A tricky weekend for all involved

Mother falcon protects her egg in the snow

Mother falcon protects her egg in the snow

Well, having hoped that our peregrine pair might delay laying their eggs to help avoid the emotional roller coaster caused by last year’s storms, the vagaries of the British weather have conspired to make things difficult again not only for the birds, but for those folk watching the nest via the webcams.

Having laid the first egg a week later than in 2012, the female might well have been hoping for better weather. Instead, ably assisted by her attentive mate, she had to endure a weekend of driving snow and subzero temperatures.

For those watching through the night on Saturday the viewing got pretty difficult as the snow piled up around what we believed to have been the female. At one point there was real concern for the adult’s health, but just when things looked bleak the male arrived to take over incubation duties – phew!

The sight of a snow covered nest has once again precipitated (if you’ll excuse the pun) a debate about whether some form of roof structure could or should have been erected prior to the nesting season. Rather than go into this debate in detail (it is largely covered in our FAQs) I’d like to reassure people that it was carefully considered.

Mother falcon protects her egg in the snow

Mother falcon protects her egg in the snow

Because of the success of this nest site over many years, we decided not to significantly alter the nest site.  We were concerned that fundamentally altering the ledge, a location chosen by the birds themselves, may have put the pair off nesting in the site altogether. Having viewed the pictures of the snow covered ledge, I suspect that much of the snow was blown in on the wind – meaning that any roof would have had to be pretty low down to have kept it out.

A roof  or cover would have altered the nest site considerably potentially risking spooking the pair into abandoning the nest site. Clearly we can’t be certain of this, but when a more box-like structure was trialed some years ago it proved unpopular with the pair, leading to the installation of the simple nest tray we have today; a design which has helped the pair raise a tremendous number of chicks. 

Everyone involved in the project to protect this nest site is now hoping for better weather and hoping that the events that unfold are more palatable than those of last year. However, let’s not lose sight of the fact that in raising a healthy chick despite of the appalling weather last year – the nesting season was once in general terms a success for this resilient and dedicated pair.

Whilst we hope that the weather improve and that the family go from strength to strength this season its also worth considering that if, sadly, the current cold snap does cause problems with the eggs or chicks, there may still be time for the pair to try for a second brood.

Erin McDaid
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

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204 Responses to A tricky weekend for all involved

  1. Malcolm says:

    Thanks for the email we have been following the poor bird via web cam.
    Such devotion! Lets hope the weather warms up soon and that they don’t have to put up with another soaking this year!

    Like

    • Cecile says:

      Watched off and on (mostly on) all day today. The eggs were left unattended for hours. I suspect that means all is lost with these two eggs. She is back now but I can’t imagine that it is not too late. Sad.

      Like

    • I watch the nest several times a day.Over the last few days I have only ever seen one bird..???…..Also I have seen the eggs (3) left un-attended several times….last year there was always either the male or the female keeping them warm.
      Would it be possible for some one on the team to keep us updated…say on a daily blog.??
      PLEASE.

      Like

  2. Hetty says:

    Yes, it has been very difficult to watch over the weekend, but the pair seem to have coped with it. Let’s hope we’ve seen the last of the snow and that conditions improve for the birds and their potential offspring. Thanks for keeping us in the picture.

    Like

  3. Peter says:

    Thanks for the update Erin.

    I hope the weather improves soon. It now looks like there are two eggs!

    Peter

    Like

  4. Alan Bullimore says:

    I think that you are probably right about not altering the nest site. the falcons on Malham Cove are just as vulnerable ,[ if they are still there], probably more so. Nature has to take it’s course, unfortunately.

    Like

  5. hils1944 says:

    Thanks for giving us an update. I know I was really worried for the Mum as well as the egg in the snow, so it’s reassuring you are taking our concerns seriously. Peres are very resilient and the adults were very courageous last year. It was so thrilling to watch Storm come through that dreadful stormy weather and fledge.

    Like

  6. Pam Birley says:

    Many thanks Erin. Fingers remain firmly crossed !

    Like

  7. lorraine says:

    with dad in the box now, it is easy to see the male/female size ratio by volume!

    Like

  8. hils1944 says:

    Looks like the snow is starting to melt. Hoping all the chicks hatch and thrive this year. A very apt name for one of them could be ‘Snowy.’

