A sad end for Storm, but hope for the season ahead

Image

Storm in her nest at the Newton building shortly after being ringed

Today we bring the sad news of the death of Storm, the only peregrine falcon to successfully fledge the nest during the 2012 mating season.

Storm was ringed under licence with a British Trust for Ornithology metal ring when about 20 days old and stayed in the vicinity of the nest until early autumn, when she moved away. We had no reports of Storm until we received a phone call last year which informed us that she had been found in unusual circumstances.

This was worrying and we finally heard what we had been dreading  – Storm had been found dead at Stapleton Park in Leicestershire, about 20 miles from the Nottingham Trent University nest. There had been some concern about the circumstances in which she was found due to the fact that she had lost a leg, but after investigation the death was attributed to natural causes. We’ve been restricted from bringing you the news until now, partly because of the investigation process.

Storm’s death is a very sad end to a gut-wrenching mating season during which heavy rain and strong winds led to the loss of Storm’s three siblings which hatched when they are at their most vulnerable to chilling. Storm’s trials and tribulations created great interest from the viewing public, with her being named, rather aptly, ‘Storm’ via a public competition. Storm, against all the odds, went on to fledge successfully.

Whilst it is sad that Storm has now died, we must remember that the breeding pair on the Newton building have reared many chicks over a number of years, so it is likely that some will have survived into adulthood. The fact that we were able to identify Storm shows the benefit of the ringing process. But we have no idea where she was between leaving the nest and being found, which highlights the limitations of what we can currently do to protect these birds.

Working with Nottingham Trent University we are currently exploring the possibility of using some form of small GPS tracking device in the future to help us keep track of the young birds once they leave the nest. If possible, this may enable us to help more birds in distress and may even help us prevent crimes against these birds such as trapping and poisoning.

In contrast to Storm, a second peregrine from a different local nest was more fortunate. This bird was again ringed and found in a distressed state on the ground near to its nest site. The bird was well grown and had obviously just fledged so was taken into care by a wildlife rescue charity. It was cared for until it had recovered and regained its strength before being released back into the wild.

More follows..


These two examples show the issues surrounding newly fledged peregrines, with very few birds surviving through their first year after fledging. Many are not lucky enough to be found and cared for until they are strong enough for release and instead become chilled and die, or are taken by other predators.

We do hope that the 2014 mating season follows suit from last year when all the chicks fledged successfully to the joy of avid FalconCam viewers. Our approach is always to watch and interfere as little as possible, even though we are sometimes watching nature in the raw.

The number of people watching the live feed has been a sensation, and the partnership between the university and the wildlife trust in seeking to help people learn more about these amazing birds has been a spectacular success with followers from across the UK, Europe and beyond. Everyone watching has had an opportunity to learn more about wildlife conservation, and the positive feedback from members of the public, and the strength of positive feelings towards the peregrines and their young, has been almost overwhelming. Long may it continue.

Erin McDaid
Head of Communications & Marketing
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

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126 Responses to A sad end for Storm, but hope for the season ahead

  1. geebee7 says:

    Bless his heart and may he soar high and for all eternity in falcon heaven. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chris says:

    That is a sad story but Storm was a tough cookie. I am glad it was determined that he died of natural causes and didn’t experience harm from humans.

    Like

  3. Claire says:

    Too too sad!!!!

    Like

  4. Donna says:

    So sad to hear of the death of Storm, particularly as she had come through so much.

    Like

  5. Sue Hall says:

    Sad news but so glad it was natural causes, soar free Storm

    Like

  6. Oh this is so sad…….but glad it wasn’t anything other than natural causes to blame….

    Like

  7. Ann Sanders says:

    R.I.P. Storm. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has shed a tear.

    Like

  8. Kristine Genagon says:

    I remember that year well and was so glad that one of the babies made it. It’s so sad to hear of Storm’s passing…wonder what caused her to lose a leg? Fly high and free, Storm!

    Like

  9. Thank you for the information sad though it is. Fly free Storm

    Like

  10. Lesley Farnsworth says:

    So sad to hear this news about Storm . RIP little one ❤

    Like

  11. Thanks for the information, so sad .

    Like

  12. I.H. says:

    Have tears in my eyes so upset , i remember the photograph of when she was named storm after it was chosen for her and the words ”storm , i like it” very sad news but will always smile when i think of her XXX

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Roy gardner says:

    Gave us lots of fun and heart stopping moments before she fledged,such a sand end for such a fighter

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Julie Nowicki says:

    Was really sad to read about Storm. When are this years chicks due to hatch? Am watching with great interest and fingers crossed they will all be o.k.

