!

      Like

  27. Morag says:

    Waiting to see if any are still alive…

    Like

  28. pamla says:

    how sad it looks like three have been lost:(

    Like

  29. Louise says:

    Where has the male gone? The chicks and the female have had no food today, one of them is obviously dead and another looks really weak, can’t see one of them so not sure how its doing. Is this normal for the male to be away so long?

    Like

  30. sallyward says:

    I cannot see the live link this morning. Is anyone else having the same problem. I am very keen to see how they are this morning after the awful weather yesterday..

    Like

  31. Helen says:

    wheres the cameras gone was concerned to see that maybe one of the chicks wasnt moving

    Like

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