    Like

  9. Sue Hall says:

    Thanks for the update

    Like

  10. Reg says:

    I too have been watching and am amazed at what these tough birds endure. Thanks to those that work so that we can see this. Dedication by the birds and people. Those atop Derby Cathedral who have been lowering hot water bottles into the nest there to melt the snow. Brrrrrrr.

    Like

  11. Belinda says:

    Hi All

    I’ve suggested (on the other blog) that we all start using this new blog created this morning. It will be easier to scroll down quicker. Good view of the 2 eggs now at 15:15.

    Belinda

    Like

  12. David Carder says:

    I just hope the nest box has adequate drainage when the snow melts

    Like

    • pamela says:

      Hi David, on the blog yesterday it seems that the box will not have problems when the snow melts it is not water tight from what i seen in the blog.

      pamela

      Like

  13. Demos says:

    Did I spot 2 eggs, 15 minutes ago, when there was a change of brooder ?

    Like

    • Claus says:

      I believe she laid the second egg before 12:24 today. I took a screen shot at that time and it is just possible to see it behind the snow.

      Like

  14. roy g says:

    Thanks for all the updates,can only hope for warmer weather and an easier period for them,see the second egg has arrived,
    .

    Like

  15. paul says:

    I’ve been wondering whether anyone knows what last years chick has been up to? and where the chicks from previous years have gone….would love to know how far the family has been distributed.

    Like

  16. Louise says:

    I think although the nest site has been successful for many years prior to last year. With the ever changing weather conditions the pair may chose to find a better nesting site in the future.

    Like

  17. Fiona says:

    Keeping this in proportion this is a great nest site. The box gives some protection, the egg and box are unlikely to blow away and there is a ready larder of fresh pigeon meat near by. I think of the peregrines I have seen in the wild in Derby shire and Scotland…much much more precarious and they are likely to loose full nests every 3rd year on average. These birds have adapted so well to this existence and our ability to watch is a privileged I am sure the nesting peregrines will put up with for the perks of the box! thank you all…NOW BACK TO THE MARKING!

    Like

  18. louise says:

    aww that poor falcon i fell so sorry for it is there anyway you could put a roof over the nest?

    Like

  19. RLS says:

    I was groaning with dispair this past weekend watching your snow storm and the Falcons so stoic and strong and enduring. Bless their hearts. Schenectady New York

    Like

  20. martyn says:

    Erin, could you email me, we have a resident bird not too far from this site, maybe its the same pair hunting..?

    Like

  21. Damian Taylor says:

    I love this Webcam and have watched since day one, so glad you didn’t interfere like Derby have.

    Like

  22. Nick Brown says:

    Hi Damion: if, like Notts, we had had eggs at Derby already we wouldn’t have been able to interfere. So ‘interference’ was never an option at Notts – at least not without breaking the law!
    At Derby we had a chance to remove or reduce the snow prior to the female laying and we decided to try….unlike Notts we can’t just reach out to get to the nest. The only way is to abseil down 20 metres from the top of the tower….and with a wind gusting to force 7, that was not an option today (our only ‘window’ this week). So the hot water bottle method seemed worth a try. The female soon returned to the platform after we left, as we expected she would do, though she still seems to be prefering the other side of the platform – ie she had made up her mind already……so our work may have been in vain anyway – but we still think it was worth a go.
    As others have said, putting up a nest box/platform is interference isn’t it? Clearing out the prey remains and refreshing the gravel is also interference, something I think we both do routinely every year, ringing the chicks is interference also, so what’s the problem with trying to remove some snow which may well have meant that our birds would fail this year?
    Mind you, having said that, it is a complex matter and even within the world of people who have worked with raptors for years there is disagreement…..so it isn’t easy for us either to sit by passively and watch or to try to change things for the better.
    Nick B (Derby Cathedral project)

    Like

    • grantntu says:

      Hi Nick, many thanks for your insightful comment and we wish you all the best in Derby this year.

      Like

    • Hetty says:

      Glad to read your comments Nick as to why you decided on that course of action. Hope it results in success.

      Like

    • sinbad1897 says:

      Hi Derby, Their was a very simple solution/answer to remove the snow, a watering can filled with hot water, poured straight over the snow, job done, quicker & so much better than the hot water bottle!! Good luck. SINBAD1897

      Like

  23. lemayrenee says:

    It hurts to look at his sweet baby in the snow. We use the Bob Anderson Peregrine falcon nesting box (Peregrine Project) that has three sides and a roof. It helps keep some of the worst of the bad weather off. Poor Baby!

