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.
Sent from my iPad
On 25 Nov 2013, at 4:18 pm, "Philip Veerman"
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.
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?
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