Flying lessons needed for Cambridge peregrines after rescue

image copyrightJamie Clarkson
image captionA falcon that failed to fly on Tuesday initially kept to the pavement (bottom right) in the busy city centre

Two young peregrine falcons have been rescued after one fell out of its nest, and the other found it could not fly as well as it had hoped.

The chicks were hatched by a pair of falcons that have made their home on a building in the centre of Cambridge.

Luckily for the feathered siblings, keen birdwatchers were on hand to scoop them up and take them to safety.

The failed fledglings were given a clean bill of health by the Raptor Foundation and returned to their nest.

Three chicks in total were hatched this year by the adult pair that have made the university city their home since 2014.

image copyrightJamie Clarkson
image captionIt is not clear who was more surprised - the peregrine or the passers-by

The first youngster to strive for independence toppled from its nest on Saturday and was picked up by a photographer.

The male bird was taken to porters at nearby Pembroke College, who had been primed for such an occurrence.

image copyrightJamie Clarkson
image captionTraffic was halted when the peregrine took to the road

The peregrine was then taken to the Raptor Foundation near Huntingdon to be checked over by specialists.

A few days later it was joined by its brother, who made the break for freedom on Tuesday.

Although he managed to fly, he could not get high enough and ended up waddling along the busy street.

image copyrightJamie Clarkson
image captionPhotographers and members of the public helped to get the bird to safety

Engineering student and keen photographer Jamie Clarkson was one of those watching the nest in the hope the remaining birds would fly.

"It hadn't quite managed to fledge successfully - but seemed uninjured as the flight and landing was at quite a shallow angle," he said.

"It needed to be rescued as it is too dangerous for it to be left alone with all the traffic nearby."

image copyrightJamie Clarkson
image captionThe jaywalking falcon was taken to a waiting "peregrine caddy" at Pembroke College and then to a raptor rescue centre

Pembroke College head porter Gordon Murray said it was not the first time his team had been involved in rescuing the young birds.

"Last year all three ended up on the pavement," he said.

"But we are ready to deploy with our bath towel and caddy if it happens again."

image copyrightCambridge Peregrines
image captionThe two failed fledglings were returned safely to their nest site

The third young bird - a female - managed to show them how it was done by flying on her first attempt and successfully landing at Corpus Christi College.

image copyrightJamie Clarkson
image captionStudent Jamie Clarkson created a composite image of the third, successful fledgling, taking to the skies

It is not yet known whether her brothers have given flying another go since being returned to the nest, but Simon Dudhill from the Raptor Foundation said the pair were in good health.

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