Relieved to see eggs hatch, but past trials and tribulations are leaving me feeling slightly apprehensive.

The first daylight sighting of the 2013 eyases

The first daylight sighting of the 2013 eyases

It was a great relief to hear that two of our peregrine eggs had hatched after some weeks of trepidation following the deep snow which blanketed the nest last month. Hopefully the third egg will hatch shortly and we can then look forward to watching the family grow. However, despite my joy that the adults had managed to keep their eggs warm in testing conditions, the events of last year, which resulted in chicks dying in the nest due to extreme weather conditions, are still playing on my mind.

Despite this being a very successful nest site with experienced and expert adult birds – the loss of chicks last year served as a reminder that the natural world can be harsh. With so many chicks reared from this nest in the past, the odds should be firmly on the side of success and hopefully the chicks will be strong and healthy with every chance of fledging successfully. However, with so many variables, including the weather, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that we are watching wild birds and that they face precisely the same challenges as any other peregrine pair around the world.

Over the next few weeks the adults will need to find enough food to keep themselves and their growing chicks from going hungry. The adults will also need to keep out of danger and the chicks will need to avoid falling from the nest ledge until they are old enough to fly – or at least robust enough to survive a fall!

With a bit of luck all three eggs will hatch and three chicks, know as eyases, will fledge and we look forward to being party to their development ahead of what we hope will be their maiden flights some time in June – fingers crossed!    

Erin McDaid
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

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146 Responses to Relieved to see eggs hatch, but past trials and tribulations are leaving me feeling slightly apprehensive.

  1. Nick Brown says:

    Great news Erin! I’m sure egg number three will hatch and that the chicks will survive this time around…..but, as you say, fingers firmly crossed!
    Nick (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust/Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project)

    Like

  2. Hetty says:

    Well at least they’ve overcome the first hurdle of laying their eggs in the snow! The weather conditions last Spring were extreme to say the least, so let’s hope it will be better this year. I’m sure we’ll all be watching anxiously for the next few weeks and hoping to see the little ones successfully reared.

    Like

  3. peter lee says:

    so chuffed to see the chicks this morning, like you Erin i am nervous as to how they will fare over the next few weeks, gonna be compulsive viewing at work (don’t tell!! )

    fingers crossed for these amazing birds, and thanks team for all your work again.

    Like

  4. Sue Hall says:

    Thanks for the update

    Like

  5. SueAtt says:

    So pleased to see that 2 chicks have hatched successfully inspite of the previous snow and sub-zero temperatures. Everyone at NTU and NWT must be so relieved. Now keeping watch for the 3rd to arrive safely. 🙂

    Like

  6. So pleased to the successful hatching of the first 2 eggs . Will keep my fingers crossed for a very successful year for this family 🙂

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  7. Sue says:

    Brilliant – can see another spare shell in the nest. Does this mean the third has hatched while i wasn’t looking!?

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  8. Kathy Williams says:

    Every year is exciting watching the nest site via video link,fingers crossed all 3 survive this year especially as they did not have the best start in life due to weather conditions.

    Like

  9. Phoebe says:

    Congratulations on your eggs hatching, I watched two chicks being fed earlier today. I could see the fluff of the third chick moving about in the last egg through the ever growing hole. Now I see more egg shell so it looks like the third chick is out also. Great to see this in real time – thank you!

    Like

  10. Chris says:

    Like you I am so relieved that the eggs seem to have survived that dreadful snow. They worked so hard to keep them warm! Looking forward to watching them grow during the next few weeks. Thanks for all you work in keeping this site up and running.

    Like

  11. pamela says:

    just seen three chicks and one egg left to hatch brill xxxxx

    Like

  12. Christine says:

    Come on, let’s all stay positive for this amazing pair and their chicks, nature is cruel but it can also be beautiful – if good wishes could see these chicks survive then they will

    Like

  13. jane says:

    hmm its tea time at the nest… already im talking to the screen telling the chicks to stand up tall to make sure they get plenty of food!!!!!

    Like

  14. Adele says:

    There was only three eggs wasnt there? Its great to see two chicks and as I leave for Zumba the last egg had a hole in it good also to see they are eating well so far

    Like

  15. Fiona says:

    What wonderful spring sunshine today….lets keep positive, better must be on it’s way!

