WATCH: the moment a young peregrine falcon takes its first flight

Peregrine falcon Cromer church

A young peregrine falcon took its first flight on Tuesday, June 7, circling Cromer Parish Church tower. - Credit: Chris Skipper

A young peregrine falcon - the sole survivor of two hatched in Cromer Parish Church this spring - has taken its first flight into the wide Norfolk sky.

The fledgling had been wandering the roof of the church, hopping from turret to turret and building up its flight muscles, for the past few weeks.

And on Tuesday (June 7), as described by Chris Skipper of the Cromer Peregrine Project, "he opened his wings and off he went".

The falcon, named Jack, flew once around the church tower, shadowed by his parents, before landing again safely on the east face.

"He is six weeks old so right on track to what we would expect to see," Mr Skipper said.

Peregine falcon spreading its wings

A peregrine falcon spreads his wings after taking his first flight around the tower of Cromer Parish Church. - Credit: Chris Skipper

After they take their first flight, peregrines, which are the world's fastest birds, are referred to as fledglings.

Over the next few weeks, his parents will teach the fledgling how to hunt, kill and pluck prey.

Most Read

Mr Skipper said: "From a viewer's point of view, it's one of the best times to see the peregrines, as the parents teach their fledgling how to hunt.

"He will still be there for another six to eight weeks, building confidence and learning how to be a peregrine.

"He'll go further afield, coming back to the church at night. He'll go further and further until he finds his own territory."

Cromer peregrine falcon

A peregrine fledgling perched on a turret on Cromer Parish Church, with the Pavilion Pier in the background. - Credit: Chris Skipper

The peregrine was named after 'Little Jack Horner, who sat in a corner', a reference to a photo of him sitting in the corner of the box at the top of the church. 

His parents were named Henry and Poppy.

The watch-point will remain open on a rolling basis until the fledgling has left the church tower, from 10am to 4pm on weekdays and 12 to 4pm at the weekend.

Peregrine Cromer

A peregrine fledgling perched on the tower of Cromer Parish Church bathes in the golden light of a summer sunset. - Credit: Chris Skipper

Last month, volunteers the church tower to put two identifying rings around Jack's ankle. The rings will allow members of the project to follow the peregrine's life journey.

The fledgling is the sole survivor of this year's clutch of three of eggs - one of which did not hatch. A second chick was born, but died on May 10.

A livestream of the peregrine's nesting box can be found on YouTube and can also be watched inside the church.

There have been more than 20,000 visits a week to the livestream.