Peregrine Falcons on Bondi VET(Channel 10 TV)

To: Philip Veerman <>
Subject: Peregrine Falcons on Bondi VET(Channel 10 TV)
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 19:09:55 +1100
Apart from the plumage discrepancies, the story makes sense if you don't 
realise that what he called the "extended family" of Peregrine chicks wouldn't 
swoop intruders. At least I assume they wouldn't.

I've emailed him via his practice to see if he's since realised the mistake. 
It's likely he might since then have come into contact with someone who had.

Peter Shute

Sent from my iPad

On 25 Nov 2013, at 4:18 pm, "Philip Veerman" 
<<>> wrote:

Thanks all for your input (to me and the lists). I was wondering would anyone 
be interested. I'm glad I asked……. I later added this text:

(both showing all the features of juvenal plumage - striped, rather than barred 
underparts, underparts colours especially the throat, orangey-buff rather than 
basically white, upperparts brown rather than grey with clear rufous edgings to 
the back and wing covert feathers, cap brown rather than black and primary 
feathers too short for adults (not full grown).

I suppose he used the term "a young adult, from the plumage" very loosely. 
Maybe he thinks "adult" is just meaning feathered. That is a guess. It is not 
clear that he is aware of the plumage difference, unless a young adult is the 
same as juvenile.

I am simply thinking that the reluctance of the birds to fly, combined with the 
short wings suggests that if they had left the nest of their own choice, it was 
only into the first day or two post fledging. Indeed they may have only walked 
off the nest ledge and then were captured before they had flown. If whoever 
nabbed them thought they were the adults, then they might have reason to think 
they were suddenly sick. There were two chicks and I assume they also saw two 
adults (the film appeared to show one parent that was agitated, as they always 
are when people are near their nest). What did he think they were there for? I 
don't expect him to know all about birds, but my question is not so much not 
knowing the different plumage details and how he confused chicks for their 
parents, but on the grounds of pure logic that the story as presented makes no 

Yes I agree: the last minute of the show. One flew off and began soaring (not 
very well), the other glided to the roof of a nearby building. That seemed like 
a risky process with birds that might not be able to fly, but might be 
frightened enough to try. I also thought the feeding of them what looked like 
cut pieces of beef (whilst holding them almost upside down) was odd, but as a 
short term feeding can't do much harm, but it isn't an adequate diet.


-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Shute 
Sent: Monday, 25 November 2013 3:16 PM
To: Peter Ormay
Cc: Philip Veerman; 
<>; COG Chatline
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] [canberrabirds] Peregrine Falcons on Bondi 
VET(Channel 10 TV)

Against my better judgement, I just watched it on the ten website.

They had streaked breast plumage rather than barred, and at one point he said 
the first one was "a young adult, from the plumage", so he was aware of the 
plumage difference. But I wasn't able to see anything that would indicate they 
might not have fledged yet. Perhaps a tiny bit of down on top of the head?

I assume they couldn't be breeding in that plumage. How old would they have to 

He may have been fooled by the fact that the building staff captured them, yet 
the nest was 20m below the roof of a high building. No matter where they were 
caught, roof or ground, they could only have flown there, yet couldn't or 
wouldn't fly when approached. To someone who didn't know what stage they were 
at, that wouldn't really add up to them being fledglings.

He may have simply believed the staff's opinion that they were the adults, and 
then the need to include something in the show other than more bloody dogs took 

For those who can't be bothered watching it on the web site, all 5 minutes or 
so of it, interspersed with 55 minutes of ads and dog kissing, in an interface 
that doesn't allow fast forward or rewind, they were released on top of the 
building in the last minute of the show. One flew off and began soaring, the 
other glided to the roof of a nearby building. That seemed like a risky process 
with birds that might not be able to fly, but might be frightened enough to try.

The birds were fed for a few days, and one was treated with antibiotics for 
"thrush", so probably no harm done? Do peregrines abandon their young if 
they've been handled like this? Do they still feed them after fledging?

Peter Shute


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