    Like

  16. Dee says:

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/rockgod/Capturebaby4.jpg[/IMG] Beautiful picture!!

    Like

  17. Sue says:

    Number three just hatched!

    Like

  18. Christine says:

    NUMBER 3 OUT !!!!

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  19. Chessie says:

    Looks like the third little fella is out, success!

    Like

  20. Adele says:

    YES YES Just seen third chick isnt creation great? All they have to do now is grow.

    Like

  21. Ännchen says:

    Gerade ist das dritte Küken auf die Welt gekommen

    Like

  22. Sarah says:

    That’s the three then, just watched parent eating 3rd eggshell.
    Fingers crossed for the next few weeks.

    Like

  23. Damian says:

    Is there any chance in the future that we will be able to watch the cams on tablets, ie: An iPad, as my laptop has broken this morning and can now only read the blogs at the moment :o(

    Like

  24. Saw the chicks today what a wonderful sight but were all a bit on tenderhooks after last year heres hoping all goes wellx

    Like

  25. Dora Yemm says:

    They’re looking healthy at the moment, let’s hope it stays that way!

    Like

  26. Jill says:

    All my fingers are crossed for this amazing couple especially mum, they certainly can show us humans a thing or two about parenting

    Like

  27. Pam Birley. says:

    The third egg has hatched but I have not had a clear view of Chick3 yet, just a quick glimpse. I have been out but I think the hatch may be was not long as the eggshell was just being eaten – pics here:
    Chick 2 finally got some food and promptly fell over backwards !

    Like

  28. chris harrison says:

    I fell like a daddy again

    Like

  29. Jill says:

    has the third egg hatched?

    Like

  30. libby says:

    the chicks are now famous on bbc news tonight, im so happy

    Like

  31. Sue Hall says:

    3 chicks feeding, what a wonderful sight

    Like

  32. Sally says:

    Just saw all three chicks feeding well!

    Like

  33. Hetty says:

    There are three chicks now. I’ve just been watching Mrs P feeding them with food brought by Mr P. She’s so gentle with them. She had a good feed herself as well.

    Like

  34. Cas says:

    Evening feeding session complete. Three chicks with full bellies now gone to sleep. Fingers crossed for a week of reasonable weather which should give them a fighting chance of surviving.
    This is my second year following these birds so I’d like it to be a bit less traumatic than last year!

    Like

  35. Jan says:

    Just watched supper time at the Perry’s with all 3 chicks. Fantastic!! Many thanks to NTU & NWT for this opportunity. Stunning shots of the family!

    Like

  36. Julie Kendall says:

    Rather ironically today is the anniversary of the terrible storm last year which killed all but one of last years chicks. Keep everything crossed for this crop 🙂

    Like

    • SW says:

      What a day that was, so vivid in the memory. Good luck 2013 chicks! Thanks NTU and Notts Wildlife Trust for the opportunity to observe.

      Like

  37. Anita says:

    Moment of feeding the three chicks 🙂

    Like

  38. Great news for supermum fingers crossed that all goes well

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  39. Anita says:

    little movie from feeding the chicks

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    • Genevieve says:

      Thank you for this. Beautiful video. Love how the littlest finally manages to get out from under his siblings to be fed.

      Like

    • Pam Birley says:

      Thanks a lot for that Anita !! Loved the way chick 3 tried to get to the food itself when it wasn’t being fed by Mom. Even after falling over it recovered quickly. That’s very good for its survival because it looks pretty strong and very determined. I expect soon we will be seeing some of the chick dominance behaviour with the eldest pecking at the youngest but this Chickthree looks pretty strong so far.

      By the way, what video capture do you use?

      Like

    • El D says:

      Thanks for this, Anita. Great to watch. I was feeling anxious for the poor chick at the front.

      Like

  40. Martyn says:

    Just checked the weather forecast for the next ten days. No rain forecast, plenty of sun so a good start for the chicks. So much better viewing than last year! A couple of weeks and we should get some good photo;s of the chicks. 🙂

    Like

  41. Nick says:

    I’m not a particular falcon fan but seeing the pair raise one chick last year after loosing three to those terrible storms…. and this year, hatching three chicks after being buried in snow, is compelling viewing. It is a privilege indeed to see nature in the raw in such detail and clarity – thanks to those involved in providing the coverage.