    Like

  24. Teresa says:

    Mr and Mrs P have been away from the nest for at least 20 minutes now, leaving the eggs unattended… Is this normal…

    Like

    • Mary Zeug says:

      I watched from 2:48 AM to 4:33 AM this morning and they weren’t on the nest during that time. At 5:01 I checked back in and one was back on the nest.

      Like

  25. Joyce says:

    Just seen Mrs P lay another egg at 6.02 Tuesday 26th

    Like

  26. Karen says:

    Hi. Think i have watched Mrs P lay another egg this morning at roughly 6.00am. Is that now 3 or 4 she has ? Snow seems to be clearing slowly lets hope it goes soon so shes not so cold. XXX

    Like

  27. Sally says:

    Cannot get on to the cameras this morning!

    Like

    • grantntu says:

      Hi Sally,
      Sorry about the lost feed this morning. We had to do an IT infrastructure update this morning. It should be back up and running again now.

      Like

  28. Nick says:

    Our falcons featured on BBC East Midlands Today this morning. Guess it will be in later bulletins too if you missed it.

    Like

  29. Gill Web says:

    Parent just hopped off the nest & you can clearly see all 3 eggs!

    Like

  30. Nick says:

    Well – there are at least three eggs now!

    …. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/6268129/Three-eggs.jpg

    Like

  31. Pam Birley says:

    Yes there are three eggs !
    Yes....three eggs

    Like

  32. El D says:

    Thanks for all your hard work. Much appreciated. Fingers crossed for this year.

    Like

  33. Sally says:

    how long have they been away from the nest?

    Like

  34. Sally says:

    she’s back, but where’s Mr P?

    Like

  35. Dave Carder says:

    not to be out done by Nottingham and Norwich, Chichester now has one egg.

    Like

  36. Tim Dev says:

    Two of those eggs were left unattended for a 2-3 hour stretch during the night, wouldn’t they have frozen in that time?

    Just wondering if they could still be viable.

    Like

    • tim tuckwood says:

      yes from 11.48ish pm to 3.00ish am there was no mum or dad on the nest, I hope the eggs will be ok ??

      Like

    • Hetty says:

      I think the eggs are not actually being incubated yet. That only happens once the full clutch is laid. That’s why the parents don’t need to be sitting there constantly just now. Anyway, that’s what the experts seem to have been saying since Mrs P laid the first egg the other day.

      Like

  37. Peter says:

    The female appeared to be very distressed a short time ago

    Like

  38. louise says:

    did anyone see the news this morning mr and mrs p are famous!!

    Like

  39. Pondo says:

    Hi there,

    Just wondering – from the little that I’ve managed to watch, whichever falcon sits on the nest seems to prefer facing the side of the building. Just wondered if that is always the case, and whether we knew a reason why this might be – you would think that facing outwards would allow them to keep a better eye out for problems, and their feathers would better presented to the wind. Loving the feed and the blog – incredibly compelling viewing!

    Like

    • S says:

      maybe it’s just warmer facing the building?

      As to keeping an eye out for problems, I’m not sure how many feathered predators would dare challenge a peregrine. It might end poorly!!

      Besides, the peregrines have known that window to open in the past, from which human hands emerge to put a metal band on their foot!!! lol!! So maybe they’re more wary of the window than of the ledge!!

      Like

  40. Pam Birley says:

    Food delivery and change of brooder at 4.16pm today
    Food delivery and change of brooder 4.16pm 26/3/13

    Like

  41. Pam Birley says:

    I was surprised to see just a black and white picture on both cameras this evening. I loved the colour of the lights of Nottingham as it was before including the changing floodlight colour of the Council House. Also I noticed that the cam always focussed on the nest does not seem to give quite such a bright and clear picture today. I know adjustments have been made today but not for the better I would suggest. Hope you can get back the previous quality. I know people in USA who watch the cam and they like to look at the traffic – including all the different colours of the many buses :-))

    Like

  42. Hetty says:

    Poor Mrs P – just when the snow had started to melt a little, back it comes this morning. I hope it’s just a “flurry” as the weather people like to describe it!

    Like

  43. Dave Carder says:

    The Highways Agency do a great range of Traffic Cams:!!

