A quick post to report that all is well after a turbulent weekend. Following the maiden ‘flight’ on Friday 3rd, and the subsequent rescue of the juvenile, a visit on Saturday morning found another of the young birds on the ground in the churchyard. This time, members of the University’s Estates and Security teams had responded and had captured it by the time I arrived. Great job guys!
Safe in its sack, I helped Lee return it to the top of the church, where we released it inside the wall without venturing out onto the roof, so as not to disturb the young bird that was resting on top of the nestbox, although the female again went bananas. By the time we got back down, two juveniles could be seen from below, with the third suspected still to be out of sight behind the wall around the top of the church tower where we’d left it – at least that’s what the female’s line of sight seemed to suggest.
A second visit in the evening confirmed that all three juveniles were indeed on the church, and signs that the female was trying to coax them into flight using food. She brought in a feral pigeon and landed on the webcam housing, where she plucked it before flying off without feeding the young birds in the nestbox, producing much noisy complaint!
However, one of the juveniles seems quite an accomplished flier already and had landed on top of one of the turrets with minimal fuss.
As the female flew off with the prey, it followed and chased her around near the church before she headed off to a nearby University building, where she was joined by the more confident of the juveniles. After allowing the prey to be taken, the female stood by as the juvenile enjoyed a good feed.
A more detailed post will follow, but this evening (Sunday) the three juveniles were back on St George’s, and hopefully the worst of the nervy few days of first flights is now behind us.