    Like

  15. SueAtt says:

    Really sad news – RIP beautiful Storm. 😦

    Like

  16. Jill says:

    Though such sad news, I thank you for sharing. Storm was the first I was lucky to watch 😦

    Like

  17. Cas says:

    My first year watching the Nottingham peregrines was the traumatic year when Storm was the only survivor. I have tears in my eyes, but, like others have said, I am glad it was natural causes.

    Like

  18. Christine H says:

    Oh no, how bloomin’ sad after all storm went through – nature is very cruel, I am intrigued as to how it could be natural causes if a leg was missing

    Like

  19. Margaret Loftus says:

    Sad news after all she battled through

    Like

  20. Sally says:

    Lovely worded message. Thank you for the update.

    Like

  21. SW says:

    I loved that bird, RIP.

    Like

  22. Phoebe says:

    Such sad news, bless her. RIP.

    Like

  23. Steve says:

    It’s all been said so let’s look forward to this year’s brood

    Like

  24. Maureen says:

    Oh, what a sad announcement, after all those birds endured last year.
    One consolation perhaps, (and we will never know,being human beings with only our own means of communication to depend on), is the hope that Storm’s parents are unaware and do not feel the grief we all feel for this sad, sad outcome for the last of the family of last year. What hopes we all had for Storm! Such a short life after such struggle, how cruel, how unfair.

    Nature, being pragmatic, moves on to the next family, the new ones we are all waiting to meet.

    Like

  25. billybags says:

    That is so very very sad.after all Storm went through, to end like this. I am gutted, thank you for letting us know.

    Like

  26. geebee7 says:

    It upsets me to think of the pain she went through when she lost her leg. How did she loose her leg anyway?

    Like

  27. diane says:

    Poor little Storm, we all watched how she struggled to survive and then fledge, i was hoping that one day we would see her breeding and tending to her own chicks xx

    Like

  28. Lynn says:

    That’s so sad.

    Like

  29. SallyE says:

    It’s very sad to hear about Storm. Presumably she would have found it more difficult to catch her prey with just one leg. Hopefully, we’ll all cheer up when this year’s eggs hatch. Fingers crossed for a successful year anyway.

    Like

  30. mark kirk says:

    Very upset to hear the news about storm RIP little one!

    Like

  31. Morning all……..its a beautiful day here in South Yorkshire and also in Nottingham. Just watching Mum get comfy on the eggs…always makes me think she can feel the chicks wriggling about inside them….bit like when unborn babes play football in their mum’s tum’s!

    Like

  32. Michelle says:

    So sad to learn about Storm – I help run a large international website with a ‘General Chat’ Forum — we’ve been watching the Cams for the last two or three years. — The loss of Storm was like loosing a family member; but that’s life I expect.

    On the upside — we’re all looking forward to the first egg – any day now — just in time for Easter 🙂

    Like

  33. redtedng9 says:

    Such sad news, a real fighter. Such is Mother Nature.

    Like

  34. Judith Lee says:

    Storm had such a tough start to her life, but she came through in the end, this is sad news but I hope she did not suffer bless her, tears again, RIP Storm.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Pingback: Peregrine Falcons: Eggs to Adults 24-Hour Cam | Dave Knight's Blog

  36. barbara deane says:

    Oh so sad to hear the news of Storm’s passing – on to a better life!

    What do you fellow falcon watchers think about the first born/hatched being named Storm or something similar, in her memory???

    RIP Storm – we will not forget you

    Like

  37. Kaz says:

    Ahhhh. poor storm, went through thick & thin to stay alive in that awful weather, & now no longer with us. Obviously got her leg caught in wire or something pulled tight & eventually chopped her leg off also in that time starved cos couldn’t feed either, That’s my guess anyway. Lets hope it dont happen to any more poor innocent birds. RIP Storm go fly in peace. xxx

    Like

  38. Mo Cole says:

    So so sad….. Fly free Storm……. xxxxx

    Like

  39. Diane Watson says:

    Such deverstating stating news,Fly Free little Storm in peace xxxxx

    Like

  40. So sad but nature at its cruellest yet again, she was a miracle from the start 😦

    Like

  41. Julian says:

    Hatching due about now ?