    Like

  44. Mike72 says:

    Hopefully the cold weather has taken its toll and none of these eggs will hatch, thus allowing lots of other beautiful birds including my racing pigeons to fly free without fear of being ripped apart day after day. Sorry to all you do goodness but that’s “just nature”.

    Like

    • malcolm says:

      hi mike sorry you take a dim view of nature, but once your pigeons are up in the air thay are fair game to any thing thay pray on them for food, you wouldent let your dog loose in africa and expect in not to be eaten by a lion maybe you should keep budgies

      Like

      • grantntu says:

        Hi everyone,
        We certainly encourage a healthy debate and discussion on our blog, so if you want to take part please keep it polite.
        Thanks 🙂

        Like

      • Kev says:

        In area’s such has Cumbria, Scotland, Wales Place’s like that yes i would expect the likes of peregrines fully, but in city centers a big no no these raptors are killers of the skies encouraging such birds into cites is not normal what next will the likes of trusts and organisations start encouraging to move into cities? What’s the idea of providing them with nest boxes? defrosting snow via water-bottles? and these organisations don’t inter-fear with nature !!!!. There is far more important things in life to be concerned about that what these birds are doing ppl at war ppl no where to live etc etc. yet all the concerned regards a pair of peregrines is unreal. If your all concerned about the welfare of these birds and other peregrines you want to spend a day on a field meet with a falconry organisation and see these birds being flown at game, witness 1st hand the damage the peregrines do to them selves where they don’t pull at the stoop quick enough and they end up either damaged or brown bread, don’t see any organisations trusts getting involved to stop that yet fox hunting and other blood sports they do very hypocritical these organisations and trusts and ppl on here that are supposingly bird lovers. RANT OVER…

        Like

      • that’s a seriously good point malcolm.

        Like

    • Debs says:

      Mike, if you dislike these beautiful protected birds so much, why are you even watching the webcams? I would rather see the Falcons flying around Nottingham than more Pigeons.

      Like

      • Kev says:

        Debs no disrespect to you but do you know the difference between a Feral Pigeon and a Racing Pigeon? If you do would plz explain to me what you do know many thanks.

        Like

    • Pondo says:

      I like the “do goodness” sentiment, I think we can all learn from that. 🙂

      Like

    • SW says:

      Just nature will see this nest succeed or not, and will allow these birds to fly where they will. I sincerely hope you enjoy your racing pigeons, but you have to ask which of these two species leads a natural life, as nature intended.

      Like

      • What I cant understand is how a “bird lover” would want to see a nest fail to protect their unnatural interest. Birds were not meant to be raced, they were meant to fly free and live their lives and if that means smaller birds become psrt of their food chain, then yes it is just nature doing what it does. As for unnatural habitats, the birds have been driven to the cities and have adapted/ evolved into what they are now becoming. They are stunning birds and have great intelligence, they are a joy to watch and we are privileged to be able to view them.

        Like

      • Kev says:

        Same applies to all the captive bred Peregrine’s and other Raptors that are used for falconry purposes and all the other so called animal species that are meant to be living as nature was meant for them.Dog’s cat’s everything you keep as a pet But no man, organisations trusts etc again get’s involved and inter-fear..

        Like

    • I sympathise with you Mike as I used to keep pigeons but man has done more damage to our bird population than peregrines and other birds of prey will ever do. There are alot of beautiful birds ‘missing’ from our hedgerows and gardens but a vast amount of that is due to hedgerows being destroyed, global warming and land generally being made over for human use. Add to that herbicides and pesticides, cars and pollution and it doesn’t look good for anyone.

      Like

    • Kev says:

      I agree with 100% Mike72.

      Like

      • Debs says:

        Kev, no disrespect taken. Yes I know what the difference is between Feral & Racing Pigeons – they are basically the same species of bird, but Racing Pigeons are bred for strength stamina and their homing instinct, They can also live for up to 20 years where as the feral Pigeons probably last 3-4 years, but the point I was making is I do not understand why someone who is taking the time to watch the webcams has such a dislike for the birds in question? I wouldn’t sit and watch something that I had no interest in and to wish the nest site to fail, the Peregrines have chosen this nest site in the City and I feel privileged that we can watch them and share it. Over the years I have had several Racing Pigeons land in my garden having either got lost or exhausted or both, and I have always taken them to our local fancier who has then contacted the owner, but last time he told me that it would probably be destroyed as it was no good for flying!!!

