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13 November 2014

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You are in: Birmingham > Nature > Nature Features > A bird's eye view

Peregrine with chicks (Pic: Chris Gomersall)

Peregrine with chicks

A bird's eye view

Peregrine Falcons have nested in Birmingham for several years. The Peregrine Nestcam Project hoped to show live images of peregrine chicks being hatched - but things don't always go according to plan...

Peregrine Facts

  • The world's fastest animal
  • The largest British breeding falcon
  • Wingspan 95-110cm
  • City-dwelling Peregrines feed on pigeons & starlings
  • 2-4 eggs are usually laid
  • Incubation doesn't start until the clutch is complete
  • Incubation is 29-32 days
  • At 40 days they can fly
  • The oldest on record was 15 years, 6 months
  • There are about 1,400 breeding pairs in the UK
  • They carry one of highest standards of legal protection

If you travel along the M6 or live near Fort Dunlop in Castle Bromwich, you may have seen a Peregrine Falcon soaring overhead.

Peregrine Falcons have started to opt for life in the city.

When these birds swoop for their prey, they're the fastest animal on Earth - and they're nesting here in Birmingham.

We hoped to bring you closer to these magnificent birds with the Peregrine Nestcam, showing the day-to-day life in a Peregrine Falcon's nest.

However all did not go according to plan. After a positive start our peregrine abandoned her nest and it has now been inhabited by a pigeon.

See the update - and learn a little more about pigeons!


Louise Pedersen

Louise Pedersen, RSPB

Peregrine nest cam project

Two Peregrine Falcon nest boxes were installed at the Fort Dunlop site at Castle Bromwich during its redevelopment. These have been successful in providing alternative nesting sites for the peregrines that had previously bred in the derelict building.

Louise Pedersen from the RSPB's Midlands office said: "With the River Tame and the Birmingham Canal winding their way through the landscape and plenty of hunting perches for the peregrines, Europe's biggest living green roof, Fort Dunlop, is a great base camp for them."

In January 2008 webcams were installed on both nest boxes.

It was hoped that the presence of the cameras would increase awareness of the birds and give researchers an insight into breeding habits - as well as showing some wonderful images of fledging chicks.

The webcam went live on the BBC Birmingham website on Monday 30 March and is due to end around mid-July.

See the update for what happened once the webcam went live.

Peregrine Falcan and egg

Peregrine nestcam: Peregrine with an egg

RSPB Peregrine Viewing Project

Birmingham is home to not only one pair, but three pairs of peregrines.

While the city may look like a concrete jungle to us, to the Peregrines it makes perfect sense to live in the city. Birmingham's tall buildings are just like cliffs – ideal places to build nests and to spot food.

The peregrines can be seen soaring high overhead or perching on the city's tallest buildings on the lookout for prey (the BT Tower is a favourite place).

To help you get some of the best possible views of the peregrines in the city the RSPB launched a Peregrine Viewing Project called "A Date with Nature" on 4 April.

RSPB staff and volunteers have a stand in Victoria Square every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4:30pm until 19 July.

They're giving updates on the latest peregrine activity in the city and through their telescopes and binoculars you might be able to see the peregrines.

Dr Stefan Bodnar, Biodiversity Officer, Birmingham City Council

Dr Stefan Bodnar, Biodiversity Officer, BCC

A conservation success story

Dr. Stefan Bodnar, Biodiversity Officer for Birmingham City Council, installed the cameras in January 2008. He said: "The story of the peregrine is really one of the best conservation success stories we have.

"Not long ago peregrines were virtually extinct in the West Midlands but thanks to the phasing out of pesticides such as DDT and better wildlife laws, peregrine numbers have slowly but steadily increased and it's wonderful that they share our city with us."

However since the launch of the Peregrine Nestcam, we have seen some interesting activity by the peregrines.  See the update to find out what has happened so far...

The Pergrine Nestcam Project is a collaboration between the RSPB, Birmingham City Council, Urban Splash and BBC Birmingham

last updated: 03/06/2009 at 14:07
created: 25/03/2009

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