Dramatic first flight for church peregrine chick

Have your say

SHEFFIELD’S most famous birds have been causing a real flap as they prepared to leave the safety of their nest for the first time.

The two peregrine falcon chicks nesting on top of St George’s Church, off Broad Lane, have been spotted exercising their wings and getting on top of the nestbox in the build up to the first flight.

And it’s been quite a drama. The female chick took its maiden flight only to land in a tree.

From there, she tried to fly back up to the nest area, failed to land and dropped back down to another tree, ending up only about four to five metres from the ground.

To make matters worse, the bird was being severely mobbed by a couple of magpies, one of which was pulling at its tail feathers.

The magpies were successfully dispersed with some help from Sheffield University’s estates team, and the peregrine moved towards the end of the branches.

Unfortunately, the only way to take flight was out over Broad Lane. With confidence in her ability to fly shaky at best there was considerable concern that she could end up on the road, or on the front of a passing car.

After several hours, she eventually flew out of the tree and made it back onto the lowest ledge of the church, to the relief of all present.

Meanwhile, the male chick continued to exercise his wings and took his first flight, which carried him all of a metre across to the ledge which runs around the top of the tower.

The adult male flew in with food shortly after, delivering dinner onto the ledge.