Fights, flight, and fatherhood: Here's the latest on Chichester cathedral's famous peregrine falcons

Chichester cathedral's famed peregrine falcons have had a busy few months, with a new male in the nest, three new chicks, and a battle against encroaching ravens.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 1:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 1:14 pm
The female, nicknamed 'Mrs M' and the new male with the chicks.
The female, nicknamed 'Mrs M' and the new male with the chicks.

David and Janet Shaw from Worthing, have been watching the peregrines at Chichester Cathedral since 2001 and after setting up a website dedicated to them, have been at the forefront of efforts to track and document the lives of the city's famous taloned tenants.

The latest developments include three new chicks, with one more on the way, the arrival of a new male in the nest, and even a fight for territory against ravens.

The first egg hatched on Thursday (May 6) with the other two joining the following night.

The peregrine falcons ahead of their four eggs hatching last week

Janet Shaw said: "They are doing very well and they are healthy - mum is doing most of the feeding. Dad is young and new and as a result is not very experienced at feeding chicks, while mum is very experienced."

The chicks are expected to fledge around June 18.

Prior to laying the four eggs, the peregrine couple gave their all to drive away ravens which had made the cathedral their home. Passersby may have heard squawks from the peregrines and seen a number of attempts to shoo the larger birds from an adjacent turret.

Janet said: "She and her partner tried very hard to get rid of the ravens before the eggs were laid. It really was a combined effort."

The ravens are believed to have taken refuge in a tree in the Bishop's Palace Gardens.

The male has struggled with feeding his young, but while being able to feed himself, he has also been bringing something for the female 'invariably', Janet said.

He takes the place of an older and more experienced peregrine, nick-named Maverick for his unique hunting style.

Maverick was last spotted on Christmas eve and is now the subject of a new book, written by David and Janet, titled 'The Legend of Maverick and His Family - Chichester Cathedral Peregrines'.

Janet added: "He was so wonderful and had such a chequered history."

You can find out more about the peregrine falcons by visiting https://www.chichesterperegrines.co.uk/You can also watch a live stream from the nest here.