Up and Away

Over the course of the last week the two juveniles have been becoming increasingly confident in their flights, ranging away from St George’s with regularity.  They have often been accompanied by one of the adults, part of their ongoing learning.

June 10 juv

Landing on the towers at the church is more and more accomplished (as above) and they are able to move around from one pinnacle or ledge to another quite comfortably.  A couple of evening ago one of the juvs landed on a ledge above the nest box and squawked repeatedly at the male, apparently wanting a feed, for which they’ll rely on the parent for a little while yet.

June 10 juv and male

The male was unmoved and the juv hopped/ flew across to get closer

June 10 juv jump June 10 juv and male 2

before continuing to call loudly, again with no result.  The female had already left the church after being pursued by the noisy juv and had been lost to view.  On changing my angle below the church I noticed a shadow projected on a distant wall that looked like a giant Peregrine.  A check with the bins confirmed that the female was indeed there.

Jun 10 shadow

So even when the parents (or juvs) aren’t in view on the webcams they are typically within a couple of hundred metres of the church and there are still opportunities for good views as they come and go.

June 10

As the juveniles continue to grow in confidence and hone their abilities they too will offer good viewing, as the photo below of one of them arriving shows.  Even in flight the buff-coloured underparts and vertical barring are quite obvious.

June 10 juv 2

I’d expect the young birds to remain in the vicinity of the church for another week or two, often accompanied by one or other of the parents as they perfect their flying techniques and begin to learn how to hunt.  They may continue to be seen from time to time on the webcams, but they’re also likely to be perched on other parts of the church.  Over the next few weeks they’ll gradually move further afield, but will probably stay around Sheffield into the autumn and perhaps beyond, before eventually seeking out their own territory when they are ready to breed.  The two juvs have made a secure start to life, unlike the two unhatched eggs, but the statistics suggest that they still have a less than 50% chance of surviving their first year, so fingers crossed for them.  For some further details of the Peregrine life cycle don’t forget to have a look at the material available on the ‘Peregrine FAQ’ tab at the top of the page.

And finally for now, I’ll leave you with this picture of one of the juvs on the church, captioned ‘The watcher watched’

June 10 juv watching

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6 comments

  1. Thank you for the wonderful photos and reports. I have been totally absorbed in the happenings this year. Eagerly looking forward to next year 😃

  2. Brilliant photography as usual !!!!!!!!!! So sad to see the chicks fly the nest rather like
    when the kids go to uni !! I know that I shall miss them. Anxiously waiting for next year
    ( if I am still around ?) I really have become quite fond of the little “terrors”. I expect the
    parent birds will breathe a sigh of relief though,they can now relax a bit !. Many thanks for sharing your experiences with a lonely old man.

  3. How can i tell which bird is which?? If there is just one on its own I can’t often tell if they are the parents or the juvs. Also, there seems to be one jug still very dependent on the parents for food and as i type she is on the edge of the nesting box, screaming her little lungs out. Is this normal? I am starting to feel quite worried for her.
    Thanks for any replies.

    1. The juvs have much more brown in their plumage, with blotchier streaks and generally a more “washed out” look. If you see the adults, the male is considerably smaller and if you get a good look is ringed. The juvs are very noisy and often cause concern as they call at this time of the year from the top of buildings, but it’s normal and nothing to worry about.

  4. A couple of points: firstly, great to see the adults and juveniles still visiting the nest box. It is always a lovely surprise to see one there; secondly – do we know if one of the Wakefield adult peregrines is from Sheffield? If so, more success and plaudits to the team.

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