With four eggs hatched successfully on Chichester Cathedral, life for the famous peregrines now gets back into the fast lane. Three food parcels a day have to be brought back to the eyrie to feed the family of five (fifth being mum – technically the ‘falcon’ – dad is the ‘tiercel’).
The tiercel is usually the one who does the shopping. He is highly skilled at his job, having fed the family for the past 12 years. But being one third smaller than his wife, he only brings back smaller shopping bags.
Starling are his main quarry but I saw today that he had found a fledgling blackbird. Pigeons are almost too big. Earlier in the week the falcon did kill a pigeon but dropped it on the cathedral roof. She left it there and went back to brooding the chicks, leaving her husband to pick it up. He stood on the stone cross between the turrets and stared at it. There’s a problem a day for these birds.
Last week a buzzard overflew their airspace and the tiercel intercepted the raider and RSPB staff were amazed at how he flew wing to wing then obviously told the longer raptor to ‘follow me’ half a mile out of the territory, when husband then returned to base.