A day of peregrine peaks and troughs

Well, what a day in the world of Nottingham’s famous peregrine family.  For me the day got off to a terrible start, having stopped watching the cameras during the evening last night because I felt the outlook was bleak for all our chicks. Whilst very concerned, I didn’t actually want to watch their continued demise before my eyes. As a result, when the cameras were off this morning I feared the worst.

With the cameras down there had been a number of concerned posts on the blog, as well as on Twitter and Facebook. There had also been a transatlantic call from a concerned Peregrine Cam watcher in New York, desperate for some positive news.

Thankfully the cameras were just down whilst the team had a discussion about whether it would be possible or advisable to remove the dead chicks (by now it was clear that two had sadly died) and organise a message for the front page to warn people that there were dead chicks in the nest – a very sensible decision considering that a number of schools were likely to log onto the camera this morning.

Having at first been relieved that two chicks had made it through the night, our concern switched to the continued absence of the adult male. None of the people commenting via the blog or the Wildlife Trust’s Twitter/Facebook pages had seen the male and the camera team at NTU trawled through hours of footage with no sign of him.

When midday came and went, our delight that the female looked more content (if a little weary) and the chicks looked relatively strong considering the battering they received from the elements over the weekend, turned increasingly to gloom. The longer the day went on without sight of the male, the bleaker the outlook for the remaining chicks.

One of our Conservation Officers headed over to the Newton Building to see if there was any sign of the male in areas where the cameras can’t reach – but sadly there was still no sign and we really began to think that the male may have perished.

Then, following a frantic call from staff at the University and a flurry of posts to our Facebook page and blog it became clear that he was back! Apparently whoops of delight were heard in at least one City Centre office here in Nottingham and I think many thousands of Peregrine Cam followers gave a simultaneous sigh of relief.

If the weather remains unseasonably cold and wet then I suspect that the challenges are not yet over for our pair, but at least for today the prospects look a little brighter.

Erin McDaid
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

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49 Responses to A day of peregrine peaks and troughs

  1. mazzag says:

    I’m so pleased that there is at last a little good news. I haven’t been able to face looking at the cam recording all day because I feel so sad about it. Like so many of us, I felt increasingly gloomy all yesterday watching the female taking such a battering. I so hope things will get better for them now.


  2. Morag says:

    I feel slightly tearful (instead of being fearful) to read that the male has been back. So pleased. Fingers crossed.


  3. fiona says:

    What an amazing collective experience here in Nottingham! I also remind myself and my family including my young daughter that we are very privelidged to see this drama unfold and the links of the violent variations of weather to climate change. Lots of lessons for kids and adults alike, Thank you so much for sharing with us all and hope things go a bit smother over the next few weeks.


  4. Steve says:

    What a strong maternal instinct this female has shown. Lets all hope the next rain is not so relentless.


  5. Larissa says:

    I am also watching at falcons from Novosibirsk for a month. I am very sorry about chicks and touched with comments of bloggers. I have known that in Siberia falcons hatch chikcs only in August.
    Our weather is rather warm now – about 15 and it is very sunny that is usual for siberia. Our polar bears in the Zoo feel happy and cheerly swim and dive every day/
    So, if somebodey wants to raise his=her mood after such tragic events, I strongly reccomend to visi Novosibirsk ZOO (keeping in mind 6-hour difference) by the link


  6. sueperegrino says:

    I am a Friend who found you via Derby. I put all of my unfolding thoughts on that diary page. What I watched yesterday was one of the most painful things ever, I had to stop long before the cameras went off. I was sure that all of the 4 chicks AND the female must die, she looked done in, I’ve never seen anything like it. What the ***** is happening to the weather is beyond belief – how can this be happening in what we are told is a drought? I fear more bad weather is on the way, at least that’s what the forecast says. I have spoken to Derby with some thoughts, hope they may have passed them on to you. I am on tenterhooks for our project here in Aylesbury, we’re “first timers” so it’s an anxious time.
    “Sue Peregrino”


  7. Steve says:

    7.oo pm Just looking at the latest feeding session. Only one chick is feeding. Think the other surviving one may not have enough strength


  8. Nottm says:

    Looks like a third chick is lost. The last one is having a good feed and looks strong.


