Norwich Cathedral peregrines ‘two weeks from flying the nest’
- Credit: Archant
The Norwich Cathedral peregrine chicks may be just two weeks away from making their first flight.
Now four weeks old, the four chicks have grown into juvenile birds with feathers and are making their first attempts to feed themselves, according to the Hawk and Owl Trust, the charity which monitors their nesting platform.
Volunteer David Gittens said: 'It's no longer necessary for them to huddle together for warmth all the time and they are able to stand on the extended legs, more or less.
'Although still dependent on their parents for food of course, the chicks are starting to make the first attempts to feed themselves by pulling at the carcass that the parent is feeding them from.'
The birds now weigh up to 800 grams, with the female chicks noticeably larger than the male. They will continue to grow in size, but they will be no heavier when they make their first flight from the nest.
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Mr Gittens added: 'Needless to say, they should not be too heavy when they take to the air for the first time so development from now on will start to focus on their bones and feathers, with an increasing amount of time and energy spent exercising wing muscles.
'Food intake has already been reduced to around four good feeds per day and will reduce further as their first flight draws close. Incredibly, fledging is probably now little more than two weeks away.'
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Mr Gittens said now is a good time to visit the Cathedral's viewing point as, with at least one parent guarding the nest and the chicks peering out.
Watch the birds in the nest live at www.eveningnews24.co.uk/home/falcon-cam