All four peregrine chicks have now hatched in the nesting box at the base of the Cathedral tower. Footage captured on the Cathedral’s webcam shows three of the chicks being fed by their mother just before the final egg hatched - see below.
This is only the second time since 1953 that the Salisbury Cathedral peregrines have successfully hatched. Last year three peregrine offspring were successfully hatched and fledged. The Cathedral team and RSPB have high hopes for this latest clutch.
Philip Sheldrake, Conservation Officer at the RSPB said: “It is fantastic that we have successfully hatched all four eggs. It is not uncommon for the full clutch not to hatch so we were on tenterhooks! If the final egg hadn't hatched within 24 hours of the others we would have been lucky to get a fourth chick."
The footage recorded by the Cathedral’s camera clearly shows the mother peregrine hiding the remains of a duck carcass that she has been feeding to her young. This is common behavior according to Phil Sheldrake: “After feeding her newly hatched chicks we also observed the female ‘caching’ the rest of the uneaten carcass away from the nest box. This is something we witness amongst many birds and other animals; they are simply hiding the remains for consumption later.”
Said Gary Price, Clerk of the Works: “It great relief that the eggs have hatched and amazing that we now have four chicks. It’s always an anxious time waiting. The next landmark will be ringing the chicks when they are 2 ½ weeks old. We are looking forward to that.”
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