A PAIR of peregrine falcons nesting on Derby Cathedral’s tower have produced young for the second year running. Over the Easter weekend the pair laid four eggs, two of which hatched in May.
The birds have been using a nesting platform looking out on to the Silk Mill at the southern end of the World Heritage Site. It was installed last year after the pair took up residence on the cathedral’s tower and showed signs of wanting to breed but couldn’t find any suitable flat ledge. Three youngsters fledged in July 2006.
Peregrines, which are specially protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, were virtually wiped out in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s by pesticides such as DDT and dieldrin. The residues accumulated in the birds and thinned the egg shells, making incubation impossible.
In the last 15-20 years, peregrine numbers have increased throughout the UK back to their pre-crash levels. They are cliff nesters, but some pairs have now taken to nesting on artificial structures such as power stations, churches and even on pylons.
This year the progress of the Derby birds has been watched by thousands of people who have been logging onto the webcam pictures trained on the nest.
The project is a partnership between Derby Museum, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Derby Cathedral. Nick Brown, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Education Manager said: “This is exciting news and it’s wonderful that this year, bird watchers and peregrine addicts across the globe can now see the birds with their new chicks.
“Last year, the first time they nested on the cathedral, we could only guess from the ground what might have been going on in the nest platform. This year we can watch, big brother-like, and follow every intimate moment!”
Nick Moyes, Keeper of Natural Sciences at Derby Museum said: ”The number of visits we have received from people around the world who have logged on to see the live web cam pictures of our birds has shown that the time and effort it has taken to get the cameras up and running was worthwhile.”
For more information, and links to all webcams, visit: www.derby.gov.uk/peregrine. For current updates on the peregrines’ progress, and see recent video clips, visit http://derbyperegrines.blogspot.com
To view the webcams directly, go to http://18.104.22.168/peregrine/webcam.htm - to reduce demand on the webcam servers please close your browser after visiting.
|< Prev||Next >|