Peregrine dad excelling as a single parent as mum leaves Norwich

Peregrine female feeding the four chicks on May 4

Peregrine female feeding the four chicks on May 4 - Credit: Archant

Working tirelessly to keep his daughters fed, the male peregrine at Norwich Cathedral is ensuring they flourish in the absence of the mother.

Male peregrine feeding the chicks on May 24

Male peregrine feeding the chicks on May 24 - Credit: Archant

Uncertainty began last week when an intruding female from Bath seemed to chase away the chick's mother, who has not been seen in over a week.

A spokesman for the Hawk and Owl Trust: 'Our four amazing peregrine chicks seem to be doing incredibly well and growing at a fast pace, being fed regularly by dad every day. From our observations, the Norwich female has not been seen since May 15 and as such we can conclude that she is no longer in the Norwich area.

'Despite the lack of presence from the female, the chicks' current development does not seem to be affected. Our male is doing a fantastic job of looking after them all.'

The team have been researching behaviour patterns seen since a intruder, named GA, arrived last week.


You may also want to watch:


'GA's regular visits to Norwich over the past year suggests that she may be struggling to find a territory and/or mate of her own and is intruding into another territory to achieve this,' said the spokesman. 'She has moved east into an area of the UK, where there may be less suitable breeding sites compared to the more abundant natural breeding cliffs available in traditional areas in the west and north of the country.

'It is possible that this could be a common scenario in the peregrine world. It is only because the intruder can be identified by its colour ring and there is a Webcam viewing them, alongside a regular watchpoint to record all this that we know what is going on.

Most Read

'This highlights the need to continue research and use new technologies to better understand raptor behaviour. The Peregrine is one of the most well-studied raptor species but this example shows that our knowledge of this species is still limited and needs further work into the future. Whilst it may be uncomfortable viewing for some, a policy of non-intervention is essential to understand this behaviour and its possible outcomes.

'Caution should also be exercised in regard to anthropomorphising this behaviour. Interpreting animal behaviour in the context of human behaviour can lead to misunderstanding why species behave in the way they do. All species are in a constant struggle for survival and have a strong need to pass on their genes to the next generation. This creates competition between and within species and is essentially what we are witnessing at Norwich Cathedral.'

Following DNA testing on Monday, which did not cause the female to desert the nest, it was revealed the four chicks are in fact all female, after it was suspected the smaller had been male.

The Trust have also released their ringing numbers, YY, 41, 42 and 43, as they hope to track their progress once they fly the nest.

'The Hawk and Owl Trust are all deeply saddened by the disappearance of our resident female, which has been about since 2012,' they added. 'However we must now take this opportunity to observe the peregrine, and learn together about what happens as the story unfolds.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter