Chichester peregrine chicks fledge

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Bird lovers throughout the Chichester area have been a-twitter with excitement as the famous peregrine chicks took to the skies for the first time.

Known as Female Number 56 to more serious fans, the last juvenile peregrine of the four hatched on the cathedral turrets this year finally fledged on Friday.

She has joined her siblings in flight around the grounds of Chichester Cathedral, who first flew a couple of days previously.

The chicks – which hatched on April 24 and 25 –were first believed to be four males, which would have been very rare. But as the weeks progressed it was confirmed they are in fact two females and two males.

The juveniles have been numbered in relation to how many chicks the parents have hatched since taking up residence at the cathedral.

Unfortunately not all the chicks survive to adulthood, but so far this brood appear to be healthy and strong.

The fact all four chicks have now fledged bodes them in good stead for their future, according to Samantha Stokes from the RSPB.

“It’s fantastic that all four of this year’s Chichester Cathedral peregrine chicks have fledged – since 2002 this pair has successfully raised 42 chicks, an impressive record for peregrines,” she said.

Since the arrival of the parent falcons to Chichester Cathedral ten years ago, enthusiasts have visited from all over the area to catch a glimpse of these fascinating birds.

Numbers of this species have been in serious decline around Britain, but conservation efforts led by the RSPB after the 1960s mean they are becoming a more common sight.