12 May 2014

Peregrines

Nineteenth century St George's Church in the centre of Sheffield no longer functions as a church. Several years ago it was purchased by the University of Sheffield and now operates as a lecture theatre. High on its tower a bird study group established a nesting box for peregrine falcons and in March a clutch of eggs were successfully laid there.
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The eggs are now hatched and four hungry, fluffy chicks are being fed by the parents. The chicks are growing rapidly and adult plumage is beginning to appear. The bird study group attached a camera to the nest so that visitors can observe what is happening in the nestbox in real time. Yesterday, I watched the mother bring a feral pigeon back to the nest and she expertly picked this carcass apart as she fed pieces of meat to her chicks. Today the chicks seem to have migrated to the right of the nestbox - in its blindspot - which is a bit frustrating. But I am sure they'll be back in the middle section before too long.Why not check out the nestbox yourself? Go here. Then click on the picture in the right-hand margin to go to the live webcam.

14 comments:

  1. Very cool ~ I love webcams from around the world.

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  2. Thanks for this the quality is superb.

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  3. 1.45pm Monday. Because of a chilly wind the chicks are currently nestled to the right of the nestbox - hidden from view some of the time. Maybe next year the bird group will install two cameras!

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  4. 2.15pm Monday. The mother returns to the nestbox with the remains of a fat feral pigeon. All four chicks come into view to claim their meaty tidbits. There's a lot of pushing and shoving and no sign of "thank you" or "please"!

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  5. At least the church is used ( by academics AND birds)...probably busier than it ever has been

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    1. Some academics are birds these days John. Ask Chris. I'm sure that there are several clever birds at Bangor.

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  6. This is most likely the only chance most of us will ever have to get so close to a nest of peregrine falcons (or any other bird of similar size and distribution). I don't blame the little ones to hide in the blind spot - would you want a camera looking at you 24/7?

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    1. I doubt that the camera operator would want to follow me to the lavatory!

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  7. This explains something. When we were over in Sheffield last week, two of the boys said that they'd seen a Peregrine flying. I just assumed that they must have been mistaken and was rather dismissive, I'm sad to say - although we have noticed birds of prey coming further and further into urban areas in recent years. I'm wondering now if it was the mum they saw. Thank you, YP.

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    1. I hope your boys have not been psychologically damaged by their mother's dismissiveness. I remember when my own mother wouldn't believe I had seen a unicorn near the canal. My well-being was scarred forever.

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    2. That explains a lot! x

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  8. Great to see the lovely old church put to good use and great news about to falcons. There seems to be a lot of them coming back due to good management of conservation groups.
    Don't really like to see churches turned into houses.

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    1. No I bet you don't like to see them turned into houses because you'd like to see them all turned into Italian restaurants! Or in Tony's case - pizza places!

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  9. Well by the time I'd read this and followed your leads that was another half hour of my life accounted for.

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