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FLEDGE THE NEST: Falcons nesting at St Albans Cathedral spread their wings

 Published on: 15th August 2023   |   By: Panayiota Demosthenous   |   Category: Uncategorized

A pair of peregrine falcons who were nesting at St Alban’s Cathedral have welcomed a trio of chicks.

Alban and Boudicca, one of only five pairs of peregrine falcons in Hertfordshire, have lived at the cathedral since early spring. Since then, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust have been tracking their journey and keeping the community updated with live streams courtesy of a webcam installed in their nesting tray.

The proud parents recently welcomed three babies, whose live hatching racked up more than 130,000 page views. Following a public vote, the trio were formally named Gabriel, Michael and Raphael.

Heidi Carruthers, engagement manager at Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, said: “It’s heart-warming to see how the public has become invested in the peregrine falcons’ journey and now we’ll all be following them on to the chicks fledging.”

The trust recently issued a new update, sharing that the chicks were ringed in June thanks to Herts Breeding Peregrine co-ordinator Barry Trevis. In a post on the trust’s page, Barry said that ringing allows bird keepers to have “a much better idea of how long they live, their movements around the UK and even abroad, along with their relationships”, and allows staff to track family trees of falcons.

In July, the now grown falcons were spotted spreading their wings and taking to the skies around the cathedral. Their preliminary white flight feathers have been replaced by brown beam feathers, and they will now begin leaving their parents and heading for a life of independence.

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