The sun was shining all day again here at the falls of clyde, it was so warm it felt like our peregrines should be feeding chicks by now! Incubation continued today at the nest, there was still quite long periods without a bird on the nest, so this would suggest we still do not have a third egg yet.
Both our birds looked spectacular today (as shown in the photo) with the sun shining down on them, many visitors were surprised at just how smart they were. This was especially the case this evening when the tiercel was sat on one of his favourite perch high up on the cliff. The evening light reflected perfectly from his dark grey feathering, his egg yolk yellow feet and cere (the area just above his beak).
An interesting note from today was the realisation that a pair of woodpigeons have chosen to nest in a scrubby area on the cliff, just a few metres above the peregrine eyrie. As peregrines prefer to catch their prey on the wing and carry it to a plucking post, woodpigeons aern’t often caught due to their weight. Peregrines also like to hunt in open areas where they can see there prey from distance and have space for the stoop.
The woodpigeons also have the advantage that peregrines defend their eyrie veraciously from egg thieves such as crows, therefore inadvertently also protecting the pigeons nest. They therefore feel that it is a calculated risk having the fastest animal on earth as their closest neighbours!
As we are on the subject of other bird species, I shall share a fact I have found some of our visitors fascinated by over the last couple of days. Recent DNA research has shown that falcons are quite closely related to parrots (think of the kea in newzealand) and are not related to other birds of prey whatsoever. The reason they look similar is a phenomenon known has convergent evolution.
Tom Wells – Peregrine Protection Officer