This year, four wild peregrine chicks have hatched at our Buck Park site in Denholme, West Yorkshire.

A scheme was set up in 1997 to collect DNA from wild peregrines and, more recently, a tagging scheme has been introduced.  Last week, Steve Downing with the Wildlife Crime Unit visited the site to tag the new chicks - three female and one male.

peregrine1

A colour coded ring is fitted to indicate which geographic region the birds are from.  A second special ring, called a PIT tag, is also fitted and this contains a microchip.  When these young birds take up their own territories and start to breed, the microchip will feed information to special readers set up on the nest ledge.  Each movement on and off the ledge is recorded and this information helps determine which specific birds are nesting where, and the amount and timing of food being brought into the nest.

Until this tagging programme was introduced, it was thought that pairs of birds returned to the same nest site each year.  The programme has shown, though, that this is not always the case.

For more information about peregrines, you can check out the National Geographic website - http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/peregrine-falcon/