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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Peregrines - 2014 a year in review

I can’t believe how fast 2014 has flown by, I can remember writing up the last review for the previous year, seems like yesterday.

For me and the pairs that I monitor it has been another good year, not so good nationally in some areas unfortunately but as per 2013 London did not fare so bad.

I monitor 11 pairs, 9 of these are monitored week in, week out with the 2 remaining pairs being looked after and monitored by others, in the case of Charing X Hospital, a publicised site, Nathalie looks after these from Fulham and Barnes Peregrines.

When I say looked after, they have to be ‘ managed ‘ as such due to the Schedule 1 Laws, the licence period for peregrines is February 1st until mid July minimum.

With climate change and London’s warmer temperatures laying times seem to be getting earlier and earlier, I can well see the Feb 1st licence date one day being reviewed.

The pairs above produced 25 juveniles, of these 6 grounded on their maiden flights, managed to get 5 back up but one was lost unfortunately.

More recently I have heard that one of the ringed juveniles (AT) has been found dead, unfortunately a possible victim of power lines or another pair of Peregrines. It was found 300 metres from a nesting site so suspect that it could have been chased.

An unfortunate end but many don’t get through their first winter sadly.

Sadly no longer with us - if anyone sees these coloured rings or any other colour on a Peregrine could you contact the BTO.

Highlights of the year have to be a ringed juvenile from another pair, leaving its own family of its own accord, and then attaching itself to another family, in this case the Battersea Power Station pair.

A remarkable series of events as it happened very early, the end of June, both adults accepted it at Battersea and as far as I am aware, the new juvenile, she was ringed, never went back to its own ‘blood’ parents.

As to the reason why it left who knows, who’s to say it’s not a by product of high density in London and adults will accept other juveniles without question?

It had ‘natural’ siblings of its own – 2 no, it left them and went with the 2 juveniles at Battersea, I last saw it in September, I often wonder where she is now.

Middle female is ringed bird - the 2 bigger females were inseparable after this

The 2 females

Ringed female flying

Another highlight was fostering another fledged juvenile with another pair, it was found concussed and taken to Sue at the South Essex Wildlife Hospital. I knew where it was found and I knew the pair involved, I also knew I would have the devil’s own time re - finding them. This pair, as soon as the juveniles are flying strongly enough leave the nest site and go a wandering for some reason; they also have a big territory.

Needless to say, after picking it up from the Hospital, they were not at the nest site building when I looked, I then made the decision to foster it with another pair. Without adults to teach them to hunt and feed them they will likely not survive if released on their own.


I released it with the new foster parents and they took it in straight away, it also had 4 juveniles for company which was great for it. The juveniles now numbered 5, to see 7 peregrines in the sky together as the juveniles loudly chased the adults for food was simply stunning, and at times amusing, it gave me a lot of satisfaction watching them.

This is the 2nd juvenile that I have released with another pair, I did the same the year before, in both cases I used the same Fosters.

All in all another good year, hopefully 2015 will match it.