    Like

  42. Jodie says:

    I think the first chick has just arrived!! I saw it under his right wing a minute ago!

    Like

  43. Jodie says:

    False alarm, but I think it’s close, he keeps looking down under him and fidgeting lots 🙂

    Like

  44. Julian says:

    Parents just changed over 08.35 , no chicks yet .

    Like

  45. Belinda says:

    Just got a good view at changeover time and still 4 eggs with no sign of any hatching yet. Easter Monday 11.54.

    Belinda

    Like

  46. barbara deane says:

    Just seen the 14.53 changeover – still 4 eggs!

    Please can someone say when the babes are due???????

    Many thanks

    Like

    • Ron says:

      We’re now entering day 37 since the first egg was laid right after midnight on the 16th. Reportedly gestation is 29-33 days so the first chick is rather late, and the other 3 are now within the normal hatching range. I remain on pins & needles wondering when they’re going to finally appear, and worry that one or more eggs could be infertile.

      Like

      • angie says:

        the eggs dont start developing untill the 3rd or 4th egg is layed ..so if a clutch is layed over say 4 to 6 days then incubation doesnt start untill day 4 or 5 ..so anytime now..

        Like

    • Any day now so keep watching 🙂

      Like

  47. Daemyn says:

    I’m sure something was happening at 12:25pm today, 22nd April

    Like

  48. Julian says:

    Still 4 complete eggs on changeover at 1.12pm .

    Like

  49. Cas says:

    The bird currently sitting on the eggs is fidgeting about and keeps looking underneath itself at the eggs, so it looks like its sensing some activity. Today could be the day!

    Like

  50. barbara deane says:

    Have been watching her for the last hour – she is soooooooo fidgety and eating soooooooo many stones!!!!!!!! Has turned the eggs several times!!!

    I cannnnnnot bear it!!!!!!!

    Like

  51. barbara deane says:

    Have been taking quite a few screen shots over the weeks but only just found them!!!!!!!!!!

    Screenshot 2014-04-22 16.18.28.png (file://INSPIRON-PC/Users/Inspiron/Dropbox/Screenshots/Screenshot%202014-04-22%2016.18.28.png)

    Like

  52. Alison says:

    I thought that incubation did not start properly until all the eggs were laid. Egg 4 appeared on 23rd March so this is day 30. Reckon new arrivals by Friday at the latest. Can’t wait! I hope we get 4 safely hatched especially after sad news about Storm.

    Like

    • Ron says:

      I so hope you’re right. I’ve been counting since the first egg came. If you’re right there’s hope that the whole clutch may hatch this weekend. I am so ready.

      Like

  53. saranoid says:

    RIP Storm ;..(

    Like

  54. Julian says:

    At least 1 chick just seen at changeover 07.36 .

    Like

  55. 7.40am WEDNESDAY MORNING…..KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE NEST FOLKS…..IT LOOKS LIKE WE MIGHT HAVE 2 EGGS HATCHING AS I SPEAK….JUST WATCHED CHANGE OVER AND THERE APPEARS TO BE 2 CHICKS PART WAY OUT OF THEIR EGGS! HOPE I AM RIGHT AND NOT SEEING THINGS!

    Like

  56. Pat Ratcliffe says:

    She’s eating an egg shell so something must have happened!

    Like

  57. Dee Crabb says:

    just seen a chick break out ! and i’m sure there is another hatched already

    Like

  58. Sally Aycrigg-Tate says:

    Definitely a hatching!! 7.50 am

    Like

  59. There are at least 2 hatched so far…..

    Like

  60. Just had a good view of 1 chick and I’m pretty sure the second is toward the back of the box…..parent now eating the shell

    Like

  61. Michelle says:

    We have our first hatching – “Baby 1” is in-between the two visible eggs. And the left hand egg is showing a hatching “Baby 2”

    ^^^ Safe Link ^^^

    As it’s St George’s Day — I nominate one chick to be named “George”

    Like

  62. Cas says:

    One chick safely hatched and nestled under parent’s right wing. Not sure if there are any others hatched, but I have my eyes peeled! Won’t be getting anything else done today, that’s for sure.

