Name Salisbury's Peregrine Chicks

Vote to name Salisbury Cathedral peregrine chicks launches today…

With just five days to go before the ringing of the three peregrine chicks, Salisbury Cathedral is launching a public poll to name them. Ahead of the voting they asked their hard-working volunteers to come up with a short list of names themed around the Coronation and royalty. 

Voting can be accessed via this page on their website: https://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/vote-to-name-salisbury-cathedrals-peregrine-chicks/

…and remember, they won’t know the sex of the chicks so people should pick from both categories.

A quick preview of potential names includes Rose – courtesy of the volunteer gardeners. Their explanation is that roses are budding in May and The Rt Rev Rose Hudson Wilkin, Bishop of Dover played a significant part in the crowning of the Queen. Bishop Rose presented Her Majesty with The Queen’s Sceptre with Cross and The Queen’s Rod with Dove during her crowning.

The Education volunteers put forward Albert as in Prince Albert, who used his influence for humanitarianism and moderate reform. He was known to speak out against slavery and child labour and was instrumental in securing the abolition of duelling between Army officers.

They also suggested Abbey as in Westminster Abbey, the location of last Saturday’s crowning, a reminder that 39 monarchs have been crowned in Westminster Abbey.

The Cathedral Flower Arrangers went with Sceptre as a male name, a symbol sovereign authority. The Tuesday Morning Guiding team offered Rex – a kingly name but with something of a canine association?

The rest of the list is available via the link above - the deadline for getting votes in is 16 May, which is the day before ringing. Winning names will be picked out of a hat when we have ringed the chicks.

Meanwhile, the peregrines have been doing well this year despite the weather, but whilst Salisbury Cathedral are delighted with three chicks, the run up to ringing is tinged with sadness. Unfortunately, one of the eggs has not hatched. It happens. In Nottingham and Winchester there have also been failed eggs - and in Norwich the chicks have died. It all goes to show how fragile life in the wild can be. There are no guarantees, even when you have the best peregrine penthouse in Wiltshire.

Peregrine expert, Granville Pictor, has taken a look at the footage of the moment the unhatched egg was broken by one of the adults standing on it. He thinks it was probably infertile, just full of yolk and albumen. This is borne out by the fact that you see the adult nibble bits of the broken shell and eating some of its contents. There was no unhatched chick in the egg as far as he could see.

If the egg had remained unbroken the Cathedral team would have retrieved it when they were ringing and sent it to the Predatory Birds Monitoring Service (PBMS). PMBS is a long-term, national monitoring scheme that quantifies the concentrations of contaminants in the livers and eggs of selected species of predatory birds in Britain. They do this to detect and quantify current and emerging chemical threats to the environment and the extent of risk to vertebrate wildlife (and potentially Man).

Similarly, when they ring next week, the ID and Darvic rings will be registered with the British Trust for Ornithology, so that they can monitor and track the chicks in years to come.

Ringing will take place in the early morning of 17 May and the live feeds will be switched off during the process, which means they will be ‘off air’ for an hour or so.

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