        Like

      • Peter says:

        These peregrines are not captive bred they are wild so I disagree with much of what you have to say. They have been forced to adapt/change their habitat by man – their move into cities is natural.

        Like

    • john says:

      Not a nice comment,all birds have their place and yes we all have our favourites

      Like

    • shelagh7y says:

      Little confused here Mike – you paint a picture of one who really loves their Pigeons, until they get lost I presume. Where I live, I have often come across racing pigeons who are absolutely exhausted, and in need of attention, which I give them.Yet each time I have tracked down the owners through their leg rings, I am met with ‘it costs £50.00 to get them recovered so just leave it. Now that’s not nature.

      Like

    • Louise says:

      It is not natural for man to race pigeons. Pigeons were used years ago to carry messages. The world changes, adapts and moves on… that is nature. I suggest you buy a telephone! Maybe also, you could accept that it is natural for falcons to take pigeons and maybe put that in your racing pigeons training! Maybe you could teach it to duck out the way! OR you could actually let them fly free ‘let them go’ as it’s not natural to coupe them up in a shed!

      Like

    • john says:

      hi mike i have to agree with you, i feed the birds in my garden. i used to have so many different verities visiting my bird table. but the hawks have taken most of them. now i dont see many at all. its a shame our grandchildren wont see the beautiful song birds they will all be gone. we h ave too remember what racing pigeons did for us in the war. if our queen can keep and race her pigeons , then so can mike good luck mike i hope them pesky hawks dont kill anymore of your racing pigeons.

      Like

  45. dave cropper says:

    Would a suitable box on the clock tower at Highfields be worth some thought,seems to be a suitable area for a pair to thrive and far enough away from town so as not to upset resident pair.

    Like

  46. SW says:

    First egg at Sheffield this morning.

    Like

  47. tim tuckwood says:

    Any chance we can get the cam over the nest set up so we may view that as well ??

    Like

    • gillyntu says:

      Hi Tim, we review the project at the end of each breeding season, so we can raise this with our technical guys to see whether this could be a possibility for next year.

      Like

  48. Am loving the webcam and am already hooked. Just hoping now that everything goes according to plan and the eggs are still viable. Have just spent 10 minutes hanging out of bedroom window photographing our resident sparrowhawk which has decided to ‘hang out’ in my garden waiting for its lunch. My goldfinches, blue tits, robins etc havent visited yet today…surprise surprise but my two great fat pigeons seem immune to its presence.

    Like

  49. Peter says:

    Will the birds be able to tell if the eggs have been killed by the cold? Will they continue to incubate for the full term regardless? Should the worst happen will they have time to breed and lay another clutch? Does anyone have the knowledge to be able to answer these questions?

    Like

    • hils1944 says:

      I remember from a previous year at one of these sites and the Mum tapped on the egg which hadn’t hatched. Usually when ready to hatch the chick will start tapping on the egg shell to get ready to break the shell and the Mum will also tap to encourage the chick to break the shell. If all is quiet, the Mum will continue to incubate until she realizes it’s not going to hatch and will move it out of the way as she focuses on feeding the chicks that have hatched. Sometimes, the unhatched (failed) egg will be kicked out of the nest by one of the parents or perhaps removed from nest at time of ‘ringing.’

      Like

    • W Jackson says:

      The peregrines on Lincoln Cathedral had 4 eggs last year and none hatched. The parents tried incubating them until well into June.

      Like

  50. Sarah says:

    I’m still interested in the science too, Peter. I just don’t understand what stops the eggs developing until the entire clutch is laid. I’m tempted to google but I really should be working 😀

    Like

    • gillyntu says:

      I’ve just done a quick search for you 🙂
      From what I can gather, eggs develop in a similar way to seeds, in that the circumstances have to be right in order for them to grow. For an egg, the embryo will not develop until it is being continually incubated at a temperature close to that of body temperature – this is why Mrs P forms a brood patch so the eggs are in direct contact with the bird’s skin. If the eggs are not being incubated the chemical reactions and cell divisions cannot take place, hence the idea that they are in ‘stasis’. The eggs can stay in this state for about a week.
      There is a risk, however that if the temperature of the eggs gets too low (I am not sure what temperature this is, but imagine around freezing point), that the eggs may never develop. This would explain why we have seen the birds sitting on the eggs before all have been laid, but also that they have left them alone for periods of time. Last year the eggs were left unattended until all four were laid, but the average temperature was about 10 degrees warmer!

