We’re watching the peregrine adults today settling well in the eyrie with it’s new size and shape, along with it’s much more suitable gravel layered floor. This much better layer of rounded pea gravel (supplied by Richards Sand and Soil, Orange, carted 50m up the tower with awesome help from Ash J!) is around 4–6cm deep (2.5inches) and allows the birds to create a safer “divot” in which to stop the egg/s rolling around, as well as settling more comfortably themselves.
As a further back-stop there’s a rubber floor-mat underneath with large holes, so if they were to burrow down far enough there would still be grip and shape. This rubber floor-mat should also allow better drainage in the event of a rain deluge, but the “Concrete Hilton” should protect from the worst of the weather anyway. Underneath the rubber mat we’ve placed a layer of fine non-toxic, non-rust, brass mesh to retain most of the finer gravel, which in turn protects an ample series of drain holes.
Between the tower wall and the roost itself there should be just enough gap to slide up a thin flat plate over the window in the event that we need extra safety measures when banding any chicks. In also having large opening hatch ends, and a vastly taller ladder (thanks Bruce and Facilities Mgmnt; apologies for the loss of your best ladder!), it should be a much safer and less traumatic process for all involved. A couple of months’ planning and 3 previous years of experience has given us a wealth of knowledge in roost construction.
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