ONE of four peregrine chicks nesting at a city cathedral has been euthanised after struggling to fly.
Chichester Peregrines delivered the sad news on Facebook this morning, adding the decision was taken after ‘extensive evaluation, treatment and consultations with experts’.
The chick had been nesting at Chichester Cathedral.
It said it was the first time that the cathedral had lost a chick this way having been home to the peregrines for many years and the ‘option was not taken lightly’.
The post read: ‘Brent Lodge informed us that after investigation Peregrine chick No. 80 was still struggling to fly.
‘Although she appeared healthy apart from the short feathers, it was found that the sheaths to her feathers would not come off.
‘Underneath these sheaths her feathers appeared to be rotting, and there were stress lines on the feathers.
‘This is a condition that has recently been seen, although little is known of its cause.
‘After consultation with the local ‘Peregrine Raptor Group’ & local falconers, it was felt that she may be able to fly next year after her 1st moult. “This would mean keeping her in captivity until that time, but would also mean she would not get the important training from her parents or be able to build up her muscles to assist with flying.
‘It was therefore decided that the kindest solution would be to euthanise her, and this is what has happened.
‘Whilst this is very sad, this option was not taken lightly.
‘We have been fortunate at Chichester because until now we have not lost any chicks in this manner before, or this early after fledging, whereas many other urban nest sites like cathedrals unfortunately have.
‘Hopefully this will not happen too often.’
The peregrine, known as BL-80, had previously been taken to Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital after crashing into a window at a home near the cathedral.