Feeding time for four falcon chicks at their Chichester nest

HUNGRY Feeding time for four chicks
HUNGRY Feeding time for four chicks
Oriana Taylor of Stubbington with her Local Hero award. Picture: Chris Moorhouse.

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THE rain may have poured down in bucketfuls, but one famous family of birds has been too busy to notice.

All four peregrine chicks have now hatched at Chichester Cathedral.

Molly Dailide, from RSPB South East, said: ‘The chicks all hatching in such close succession was a first for the pair of nesting peregrines at Chichester Cathedral and despite the rain and wind, the adult birds are doing a brilliant job at keeping all the chicks warm and fed.’

With this year’s brood all successfully hatching, the total number of chicks now hatched in the past 11 years at Chichester Cathedral is 42.

People have been able to watch the action via a camera in the nest, which streams live footage online.

Hundreds of people have visited the cathedral to catch a glimpse of the majestic birds of prey, which are one of the fastest species on the planet and can reach flying speeds of more than 120mph.

Ms Dailide added: ‘It was even more incredible that the fourth hatched in full view of the webcam.

‘This is fairly unusual to see as they usually hatch while the female is sitting on the eggs so you don’t often get such fantastic views of the emerging chick.’

Although the Chichester peregrines are doing well, the inclement weather conditions have had tragic consequences for their counterparts in Nottingham, with the male going missing in the bad weather and the loss of three out of four chicks.

This is the 12th year the peregrine pair has bred on top of the cathedral in a nestbox provided by the Sussex Ornithological Society.

Over the coming weeks, the juvenile peregrines will be learning how to fly from the cathedral as they get stronger.

Live footage from the nest camera is now being broadcast at rspb.org.uk/datewithnature/146937-chichester-cathedral-peregrines