Peregrine Chicks at St Johns Ringed by Expert Team!

Ringing 'GA': Ed Drewitt (extreme right) and Luke Sutton prepare to ring GA (large female) while Andy Gray (HOT – extreme left) and Colin Morris (HOT Bath Group member) examine the recovered eggs.  Andy was responsible for the design, manufacture and installation of the nest box. (Photo: Hamish Smith)
Ringing ‘GA’: Ed Drewitt (extreme right) and Luke Sutton prepare to ring GA (large female) while Andy Gray (HOT – extreme left) and Colin Morris (HOT Bath Group member) examine the recovered eggs. Andy was responsible for the design, manufacture and installation of the nest box. (Photo: Hamish Smith)

On Tuesday 28 May two healthy peregrine chicks were ringed at St John’s church in Bath by British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) trainee bird leg ringers Luke Sutton (Hawk and Owl Trust(HOT) member and South West Peregrines Group member)and Hamish Smith (Hawk and Owl Trust, and Hawk Conservancy Trust member and volunteer), in the presence of representatives of the church and of the Hawk and Owl Trust Bath Group.

GB Portrait: Hamish holding GB. A healthy sized and calm male. (Photo: Ed Drewitt)”
GB Portrait: Hamish holding GB. A healthy sized and calm male. (Photo: Ed Drewitt)”

The ringing was conducted under the guidance of their ringing trainer, Ed Drewitt. As well as receiving their BTO ‘jewellery’, the chicks were colour ringed with blue rings from the set Ed is using for his peregrine monitoring project.

Hamish monitors the HOT nest box at St John’s, and Luke, whose area of interest covers Devon and North Cornwall, is conducting a HOT funded peregrine research project in parallel with his environmental degree studies.

Ringing'GB' : Hamish conducts post ringing measurements of GB (healthy sized but smaller male) under the guidance of Ed and the watchful eye of Colin Morris (HOT Bath Group member). (Photo: Judi Smith)
Ringing’GB’ : Hamish conducts post ringing measurements of GB (healthy sized but smaller male) under the guidance of Ed and the watchful eye of Colin Morris (HOT Bath Group member). (Photo: Judi Smith)

As Ed is approved by the BTO to do so, the opportunity was also taken to recover two unhatched eggs for forensic analysis.

Peregrines were first observed regularly at Bath from around 2000. After three years of peregrine residence without any indication of successful breeding the Hawk and Owl Trust built a nest platform. It was installed on the spire of St John’s RC Church in 2005 and the birds first bred successfully the following season, in 2006. They have hatched young every season since.

The large female chick is now referred to as GA, which relates to the letters on the ring that she has been given and the smaller male is called GB.

GA Portrait: Luke holding GA. She is a big girl, and feisty into the bargain! (Photo: Ed Drewitt)
GA Portrait: Luke holding GA. She is a big girl, and feisty into the bargain! (Photo: Ed Drewitt)

2 Responses to Peregrine Chicks at St Johns Ringed by Expert Team!

  1. You can just see the tail feathers starting to grow on GA, amazing that in four weeks time she will have grown most of her feathers, will be heavier than her mother and will fly from the nest box.

  2. Nice article and great pics. They give a good impression of their size, although the word ‘chick’ seems almost inappropriate, for ‘GA’ at least. Look at the size of those feet – and talons!

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