Latest Update from the Norwich Cathedral Peregrines – Sadly Chick 43 Found Dead

Latest update on Peregrine Falcon chick 43 at Norwich Cathedral – Friday 10 June

It is with regret that at 5.30pm on the evening of Thursday 9th June, we at the Hawk and Owl Trust were informed by the cathedral authorities that a dead peregrine chick had been found in the cathedral grounds. On investigation we are sad to confirm that it was Peregrine chick 43 who had fledged earlier that day. When chick 43 fledged on the morning of the 9th, she ended up landing on the wall of the Deanery in the Cathedral Close, but being that low to the ground and unable to make her way back up to the nest box, Nigel Middleton from the Hawk and Owl Trust intervened by taking the chick back up to the roof of the bell tower and the base of the spire. At that height she was more likely to be fed by the male than nearer ground level. When she was returned to the tower by Nigel, she received a brief health check and was found to be in perfect condition. She had been well fed in the nest and was a strong chick with condition perfect feathers.
Within a short while after being returned to the bell tower, she was seen to be harassed by the now dominant female (GA) who would have taken her to be an intruding peregrine. Once chick 43 had left the safety of the nesting platform, GA would no longer see them as fledglings and would have felt threatened in what she now preserves as her territory in the absence of our missing female. Chick 43 has now been sent to have a post mortem so that we can establish the exact cause of her death. With our future fledglings, the Hawk and Owl Trust stands by the policy that in the event of an injury to any of the remaining chicks, the Trust will intervene, working with a local bird of prey rehabilitation group, to assist and treat them, however if any of the chicks were to die as part of an accident then sadly that is nature.

We will be posting further press releases and information over the coming days as our remaining chicks fledge the nest.  Thank you

A great photo of chick 43 taken by Kevin Fulcher, on Thursday 9th June after she flew the nest.
A great photo of chick 43 taken by Kevin Fulcher, on Thursday 9th June after she flew the nest.

24 Responses to Latest Update from the Norwich Cathedral Peregrines – Sadly Chick 43 Found Dead

  1. Ihave so much enjoyed watching over the past few weeks and grown very fond of the chicks. Very sad news at the end. Hope that the 2 remaining chicks thrive and do well when released

  2. The lack of news of chicks 2 & 3 and a response to the overturning of the stated non intervention policy seems to be missing.

  3. It was reported that the mother was in an aeriel tussle with a red kite shortly before her disappearance. It is feasible therefore that she was injured during this encounter and has possibly died.

    • I know there are red kites on the west side of Norwich but surly a peregrine can easily out-fly a kite.
      This is the first I have read regarding this possibility.
      The cathedral is in the eastern part of the city.

  4. To the question “why can’t they take her back to Bath” – it’s because she’s got wings. She presumably wants the territory in Norwich, so she would return.

    Surely no-one’s suggesting she could be kept in a cage for her natural life? Just for being a peregrine?

  5. Today – 13th 11.30 in Spain and I only see one lonely bird in the box.
    I think it is so very sad that so many of us have watched these beautiful creatures for hours. Yes it has been interesting and informative and we were told to expect only 50% survival. But this was not expected so soon and from a predator that could have been got rid of to a sanctuary perhaps.
    There has been intervention all the way – so why did you stop when it was really needed?

  6. Re the non-intervention debate – it does seem odd that we build a nest box, tag the chicks and administer medicine but when a serious threat arrives to the young birds we don’t get involved. Where is the line drawn?

  7. Non intervention . And that’s what it means . On a cliff face on the coast they would all perish so if they all perish on a man made nest site what is the difference . NON INTERVENTION

  8. If the now dominant female GA has harassed and possibly attacked and killed chick 43 what is to stop her from taking the remaining chicks?
    You intervene when they are sick, why can’t you relocate them or her.
    Is this a question of one down three to go ?
    The male has managed to raise the four chicks by himself it would be a terrible shame if you let this happen.

  9. Please save the others from her. I agree that there must be a way of taking her back to Bath.
    We are praying nothing happens to the other precious little ones!


  10. I do fear the worst for YY, 41 and 42 with GA around. I know there isn’t much that can be done, now a second has been knocked out of the nest I fear the worst for her too. I hope for good news in the morning. Hearing that 43 didn’the make it was sad after what they have gone through already.
    Hopefully the other two stay put for a while and hopefully Dad can protect them.

  11. Please can you help the other 3 chicks,as I think she will kill them too, surely you can not just let them die after all the hard work their dad has put in.Such a shame so many people have been watching this nest,I can not bear to watch any more.I understand it’s nature but surely when you are watching this you can not just ignore it.

  12. I can’t believe that one of the chicks is dead. I have been logging in every day, and watching with delight. What a privilege it is to see these wonderful creatures so close up. I am so sad. Please do not let the other three end up the same. They are so beautiful, and need to be preserved.

  13. What I don’t understand here is, approx 10-15 days ago, there was a ‘press release/blog” saying no interference if the chicks are still being fed. This chick, the only one doing regular wing exercises for a few days, leaves on maiden flight. You take it back to the nest where it gets killed by a non-surrogate mother. The ‘difficulties’ it was in are not described, but I assume some one made the decision that it left the nest too soon, so they would give it another chance. You have a warning on your site about not interfering with peregrine nests. To me this is what has just happened.

  14. GA is being a problem all round. Firstly she drives off the mother of the chicks, then when one is in difficulty and is taken back up the bell tower she gets up to more mischief. Is there not any possible way of taking her back to Bath where she was raised.

    • I am upset and furious that this GA Bitch Bird from Bath has been able to devastate what started out to be our Peregrine family in Norwich.
      I have been watching from abroad since leaving Norwich in May and what was a daily pleasure has turned into a nightmare. Surely GA can be caught and taken back to Bath, or held until the remaining chicks are safe. Also I’d like to know what happened to the mother GA got rid of. Did she kill her?

      • I would also like to know the fate of the mother. Nothing has been mentioned since she disappeared.

  15. I think the Trust has stood by and allowed this to happen. How can you say its nature when we ourselves live in a completely unnatural world. This has been a sensless death that could have been prevented had the Trust intervined earlier. The other female will end up killing all the chicks. Very Sad and really dont understand the sense in letting them all die.

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