    I know it’s very early days but I’d like to think that the birds have had their trials and tribulations for this season and soon thoughts will turn to naming the chicks. How about things that come in threes? Here’s a few ideas…..

    Tom, Dick and Harry
    Charlotte, Emily and Anne (Bronte sisters)
    Huey, Dewey and Louie (Donald Duck’s cousins)
    Peter, Paul and Mary.

    I’m sure there are other, more appropriate ones, but for now, in our house at least, they are The Three Musketeers…. All for one and one for all !!!!!!!

    Good luck little falcons 🙂

    Nick

    Like

  42. Well done on successfully hatching the 3 Mrs P,… Saw them been fed last night soon after No 3 arrived, brilliant news. They have both done well with those eggs 🙂

    Like

  43. P R Newbery says:

    Why have you changed camera views

    Like

  44. P R Newbery says:

    Just watched the morning feed, i do hope they all get full bellies

    Like

  45. Lynn says:

    Wow- saw the male feeding the chicks this morning. Mrs arrived and took over and had terrible trouble disengaging the prey from her claws. All quiet again now- chicks nestled in.

    Like

  46. Dora Yemm says:

    A bit cheesy, but I thought of some optimistic names relating to nature that begin with ‘S’ to match the parent Storm:

    Sunray
    Sky
    and Summer

    To match the elements of the weather they’re growing up in (and will hopefully survive in) right now.

    Like

  47. Fiona says:

    Nature in the raw indeed, seen the chicks being fed pigeon squab (chicks) twice today, not a pleasant thought but, fewer peregrine chicks about! They are being brilliant parents!

    Like

  48. Sarah says:

    Rise up this mornin’,
    Smiled with the risin’ sun,
    Three little birds……

    Like

  49. hils1944 says:

    lovely video of the feed. It’s great the three eggs have hatched. Hope the weather stays good for them.

    Like

  50. Sonya says:

    Just watched the chicks being fed. Looks as if one of them is weaker and isn’t getting fed because it isn’t begging like the other two.

    Like

    • yes I noticed that too Sonya…same thing happened earlier in the day too. One of the parents though seems better at making sure they all get a bit, the dad I think. I do hope they all make it!!!

      Like

  51. Sally says:

    I have just witnessed an early morning feed. All 3 chicks fed comprehensively by Mr P!

    Like

  52. SW says:

    If I remember rightly, one chick is to be named Ernest.

    Like

  53. Lynn says:

    Am I right in thinking that Mr P is the smaller of the two adults. I saw them do a changeover on the nest yesterday so was at last able to compare their sizes.

    Like

  54. San says:

    10.50 Just watched all three chicks getting a really good feed. One does appear to be begging less than the other two….but was fed nonetheless.

    Like

  55. Gill Web says:

    Have the microphones been turned off? I can’t get any sound…?

    Like

    • chrisntu says:

      Hi Gill,

      We’ve not turned any sound off. But during quiet periods you may not hear much. Perhaps have a listen in when the chicks feeding, as there may be some more noise then. 🙂

      Thanks

      Like

  56. ianathome says:

    Just watched the 11am feed. All 3 chicks seem to be taking their food well and there was an extremely skillful and equitable distribution by (I think) the falcon – it is always a bit tricky to tell which parent is which unless you see them together. Chicks then fell into a food coma and parents engaged in a bit of communication before the falcon settled back to brooding with the tiercel standing guard on the ledge.

    Like

  57. Ann Norris says:

    Yes Phoebe the male bird is the smaller one

    Like

  58. freda says:

    Chicks just had late lunch/early tea – Mom left to catch second course?

    Like

  59. Billybags. says:

    I have just seen the 4.00pm feed and I do not hold out much hope for the last one hatched to survive. There seems to be one dominant one that gets all the food, the little one got none. I could have cried for it.

    Like

    • jane says:

      Just been watching Mr/Mrs Perry feed the chicks and was clearly picking a different little mouth to stuff the food in, it wasn’t all going in one mouth THANKFULLY!

      Like

    • SW says:

      I just watched a feed around 5.30pm: the three sat in a row and they definitely all had a share. I think it will even out and be fine.

