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Friday, 17 May 2013

A sign of things to come?

This year is shaping up as not a bad one when it comes to breeding for the pairs that I monitor, I won’t say too much on the subject as it is still early days and I don’t like to tempt the fates.

One issue which has arisen again is early breeding in London, of the pairs, 4 are more advanced and have laid earlier than the normal March 28th to April 3rd laying dates, one pair at least have laid exceptionally early.
The pair in question (see March 10th blog) are looking like they laid over 2 weeks earlier than normal, I visited the site on Sunday May 12th and got my first proper look at them, I would age them around 4 weeks. With this and the others early breeding you look for reasons why, what is it down to, I have mentioned this before, London’s warmer temperatures, if that is the case why are they all not laying early, it is only a minority.
The earlier warm spell around Christmas, I had a pair copulating on December 23rd may have bought some pairs on earlier, why do some respond and not others; additionally it could be a change in pairings. If another bird comes in, beit Tiercel or Falcon and usurps the resident bird is the eagerness to breed and reproduce going to be stronger and more urgent, consequently copulations take place earlier?
Are the early birds younger pairings with normal layers being older birds and more established pairings?

December 23rd 2012 copulating

Lots of questions, it will be interesting to see if the trend continues long term. 

This year see’s the introduction of a new dark green ring for London, hopefully it will help if seen briefly and aid towards more ringing returns, talking of which I had some sad news recently when one of last year’s juveniles was found dead. The juvenile was one of a pair and was found dead on 22nd April 2013 5km’s from the nest site, it was ringed on 23rd May 2012.Cause of death is given as - entered building – found dead at base of chimney flue, the fact that it met it’s end on a known peregrine breeding site possibly means that there were other circumstances involved.

Unfortunately one of these is no longer with us.

An unfortunate end and I am off to its natal site on Monday morning to ring this year’s juveniles, hopefully they or it will fare better. 

Down south pairing have now hatched 2 of their 4 eggs so a great success story for all involved, good reward for everyone’s efforts to assist them.

What its all about.

Off to London again in the morning at dawn, at the moment I am working away 4 days a week so updating when I can. 

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