Video: Norwich Cathedral peregrine chicks enjoy a bite to eat
- Credit: Submitted
The four peregrine falcon chicks which have hatched in the nesting box on Norwich Cathedral's spire are all doing well, according to volunteers.
The first chick began to appear at 10.49pm on Tuesday and was followed by another in the early hours of Wednesday. The third hatched at about 5.30pm on Wednesday. Just 27 hours after the hatching of the third egg, the fourth egg hatched.
David Gittins, a volunteer with the Hawk and Owl Trust said: 'They were being fed at 7am this morning and all looked well.'
He said the competition between the chicks for food had already begun. He said: 'That's a bit of a problem for the youngest chick who hatched almost two days after the first and is therefore that much smaller and weaker.
'Or at least it would be if food was in short supply as inevitably he/she would find it difficult to compete with its siblings for the attentions of the parent.
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'It's not a problem at the cathedral though, as you may have noticed when you have been to the Watch Point and seen parcels of high protein sustenance flying around masquerading as pigeons.
'All being well these chicks should grow at a remarkable rate and will gain several hundred grams in weight in just a few weeks.'
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He added: 'At the present stage of their development we have no idea of the sex of the chicks and we won't know the answer to that question for about three weeks when the chicks will be ringed.
'In fact, until they start to develop feathers and get colour markings it is near impossible to reliably tell them from other as individuals.'
The peregrines' first egg of the year was laid at 4.30pm on Thursday, March 21.
The birds, which have been nesting there for the past few years, were watched by more than a million people in 2012 via a live webcam and telescopes at the city landmark's 'peregrine watch point'.
The nesting platform was installed by conservation charity the Hawk and Owl Trust in February 2011 with volunteer help from Norwich firefighters during their time off.
There was also close consultation with the Cathedral Estates Manager and Cathedral Architect to ensure the fabric of the historic building was not damaged.
To watch the birds, go to www.hawkandowl.org or www.cathedral.org.uk
You can also view the webcam at www.edp24.co.uk/home/webcam/falcon-cam or www.eveningnews24.co.uk/home/falcon-cam