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After catching the end of the Norwich Cathedral Peregrine Falcon season last year and seeing the last 2 fledglings of 4 fledge, (before unfortunately all dying), I have been visiting the site since March this year to see the full story unfold. On my first visit this year it was all action, the new female Falcon, GA, (so called because of her leg ring number) had just laid one egg and was fussing about on the Platform. The male (Norm!), or Tiercel, from the latin so called as they are a third smaller than the female, was
busy keeping a juvenile intruder at bay and stooping on it repeatably until eventually went. After all the excitement I witnessed the pair mating, and over the next few days 4 eggs were laid.
Since then I have been on many other occasions as they have brooded the eggs until 3 hatched as one egg cracked and failed, then one died almost immediately, before GA accidentally hooked one as she flew off and it fell to its death, leaving one remaining. This last chick was christened ‘Solo’ by the Facebook group on the Norwich Peregrines started by local Peregrine enthusiast Chris Skipper, and luckily this has survived to fledging in the middle of June. There have been many trials and tribulations along the
way, but now Solo has fledged it is staying around the Cathedral as it learns to feed itself and pluck food, do food passes with the adults and eventually it will learn to hunt its own food.
In the early days of fledging the adult birds would fly past Solo with food to temp her to fly, amongst a lot of screeching from the youngster!
The juveniles have a brown and beige plumage with vertical breast stripes as opposed the the black and white adults, and will keep this plumage for about a year. There have been many local photographers meeting sporadically at the Cathedral from the early hours of the morning onwards over the last few months which has made each visit enjoyable with the chat between Peregrine action, and the Hawk and Owl trust have ran a watchpoint for the public to view the action through scopes and on their web page via the webcam on the platform.
The falcons will stay around the Cathedral all year, with the young one eventually being kicked off by the parents once it has got its life skills sorted and allowing them to prepare for the next round of young next year, it has been a pleasure observing the behaviour of these top predators and I look forward to much more!