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Old 19-06-12
PeterD PeterD is offline
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Peregrine 2012 Season - Part 4 17 June 2012

The conditions on Sunday were almost ideal. I stayed about 1 hour.

The chick that I thought was close to fledging in fact took its first flight on the 13th. Another chick took its first flight on the 16th but was still not confident enough to fly much and spent the day hunkered down at the cliff top,

beneath the vegetation. The third chick had not attempted to fly yet and remained in the nest site.

When I arrived, the adult female was feeding the chick on the nest site.
#1


It was still hungry after the adult left.
#2


About half an hour later, the adult flew over the crest of the cliff face clutching another pigeon.
#3


Immediately, the fully fledged chick flew up to meet it in the hope that it was its turn to be fed, calling out loudly to make itself be noticed.
#4


For the next 5 minutes or so, the two birds twisted and turned in flight. Very good practise for the young bird.
#5

(the juvenile)

#6

(the adult flying back to the top of the cliff face)

#7

(Another try for the pigeon)

Finally, the adult had decided the game was over and flew straight back to the chick at the nest site, leaving the juvenile to pass overhead.
#8


To give you some idea of the agility and speed of these birds, I include a short video I took.
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Old 19-06-12
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Re: Peregrine 2012 Season - Part 4 17 June 2012

Superb series of shots, Peter - many thanks for sharing!

Ian
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Old 19-06-12
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Re: Peregrine 2012 Season - Part 4 17 June 2012

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Superb series of shots, Peter - many thanks for sharing!

Ian
Thank you Ian,

I have not had much time to take photographs of late but hope I can get more time for it soon.
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Old 19-06-12
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Thumbs up Re: Peregrine 2012 Season - Part 4 17 June 2012

Wow! These are amazing pics and an excellent film.

I'm especially fascinated by the adult clutching the pigeon. Does a chick get to have the whole pigeon for itself or does the adult tear it up and share it amongst her chicks?

Pol
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Old 19-06-12
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Re: Peregrine 2012 Season - Part 4 17 June 2012

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Wow! These are amazing pics and an excellent film.

I'm especially fascinated by the adult clutching the pigeon. Does a chick get to have the whole pigeon for itself or does the adult tear it up and share it amongst her chicks?

Pol
Hi Pol, Thanks for your reply.

From my observations, the adult feeds each of the chicks whilst they are on the nest site (see image 1). When they have fledged, they are given complete birds individually. They rarely return to the nest site but have their own feeding areas.
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Old 19-06-12
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Re: Peregrine 2012 Season - Part 4 17 June 2012

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Hi Pol, Thanks for your reply.

From my observations, the adult feeds each of the chicks whilst they are on the nest site (see image 1). When they have fledged, they are given complete birds individually. They rarely return to the nest site but have their own feeding areas.
Peter,

We sometimes find evidence of a pigeon having been snatched from the back garden. It's not likely to be a cat, no blood, no evidence of much of a fight, just a scattering of mainly downy feathers in a area of the garden - no trail as if the bird had been dragged away.

I'm wondering if it there may be a Sparrowhawk snatching the occasional pigeon.

Is that likely? We sometimes spot a Sparrowhawk either in a tree overhanging our neighbour's garden, also seen one above our own garden. Once saw one perching in our Philadelphus too!


Pol
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Old 19-06-12
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Re: Peregrine 2012 Season - Part 4 17 June 2012

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Peter,

We sometimes find evidence of a pigeon having been snatched from the back garden. It's not likely to be a cat, no blood, no evidence of much of a fight, just a scattering of mainly downy feathers in a area of the garden - no trail as if the bird had been dragged away.

I'm wondering if it there may be a Sparrowhawk snatching the occasional pigeon.

Is that likely? We sometimes spot a Sparrowhawk either in a tree overhanging our neighbour's garden, also seen one above our own garden. Once saw one perching in our Philadelphus too!


Pol
Hi Pol,

Peregrine usually take their prey in the air, they are well equipped for that. If the predator taking your pigeons is a bird, it is very likely to be a Sparrowhawk. I have witnessed losing one to a Sparrowhawk in my garden last year. They seem to learn where birds are feeding (usually our garden bird feeders) and lie in wait. If left alone, they will kill and consume the bird where it was attacked. All that is left is a pile of feathers. I disturbed the Sparrowhawk when I witnessed the attack. It did not carry the pigeon with it when it flew up onto a nearby roof and watched,
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Re: Peregrine 2012 Season - Part 4 17 June 2012

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Originally Posted by PeterD View Post
Hi Pol,

Peregrine usually take their prey in the air, they are well equipped for that. If the predator taking your pigeons is a bird, it is very likely to be a Sparrowhawk. I have witnessed losing one to a Sparrowhawk in my garden last year. They seem to learn where birds are feeding (usually our garden bird feeders) and lie in wait. If left alone, they will kill and consume the bird where it was attacked. All that is left is a pile of feathers. I disturbed the Sparrowhawk when I witnessed the attack. It did not carry the pigeon with it when it flew up onto a nearby roof and watched,
Thanks for all that. It would seem very likely that it was a Sparrowhawk. The pile of feathers was (is) indeed near bird feeders.

We also have bats coming and going at night so perhaps the male is having some of those and the female (which is the one the most recent one we spotted) is helping herself to the occasional pigeon.

David also spotted a Magpie grab a pigeon egg a few days ago. There was a helluva lot of flapping and noise as they fought it out.

Pol
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