  9. Anne says:

    So terribly sad, one chick has not had anything at the last 2 feeding sessions, I suppose it is too weak. What a horrible vicious circle, if it could eat it may regain its strength. The only positive note is that the other chick looks a lot stronger now so hopefully it will survive.


  10. kerry says:

    Just wondering if we have now lost the third chick ? Im not sure but it looks like we might have on the camera. so sad


  11. Christine says:

    9.20pm – Too sad and upsetting to watch anymore after all they have endured, cannot imagine how the female is feeling, she must be a bit confused, her babies are dying and her partner has been missing, now only one strong chick left and she is still trying to keep the dead ones covered- God bless little ones


    • Ashley says:

      Have you any sympathy for the pigeons and blackbirds and songbirds who are struggling to rear their young after their mates have gone missing to feed these chicks?


      • Irene says:

        Yes of course we have sympathy for ANY living thing that dies but that is natures way.


  12. Headteacher says:

    The feed being down this morning made it a little easier to explain to the children what had happened. With a mixed group from 4-11 year olds it was easier to talk about what had happened rather than show the pictures. We made no attempt to hide from them the events of the weekend, and explained how nature didn’t always have a happy ending, but 9am on a Monday morning isn’t really the best time to hit them with images without having chance to talk it through. I hadn’t had chance to log back in since the feed came back on, so will share with the children tomorrow the effects of the storm and the latest update. In the meantime we have been watching a blue tit who is currently sitting on 12 eggs!


  13. ann says:

    what a sad day-I can only see one chick feeding and with more rain on the way we can only hope


  14. fiona says:

    the remaining chick being ‘stuffed’ by both parent birds! both have a kill and are taking turn to shovvel it down the chick! dead chicks still in situ.


  15. Christine says:

    8am tuesday – I’ve just seen the Chichester chicks and it was very heartening indeed after the sad events at Notts, the four chicks there have just had a really good feed, the male brought some food and it was easy to see how much smaller he is than the female but the chicks sat in a tight knit group all with beaks wide open, the female spent quite some time and made sure that each and everyone of them got some food. It has seemed to me that the Notts female has whisked the food away too soon while the chicks still seemed hungry, I wonder if the female instinctively knows which ones are not going to make it and so gives the lion’s share to the strongest ? Just a thought


  16. Steve says:


    Mrs P is sitting but there is a chick, bearly alive, uncovered. You can see the beak moving feebly – but it won’t last long unless it gets some warmth from mum soon….


  17. Carl says:

    It’s really sad watching the chicks life ebb away but she’s doing her best. It really is amazing to watch and learn all about them.

    Do we know if any other sites round the country have had early chicks like NTU’s? We had a spell of good weather which would have had a knock-on effect on nature etc.

    I was re-reading the blog entry from 12 April which was quite interesting as it said that some seasons there may not be any chicks to rear (which I’m hoping won’t be the case here!)

    Thanks to the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Notting Trent University for sharing this insight into these wonderful birds lives. Might have to take a break from the cam today as it’s too sad.


  18. Pixie says:

    Switched on the pc this morning and was gutted as it doesn’t look like chick number 3 is going to make it 😦 .Watch everyday on and off at work and we were all so sad to hear that they had lost 2 over weekend.Wonderful to watch nature at work sad when its not the outcome you want.


  19. Blue Eyes says:

    Its has been an absolutely pleasure watching these fantastic birds, not much work has been happening in our office I can tell you. We have all been closely watching the falcons, I just hope that Mrs P soon gives some warmth to her baby that she has left. Fingers crossed.


    • Anonymous says:

      Ditto in our office too……..what a privelige to watch these amazing birds and to be allowed to get such an incredible insight into their world. Amazing to see Mother Nature at her very best and also at her very worst.