      Like

  51. Mike72 says:

    I fully agree kev, many of these birds of prey are being introduced closer to urban areas where they are now having a detrimental effect on ALL species of native and migrant bird populations not just causing a constant nuisance to racing pigeons.
    Peregrines hunt over open countryside not housing estates!
    The sparrowhawk population is now out of control and people need to be made aware of what is happening.
    The RSPB have made birds of prey their flag ship but have forgotten that they are meant to represent all birds.
    Everyone needs to wake up and think where have all my garden birds gone? At the same time remember most bird of prey numbers have trebled in the last 20years!

    Like

    • shelagh7y says:

      I think it’s more a case of ‘we’ have encroached on their space Mike, not them on ours, and speaking of numbers that have tripled, what about ‘us’. That is going to be our biggest battle, and it will have to be faced sooner or later.

      Like

  52. Sarah walker says:

    One of the birds came and sat by my window on Sunday. Hope they are both well.

    Like

  53. Sally says:

    How lovely, a little early morning sun for Mrs P!

    Like

  54. Sarah says:

    Could someone remind me how to capture a pic please?

    Like

  55. I haven’t been able to watch for a couple of days…are we still at 3 eggs? Thanks 🙂

    Like

  56. thanks SW and Sarah 🙂 x

    Like

  57. SueAtt says:

    Blue sky and sunshine in Nottingham this morning – be nice if it stays all day. 🙂

    Like

  58. Jenny Martin says:

    Glad weather is warming for her and snow has almost gone

    Like

  59. Trevor Hackworth says:

    I saw them both yesterday one on the nest, I assume it was the female and the other on the wall. Hopw all goes well for them this year because it is oh so cold and forcast is not good either. Fingers crossed for them.

    Like

  60. Pam Birley says:

    The birds are very well organized, regular food deliveries and sitter exchanges have been taking place the last of which was about 5 minutes ago. There are still three eggs and I wonder if this will be their full clutch for this year. If they start incubating now it will be towards the end of April when the eggs hatch. Hopefully by then the weather will be better than last year.
    Nice pic of the 3 eggs at the last changeover.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/66339356@N00/sets/72157629524594786/detail/?page=11

    Like

  61. val morley says:

    i think another egg is on the way

    Like

  62. Dave90 says:

    Still the 3

    Like

  63. SW says:

    Wonder if a fourth is unlikely now?

    Like

  64. Keyworth red says:

    Mrs P looking content, nice to see the snow has gone, lets hope that’s the back of the bad weather..

    Like

  65. Pam Birley says:

    The 3 eggs have only been left uncovered for very short intervals recently. Changeovers have been very quick. I think they have finished laying and are now incubating and keeping the eggs warm. Has anybody seen any food brought in today? I have not been looking in quite so much but have only seen changeover with no food.

    Like

  66. chris morley says:

    hey up erin just wondered is our female same bird thats been there from start ie 10 years? if so how much longer would you think she will be here? takiing into account last 2 years tough weather,i know they are robust birds but 10 years for a bird is past their prime maybe into pensioner status~?/
    ? and male may be as old,what happens if they “go” together? presume each would re-pair but if they are both old ?

    Like

    • Hetty says:

      I was reading something on the internet about peregrines. It said that they can live to 15 or so years old in the wild (barring accidents). If one loses its mate it will pair up again. This may not be the same pair that have been there for 10 years though. They’re not ringed so I don’t know how anyone would be able to tell. Maybe the experts will tell us.

      Like

  67. louise says:

    everyone loves mr and mrs p at school

    Like

    • Billybags says:

      12-20pm Monday. How lovely, just seen Mr P talking to Mrs P , she has flown off the nest and he has sat down on the eggs.There are 3 eggs, I bet he said, “Go for your lunch I will keep them warm.” How nice,

      Like

      • Billybags says:

        I can not believe this, 10 min on and he has left the eggs and flown off. Typical man, I bet he has gone looking for her. But the eggs are getting cold.

        Like

    • Pam Birley. says:

      It’s great that you and your schoolmates are taking an interest Louise 🙂

      Like

  68. Pam Birley. says:

    It is beginning to get a bit confusing because people are still commenting in the previous blog !!