      Like

    • Pam Birley says:

      That is always the way Billybags, the alpha chick gets fed first, the aim being to keep at least one strong. By doing that Storm was able to survive last year when the other three perished. Their bodies were used as food for Storm, what little there was of them. It’s the old story, the survival of the fittest. Hopefully though, if the weather is kind and the food continues to be plentiful, all three should be able to survive. We have to be optimistic :-))

      Like

  60. tony says:

    17.45 just watched three chicks get an equal share of food ,fantastic.

    Like

  61. Hetty says:

    Just watched Mrs P feeding the chicks. She seemed to go out of her way to make sure the one who doesn’t beg as aggresively got plenty to eat. In fact all three appeared to be well fed. It’s so funny when they’ve had enough to eat – they just fall over as if they’ve lapsed into unconsciousness!

    Like

  62. Claus says:

    They had a nice meal around 17:45, each got a fair share this time, I think.

    Like

    • jane says:

      More feeding and again all were fed …….granted one had already collapsed in a heap stuffed….making it easier for the other two!!

      Like

  63. Alex Jones says:

    Great find, I will keep an eye on this blog and the live camera feed.

    Like

  64. Genevieve says:

    So pleased to hear that the food is being shared out equally. I know it’s nature’s way, but I must admit, I was quite concerned about the little one when I watched the 4pm feed yesterday.

    Like

  65. SW says:

    I saw a good feed around 8.20am, all three fed, then huddled up like a snowball.

    Like

  66. HA says:

    it wasn’t equally spread this lunchtime! I know it’s natural the stongest get fed the most but one of them only got two mouthfuls. Makes me so sad!

    Like

    • PammyD says:

      Yes i agree with you HA. Its a shame the little one isn’t getting the same amount of food as the other two, it makes me feel very sad.

      Like

  67. ianathome says:

    Yes, the littlest one mostly missed out at the one o’clock feed. This reminds me a bit of the Charing Cross Hospital chicks last year where the smallest chick was struggling similarly to assert itself at feeding time. It became an internet hit and was christened “little dude” by its many followers! That chick did learn how to get to the front of the queue and, when a little older, even started pinching food from its siblings’ beaks. That’s what the NTU chick needs to do. It’s a harsh and tough world for a peregrine and if it isn’t strong enough to win food at meal times, its prospects as an adult wouldn’t be good.

    Having said that, my observation is that the falcon is very skilful at ensuring fair rations and judging how much each chick needs, so maybe this was just an aberration. These are experienced adults who have raised many chicks successfully.

    Like

  68. SW says:

    Both adults on the nest just now, with the tiercel feeding the chicks – great to see the whole family at once. Wonder whether it might be possible to zoom out a fraction on the nest view, as sometimes the adults’ heads are out of the shot?

    Like

  69. Anita says:

    Dad is feeding the chicks and Moms 😉

    Like

    • ianathome says:

      Fantastic footage.Love it when the falcon leans forward to grab some of the food intended for the chicks!

      Like

  70. Claus says:

    Must be nice for the parents to have something soft to rest on, after 4 weeks of rubble and eggs…;-)

    Like

  71. RT says:

    I switched on part way through the 3:15pm feed. Dad was feeding and mum was watching and almost stood over the weaker one making it difficult for him/her to get fed. However, mum then went to spread her wings and dad focused on feeding the weaker one, the other two gave up begging and went to sleep.

    Does anyone know what they do with their ‘left overs’? They sometimes fly off with whats left and reappear seconds later without out!

    Like

    • SW says:

      I think there are food remains at both ends of the ledge, particularly the end not usually in view – sometimes the camera is turned in that direction. They sometimes cache prey for later.

      Like

    • ianathome says:

      RT – if there is any useablel meat left on the carcass, they will have a “larder” somewhere nearby where they store it for later use. The NTU team may know where it is!

      Like

    • S says:

      You’re all mistaken about what the falcons do with the carcass. They keep the bones, freeze them and boil them later to make stock, which they pour into ice-cube trays for easy use, silly.

      Like

  72. Adele says:

    HI all, I have always wondered where they put the remains of the food? Is there a pile somewhere or do they just drop it in the street . Imagine how you would feel if a half eaten bird landed on your head??!!

    Like

    • grantntu says:

      As a couple of people have said; there seems to be a big pile of bones and feathers at the end of the ledge. Also when we check on our bees on the sedum (green) roof below we are always walking amongst remains from the latsest meal! There are lots of carcasses down there so they must simply drop them off the ledge.

