Norwich Cathedral peregrine chicks fly the nest

Peregrine chicks on edge of Norwich Cathedral platform The Hawk and Owl Trust said the chicks' inaugural flight was "more of a flutter downwards"

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Two peregrine falcon chicks have taken their first flight from their nest on Norwich Cathedral.

The male chick left the nesting platform at 04:45 BST on Tuesday and the female chick followed at 12:45 BST.

Experts said as their wing muscles were not fully up to strength the flight was "more of a flutter downwards".

Four eggs were laid in March, with three hatching. The chicks, one of which died on Sunday, were the first born in Norwich for 200 years.

The specialist platform for the peregrine adults, set up by the Hawk and Owl Trust on the cathedral's spire last year, simulates a cliff-face.

'Extreme weather'

Leanne Thomas, from the trust, said: "It is wonderful to see these spectacular birds taking to the skies of Norwich.

"It is sad one of the chicks did not survive, but it is not unusual for the smallest in the brood to die before leaving the nest.

"Two healthy chicks flying is a fantastic start to what we hope will be many years of peregrines breeding in Norwich."

The chicks are now sitting on other parts of the cathedral roof where their parents will continue to feed them.

After a few days the chicks' flying will be stronger and their parents will teach them to hunt, the trust said.

Expert Nigel Middleton added: "Everybody who's been watching this peregrine family is ecstatic now these two have launched themselves.

"It's been a really challenging year for peregrines, due mainly to the extreme weather conditions. We've been very lucky at Norwich Cathedral."

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