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!
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust