Bath Urban Peregrines Project 2014 – Update 05

End of March 2014

Well, here we are; breeding season is upon us already.

Cameras: with the exception of internet connectivity the St John’s nest box camera system is up and running, recording the day to day existence of a mature breeding pair of urban peregrine falcons ‘at home’.

Rumours dispelled: beyond conducting a DNA test, we are confident that the 2014 breeding falcon is the same one that’s been at St John’s throughout.

Upgrades and peregrine sensitivity: with the exception of one minor double take on the part of the tiercel when he first saw the interior box camera, there have been no negative effects on the birds’ behaviour due to the upgrades.

Tiercel jumping onto the patio perch before exiting the next box
Tiercel jumping onto the patio perch before exiting the next box

For the past three days the tiercel, through 21 visits to the nest box has removed debris, examined the entire inside of the box from top to bottom, taken a liking to one particular feather which he has moved around the box (currently back right as you view), picked up pebbles and relocated them, and constructed no less than ten different scrapes. He has spent hours sitting on the patio perch calling to the falcon which on occasion has swept past but never landed.

Mid-afternoon on 25 March she swept majestically into the box and having already done the scraping, the tiercel went into his best bowing posture.

The falcon has landed
The falcon has landed

They then exchanged pleasantries cheek to cheek before jointly pointing with their beaks to the current scrape, and presumably debating its merits. The tiercel left and the falcon proceeded to examine the box and create a completely new scrape of her own. After about an hour she settled down comfortably on the patio perch to watch the wildlife buffet of Bath go by. Thank heavens for the fast-forward function in the iCatcher software system.

As I said in my mid-March post (update 04), watch this space…….

Hamish Smith
Bath Peregrine Project Coordinator
HOT Bath and West Wilts Group