  20. PamUK says:

    Another rainy, cold day unfortunately. Mrs P does not seem to be covering her remaining chick. Poor thing looks as though it won’t last much longer and she still looks very tired.
    Bearing in mind that it is only just the first day of May and that the weather could improve, do the experts think that this pair may lay a second clutch if this chick does not survive?
    Thank you NTU for giving us this wonderful opportunity to watch these charismatic birds so closely and learn so much.


    • PamUK says:

      Just noticed when she moved, she has one lively chick beneath her. The one I see lying exposed to the elements and breathing from time to time must be the third chick, so it cannot be dead, but still why does she not cover it?


  21. Claire says:

    Here’s another live stream – http://www.chichesterperegrines.co.uk/live%20link.htm
    I fear another dead chick v soon, very sad.


  22. Steve says:

    Is that the last chick we can see exposed or is Number 3? …… Harrowing though it is to watch that chick fade and die before our very eyes, thanks to those resposible for the video feed for keeping it live. It is tragic but compelling viewing – we should be able to see nature in the raw – the good, the bad and the ugly.



  23. Sarah says:

    looks like number 3 is on its way out unfortunately 😦 Looking very very weak, think number 4 is underneath mummy P keeping warm!


  24. Sarah Sparkes says:

    Ooh, she’s off the nest leaving one very lively looking chick next to the poor little dying one.
    Fingers crossed then.


  25. Steve says:

    Number 4 is now feeding well and looks pretty strong! The fading chick is indeed Number 3.

    Go Number 4 !!!!!!


  26. Sarah says:

    looks like the strongest is trying to keep the other one warm while mrs P eats! sad to see this happening!


    • Sarah says:

      number 4 just had a fairly decent feed even though it was another chick 😦 number 4s looking quite strong though!


  27. Nick W says:

    Nature has taken its course and she is now feeding on one of her dead young.
    Not nice viewing but a good survival tactic for her and her remaining chick.


  28. Sarah Wales says:

    Looks like there is just one chick now 😦


  29. Steve says:

    Just noticed what Number 4 is being fed…… the remains of one of its unfortunate siblings….. Still, that’s nature.


  30. GeoffT says:

    10.00am. Mum feeding dead chick to the strongest survivor. Pretty gruesome viewing but this is nature at its rawest. The other chick is still alive but only just. Don’t hold out much hope for the little blighter.


  31. Sarah Sparkes says:

    Well that was a good use of resources. Number 4 is full of number 2!


  32. Penny says:

    I have just seen the one remaining healthy chick getting a good feed, before being left with its almost (but not quite) lifeless sibling. The two dead chicks have been removed or consumed. What I am now concerned about is what will happen to the remaining chick on the occasions when it is left on its own with no other chicks to snuggle up to for warmth? Does anyone have any idea if it can survive on its own like that?


    • sarah says:

      its just been fed one of the other chicks, i dont undersand why Mrs P didnt even try to feed number 3 and why she doesnt even try to keep it warm! Hopefully number 4 will be able to survive on its own!


  33. Sonya says:

    I’ve just watched the gruesome sight of the one remaining chick being fed one of its dead siblings. Waste not want not. Survival is the key.


  34. Steve says:

    Mr P is now sat next to Number 4, sheltering him/her from the wind


  35. Sue says:

    Very traumatic couple of days in our house. It’s raining again and the final chick is sitting next to Mum getting wet. Is there any reason she would not be sitting on this chick? She seems aware that it’s there….


  36. I am watching a chick who moves it beak now and again. But confused to why its not being kept warm by Mum. Sad.


  37. malc says:

    i do hope the last one makes it , it could go either way at the moment , if the nest does fail and all the chicks die would mum and dad have another go this year ?


  38. Eileen says:

    Mrs P is getting very protective of the last chick she doesn’t let Mr P stay long. He is bringing smaller kills now.
    Probaly because there is only one chick to feed.


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