Healthy city centre peregrine chicks successfully ringed

Nottingham Trent University

After the failure of the nest last year, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has spoken of its delight that a clutch of peregrine chicks nesting high on Nottingham Trent University’s Newton Building have been successfully ringed.

No chicks hatched last year and it was feared that the female would die after becoming egg-bound but the pair have returned to form hatching three healthy chicks.

Yesterday Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust coordinated a team of expert bird ringers and staff from the University provided the team with safe access to the ledge.

One of three peregrine falcon chicks ringed

Nottingham Trent University

Speaking about the activity Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Head of Communications Erin McDaid said: “Working for the Wildlife Trust sometimes provides staff and volunteers with amazing opportunities to see wildlife at close quarters. Yesterday our communications team had the privilege of getting up close and personal with the three peregrine chicks that are thriving on top of Nottingham Trent University’s Newton Building along with thousands of others we have enjoyed watching the birds via the webcams but to see the birds so close was amazing and we’re delighted they are all doing so well.”

With smaller species such as songbirds, unique numbered rings can be applied to adult birds caught using harmless nets. The records of recaptured birds help researchers build up a picture of bird populations and provide details of where birds travel and how long they live. With birds of prey such as peregrines that are not routinely caught as part of ringing programmes due to the risk of injury to the birds, rings are generally only applied to chicks in the nest – helping protect the birds from being passed off as captive bred birds by unscrupulous dealers. The rings also providing a means of identifying the birds should they ever be rescued after becoming sick or injured or be recovered dead in the future.

Whilst carrying out the ringing, the experts also assessed the birds’ health and their likely sex. This year we it is believed that the nest contains two males and one female chick. All seemed in very good heatlh. 

Speaking about the ringing, Nottingham Trent University’s Sustainable Development Projects Officer, Ellie Lewis, said:

“Peregrines are fierce predators, yet elegant and graceful. The access that the University is able to provide for ringing the chicks is really useful in terms of future monitoring.”

Mr McDaid added: “Whilst the nest site is very secure, giving the birds protection from persecution and egg theft, the access that the University is able to provide for us to ring the chicks provides the opportunity for gathering useful information in the future and a little extra protection from the birds ever being captured and passed off as being captive bred.”