    Like

  63. Peter Knight says:

    yes just seen two egg shells and definitely one chick,

    Like

  64. Julian says:

    3 chicks now at 12.40pm .

    Like

  65. Just had a fantastic close up view of 2 chicks, lovely fluffy little things,…..and I think a 3rd is hatching too!

    Like

  66. Ian B says:

    12:42 changeover, definitely 3 chicks! one looked like it had only just hatched and I think it was still sat in the bottom half of the egg shell

    Like

  67. barry havant says:

    just seen three chicks

    Like

  68. Its a trio of chicks!

    Like

  69. I’m always amazed at how soon chicks are fed after hatching….all 3 are certainly tucking in to their first meal!

    Like

  70. barbara deane says:

    Only just come online! Seen half an eggshell but not seen a chick YET!!!!!

    Like

  71. Nick says:

    Three chicks tucking in….

    Like

  72. Alison says:

    Missed it all as I have been running around all day. Thank you Michelle for the picture. Beautiful. Both cameras now seem to be pointed at the nest – is this deliberate? And yes – if one chick is a boy – definitely George, or Georgie as he is so dinky at present.

    Like

  73. Alison says:

    Seen 3 chicks now – feeding time at 5.20 pm and they look good. What do we reckon on the last egg – it’s looking a bit forlorn at present. Amazing that they can eat raw meat so soon after hatching!

    Like

  74. billybags says:

    It is 19-35 and I have just seen 2 chicks she is doing a lot of turning about. I am so excited

    Like

  75. Jeanette Greaves says:

    A screenshot of both parents in the nest, from this afternoon. The female had been brooding them, and the male returned, checked in, but didn’t take over brooding duties. The female stood up then sat down again. The male flew away shortly afterwards. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202762039083437&set=a.2304177175248.2120790.1573804998&type=1&stream_ref=10

    Like

  76. jpy says:

    5.20am 3 lovely chicks feeding

    Like

  77. Julian says:

    Brave Woodpigeon sat along ledge from male just now , male didn’t seem interested .

    Like

  78. 9.55am Feeding time again….but the 4th egg has still not hatched…hope it does but if not at least we have 3 healthy looking chicks

    Like

  79. Still just the 3 chicks, but mum very fidgety. Keeping my eyes peeled for number 4!

    Like

  80. Chris S says:

    Does anyone know why Mrs P spends so much time picking over the stones? Is she eating little bits of food debris?

    Like

  81. Julian says:

    Could’t see the 4th egg as nest was left a few mins ago , has it hatched or hidden under chicks huddled together ?

    Like

  82. barbara deane says:

    Hope that I have finally worked out how to make this work!!!!!! https://www.facebook.com/barbara.deane.33/media_set?set=a.876111989081383.1073741826.100000477695861&type=3&uploaded=1

    Obviously taken just a few seconds before Jeanette Greaves screenshot!

    Like

  83. barbara deane says:

    Well at least you can see the screenshot – twice ……..and me!!!!!!!!

    You have probably gathered by now that I am not very good at this game

    Like

  84. Julian says:

    Must have been hidden , can see it now .

    Like

  85. Christine H says:

    I think the first egg was laid on St Patrick’s day – 17th march so one should also be called Patrick ! Can see the last egg tucked under her wing just now and she is busy wtching a pesky fly

    Like

  86. Well there’s a novelty that nearly had me jumping put of my chair in fright…..I appear to have suddenly got sound on the nest webcam…I was on facebook when I heard a strange noise and was looking outside then realised what it was! Hope it does not disappear on me!
    I am worried about that lonely little egg though…

    Like

  87. barbara deane says:

    Home Alone!!!!!!!!

    Like

  88. barbara deane says:

    Nobody made any comment about my suggestion that one should be called Storm in memory of our lost one1

    Like

    • GillW says:

      I had a similar thought, but maybe a slight variation instead of a straight copy of the name, might be nice. After all, anyone who happens to have missed out on the sad news may not realise the difference (in time) if one of the new babies carried the same name.

      Like

  89. Karen says:

    suggestions so far Patrick, George and Storm, good choices.

    Like

    • Alison says:

      Liking the thinking but a bit of a problem if we have two girls. Will have to be Patricia and Georgina.

      Like

  90. Sarah says:

    what about thunder or something? similar to storm but not quite the same!

