Peregrine chicks get a check-up and leg rings at Chichester Cathedral

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Four peregrine chicks at Chichester Cathedral have now been ringed and identified as three males and a female.

The fluffy falcons were weighed, measured and given an all-round health check-up by Graham Roberts, an expert from the Sussex Ornithological Society, on Monday.

Peregrine chicks at Chichester Cathedral 24-05-2017

Peregrine chicks at Chichester Cathedral 24-05-2017

All four chicks are said to be doing well and the specialised rings on their legs will allow conservationists to monitor the rare birds once they leave the nest, giving insight into the species’ behaviour.

After a hefty climb to the nest 130ft up in the cathedral’s south east turret, checks revealed the chicks’ gender by comparing subtle differences in size.

Females are generally larger than males, with much bigger feet and this year’s ‘girl’ weighed 840g compared to the three male chicks at 675g, 650g and 635g.

Sara Humphrey, from the RSPB, said: “The birds are all fit and healthy.

“It’s great to see how involved people have been with their story, voting on the gender of the chicks on twitter and viewing them through our online webcam after visiting.

“It’s a really accessible way for people to get closer to nature.”

This year’s four follow a total of 58 chicks from the nest box in 16 years.

Observer nature expert Richard Williamson will be giving his update on the peregrines and answering questions via Facebook Live on the Chichester Observer Facebook page at 11am tomorrow (May 25).

Live HD footage of the nest is also available online via the cathedral website and in the cathedral grounds at a viewing area run by the RSPB.

Entry is through the Cloisters Café and is free of charge, and telescopes and binoculars are available for visitors to see the birds. The RSPB Date with Nature event runs until Sunday, July 2.

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