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Peregrine Nest Camera | Watching The Chicks Grow
The peregrine chicks have now fledged! These clips are taken directly from live cameras inside their nest at an industrial chemical plant in Hull. A wireless internet signal relays the footage 50 miles from their nest to my remote gallery in Thixendale. Read on for the highlights and scroll down to see the paintings inspired by this fascinating falcon family.
Keep checking in to this blog post for new clips from the nest.
The Final Chapter: Fledging
Peregrine chick’s first flights
All four peregrine chicks took their first flights at exactly 42 days old, which was right on cue since the text books estimate that a peregrine chick will fledge between 42-46 days after hatching. Fledging Day is always very exciting and it can happen quickly. Just before I set off on the 50 mile journey to Salt End to film this special moment, one of the chicks fledged. Two more flew the nest as I was en route and so when I arrived there was only one chick left.
Click to play video
It was a very windy day and I was a bit worried about how the chicks would cope, but we could see the three fledglings perched at different points around the site having safely manoeuvred the strong gusts during their first short flights. The final chick continued to flap its wings energetically. Chicks do this to strengthen their chest muscles, ready for flight. Watch the clip above to see how this project has inspired my artwork.
From Fluffy Chicks to Feathered Falcons
See the chicks develop
It’s been really exciting watching the chicks developing in the nest. They grew to 10 times their hatching weight in just three weeks! This rapid growth rate is down to a varied and high protein diet delivered regularly by their devoted parents. Watch the film below to see the adult birds tenderly break off small morsels to feed each chick in turn.
And keep watching to follow the chick’s first movements. These began with small shuffling walks around the nest, but then their wing feathers came through and we saw the chicks flapping their short stubby wings. They do this to strengthen their wing muscles ready for their first flights.
When the chicks were three and a half weeks old it was time to ring them and so I joined a team from Spurn Bird Observatory to climb the 100 foot tower at Vivergo Fuels on Salt End Chemical Plant. We had to work quickly in order to minimise any disturbance. The team rung each chick with identification tags from the British Trust for Ornithology so that we will be able to track these birds throughout their lives. Watch the trusting way in the chicks look up at the camera as they await their turn!
I can’t wait to see them the chicks take their first flights around the chemical plant.
Click on image to play
Peregrine Falcon Facts
Peregrines lay up to five dark brown, speckled eggs These are incubated for 29 to 33 days, mainly by the female, with the male also helping during the day.
After hatching, the chicks are covered with creamy-white down and have disproportionately large feet. At this point both male and female leave the nest to hunt to feed their young. They have to work hard since peregrine chicks grow very rapidly.
In six days they double their weight and at three weeks old they are 10 times their size at birth. Chicks fledge 42 to 46 days after hatching, and remain dependent on their parents for up to two months.
Inspired by the Salt End Peregrines
The peregrine pair at Salt End has inspired a collection of paintings. I use the nest cameras to study these birds so that my paintings are as accurate as possible. Scroll down to see the full collection:
The Look Of A Peregrine, painted by Robert E Fuller
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Placemat: Blue Tits on Hawthorn by Robert E Fuller
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Kingfisher on Willow - Glass Work Top Saver by Robert E Fuller
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Lap Tray with Cushion - Barn Owl by Robert E Fuller
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