Today was the day for ringing the two chicks. The ringing was done by the Gloucestershire Raptor Monitoring Group, and peregrine expert Ed Drewitt.
When Ed first arrived, he looked at the female peregrine sitting comfortably on the tower and observed that this bird still had some of its juvenile plumage, meaning that it was only into its second year of age. This means that this can not be the same female as we had last year, in other words this is NOT Bella!
When the abseilers reached the tower roof, however, she flew off complaining loudly as she circled the tower.
When Tim had lowered himself to the level of the nesting tray, he put the two chicks (and the unhatched egg) in his bag...
... which he lowered to the roof.
With the chicks safely down, they were taken inside the tower where Ed had set up his table ready to process them.
The two chicks were laid out side by side on the table, and it was clear to see that the one on the left was indeed larger than the one one the right.
Firstly, some measurements were taken, including leg diameter and length, as well as that from the back of the head to the tip of the beak. After studying the vital statistics, Ed said that this indicated that the larger chick was a female, and the smaller one was male.
Then, each chick was given a ring on its leg, the female being "PAR" and the male "PBR"
After this, they were returned to the nesting tray, where Tim took their photo.
Within 15 minutes of them being left alone once more, the (new) female returned to the tower and sat on the tray, no longer showing any concern for her offspring.
The Tewkesbury Abbey Young Friends have been asked to choose the names of the chicks, so watch this space for their (official) names. We will also need a name for the new female!