Four peregrine chicks were ringed just after 10am , June 10, at the base of the Cathedral’s Spire. The chicks, about 25 days old, were weighed, measured and ringed by Ed Drewitt from the British Trust for Ornithology, assisted by Phil Sheldrake, RSPB Conservation Officer.
The three females and one male weighed between 700 and 900 grams. They were ringed with the distinctive blue ring that marks them out as South West region peregrine, each bearing a unique two-letters allowing researchers to keep track of them in future.
While the parents (dubbed Fiona and Bruce by Cathedral staff, after the Antiques Roadshow presenter who visited the Cathedral recently) circled the Tower, the youngsters were also named by Eleanor and Ben, two young ornithologists from the Cathedral School.
The Salisbury chicks remain on the Cathedral Tower balcony until the end of June when they are expected to fledge, stay around the Cathedral for at least month, learning survival and hunting skills from their parents before striking out on their own.
Meanwhile the Cathedral has launched its Peregrine Tower Tours in partnership with the RSPB’s South Wilts group. Well-known and respected local RSPB member and peregrine expert Granville Pictor is joining the 12.15 Tower Tours on the next three Wednesdays in June, offering visitors the opportunity to learn more about the peregrines, Wednesday, June, 12, 19 26, 12:15
Tours can be booked online via the Cathedral website https://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/visit/tower-tours or at the Cathedral Welcome.
When fledging starts at the end of June, the Cathedral’s RSPB partners offer a peregrine themed Date with Nature on the Cathedral’s West Lawn, just outside the entrance to the Cloisters.
From Wednesday, June 26, until 24 July 24, RSPB volunteers and specialists with telescopes and information, allow visitors to watch the youngsters close up.