    Both birds there as I write. Eggs were left for a few seconds after much squawking from the nest. Mr. P looks like he wants to take over, but Mrs. P seems to be saying “Just go and get some food”. They do seem very contented at this time.

    Like

    • S says:

      lol….

      It reminds me of my parents bickering about who will handle what household chores…

      …it always ends with my Dad wearily saying to Mom,

      ” Ok…just give me your grocery list, then!”

      Like

  69. Maureen says:

    Interesting what Hetty said about five posts back, about them not being ringed. Why aren’t they?

    Like

    • gillyntu says:

      Hi Hetty, it is basically that they truly are wild birds. They would have been born to parents that were not being monitored like this lot. The birds will not be ringed as adults, unless they are found injured and the opportunity to ring them is there as they recover and released back into the wild.

      Like

      • Hetty says:

        Thanks Gilly. I assumed they were not ringed as they were not monitored as chicks, unlike the ones that have been hatched in this nest. Do we know if these are the same pair that have nested here for the last 10 years?

        Like

    • Chris says:

      A closed ring can only be put on when the birds are chicks – otherwise wild birds could be caught and ringed and sold as captive bred.

      Like

  70. S says:

    oh, I just witnessed a changeover. Good timing.

    no food, though.

    Like

  71. SueAtt says:

    Lovely blue sky this morning – Mrs P basking in the sunshine, feathers blowing in the wind!

    Like

  72. Pam Birley says:

    I believe they are both finding their own food when not incubating and there is really no need to bring it back to the nest area.
    The last egg was laid on 26th March which would mean a first hatching could be expected, all being well, around 27th – 30th April. Thank goodness they are getting some warmth from the SUN at last 🙂

    Like

  73. Pam Birley says:

    Just watched another smooth exchange. I wonder why it is that Peregrines don’t turn their eggs before they settle to brood. They just seem to plop down and that’s it whereas the Loons I watch turn the eggs, settle, and then almost invariably get up and do some readjustments before they finally settle for their stint on the eggs.

    Like

  74. Pam Birley says:

    If you don’t know about Loons (Great Northern Divers) then you are welcome to take a look at my many records of Loon seasons here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/66339356@N00/collections/72157602775218779/

    Like

  75. Penny says:

    Derby have at last been rewarded for their efforts with snow clearing by their first egg this morning! Congrats to Mrs. P. at Derby.

    Like

  76. libby says:

    does anyone know when the eggs are gonna hatch

    Like

    • Peter says:

      The first one should hatch in about twenty days by my reckoning. Fingers crossed that the snow and cold weather didn’t prevent them from developing.

      Like

  77. Peter says:

    Has one of the eggs been removed from the nest? I’m sure there were only two a minute ago.

    Like

  78. S says:

    Pam Birley: I love your pics and your knitted loon!! adorable! I have a new nephew and I wish I had something like that for him!

    I’m in Canada…do you know what the loons sound like? The loon call is considered one of the most quintessentially Canadian things to experience… I hope this isn’t inappropriate in this forum, but I found a couple of links of different loon calls, on YouTube, if you’re interested.

    thanks again, enjoy!! 🙂

    Like

    • SueAtt says:

      Thanks S – its interesting to see (and hear) about other birds as well as the Peregrines – helps pass the time while we’re patiently waiting for things to happen! 🙂

      Like

  79. Pam Birley says:

    S – thanks so much….I love that sound, brought tears of joy to my eyes !!! Now…back to the Peregrines 🙂

    Like

  80. SueAtt says:

    Love the knitted loon Pam – very clever – I couldn’t knit anything without a pattern. Look forward to seeing the knitted peregrine. Good news from Derby – the hot water bottle obviously paid off!
    Our Mrs P always seems to be alone when I look in – I expect Mr P’s keeping out of this awful cold wind. Wind direction is supposed to change to a south westerly in a few days, so hopefully it will be a few degrees warmer.

    Like

  81. S says:

    Pam, and Sue….glad you both liked the loon calls. 🙂

    Like

  82. Jan says:

    Hi all. Does anyone know how far these birds will range from the nest (presumably to hunt), or if there are any other peregrins in the area? I ask because I am absolutely certain I saw one flying over West Bridgford & heading straight towards the city yesterday afternoon.

