On bank holiday Monday (5th May) we are expecting our first peregrine chick in two years! Last year our birds were sadly unsuccessful. Our current pair have been together since 2004 so this year is there 10th Anniversary which is very exciting. I can also confirm that they are grandparents! Peregrines will breed in their 3rd year so our pair have probably been grandparents for the past seven years but last year we found out that a four year old female nearby has been breeding and raised four chicks.
Before this we didn’t have any definitive proof but this bird was recorded by the Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) on her leg which is a silver ring with a tiny microchip attached to it. This acts as an identification system for the bird and can help answer questions about its history. When a ringer goes to ring juvenile peregrines they will take them away from the eyrie for a short period of time, but while they are gone they will put a metal ring receiver over the eyrie. Then when the parent bird lands on the eyrie, the radio transceiver will pick up details of the bird from the PIT tag. Our peregrines ‘daughter’ landed back on the eyrie and the details from her PIT tag were picked up on the transceiver which is how we found out she was one of ours!
Not only are we expecting our first chick of the season, we are also holding Kite Making Workshops on Monday 5th May. Drop in between 11am-5pm for your chance to make your own kite. It is suitable for children 5yrs+ and costs £5. Don’t forget to visit our peregrines and see if we have any chicks!
Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Ranger