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  • Writer's pictureChris

Ringing the Cromer Peregrine chicks

We were lucky enough with the government relaxation of Covid 19 restrictions and the British Trust for Ornithology allowing bird ringing in England to be able to ring the peregrine chicks on the top of Cromer Church. As always with ringing the welfare of the birds was paramount to us. Strict adherence to current social distancing and hygiene guidelines was also maintained at all times. We arrived at the Church just before 15.00 and met up with the ringer. The stream was turned off just after 3pm and we set off up the 172 steps to the top of the tower. When we got to the top and opened the door the falcon took flight and as expected circled the tower calling, the tiercel also joined in. This is usual behaviour for the peregrines when ringing takes place. The actual operation of ringing the chicks takes very little time, the birds are safely removed from the scrape. Each bird is weighed and 2 rings are added, 1 is a metal BTO ring and the second a bright orange darvic ring with black lettering. The first bird to be ringed weighed in at 556g and had the ring 47 placed on its leg. The second chick came in at 552g and was ringed with the number 48, these 2 birds are probably male. The third and final bird weighed in at 626g and now wears the ring 49, this bird is thought to be a female. The ringing took 12 minutes, we cleaned the camera lenses and were on our way down a few minutes later, the total time on top of the tower was less that 14 minutes. By the time we got down and outside the Church both adults had settled on the crockets on the tower, the female came in to feed the chicks at 17.46.

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