    Like

    • SW says:

      Somewhere in this item it says 12-15 miles from the nest site, so it could have been one of them!
      http://www.avianweb.com/peregrinefalcons.html

      Like

      • Jan says:

        Many thanks for all replies to my range question. Very interesting. I’ve done a bit more research & am now positive that I saw one & yes it could well have been one of the Newton birds, which makes it even more exciting! Thinking about the type of landscape to the south of Nottingham makes it entirely plausible that the perrys would pass over this area – my family just thought I’d been watching too much Fireman Sam with my 3yr old grandson! Anyway, I shall definitely be watching the skies a lot more closely from now on.

        Like

  83. Pam Birley says:

    I read that they can hunt within about a ten-mile range of their nests. Sorry, but I can’t find that link at the moment. From the nest to West Bridgford would be nothing to a Perry…like going into the back garden for us humans.

    Like

  84. Nick Brown says:

    Hi Jan: well our Derby cathedral peregrines (now with their first egg!) certainly range down into the Trent valley….I’d guess at least 10 miles which is ‘ a stroll in the park’ for a peregrine of course. So I imagine the NTU pair go just as far to hunt – so seeing one over West Bridgford isn’t surprising.
    In 2007 we found the remains of an arctic tern below the nest in Derby. It had a Swedish ring on its leg and turned out to have been ringed as a chick on an island in the Baltic in summer 2002. Looking at the bird records for April 2007 we noticed that a flock of 50 arctic terns was seen over a reservoir between Derby and Nottingham, about 8-10 miles away. Arctic terns sometimes get blown off course in spring when easterly winds push them out of the English Channel and up over the UK. So our conclusion was that this tern was among that flock when one of our pair caught it and brought it back to the tower. It is a remarkable story especially as these terns migrate to Antarctica for the winter each year. That bird must have travelled over 100,000 miles in its five years of life….
    Nick Brown (Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project)

    Like

    • SW says:

      It’s fascinating what can be learnt from the prey remains. Would be interesting to get a good look at what’s on the ends of the ledge in Nottingham. So pleased to see Derby’s first egg yesterday – she certainly kept us all waiting!

      Like

  85. Penny says:

    Dad just took over incubation duty and to whoever thought one of the eggs may have gone missing, 3 were clearly visible I am happy to say!

    Like

  86. Sehdev_is says:

    Camera 1 appears to be out of focus. Not as clear Thanks

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

    NTU Falcons wrote:

    Like

  87. Sue Hall says:

    The change overs are really smooth, very impressed with both mr and mrs p

    Like

  88. libby says:

    cant wait for the chicks to hatch

    Like

  89. Diane Watson says:

    when will the chicks hatch this is all new to me my Daughter got me into this i find it very interesting

    Like

  90. libby says:

    the falcons feathers lokk wet , but are they?

    Like

  91. libby says:

    have we got any names for the chicks

    Like

  92. tim.t. says:

    Hi all what is the chance you start up a competition for the winner to come to the ringing of the young birds, maybe some thing like what will be the day & time the first bird will leave the nest box & takes to the sky, the winner being the one that gets the nearest to the event…?????

    Like

  93. Tim says:

    I was the ecology consultant who was responsible for the original design of this nesting tray back in 2006 when the Newton building was undergoing a major refit. Its great to see the design has proved successful and been used consecutively year on year without the need for any alterations.

    Like

  94. Billybags says:

    Just a thought, do they both snuggle up in the nest at night?

    Like

  95. Peter says:

    The male and female take it turns to incubate the eggs.

    Like

  96. libby says:

    ive not seen them feed for a while is there not enough pigeons around or something?

    Like

  97. libby says:

    it was quite funny the other day because we were just coming from a film from the corner house and mum said that she could se the falcons so we stood there for about 5 mins. i think it was mr.p on the ledge.

    Like

  98. Big Ed says:

    Please can posters be blocked if they talk about naming the chicks (if they survive). Please no more competitions with a fluffy falcon as a prize. Please just let them get on with it and good luck to them all. I look at the cam several times every day. These are wild birds and calling them fluffy or snowy or whatever just trivialises this whole project. If you want to be a winner then DONATE to the project. Rant over.

    Like

  99. fiona says:

    Just watched the most amazing bird acrobatics over Newton building. One of the falcons was being mobbed by 2 smaller black birds. More agile than pigeons they looked more like crows. The perigrine was clearly intimidated and had fled near the nest site. Could that be why the parents have been quite vocal over the last few days?

    Like

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