Peregrine chicks take to the skies

The three female chicks in the nest at Chichester Cathedral on Monday, June 10
The three female chicks in the nest at Chichester Cathedral on Monday, June 10

TWO of the three peregrine chicks nested at Chichester Cathedral have spread their wings and flown the nest for the first time.

The excitement began around 3.30pm on Monday, June 10, when one of the chicks half-jumped and half flew to the top of the nest box.

Another then followed her sister’s example and headed to the side of the turret.

RSPB staff based at Chichester Cathedral were thrilled with the progress, posting on their Facebook page: “Exciting day, two of the three eyases have now seen the outside world, thoughts are that the last girl will soon take her first short flight after watching her sisters.

“This is a good time to explain the next step. Soon the adults will start to try and encourage the eyases out of the nest by reducing the amount of food brought into the nest. This process will take some time but once the first true flights are taken food will be dropped further away to encourage longer flights, including live prey and then true hunting of prey begins. A great time to watch from the cathedral.”

The RSPB revealed on Thursday, May 24, there were three females in the nest. This is only the second time in the history of this famous peregrine nest site that all the chicks are the same sex. The last time this occurred was nearly a decade ago in 2004, and again was a brood of three females.

This year’s brood sees the total number of chicks raised at Chichester Cathedral to an amazing 45 with 21 male and 24 females, all of which have been ringed.

The RSPB will be based at the cathedral until July 12, offering people the rare chance to watch these birds at a close range without disturbing them. Thousands of people have visited the RSPB Date with Nature since the project started back in April.

Now the trio have started to fledge, the charity will move out onto the front lawn. Visitors will be able to view the chicks perfecting their flying technique with the use of telescopes and binoculars free of charge. Entrance to the cathedral and use of the viewing equipment are free of charge.

Live footage from the nest camera can be seen on our website

Online viewers can also read updates and see new photos and footage at the project’s Facebook page: facebook.com/chi.peregrines.