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Keep an eye on the clock

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 09:55 UK time, Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Want to catch a glimpse of the world's fastest and deadliest predator?

Peregrine falcons, which can reach spectacular speeds as they stoop to catch their prey, are usually associated with remote crags and cliffs.

However, these days you don't necessarliy need to pull on a stout pair of hiking boots to see peregrines up close.

With tall buildings offering similar benefits to cliff ledges, peregrines have recently been adapting well to a more urban lifestyle. Unusual nesting sites in built-up locations around the UK now include the Tate Modern gallery in London, Chichester cathedral and Manchester's Arndale shopping centre.

Here in Wales our own pair of city slickers have taken up permanent residence in a high-rise nesting site on Cardiff City Hall's iconic clock tower, giving shoppers and workers an opportunity to see these amazing birds of prey soaring above the skyline.


From this week, as the pair prepare to raise their next brood, people will also be able to keep a closer eye on proceedings through a special viewing scheme organised by the RSPB.

Live images from the nestcam will be screened at the nearby National Museum, while later in the year people will be able to watch the fledgling peregrines make their first flights from a special viewpoint on the lawn of City Hall.

Want to know more about peregrine falcons?

Check out the peregrine falcon species guide on the RSPB website.

Find out how peregrines are adapting to city life in the Telegraph.

See more peregrine falcon pictures on the BBC Wales Flickr group.


  • Comment number 1.

    Update: The peregrines have laid their first egg of the season - with more likely to follow soon.

    Both birds share the incubation, which begins with the last or penultimate egg, and takes 29-32 days per egg. The chicks will then hatch over a period of a couple of days.

    For more information you can go to the RSPB website.


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