      Like

  73. ianathome says:

    or, even, useable meat!

    Like

  74. jane says:

    Hmmm logged in at the end of a feed, I have missed the last few one chick seemed to be struggling to hold its head up…….perhaps I missed it being fed initially and it was stuffed but it didn’t appear that was the case….?

    Like

  75. Nick says:

    Watched an early morning feed (5am). The dominant chick is favoured obviously… but once his belly is full, the other two get their turn. All 3 chicks look well so the parents must know what they’re doing 🙂

    Like

  76. Sonya says:

    Is anybody else having problems with streaming from the close-up camera? (The one with sound) It streams fine for about six seconds, then stops for three seconds before starting up again. No such problems with the other camera.

    Like

  77. Tames says:

    11:20 and the little one goes without again. Hang in there little guy!

    Like

  78. Sonya says:

    Just watched another feed where the little one didn’t get so much as a mouthful. As soon as the two bigger ones were full and stopped begging, the parent ignored the little one’s begging and flew off with the remains of the meal. It’s not the first time I’ve witnessed this. Maybe the little one has some weakness that the parent can sense and has decided not to invest any resources into feeding a weakling? Survival of the fittest at work.

    Like

  79. Hetty says:

    I’ve just watched them being fed and Mrs P fed them all. Admittedly one is much noisier and greedier than the other two, but they did all get a share. Mr P is very busy today. Every time I’ve looked at the webcam he’s there with food again!

    Like

  80. s dickins says:

    just watched the handover from Mrs to Mr P and I have been shouting at the screen. Mr P didnt seem to notice that Middle Chick’s neck was about to explode. Please feed Right Hand Chick!

    Like

  81. San says:

    17.50 Just watched what I believe was the falcon, feeding the chicks. The two noisy, larger ones took the lion share and were fed first…..but ‘Pipsqueak’ did get a decent feed at the end. It does make tense viewing and I’m trying not too get too emotionally involved as I keep checking in to my favourite ‘soap’. I take comfort from the fact that I’m not the only one!

    Like

  82. Genevieve says:

    You’re most definitely not!

    Like

    • jane says:

      Me too!!!! I thought last year was bad enough as I had not watched it before but when it comes to feeding im just as bad this year!!

      Like

  83. San says:

    Tuned into ‘Peregrine Street’ earlier and saw Pipsqueak get a decent feed. He was at the front for once, though did lose interest quite quickly, leaving ‘Alpha’ and ‘Beta’ to have a good fill.

    Like

  84. San says:

    12.50 Both parents feeding all three chicks. Comical to watch rather a large tast morcel being offered to chick….only to be snatched by other parent!

    Like

  85. libby says:

    when are we going to pick the names coz i have some awsome ideas

    Like

  86. Tracy says:

    The little chick closest to the camera was biding his time at the 17.50 feed, he waited until the time was right before lunging over the other two to get his share of dinner! I was willing him on…… even talking to the screen! I’m hooked!

    Like

  87. San says:

    11.20 All three chicks well fed by both parents. Interesting to note that they now reach up and take the food from the parent, rather than just sitting open-beacked and begging. Even Pipsqueak make sure he’s not overlooked 🙂

    Like

  88. jane says:

    just seen a feed and while the “little un”was slow to get up he did get there after I shouted at him!! he still managed to lunge up for a few mouthfuls and was at least spared having to eat feathers that were fed to the other two. Doesn’t always pay to be at the front of the queue!

    Like

  89. Tracy says:

    Lol at the chick at the back on the 14;58/59 6th May feed, bottoms up, time to make room for more food!!

    Like

  90. hils1944 says:

    chicks just had a good feed.

    Like

  91. Martyn says:

    Have heard one of the chicks has injured its foot..has anyone noticed this at all?

    Like

  92. Hetty says:

    The chicks are growing amazingly quickly. Mrs P can’t really get them underneath her body now – she just snuggles them close to her chest.

    Like

  93. s dickins says:

    just watching the chicks being shaded from the sun!

    Like

  94. lesley cooper says:

    i can only see 2 chicks in the nest !

    Like

  95. lesley cooper says:

    sorry all three are there , this is so amazing to watch thank you NTU for making it possible .

    Like

  96. Anyone know how the falcons are getting on?

    Like

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