4 Nestling Peregrines all found dead in Welsh Quarry nesting site

A few days ago when  Kelvin Jones, BTO Wales, was  visiting a Welsh quarry where a few weeks before he had counted 4 healthy chicks in the nest, we found all the chicks dead in the nest. It is strongly suspected the young falcons had been illegally killed.

welsh-peregrines-dead-web

4 Welsh Peregrine chicks all found dead in the nest: Photo Reg Thorpe, RSPB 

Kelvin tells us that even after 50 years of birdwatching, he still gets that buzz of excitement when he visits nesting territories to see the outcome of this year’s breeding season. This particular nest is difficult to view but I could see splash on the cliff below and what looked like the remains of prey on the nest. I pulled my scope into focus and slowly zoomed in, a feeling of dread building inside me. It was not prey items in the nest, but four Peregrine chicks, dead. I was gutted.

You can read Kelvin’s harrowing account of what he found here

Peregrines Alive East Lancs Quarry 2010

East Lancashire Quarry Nest 2010 showing 3 alive Peregrine chicks

Peregrines Dead East Lancs Quarry 2010

 3 dead Peregrine chicks at same East Lancashire eyrie after being shot in the heads by high powered rifle. No one brought to account for this atrocity.

 

3 comments to 4 Nestling Peregrines all found dead in Welsh Quarry nesting site

  • andrew macdonald

    the one in the middle looks more like an adult to me.
    andy

    Editor’s Comment. Andrew, do you know on closer inspection of the image you could be right, if that is the case its far more likely all the falcons could have died from poison????

  • paul williams

    All look young to me…Adult falcons are distinctively white fronted.

    • Terry Pickford, North West Raptor Protection Group

      Hi Paul, following closer examination of the image showing the four dead peregrines, the one in the middle is most definitely a mature male bird. It has a blue grey plumage of an adult falcon. Almost certainly these birds had been poisoned.