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Peregrine chicks about to take flight
LOOK up as you walk through Salisbury’s Cathedral Close this week and you may be lucky enough to see a baby peregrine falcon testing out its flying skills.
The three chicks, the first to hatch at the cathedral since 1953, have been flexing their wings and walking up and down the south balcony by their nest box as they build up their strength for the big day when they take to the air.
And according to clerk of works Gary Price, that will happen any time now.
“They’ll hop up on the parapet and their parents will be flying around enticing them to take off,” he said.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds will be setting up a gazebo on the West Lawn on July 2 with telescopes to enable people to get a closer look at the youngsters – two males and a female - as they continue to fly in and out with their parents for another three or four weeks.
Mr Price explained that the sex of the chicks was established when they were measured and fitted with identifying rings by ornithologist and wildlife presenter Ed Drewitt earlier this month.
“You can tell by the weight, the thickness of the leg and the length of the talons,” he said. “The feathers in the females don’t mature as quickly as those of the males.”
The cathedral website has a link to a live webcam focused on the nest, where the chicks can be seen wandering in and out of view.
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