On Monday 24th May, licensed BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) ringers handled and ringed two of the chicks, both females. Each chick was given a unique metal ID ring (right leg) and an orange colour ring (left leg). The orange ring codes were P4N and P7N
They were then measured and weighed, coming in at 879g and 824g respectively. For 21 days old they were very well fed - we have been monitoring their prey which includes mostly starlings and feral pigeons.
Volunteers from the British Mountaineering Council helped access the nest and chicks. Sadly, despite the fact that the ringing was carried out at exactly the approved time in terms of the chick's age, and the climber carefully abseiling to the nest location slowly and carefully, one of the chicks (highly unusually) moved away from the nest tray and fell, sadly not surviving the fall.
Naturally such an event is taken very seriously and all procedures have been reviewed to ensure this is minimised at any future nests.
The lead ringer present on Monday is one of the most experienced Peregrine workers in the UK and has ringed 350 chicks in 14 years; this is the first casualty (0.3%) arising from such intervention. The good news is that next year our nest tray will be replaced with a much wider and deep nest tray which will be safer for the chicks.
The ringing of the chicks contributes to a wider study - we know that some chicks, especially males, from Gloucestershire stay local while others, especially females may move into the Midlands and further afield. The females head off further afield looking for males in new territories to avoid inbreeding. It will be interesting to know if these two chicks are re-sighted and if so where they end up.