    Like

    • Sheena says:

      Ditto Sarah, I’m not too keen on calling another one Storm – you wouldn’t call two of your own children the same thing if one passed on so why do it with theses birds? Storm the 2nd is better than just Storm 🙂

      Like

  91. Michelle says:

    The fourth egg remains unhatched — I’ve just seen it — (I fear the worse) 😦

    Like

  92. chris morley says:

    cant think of ANYTHING natural that would cause bird to lose leg ?? more likely to be trap on baited post,there are still lots of folk who don’t like birds of prey,

    Like

  93. Fred says:

    Just seen her eating an Eggshell that looked fresh. Could be the 4th chick has arrived.

    Like

  94. Mr. P arrived a minute ago bearing a dead bird, only to take off again carrying it away after Mrs. P gave him a thorough ear-bashing! That’s the second time in two days I’ve seen the male arrive carrying potential food, only to cart it away again moments later leaving nothing for the missus or chicks. Odd…

    On another note, Mrs. P has been nibbling more eggshell this morning. No sign of ANY chicks in this downpour, so can’t be certain if chick number four has hatched yet or not. They’re all staying where it’s warm and dry under mum’s fluff.

    Like

  95. Just seen mum return to nest with food and now feeding the trio….sadly egg 4 is still there, the trio were using it to rest on…
    With regard to names, George/Georgina, Patrick/Patricia and maybe Andy/Andrea would all be good name with the 4th (if it hatches) being David/Davina…..but def not Storm as I don’t like reusing a name when its original recipient is no longer alive…you can’t expect another living thing to step into its shoes so to speak…let it have an identity of its own 🙂

    Like

    • barbara deane says:

      OK it was just a thought. I am not disappointed or anything, but thought that it could be a lasting memory (hopefully))

      Like

  96. In the meantime — I see that Nottingham are a few days ahead of our American Cousins — this webcam is on top of a prestigious building in Downtown Seattle, Washington.(USA).

    http://1201thirdtenants.com/falconcam.aspx

    Like

  97. geebee7 says:

    Have the babies been fed today?

    Like

    • Alison says:

      Yes – saw Mummy doing feeding duty when Daddy finally brought dead bird back to her, he kept flying off with it. Lots of demanding cheeps from hungry chicks and they all got a bit. Saw the funniest thing yesterday when one chick had flipped over onto its back and couldn’t get upright again – Dad flipped it back using just one talon then settled down firmly on his over excited offspring to stop it happening again.

      Like

    • Sally Aycrigg-Tate says:

      Yes, many times! Once the male was feeding a chick with a particularly large piece of meat when the male accidentally caught the chick’s beak and lifted the chick right up! it was so funny!

      Like

  98. billybags says:

    Sat 7-30 just seen the babies being fed and if i am not mistaken there are four of them. Shell is at the back. As normal there is one greedy one with his mouth open all the time.

    Like

  99. This from about 05:00 (GMT+1) 26 April

    Four Chicks – Number four is a tiny little guy compared to his siblings. But what was sad was that dad didn’t give the newborn so much as one nibble. He totally ignored him as he fed the larger chicks. The ‘runt’ may have a hard time catching up.

    Like

  100. Van Tran says:

    4 chicks feeding today!

    Like

  101. David Graham says:

    all four eggs now hatched, just seen them all getting a feed, great

    Like

  102. GillW says:

    I had a real problem finding this blog – please can we have a brand new one for this year’s babies, so that it is easier to find?
    I just got a screenshot of the four babies, but I can’t see how to post it here – can someone help please?

    Like

  103. Julian says:

    Now 4 chicks .

    Like

  104. s huckle says:

    4 chicks!

    Like

  105. Ellesse says:

    So sad to hear about Storm especially as I was one of the people who suggested the name. She put up such a courageous fight for survival when she was born, it does seem a shame. Like the others, I too hope that she didn’t suffer. Meanwhile, we have a new batch of chicks to watch and fret over. Let’s hope the weather is kinder this year.

    Like

  106. Jillian UK says:

    Very sorry to hear the news, we can only do so much to protect these wonderful birds. Good luck to this years 4 chicks.

    Like

  107. Rose says:

    Sorry to hear of the loss of Storm. Followed this amazing story and watched the Nottingham Web Cam here in America.

    Like

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