A New Prey Species for the Wakefield Peregrines

The webcam allows us to identify prey species which might otherwise go unobserved. On Sunday evening, Heather Gardner was watching the live images from the nestbox when the male brought in what she thought to be a swift. A look at the recorded video has confirmed this identification.

Male peregrine with a swift.

Male peregrine with a swift.

This brings the prey species count for the Wakefield peregrines to 20 but this number must rise as we see more footage from the camera.


17 thoughts on “A New Prey Species for the Wakefield Peregrines

  1. Absolutely amazing to see what goes on with nature close up.cant wait to see them in full feather

  2. They will get to Pugneys in no time at all after taking off from the top of the spire. We expect that they range much further than that but we can’t track them.

  3. I often wonder where the mother and father sleep at night, I always look at the chicks to see if their huddled up before dark and have not seen the mother, also are they in danger of falling out of the nest now they are a bit older

    • Hi Julie

      The parent birds simply roost on the spire at night. They sit on the crockets (those spiky bits of stone that adorn the edges of the spire). It’s quite easy to see them by the glow of the streetlights.

      I think natural instinct will prevent the young ones from falling out of the box before they’re ready to fledge but I guess it wouldn’t be too unusual if one did fall, it seems to happen with other birds occasionally. It’s a long way down so it would be the end of anyone going overboard!

    • Very interesting James, someone else thought they saw a bat earlier on in the week. We are going to look at the footage later this evening when our main man returns from a break in sunny Wales. If it is a bat, it’s going to be some of the first ever recorded footage of peregrine bringing in a bat. Other peregrine webcams have mentioned this but they only live stream. As well as live streaming, we also send the footage to a DVR so we can simply scroll back through and check any exciting things like this. We’ll add something here when we find out

  4. Whats happened to the other chicks? Today there has only been one in the box, the poor thing dose’nt seem to have eaten all day.

    • I had a report that one of the males flew from the cathedral to the rooftops above the Pound Bakery, on the southern side of the precinct. Since then, I have had no other information about the males and I am not able to travel into Wakefield to have a look for myself this evening. The young female has spent the day in the box and at least one person has seen food being taken to her – a greenfinch. I would not worry about feeding. The adults will be well aware of where the youngsters are and they will continue to feed them for a week or two. There are, however, some hazards for newly hatched youngsters. Finding themselves down at street level would be a problem and the present rain could make take-off tricky for inexperienced birds. Young birds can also become entangled in anti-pigeon netting, they can find themselves in locations from which take-off is difficult and they can have collisions with buildings. It would be good, therefore, to get some information as soon as possible. I would expect the youngsters to try to return to the box for the night but the wet weather might make it difficult for them to do this. We just have to wait and see.

  5. Thanks for your reply francis. Hope they survive. I have watched them constantly since birth. Would be such a shame for any harm to them.
    Thanks julie

    • Julie, a very nice picture of 6Z has been posted on Twitter. Even if you aren’t a Twitter follower, you should try to have a look at it on the @WfldPeregrines account. Since the previous message, 3Z has visited the box, so we just need new of 5Z now. A long peregrine watch tomorrow will give us a clear view of what is going on. Thanks for your interest!

  6. Thanks again francis. Im not on social media but do follow all the news/comments on the Wakefieldnaturalst website. Its good to know there ok, there just seems one not accounted for but hope its ok.
    Thanks Julie

  7. Hi,
    Can you tell me if the young ones have all been spotted since leaving the nest?
    I know one was rescued at the weekend and the others were spotted locally but just wondered if any sightings today?
    Regards julie

    • I went into Wakefield on Sunday evening and I located three of the four juveniles. One was the female (4Z). She was on the roof of the Cathedral Centre, next to The Raven pub, where she had been earlier in the day. We haven’t had a sighting of her since then, so we must assume that she has managed to fly up to a higher level. The bird that I rescued from the precinct on Saturday (3Z) had been placed on the west side of the tower. I did this to avoid going near the nestbox, on the east side, and startling any other youngsters and causing them to jump from the wall in a hurry. On Sunday evening, I found 3Z on the west wall, hopping across the gaps in the wall and looking quite well. Concern had been expressed, by a member of the public about one wing but this appears to be functioning normally. The movement of the bird looked symmetrical as it flapped to cross the gaps. I noticed that 3Z had a bulging crop, so it had been fed recently. Another male, 5Z or 6Z, was perching on the pinnacles at the corner of the tower. It took off and flew around the tower and attempted to land high on the spire. It messed up the landing but regained control and landed on a pinnacle. It later flew a second circuit. So, that visit accounted for three of the juveniles.

      A visit by one person today resulted in only one juvenile being located. However, we have had no reports of birds being found in difficulties, so we should assume that they are managing to move around and have found places to roost. The juveniles tend to choose places that would not be used by the adults, so they can be hard to locate. Unfortunately, work prevents me spending much time in Wakefield during the week looking for the youngsters. However, I might make an early-morning visit (5 a.m.) one day as this is a good time to see what is happening. The birds tend to feed very early and this will bring the young out of hiding.

  8. Hi.
    It’s absolutely devastating news about the female chick. Has she been discovered dead? And if so do you know how this happened? It is so sad after all this time following them and hoping they will grow into adults. I know she had landed in the precint and was unable to gain height on a few occasions but didn’t expect her to die.


    • Julie,

      4Z was rescued from the precinct only once. On Thursday evening, she was on the tower with two of her siblings, so something must have happened late on Thursday or during Friday. I haven’t seen the remains yet but there are some injuries, I’m told. I expect death to have been caused by a collision of some sort. I don’t expect the death to have been related to her earlier rescue, it’s simply a fact that young birds have accidents.

      Deaths are sad but they are to be expected. The birds produce 3 or 4 chicks each year but need only two to survive to adulthood to replace themselves. This means that a significant number must die or fail to find a suitable territory for themselves. We hope there won’t be more deaths but the youngsters have some challenges ahead during their first year. On the positive side, the darvic rings mean that we may well get some interesting news at some time in the future, but we won’t be able to predict when this might happen.

      Best wishes

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