A peregrine falcon chick living on the spire of Norwich Cathedral has died.

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The Hawk and Owl Trust said the youngest of the three chicks passed away at some point overnight, although the cause is unknown at this stage.

Nigel Middleton, a conservation officer at the trust, said: “The chick hasn’t been right for several weeks. We knew that. It was the runt of the brood and it was the last one to hatch. It was three days younger than the other two.

“It never developed properly and yesterday it was more apparent that it was not developing at the right rate and something was quite wrong.”

The chick hatched on May 4. And Mr Middleton said the death showed people, who have been watching the progress of the falcons on a live webcam, what nature was like.

If an opportunity arises, the trust will be able to take the chick to a vet and find out its cause of death.

Mr Middleton said: “We can’t go up the spire at the moment and remove the carcass as the other two chicks have not fledged.

“They could do a pre-mature fledge and not really fully fly and get hurt. We have to sit back and let nature take its course.

“It shows people the reality of wildlife and nature. Had we not got the cameras there, no-one would have seen this and we would have been non the wiser.”

But Mr Middleton added better news could be on the horizon, even before the end of today, with the two older chicks getting ready to take their first flight.

He said: “It will be in the next few days. If one hasn’t gone by tonight I would be very surprised.

“We’ve done very well considering we had nil chicks last year and this year we’ve got two.”

10 comments

  • It's quote common in raptors for them to hatch three eggs but only rear two of the chicks successfully. In lean times for prey often only the oldest chick will survive.

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    Paul Radbourne

    Sunday, June 10, 2012

  • .....swifts swallows housemartins bats blue tits ducks turtle doves all dinner to peregrines. Dont look so jolly when you look at them from that perspective do they?

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, June 11, 2012

  • dear richard, i'm really sorry about the other falcon, i'm gutted that the third one died, ive been following them ever since they were born, i was really hoping that they'd all survive, thankyou for giving us this webcam, it's brilliant, lori ;-)

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    bailey gal

    Sunday, June 10, 2012

  • Oh Daisy, could not the increase in the number of seals off our coast thus eating more and more fish also be hopefully why not so many terns. Why would a falcon go for little birds when it can have one of many fat ones from Norwich market, plenty left.

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    Paul Platten

    Monday, June 11, 2012

  • I am truely grateful to everyone concerned that have and still are involved in us seeing the progress of the falcons via webcam EDP & EEN on-line, also updates and snippets from the Hawk and Owl Trust, a big thank you.

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    Paul Platten

    Monday, June 11, 2012

  • How many more doves from my area will be slaughtered by the cathedral-protected falcons? What will the cathedral protect next? Wolves? James

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    Jim

    Monday, June 11, 2012

  • The cold wet and wind cannot have helped. The Little Terns on the beaches are also having a tough time and now of course dimwit grockles and locals are letting their kids and dogs ramp through the cordoned off areas. Might be best if it stays cool! Beats me how the trust can make the assertion that they have not been around for 200 years-presumably they have access to bird watcher diaries. I also wonder if they might do better leaving the birds alone a bit more-there is only so much good that statistic gathering can do. They might do more good capturing pigeons from Yarmouth and releasing them in the vicinity of the cathedral so the peregrines dont wipe out all the starlings.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, June 11, 2012

  • how sad to see a chick die but so happy to see the other two strong this has been a wonderful experience to watch this all unfold via webcam and I look in several times a day to see what is going on its amazing the amount of public interest but to have falcons here after 200 years is brilliant even my seven year old grandsons know all about this from school well done the hawk and owl trust you have done a tremendous job keep up the good work.

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    Heather Lee

    Monday, June 11, 2012

  • Or the song thrushes . Or all the other little birds that raptors clear up as soon as their numbers rise.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, June 11, 2012

  • Is this really news? It's a bird. So what?

    Report this comment

    Scania

    Monday, June 11, 2012

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